Friday, 10 May 2013

Vamp! II - Prologue B

(Download the updated version in PDF/epub format here.)

Prologue B of Vamp! under the cut.

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Prologue B - Nidhogg and Hraesvelgr


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He could not even bring himself to shed tears.

The moment his despair reached its zenith, the boy did not even realize the fact of his own despair.

‘Sis. Where’s Sis?’

Not even knowing if he was in his right mind, the boy frantically began to search for the family that should have been by his side.

Everything was consumed by chaos--although it was only the boy’s mind that was in confusion, so to be more accurate, this only referred to everything that mattered to the boy.

He could not even tell if it was night or day.

He could not register if his surroundings were bright or dark.

He could not figure out if he was standing outside or indoors.

And yet the boy continued to look for his sister.

As the boy searched, not even knowing what he should do or say once he found her, even greater despair swelled before him in a powerful wave.

What first hit him was the odor.

A tepid breeze. He could feel it in his nostrils. It began to agitate his sense of smell.

Agitation.

Agitation.

It agitated his nerves, his memories, his life, and even his purpose.

The stench that battered away at his heart was a primal one, reminiscent of the smell of rusted metal.

‘This is blood.’

The moment he realized this, the boy felt his stomach lurch.

He shut his eyes in an attempt to deny everything his senses were telling him.

But the stench was much too powerful and cruel. It grew denser and denser, as though sneering at the boy.

But the boy knew--

That the one who was actually sneering at him was standing right before him, carrying the source of the stench.

The boy shut his eyes tight.

But things would not get better. The world full of despair would not disappear.

Time would not turn back.

Reality surrounded his world, waiting for the boy to open his eyes and accept it.

But the boy rejected it with all his might.

Once he opened his eyes, things will have changed, the boy assured himself, as he slowly gathered the courage to face forward.

Was it a nightmare?

Was it just a hallucination?

Was it someone’s idea of a joke?

Was it a fantasy story he had written out on paper?

He had not imagined anything so specific for his immediate future, but the boy wished fervently that reality would disappear from his sight.

Was this what it felt like to have hit someone with a car, he wondered, his thoughts drifting to things more morbid than fantastic. Although he knew he was running away, the boy decided to accept his own flight. If it meant he could escape from this reality, he would gladly accept a lie.

Once he opened his eyes--

All he had to do was open them--

As he placed his hopes on his eyelids, a voice reached his ears and cruelly shattered the boy’s fantasies to bits.

“Hey... Why won’t you open your eyes?”

The boy twitched.

He did not know if he was scared or angry.

The voice jolted his eyes open, and he turned his gaze to its source. He could not move his face or the rest of his body. The voice alone was enough to petrify him in fear.

“You can look at us, you know. You’re going to hurt our feelings.”

It was a kind, gentle voice.

But the boy knew--the voice was despair cloaked in kindness. Everything was despair.

The voice that embraced him warmly was despair incarnate.

The boy fought his nausea as he fixed his gaze at the source of the voice. There were two figures before his eyes.

One figure was carrying the other in its arms.

It was much like the fairytale image of a prince carrying a princess.

After all, the figure being carried was, to the boy, a true princess.

His beloved older sister. His only blood relative.

‘My... only blood relative...’

The boy repeated the words to himself over and over again.

Until not too long ago, the boy had other relatives--his parents--but now it was just down to him and his sister.

Their parents had only just been murdered by the vampire--the monster--holding his sister. He could smell his their blood from the creature, who bathed in the red while it was still warm.

And the third smell of blood.

The thin stream of blood flowing from his sister’s neck.

“...Sis...”

“That hurts. Are you just going to ignore me?” The smiling vampire casually asked the trembling boy.

“H-how... how could you... how could you...? I... I trusted you...”

“Ahaha! Thanks for trusting me, then.” The monster laughed, apologizing. “I really enjoyed the look on your face when I betrayed you.”

The vampire remained as friendly as ever. This fact pushed the boy even deeper into the abyss of despair.


Everything began when the boy and the girl--his childhood friend--had gone to explore the woods together.

Pulling along his hesitant friend, he stepped inside an abandoned house deep in the woods, which was rumored to be haunted. And there they came face-to-face with a vampire.

At first they could not believe their eyes. Then, they fell into panic. But their fears were soon assuaged, and from that point on, the boy began to treat the vampire as a friend.

