Vena, the immortal hunter - Volume I

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Chapter 4: Understanding the situation.

Part 1

Right after lunch, I take a quick shower before changing into a new set of clothing; a simple white shirt and black long pants. Since my black cloak was taken my Licia to wash, I grab my next-in-line, brown cloak. It was a cloak given by Marian and my two disciples during my birthday last year. I wear a set of gloves (mainly to cover the marking made by Perdo) and a brown hat.

All set, I walk out of my room. My room is located at the very front at the top floor, facing the front lawn. The rooms next to me are as follows: Marian à Charlotte à Elisu à Washroom.

The rooms opposite of mine are as follows: Dixion à Licia & Lara à empty à empty à empty.

The stair is located in between the two rows of rooms. Walking down the stairs, Marian and my two disciples are waiting for me at the main hall.

Marian is wearing a one-piece, light brown dress with a white cardigan on her shoulder. In her hands is a beautiful straw-hat that I bought for her a few years back. Though I should ask her to change into a simpler clothing (since our destination ahead won’t be smooth), I decide to let it slide. It’s very rare to see Marian dressed up like a beautiful lady.

Charlotte is in her simple white shirt and short white pants, along with her hand gauntlets and leg-armor. Without a hat or hood, it seems that my first disciple intends to face the glaring sun straight on.

Elisu outfit is completely opposite of Charlotte; a black shirt and long black pants, covered with a black cloak and hood. In her left hand is a square-shape bag, holding her black crossbow. Hidden behind her black cloak must be her quiver with arrows.

“Master Vena! As promised, preparations to Lyfon village and the Church forces have been made.” Dixion walks into the house. He is sweating while trying to catch his breath. Waiting outside are two horses and a wagon.

Dixion steps beside me and hands me a sealed letter. It has the seal of a noble house in the middle of the letter.

“Just give this letter to the soldiers of the church forces; it’ll allow you to meet with Lord Strex Gerard.”

“I see…thank you for your help, Master DIxion.” I place my right hand on my shoulder and bow down.

“No need to thank me! After all, I am your host. Anyways, Lara!!”

Lara Mills walks out of the kitchen upon hearing Dixion’s voice. She is still in her maid attire; sweat can be seen on her eye brows. She bows down in front of Dixion.

“Escort Master Vena and his companions to Lyfon village. After that, bring them to the church forces hideout!” Dixion gives his orders.

Since we do not know the pathways or roads to Lyfon village or the church hideout, we’ll need an escort.

“…Understood.” Lara replies in a voice that is soothing to my ears, “Let me just change my clothes-”

“There’s no time!!” Dixion roars as he pulls Lara up from her bowing position, “Go!! Now!!”

He pushes Lara towards the front door in a rough manner.

That’s no way to treat a girl…

Lara must be all sweaty after doing the housework. She wants to freshen up and change into a more suitable attire before escorting us; she’s a maiden at heart after all.

“Master Dixion, there’s no need to be angry.” I pat Dixion’s shoulder.

He looks at me with an angry expression, but I bow down as always, “You must be tired after helping us with the arrangements. Please, go ahead and have your lunch and relax. I’ll handle everything from here.”

His expression returns to normal, “Ah, how rude of me. I’m sure that Master Vena intends to plan your own travelling as well.”

Dixion retreats a few steps and bows down, “Please have a safe trip ahead, Master Vena. I’ll have dinner ready for you and your companions when you return. Also, feel free to make use of Lara. She has nothing noteworthy but I hope she can be of use.”

Bastard! Do you not see those two tempting ‘mountain-peaks’ in front of you?!!!

I simply take one last bow and proceed out of the front door. Lara immediately stands aside at the front door, allowing me to pass. She follows me from behind. At the wagon, I turn around and look at Lara. She avoids my eyes and glances to the side. Behind, my three companions have just walked out of the front door, heading towards me.

“Lara, if you wish, you can go in and change into more comfortable clothing.” I decide to allow her.

“As Master Dixion requested, I’ll go as I am.” Lara replies and walk past me, heading to the driver’s seat of the wagon.

