Azerius and Cassius snapped to attention, readying their weapons to counter the possible threat behind them. With pistol and sword drawn, they stalked through the tree line and scanned for the source of the movement. And they found it promptly. Korhea sat on a tree stump looking at them with a confused expression. Blood dripped down his chin and naked torso, further dirtying his ragged and soiled shorts. He had just fed.
“Do you vampire lords just sit around all day?” Azerius jested, then motioned for Cassius to lower his weapon while sheathing his own. The little vampire lord smirked as he stood to approach them.
“A vampire! Shouldn’t we kill it?” Cassius blurted while reluctantly holstering his pistol.
“Well firstly, he’s my friend. And secondly, he may be small, but he’d tear off your head before you pulled the trigger.” Azerius warned Cassius, who simply nodded after a moments thought. “Besides, he’s here to help us. Did you learn anything from the massacre behind us?”
“Nothing much. Whatever it is, it covers its tracks well. There was one of it, and it did this to show off, maybe as a display of dominance or power.” Korhea explained. “Oh, and one other thing. It smells like you and fights like you.”
Cassius turned to Azerius with an eyebrow raised. Azerius wasn’t sure if the detective still suspected him, but he wouldn’t blame him if he did. Azerius was started to doubt himself. Maybe he had blacked out? Maybe this is part of being what he is? No, it couldn’t be. He thought to himself, willing it to be true. If this wasn’t him, then it was someone like him. He could be finally closing in on the truth about his past. Pandemonium broke Azerius from his thoughts.
“Um, what’s that noise?” Azerius uttered.
Korhea sniffed the air then replied. “Trouble.”
A roar and the scrape of claw against tree startled the three into a vigilance. As one, they prepared for a fight. It got closer and closer, tree’s swayed and contorted in the darkness ahead. Something was almost upon them.
A pack of creatures burst through the bushes before them. They bore wicked claw and rows of pointed, jagged fang. They wore only rags, and their flesh resembled darkened sinew, skinless. They halted at the sight of the vampire, the human and the hunter.
“We can shoot these ones, right?” Cassius asked.
“Yes, please do,” Azerius replied.
The crack of Cassius’ pistol initiated the fight, leaving a hole between the eyes of one of the creatures. It fell to the floor lifeless as it’s pack screeched and charged in retaliation. Azerius countered, upper cutting one of them back to where it came from. A flash of Moonsgrace fell three more of the creatures in an instant. Korhea darted from creature to creature, tearing them asunder with every powerful blow. For every one that Azerius and Cassius slew, the little vampire had already taken two of his own. They were no match for a vampire lord.
The fight was over in seconds, further blood and chaos littered the ground of Silvervayne forest. Raised voices and heavy footfall came from scene behind them, Cassius’ crew were rushing to the commotion.
“You’d best go call off your monkeys,” Korhea said to Cassius, between licking the fresh blood from his claws.
Cassius ran to halt them. The hunter and vampire lord laughed at the detective’s calls of; “It’s okay, it’s okay. I was just startled by a fox.”
“Wendigo?” Azerius asked.
“They appear to be. Although I’ve never seen so many, not in a long time. I thought they were almost extinct and roamed solo these days.” Korhea replied while checking one of the corpses to confirm their suspicions.
“But why? What are they doing here?”
“The massacre of the humans that we came to investigate. The blood and flesh must have lured them here.”
“And we just happen to cross paths at the exact moment?” Azerius questioned, then paused in thought. “This feels… wrong. Orchestrated, even.”
To be continued…
I hope that everyone’s enjoying The Hunter, as much as I am enjoying writing it. The next part will come very soon!
Thank you for reading. 🙂