Having accepted the fact that vampires did, in fact, exist, the boy’s simple heart thought:

‘I knew it. So there are good vampires out there, too.’

Just as it was possible for one good deed of an evil man to completely reverse others’ view of him, the vampire’s kind and gentle character destroyed any fears the boy might have had about the supernatural.

The boy and the girl visited the abandoned house every single day.

They heard all kinds of things from their new friend. Being bitten and turned into a vampire. Hiding in this cottage after being harshly persecuted by humans. Being able to live without drinking blood. The fact that it had been an entire year since this vampire had been able to speak with others as they did now.

It was all the stuff of storybooks to the boy. A very personal epic, recounted to him by his new friend.

This was why the boy both admired and trusted the vampire a great deal more than he did the humans he thought were very boring.

This was why he had brought the vampire to his home.

He wanted to bring this friendly vampire into his world--to the place where his most beloved people were.


But the boy had been terribly mistaken.

He had underestimated the creature known as the vampire.

‘Wow... A vampire that’s willing to make friends with humans...’, he had thought, impetuously judging between vampires--creatures that a human like him knew nothing about.

It was only much later that he came to regret this act.

Because at the moment, the boy was too busy falling even deeper than the abyss of despair.


Suddenly, something that resembled a watermelon rolled over before the boy’s eyes.

He did not have to take a close look to see what it was.

His father’s head.

The moment the realization struck him, the boy screeched, casting rational thought into the winds.

Though he never intended it, his body moved on its own to squeeze the air out of his lungs.

As his entire body screamed out in terror, the boy’s consciousness spotted something else.

His mother’s body, lying just out of the corner of his eye.

The unnatural hole gaping through her chest. It was as though the reddish blackness was staring into his soul.

His scream did not stop.

The vampire, as though matching his rhythm, smiled with a snap of the fingers.

Crunch. There was a crisp impact as something fell before the boy’s feet.

What initially looked to be a large mass was more aptly described as small.

Falling to the floor with a terribly realistic noise was the body of a child the same age as the boy.

The child was entirely unharmed, unscathed save for the odd angle as which her neck was twisted.

The classmate upon whom the boy had been nursing a crush.


Corpses rolled before his eyes like a scene out of a freakish play.

It crushed the boy’s heart in such a simplistic, yet indescribably grotesque manner.


The boy once again closed his eyes.

A second later, a powerful presence drew very close to his face. He could not hear any breathing, but they were probably close enough that his own breath would probably reach.

The vampire was there.

That was all he could know.

That was all he wanted to know.

Before this overwhelming presence, the despair and outrage that had for a moment consumed him disappeared completely.

“Please... spare me...”

The boy found himself asking for mercy. Begging for his life.

Even though he had lost the people he loved most right before his eyes, even though his nemesis was right there in front of him.

“Please... spare me... Don’t kill me...”

His lips continued to plead for his life. His tightly shut eyes shed tears that ran down his cheeks and fell to the ground.

He was soon enveloped by a gentle voice.

“Don’t be stupid. I would never kill you.”

“Ah... hic...”

“We’re friends, aren’t we?” The vampire said, with too soft a voice for such cruel words.

The boy found himself feeling relieved.

He was relieved at the thought that he had, at least, managed to keep his own life. But only a moment later, his relief turned to self-hatred at his own selfishness.

‘Everyone... everyone is dead... So why am I relieved?!’

The realization once more kindled the sparks of outrage, but the boy could do little more than speak to the monster before him.

“Why...”

“Hm?”

“Why... why did you kill them?!”



He did not recall the circumstances clearly, but the conclusion was clear.

The vampire he had brought home had proceeded to cruelly murder his parents and classmate.

“Tell me. Why?! What did I...? What did they ever do to you?!”

Listening to the boy’s cries, choked with sobs, the vampire that most definitely stood before him quietly began to speak.

To the boy, whose eyes were still tightly shut, the vampire’s voice was all that comprised the world.

He focused his every sense into his ears and waited without intending--for he was petrified with fear.

“Why? Let me tell you why.”

The voice quietly cocooned the boy as though trying to soften his rigor.

“It’s because I love you two so very much.”

‘Us “two”?’

The monster’s words finally reminded the boy of his childhood friend.

‘Now that I think about it... Where is she? Is she all right? ...No, before any of that... I have to help Sis!’

The boy quickly abandoned his worry for his friend and quietly opened his eyes.