With that, I proceed to help Charlotte and Elisu up the wagon. After that, I got the chance of touching Marian’s soft butt as I support her up the wagon. She must have known I did that on purpose, since she punches me on my face and pouts inside the wagon. Regardless, since she looks beautiful today, I’ll take the punch as a reward.

I sit next to Lara at the driver’s seat. Even my heart will beat faster when I am next to such an alluring lady. Lara whips the two horses, and the wagon moves forward. Before long, we exit Purna using the ‘North Entrance’ and continue forward to Lyfon village.

“I am sorry if you find me smelly. I am sweaty, after all.” Lara suddenly speaks to me.

Lara shows a slightly uncomfortable expression. Either she is uncomfortable sitting next to a man, or because she is aware that she is sweating. Sniffing the air, I can smell a stench of sweat. It’s not like I hate the smell. Hunting Demons and Vampires at the Borders, I have grown accustomed to the smell of dead bodies. The smell of sweat is nothing to me.

“I don’t mind.” I decide to try and flirt with Lara, “The sweat signifies that you are a hardworking lady. There’s no need to feel embarrassed about it.”

Lara’s cheeks begin to fluster. Guess my flirting method is working.

“Even I won’t mind licking your sweat.”

Ah! I went too far…

“??!!” Lara looks at me with a startled expression before looking away.

I feel a powerful force pulling my brown cloak. I fall backwards, into the wagon. I see Marian holding the ends of my cloak. She is looking at me with an angry expression while Charlotte is grinning at one side of the wagon. Elisu stares at me with stone-cold eyes; the baggage holding her crossbow is lifted into the air with both her hands.

“!!! Why is Vena so perverted!!!” Marian begins to slap both my cheeks.

“Ugh!!” I shout out as Elisu hits my stomach continuously with her baggage.

This torture continues until we finally arrive at Lyfon village.

Part 2

“Ugh…” I walk down from the wagon and stagger a few steps; my cheeks and stomach feels pain.

Marian puts on her beautiful straw hat as Elisu raises her black hood. Lara puts on a simple straw hat while Charlotte embraces the glaring sun. Even I put on my brown leather hat.

Looking ahead, I see a worn-down village; Lyfon village. The houses and buildings look unstable. They are in a condition far worse than those in Burg. The atmosphere feels quiet; not a single soul can be seen on the paths inside the village.

At the other end of the village stands a majestic mansion, overlooking the entire village. Though the color on the bricks has faded, the mansion looks like it has been properly maintained by the residence of the mansion.

The image of Lyfon village looks surprisingly familiar with the sight I saw in Garitto village, where I saved Elisu; it’s on the verge of collapsing.

The result of humans and vampires coexisting…

This shows that humans and vampires are never meant to live side by side. Or, this might be due to the poor management of Count Uther. Either way, Layfon village is in a horrible state.

At the only entrance into Lyfon village, I look back at my four companions, “Now then, I plan to meet the Vampire leader of this village. Who wants to come with me?”

Everyone remains silent. Lara is standing a few steps behind of Marian; seems that she is afraid of me. Marian herself is pouting while Elisu looks forward with a serious expression.

“Me!!! I want to follow!!” Charlotte speaks loudly and runs up next to me.

Guess it’s settled…

“Charlotte and I will head towards the mansion. Marian and Elisu will scout the the village. Try to grasp the situation by the villagers. Don’t be afraid of the vampires, they won’t attack you while the sun is still up.”

The sun shines strongly above us; the vampires are at their weakest.

“Lara, please accompany Marian and Elisu; please protect them.”

“Eh?” Lara looks at me with a startled expression, “I have to take care of the wagon-”

“The wagon shall be safe.” I cut-in and bow down, “Please help me protect my companions.”

“……I understand.” Lara accepts her task.

I hand Marian a coin bag containing about 50 silver coins.

“Elisu, don’t let your guard down. At the same time, don’t instigate the vampires.” I warn my second disciple, who merely nods as she grips her bag tighter.