His sister was in the vampire’s arms, a thin stream of blood flowing from her already-pale neck. Without moving the rest of her body, she turned her head towards her little brother.

She was beautiful.

The boy found himself gladdened by the fact that his sister had been able to move of her own will.

His face relaxed ever-so-slightly as he felt his fears alleviate for a moment.

His sister looked at him with a smile.

She then put her arms around the vampire’s neck and brought her lips to him.


“Wha...”


She was no longer even looking at her brother.

And--


<=>


I opened my eyes.

“...”

It was a dream--a vivid memory of what happened over ten years ago.

Ah, that was a great nap. A great reminder.

A reminder of my hatred towards him.

A reminder of what I have to do for revenge.

But it’s a good thing I didn’t see the rest.

That’s right. There was more to the story than that.

But that part alone I remember clearly. It’s so fresh in my mind that I don’t need dreams to remind me.

I think... the only reason I made it this far is because of the continuation of that scene of utter despair.

The end of that tragedy somehow became my hope.

I don’t know when this hope is going to be fulfilled, but I feel like it’s coming closer and closer.

That alone I’m sure of.

I felt a little better. I crushed the fangs of the vampire leaping before me, jaw and all.

There was a repulsive noise. Shards of splintered bone drove themselves into the fingers I controlled.

That hurt.

I see. So this is reality.

In other words...


This horde of monsters in front of me are real.


This is a bother. They’re all nothing but small fry.

I wish they could have just run off while I was sleeping.


<=>


The young man stood before the monsters.

The monsters lunging at him froze.

In the blink of an eye, the vampire nearest to the man was lying on the ground with a shattered jaw.

They were an uncanny group of beast-creatures, looking like human forms twisted into animals. It was impossible to tell if they were even vampires or werewolves.

They were the vampires who called this place home, and they had been controlling the humans of nearby villages for quite some time.

Several months ago, a group of vampire-hunting humans had come to exterminate them, likely having been hired by someone from a nearby village.

But this team of exterminators was almost maddeningly weak. The vampires easily destroyed them, and torched a nearby village in retaliation.

That should have ended everything.

But the foe standing before their eyes was forcibly making it clear--they were the ones whose lives were about to end.

In the dark of the abandoned mine--the nest of the vampires and the werewolves under their command--they were very suddenly faced with an enemy.


The enemy was a gigantic suit of armor.


It was of a strange design, a blend of East and West. There was a thick layer of armor over the wearer’s face. He seemed to be watching the events unfolding around him through the slits where the eyes should be, but it was impossible for the vampires to see inside the armor.

The reason they concluded that the wearer was a young man was because of the brief words he spoke to them.


“Hah... Just die for me, okay?”


It was a simple command.

As though this was a signal to attack, the monsters instantly prepared for battle.

But the young man’s words were, in fact, not what the monsters believed them to be.

Because by the time he had finished his sentence, the battle was already over.

There was a sound like something collapsing. The monsters turned around.

Where they would normally see the vampire leading them standing, all they saw was a headless lump of flesh.

“Huh...?” One of the monsters surrounding the armor uttered.

At that very moment, a gust of wind stroked their faces.

They were one step too late to read the angle from which the wind had blown. By the point they could pinpoint the direction, they realized that something had just passed right through them.

The answer to their question was much further back than where their leader had been standing. ‘It’ had been driven into the dimly-lit wall of the mine.

A white stake, blood and meat dribbling from its sides.

The blood stuck to its surface quickly went grey, then turned to ash and scattered in the mine.

At the same time, the headless body began to dissipate from the neck down, fading to ashes.

‘Where did that come from?’ The monsters found themselves wondering, even before they could feel any sadness about their leader’s death.

The answer was already right before them.

The gigantic suit of armor before them had launched the stake in the middle of the young man’s command.

The attack had come so suddenly that they noticed nothing until well after the fact. Though the man’s armor looked very heavy, they did not even see him lift his arm. What kind of a stance had he even thrown the stake from?

The monsters were all occupied by the all-too-sudden fact of their master’s death. But a moment later, they understood what was happening and instantly let their bloodlust loose upon their foe.

But the armored man did not move.

He was neither trying to attack the frantic monsters as they reeled from their master’s death, nor was he trying to escape. He only stood there, rooted to the spot.

“KILL HIM!” One of the monsters cried. He looked to be a vampire like his master, but he looked much less refined than the leader. At the same time, one of the monsters charged at the armored man.