“Now then, everyone, please stay safe.”

I walk the path in front of me that will lead me straight to the mansion. Charlotte follows me with a serious expression; she is looking around for any ambushes.

I can hear the footsteps of my companions behind me fading to the left; they begin exploring the village.

As I pass the buildings, figures can be seen resting inside; most likely vampires. Most of them are sleeping, though some vampires wake up and look at me with killing intent; their red eyes can be seen glowing inside the buildings.

I see some humans as well, or more like remnants of humans. The human villagers look like working corpse. Their eyes are lifeless, and they look very skinny. They just stare at me with lifeless eyes, never once moving from their position. Most of the residence are elderly people, though I spot some people my age; their eyes still contain some life in them…but weak.

“Master…” Charlotte is biting her lower lip, trying to suppress her anger as she watches the situation of the villagers.

There is no doubt; the humans in this village are nothing but livestock for the vampires…a walking blood bank.

“Don’t do anything reckless…we are in the enemy’s territory.” I warn my first disciple.

“Yes, Master.” Charlotte replies and voluntarily holds my right hand using her left hand. She grips my hand tightly, trying her best to hold back the urge to attack.

I’m sorry Charlotte…

No matter what we do, this village and their citizens are doomed to die; liberating the villagers is impossible.

I can’t tell her that…

I steel my heart and focus on my task. My goal here isn’t to become a hero and save the village. No, my goal is to rescue a girl from Count Uther. The citizens of Lyfon village are none of my concern.


At an up-close view, the mansion is surrounded by a garden about five times the size of Dixion’s garden. Surrounding the garden are railings with sharp-pointed ends. The height of the railings and pointed end makes it impossible to scale them. The only way to head into the mansion is by the front gate.

Surprisingly, there are no guards at the front gate; must be due to the sun. I push the metal gate, which opens without much resistance. I scan the garden area in front of me. It’s properly maintained, without any possible spot for an ambush. Signaling to Charlotte, we walk pass the metal gate and head towards the entrance.

I notice that Charlotte is sweating. I have my hat to protect me from the glares of the sun but Charlotte has nothing. I remove my brown hat and place it on Charlottes head.

“??!!”

She looks up at me, though her face is covered by my hat.

“T-Thank you…Master.” Charlotte speaks in a timid voice.

“Ah.”

Identify yourself…

A lady with long black hair and fair skin complexion stands at the front door of the mansion. Her red eyes pierce deep into my heart, as if she is trying to read my thoughts. Immediately, Charlotte takes a battle stance, but I stop her with my right hand.

A Count-rank vampire

Any vampire Count-rank and above can stand at their strongest even against the glaring sun. The fact that the lady in front of us can emit such a powerful intimidating aura, means that she is a vampire Count-rank or above. I immediately get on one leg and kneel down; my head facing the ground.

“I am sorry for intruding into the mansion. I am Vena, a Demon Hunter. I am here to speak with Count Uther, on behalf of Master Dixion from the town of Purna.”

“Demon Hunter…”

I can feel a powerful killing intent coming from the lady, “My brother has no intention of meeting anyone at the moment.”

Brother…as I thought, she’s a Countess-rank…

“Please, it’s urgent.” I continue to speak while remaining in my posture, “It’s about the church forces that is planning to attack this village.”

The lady doesn’t reply. Though I am unable to see her face, I know that she is pondering on what to do. I catch a glance of my first disciple; she is still standing in her position, glaring at the vampire lady.

“I understand. Please stand up, Mister Vena.”

I return back to my original posture and gesture Charlotte to stand beside me.

“Please, come inside.” the vampire lady opens the front door and walks inside.

We hurry along and proceed to enter the mansion ourselves.

Part 3

“Wait here. I’ll go call my brother.” the vampire lady speaks just as we step into the mansion. She continues ahead, leaving Charlotte and I alone at the main hall.

The mansion itself is huge; four-storey in total. There are two stairs at the ground floor heading towards the first floor. It seems that the stairs heading towards the second floor are located further inside the mansion. This means that if someone wishes to head towards the last floor, they’d have to clear pass each floor before arriving at the last floor.