He was rewarded for his efforts with a shattered jaw.


“Sorry. I was just getting a bit of shut-eye.”

The armored man casually shook off the jawbone shards and chunks of flesh from his arm. The voice coming from within was equally as laid-back.

“I’m serious. I just fell asleep. Looks like I’m still a bit jet-lagged. That was really close, you know. If you didn’t start yelling, I might not have woken up. And you would have killed me for sure.”

The armored man looked down upon the jawless vampire rolling on the ground.

“That’s right... All that noise woke me up from my terrible nightmare. I guess I should be thanking you twice.”

Because the man’s face was entirely covered, the monsters looked around at one another, unable to read their foe’s expression. Was he being sincere or sarcastic?

But what they did know was the fact that this man was much more powerful than they had expected.

As the monsters murmured amongst themselves, unable to take a single step forward, they heard from the armor what sounded like a laugh-

-that moment, the armor continued speaking.

“Thank you. In return, I’ll give my all into killing and murdering every last one of you tear you all to pieces and not leave a piece of dust and destroy you all--”

By the time he had finished speaking without even pausing to take a breath, half the monsters were lying on the ground without their heads.

The armor looked down upon the still corpses.

“You died because I beheaded you? This is just disappointing.”

Though the monsters were watching disaster unfold before their very eyes, they could not even twitch.

“This isn’t war. This isn’t even a battle. This is just a one-sided massacre.” The armor said, implicitly mocking the monsters. But they could not even think of retorting.

“Did the bigwigs really have to send me of all people for this job? This is way too easy.”

One of the werewolves finally snapped out of his daze as the man mumbled to himself. He threw the knife he was holding at the armored man.

The knife, flying at a speed unthinkable for humans, was thrown straight towards the dark slit in the armor, where the man’s eyes should be.

A crisp metal ring echoed through the mine. At the same time, the werewolf was grabbed by the collar and lifted clear off the ground.

“Wha...?”

Holding him in the air was the man in the gigantic armor.

‘When did he get all the way over here?’

The moment he found himself wondering this, the werewolf felt something stabbing into his neck.

It was the knife he had thrown earlier. He had seen neither the moment it was caught nor the movement of the man, but he found himself in this position before he could even think.

If this was not the supernatural act of stopping time, the man’s movements were clearly inhuman. Of course, a human could not possibly control time itself.

Thinking this, the werewolf attempted to bluff as much as he could and spoke with the knife still lodged in his neck.

“Y-you... You’re a vamp-”

Don’t treat me like one of them.”

The tip of the knife was buried deeper into his neck. The werewolf could not finish his sentence.

But as though in his place, another vampire came to the answer--about the human creatures who possessed power greater than vampires.

“Bastard... You’re an Ea-”

A stake came flying towards him from the armor. The vampire’s head flew off, his mouth still agape.

Watching the corpse collapse to the ground, the armor said without a hint of emotion:

“That’s right.”

The monsters watching them had no idea what their friend had been right about, but they realized the state of their being--mortal peril.

Their allies were slain one by one like pieces of trash. But the enemy probably considered them to be even less than that. He annihilated them one by one, so casual that he might as well have been doing something so natural as breathing. Several of the monsters finally turned to flee into the mine shafts.

Their heads exploded one by one, in the order in which they had turned.

There was a dry impact as stakes drove themselves into the walls of the mine, followed shortly by the sounds of heads being crushed.

The first vampire to be beheaded was already turning to ash. Blood spouted from the werewolves’ bodies as they lay still without so much as twitching.

The armor, in the midst of attacking the fleeing monsters one by one, heard the words of a male vampire who had remained rooted to the spot.

“P-please.. spare--”

Without even letting the vampire finish, the armored man covered his fanged mouth with his hand.

“Hey... You just tried to beg for your life.”

In spite of his nonchalant tone, the armored man slowly began to apply more pressure to the hand covering the vampire’s mouth.

“...Don’t. Killing someone who begs for his life leaves a bad taste in my mouth, you know.”

The armored man listened to the vampire’s jaw shatter as he laid out his illogical philosophy. At the same time, he jabbed his free hand into the vampire’s chest.

Acknowledging the sensation of piercing the vampire’s heart, the man then fired another stake at a vampire who was attempting to flee. He then turned around and beheaded the female vampire who had been opening her mouth from behind him.

“N, no...”

Her head flew into the air mid-sentence, only able to mouth the words she spoke, but her lungs would no longer squeeze out air.

“Don’t even think about begging me for your life. You’re going to leave a bad taste in my mouth.” The man repeated himself, sounding slightly anxious, and quietly surveyed the area.

He could still sense the presence of a vampire. It was probably hiding a slight distance away, behind a corner in the mine shafts.The fact that it hadn’t yet fled likely meant that it was attempting to ambush him.

The murderer in the gigantic suit of armor entered the shaft, silencing his footsteps.

Despite the fact that he was clad in metal, the joints of the armor made absolutely no noise as he walked. Was the armor built that way, or did its silence speak for its wearer’s skill? The vampire hiding in the shadows had no way of knowing.

On that note, the vampire did not notice the armored man approaching. And to add, she no longer had any interest in the identity of the man.

There was nothing she could do. Her trembling mouth, vocal chords, and lungs reacted before her mind could.

“Please spare me...”

It was a tiny voice, sounding very close to being extinguished. The armored man stopped in his tracks.

A second later, he closed the distance in a single leap, not caring for silencing his steps, and looked round the corner.

“Please... don’t kill me...”

The voice of a little girl. The appearance of a little girl. That was all the armor registered.

The skinny little girl fell to her knees, terror clear in her eyes.

‘She’s still a vampire.’ The armored man thought. The girl did indeed bear the presence of a vampire.

A delicious, aromatic smell began to whet his appetite.

“You’re asking me to not kill you? What are you talking about? You vampires are already dead.” He said, feigning nonchalance.

“Ah...”

 The girl screamed softly and began to stagger backwards, attempting to escape at any cost. She quickly transformed herself into a single bat. Although most vampires turned into entire flocks, this girl must have been still too young--or perhaps this was the extent of her powers to begin with. Either way, she transformed into a bat the size of a human head and screamed as she began to flutter and flap away.

“No... no... stay back...”

Watching the bat attempting to flee, the man quietly prepared to launch a stake at her.

He froze.

One shot, even one slightly off-aim, would probably annihilate the little bat.

But that shot was never fired.

Each time he tried, his mental attempts hit a brick wall.

The girl’s pleading voice--the voice filled with fear and supplication--reminded him very much of his own past.

“...”

Before he knew it, the bat had disappeared into the mine shafts. The man was left there alone, surrounded by the corpses of werewolves, piles of ashes, and icy cold silence.

“Is that the only one that got away, Rudy?” Someone called to him from behind.

The young man in the armor--Rudy--nodded without even turning back.

“...I’m counting on you, Theresia.” He muttered weakly, and leaned his large back against the wall of the mine. The armor rang out against the wall with a low clang, and dust fell from the ceiling.

His companion, Theresia, was a young woman. She was wearing a strange Gothic outfit that was designed for ease of movement. Although her exact age was unclear, she did not look to be an adult quite yet.

“All right. I’ll take care of it.” She said, passing by her friend in the blink of an eye.

She also moved at superhuman speeds, disappearing into the mine shaft as though attempting to outrun her own voice.


Dozens of seconds passed since his partner entered the mines.

Although the vampire’s presence was too vague to be sensed, Rudy heard the sound of the girl’s scream echoing through the mine shaft. With that, their mission was complete.

Several minutes passed. Theresia stepped over to him casually, licking the back of her right hand.

Seeing her feline gesture, Rudy commented:

“Finished eating?”

“Yeah... Sorry. I ate your share too.”

“It’s all right. I’d only get weaker if I ate something that fragile.” Rudy said, averting his eyes from inside the armor and walking towards the exit.

“That’s not going to happen. Our power’s cumulative, not averaged, you know.” Theresia said, as though mocking her partner.

“All we do is gather. Make them our own flesh and blood. Their souls, their powers... That’s why we Eaters exist, after all.”


<=>


‘Revenge. That’s all I want.

‘That’s all.

‘That’s more than enough for me.

‘As a human, I chose this path in order to kill a single vampire.

‘I chose to join them.’

When a human being ate the flesh and blood of a vampire, their bodies went through a metamorphosis. Although they retained their human characteristics, they were granted great endurance and reflexes, as well as faster thought processes. They grew closer in power to the vampires they devoured.

Normally, Rudy could not even have dreamed of such a path. Even if he knew about Eaters, an ordinary human boy like him would have had no way of obtaining a vampire’s flesh and blood.