How troublesome if I wish to storm the mansion…

The inside of the mansion is assembled with furniture’s made from granite. The mansion doesn’t give the classy feel of a castle or the mansion of the nobles located at the Capital…but it still gives the aura of someone high-class.

The mansion is surprisingly quiet; not a single maid or guard can be seen.

Guess they are all resting…

It’s not like normal vampires can’t move in the morning. They just feel lethargic in the morning. When faced with the sun, it’s not like the normal vampires will burst into flames. They simple become more sluggish and have slower reaction speed. That is why most vampires will rest during the day, and awake an hour before evening.

“Welcome, lowly human!” a loud voice echoes throughout the mansion; even I was startled.

Standing at the top of the stairs is a man dressed in black & white attire that resembles a noble. He looks like someone in his late twenties, though he’s most likely 80-90 years old. A vampire grows normally like any other human until the age of 14. After that, they begin to age slower; a vampire ages once every 7 years. That means, if the man in front of me looks like he is 25, he has lived for 91 years.

“I am Count Uther! Head of Lyfon family, and the true ruler of this village!!”

Lyfon family?? The same ‘Lyfon’ as this village?

“Ha! It seems that a lowlife human like you is unable to comprehend what I am saying! I am kind, thus I will explain!” Count Uther Lyfron seems really snobbish.

It seems that this village once belonged to the vampire nobles of the Lyfon family. However, the humans invaded this land some 200 years ago, claiming it under the Human Continent. Once Uther received the ranking of ‘Count’, he led his private army to take back the land that was rightfully his.

“I’m sure even a lowlife human like you can understand my explanation correct?”

I decide to be courteous. Placing my right hand on my left shoulder, I bow down, “Thank you for your explanation, Count Uther. I am able to grasp the situation of this village.”

“Ha! Of course!! Hm? HMM??!!!” Uther is glaring at Charlotte, who glares back at him.

“Lowlife human child, you dare to glare back at me? A Count-Rank vampire??!!” Uther begins to raise his voice.

Charlotte releases her killing intent as she takes a battle stance. Uther grabs the handle of his sword at his left hip; the situation has just turned hostile. Uther’s sister remains motionless as she observes the situation.

I reach for Lacero hiding behind my brown cloak.

I’ll just block his first attack and apologize later…

I know that I should try and prevent angering Count Uther…but it has been a long time since I faced a Count-rank vampire; my Hunter-blood boils with the idea of exchanging blows with him.

Without warning, Uther jumps down from the stairs and dashes forward to Charlotte’s position. Though he’s fast, it’s not like we are unable to see him. I know a technique faster than him.

I use flash step and push Charlotte aside just as Uther is standing in front of her. I place Lacero in front of me. Since Lacero is a double-edge sword, I face the flat area of the blade towards Uther. With my right hand holding the handle and my left hand supporting the flat area of the blade, I get ready to withstand Uther’s attack.

I decide to make move that I learned from the Shield-Bearer’s at the Border:

Secret technique - Immovable Fortress

Just then, I thought of something.

Wait…shouldn’t I act weak?

Thinking about it rationally, if I am able to counter Uther’s attack, he will just become angry and this battle shall escalate even more.

That’s not my intention…I’m here just to gather information…

Yeah, I am here to understand the situation. I’m not here to defeat Count Uther; that can wait for another time. With that, I hold back from using my secret technique. As planned, Uther strikes Lacero with his sword. Though it’s a powerful strike, I manage to withstand it. I am pushed back, stopping just before the front door.

Uther looks at me with a puzzled expression; I guess he was expecting me to be cut in half, or thrown outside the door. I quickly kneel on one knee.

“Count Uther, I am sorry that my disciple has offended you. She has yet to learn the ways of this world. Just this time around, please forgive me and my disciple.”

I remain in my position as I wait for Uther’s move. If he refuses to forgive Charlotte and intends to cut her down, I’ll retaliate and take him down right now. I might fail in completing Millan’s request but there’s no way I’ll do nothing as my disciple dies in front of my eyes.