But the childhood friends Rudy and Theresia managed to obtain that power.

Ironically, the one who told them of the power of the Eaters was a large community of vampires, one that his nemesis was not a part of.

This Organization, having heard of what had happened to Rudy and Theresia, immediately realized that the two of them had been attacked by a vampire and made contact with them.

But how could Rudy ever trust vampires again? He thought to unleash his rage upon the vampire before him, but he was once again left trembling before the vampire’s power.

His fear had once again defeated his hatred.

“...You’re afraid, I see. It’s only a natural reaction to facing one stronger than oneself.” The Organization’s official said plainly. Rudy and Theresia exchanged glances.

“How would you like to turn nature on its head? How would you like to overcome vampires while remaining human?”

As the children floundered in confusion, the man remembered that he had yet to introduce himself.

“...Oh, excuse me! I am Caldimir the Blue...”

The man calling himself ‘Caldimir’ then granted to the children both hope and despair.

“Let me get to the point. If you agree to serve us, we will give you power.


“You must abandon your humanity and become lower creatures. And as lower creatures, you will work obediently under us. That’s more than enough compensation for helping you with your quest for vengeance. Hahaha... Ahahahahaha...”


And now, Rudy and Theresia were working under the command of the vampires of the Organization. Although they initially thought that the path of an Eater was needlessly convoluted, this did not turn out to be the case.

Battles granted them power.

The vampires they killed--their blood, their flesh, their screams, their final breaths, their rage, their hatred, their sadness, their twisted joys--it all flowed into them and immensely augmented their powers.

Rudy knew.

He knew that they could now lay ruin upon the monster that had taken everything from him.

He knew that he was probably being used by the Organization.

No, scratch ‘probably’. The Organization was definitely using him. But he had chosen this path because he had no other choice.

All in order to be rid of his fear--to overpower one day the vampire that had betrayed him.

As long as he could complete his goal, he would be satisfied. The ends justified the means.

Even if he would fall into the fires of purgatory to experience agony greater than that he felt in his past, he would be satisfied--at least the greater pain would serve to erase the grief that still lingered with him.


Rudy resolved himself once more. Theresia spoke up as they reached the mine exit.

“Are you still thinking about that little vampire from just now?”

“...Yeah.”

Theresia.

She was his childhood friend, who had shared in his experiences on that fateful day.

Rudy had no idea why she had chosen the same path as him, and he was not particularly interested in finding out. But her continued presence had undoubtedly been a great asset to him.

He had a sort of mental block that stopped him from killing anyone who begged for their life.

He could mercilessly slay anyone who was even about to begin pleading, but once he had heard their claims to the end, he was completely unable to kill them.

This went doubly so for those who resembled his childhood self.

Supporting him all this time was his childhood friend and fellow Eater, Theresia.

But instead of feeling gratitude towards the friend who covered his weakness, Rudy felt a sort of inferiority complex towards her.

“Damn it... if only she didn’t beg for her life. Normally I could kill women or children without even blinking.”

“Huh. ...I kill vampires because I have to, but... to be honest, it’s not the best feeling in the world.”

“Now that’s just ridiculous. Although I guess I’m not really one to talk.”

Rudy’s helmet turned slightly, as though he was feeling somewhat awkward. Theresia continued with a blank look.

“It’s our goal to eliminate vampires who control people without a good reason--the vampires who aren’t a part of the Organization. But do we really have to go so far as to kill little kids like her? Although I can’t even answer this question myself. I guess I’m just too desensitized to killing them by now.”

“...She’s a vampire. One of the ones who torched that village.”

“Maybe she only became a vampire today. Or maybe she was coerced into joining them. Same with those werewolves. Those vampires you killed before they had a chance to beg for their lives... by your logic, were they all guilty enough to be killed without pity?”

There was no emotion in Theresia’s voice. Rudy replied in much the same way.

“...Guilt, huh? You’re right. If we’d killed them even though they hadn’t done anything to deserve it, then...”

“Then?”

“Then maybe they were just plain unlucky.” Rudy found himself replying, but he knew that this was an answer that even he could not accept. And as though in an attempt to shake off the weight of this emotion, he forcibly changed the topic.

“Anyway, you’re not one to talk, Theresia. You’re the one who ate that girl.”

“That’s why I said that I’m desensitized to it all now.” She replied with a smile.

Seeing the joyful grin Theresia flashed him, Rudy once more sensed the distance they had walked since that day. How far they had come.

But he had no regrets.

“Not much longer, now.”

He must not have any regrets.

“Just a little bit longer, I think.”

If he hadn’t distanced himself from the past, he would have no hope of standing on even ground with his enemy.

“...That vampire... he must be close. He must be right beside us.”

Filling his fists with his unfounded confidence, Rudy stepped out of the mine.

The suit of armor, fresh out of a massacre, was bathed in the gentle moonlight. Rudy recalled the name of the cursed vampire who had brought him this far.


“Killing you won't be enough for me. This might sound pretty overdone, but I... I am going to pay you back for everything you’ve done to me. I’ll make you feel that same pain. I’ll take away everything you hold dear. Do you remember...? You’d better. You’d better remember all this, Theo! Theodosius M. Waldstein!”


Nidhogg and Hraesvelgr, the beasts who devoured corpses.

These were their nicknames.

The two Eaters, feared and scorned by the vampires who called them as such, set forth on their next mission.

They headed for the place known as ‘The Monster’s Paradise’--the island of Growerth.


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Prologue C.


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"Kardimir": This character's more or less confirmed to be Russian. "Kardimir" is his first name (last name being "Alexandrov"), and there's not much more I can say about this man. All spelling suggestions are welcome. Fixed! Thanks everyone!


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11 comments:

  1. Hey, Thanks for the About Death chapter but I would like to report that chapter 6 images dont load for me. I can't view them at all. Heck I even tried opening them in paint and photoshop but all I get are errors.

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    1. I've hopefully corrected the issue and re-uploaded the new version on the link above. Sorry about that!

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    2. Thanks for fixing it.

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  2. thanks for another great update

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  3. Thanks for update!
    As for "Kardimir", this is not a real russian name. It probably is supposed to sound russian, though. Better leave it as is, I guess.
    Oh, and I advise changing "Alexandrov" to "Aleksandrov". This transliteration corresponds better to the russian version of the name ("Александров").

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    1. Via Google, I did find traces of someone called "Caldimir Kryjanovski", so I suggest going by that transliteration. About the surname, though it's true that in cyrillic characters they use "кс", I think the most used transliteration of that combination is "x". If you go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandrov you can see that in the definition they give priority to the "x" form and most of the people of the list are written like that.

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    2. Googling "Caldimir Kryjanovski" yielded one person that is located in America and may be or not be an alias for "Vladimir Kryzhanovski". Searching "Калдимир" in cyrillics yields some vk.com account that quite probably is a pseudonym. So, yeah, not not an actual russian name.
      Furthermore, wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanization_of_Russian lists different ways to transliterate cyrillic script to latin alphabet. The only ways for "c" to appear in properly romanized cyrillic name are attempts to transliterate letters "ц" and "ч" that sound like "tz" and "ch" respectively. I assume that this is not the case here since japaneese phonetics make clear distinctions between all these sounds. You can also see that letters "к" and "с" should be transliterated separately, so "Alexandrov" is not a proper romanization. Cases of "Alexander" in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandrov seem to be honest mistakes.

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    3. Actually, Caldimir is a polish name so no relation here. Also agree with "Aleksandrov".

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    4. If Caldimir is a polish name, since it was part of the Eastern Bolck during the Cold War, it could be a mistake by Narita (Eastern Block=Russia is something many people think true), so I think it's the proper romanization. About Alksandrov or Alexandrov, it may be differences in russian transliteration rules for our respective languages. If russian to english transliteration favors the "ks" form, then, since this is in english, it should be written like that.

      So, this vampire should be called "Caldimir Aleksandrov", keeping in mind that the given name is polish by mistake (or not).

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    5. Or, if you are so set in writing /k/ as "K", "Kaldimir Aleksandrov".

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    6. I forgot yesterday, but have now realized. If you check Baccano!, especially the 18th century arc, you will find many names that don't correspond to what they represent, despite being correct. An example is "Esperanza/Esperança" (both correct), that is a woman name that was only given to males either by mistake (by peasants, very rarely), as a way to evade mandatory military service (in the 20th century) or as an extra part of their given name (as long as the first was a male name).

      BTW I would like to know what's the katakana for "Dormentaire" (and if that's the official transliteration), since it seems like a french surname that shouldn't have been in Spain as an stablished noble family at the time of the Sucession War (french nobility came with Philiph V AFTER it ended).

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