I rather take on the world then let Charlotte die here.

“Hmm…” Uther continues to glare at my disciple. Understanding her situation, even Charlotte kneels to Uther, though she is biting her bottom lip.

“I’m kind, thus I’ll be forgiving this time.” Uther returns his sword to his scabbard and walks towards the center of the main hall. His sister is now standing beside him.

“Now, lowly humans! State your reason of visit!”

I walk towards Charlotte and hit the back of her head. She is holding my brown hat in her hands, her eyes filled with frustration.

“Charlotte, go and wait outside.” I ask her.

Without resisting, Charlotte turns and walks towards the main door of the mansion, showing the back of a dejected-person. She opens the door on walks out, closing it loudly; she never once looked back.

I turn back to Uther and bow down, “Sorry for the late introduction but I am Vena, a Demon Hunter. I am here on behalf of Master Dixion. I bring news of the church forces planning to attack your village.”

“Why would a lowlife human like you inform us vampires about the plans of your church?” Uther asks in an arrogant tone, “What is in it for you?”

“I might be a demon hunter but I do not hold any relationship with the church and their teachings. To me, as long as there is an opportunity to earn some coins, I am more than happy.”

“What a greedy lowlife human.” Uther looks at me with disgust. His sister expression doesn’t change.

“Be it as it may,” I continue my act, “Since I was paid by Master Dixion, I have here to deliver his message.”

“Hmph! State your report and leave my village!!”

With that, I tell about the Church forces gathering a force of more than 200 soldiers, along with the possibility of them attacking in two days’ time. I also tell the location of their hideout, the scout’s location around the village, and finally the strategy that will be used to purge.

At first, Uther look at me with a grinning face, as if he is listening to a joke. However, by the time I am done with my report, he shows a serious face as he digests my report.

“If Count Uther doubts my information, please send a scout to check the forest area to confirm with your own eyes.”

“Ah, I’ll send a scout by sundown.” Uther is no longer has an arrogant tone, but a calm and compose tone.

“Of course, I’ll be heading to their hideout later to gather more information. I’ll come by again tomorrow to report anything new.”

“……” Uther stares at me, analyzing me.

“Vena, why are you helping the vampires? I don’t think money will be enough to motivate you to go against your own kind. What’s your real motivation?”

I can’t tell them my real goal is to gather information. It’s time to fabricate a lie, which is actually partly true.

“Count Uther, I am actually a human raised by a vampire.” I decide to make use of my past. “I was adopted by a vampire when I was still a child, brought up and trained by a vampire. Finally, I decided that I want to be a Demon Hunter, and parted ways with the vampire who raised me.”

Of course, I do not state my Master’s name.

“To repay the vampire who raised me, I hope to reduce the tension between both races.” I end my story with a flat out lie, “I wish to see the day where humans and vampires can live together.”

“To repay your debt…” Uther mumbles out while his sister expression remains the same as always.

“I understand.” Uther has come to a decision, “I’ll allow you to come by tomorrow to give your report. Don’t think that I have completely trusted you.”

“Thank you for understanding, Count Uther.” I return to my original posture. I hold myself back from stretching my body; that’d be rude in front of him.

“Count Uther, is it alright if I ask a question?” it’s time to get the information that I need.

“Speak lowlife human.” Uther has returned to his arrogant self.

“Since I said that the church forces would attack in 2-3 days’ time, is it possible for Count Uther to gather your troops and eliminate their forces, let us say…tomorrow night??

The moment I ask my question, my brain goes into overdrive. I observe Uther’s every gesture, every movement, everything. His reaction is vital to how I’ll proceed from here on out.

Uther raises his eyebrow, as if he remembered something, “Tomorrow night is no good. I’ll be here in the morning but by nightfall I’ll need to go…somewhere else.”

That’s all the information I need.

“There is no need for me to attack those lowly humans!!” Uther continues to speak in an arrogant tone, “They’ll all fall before they can even march pass the entrance of my village!!”

“I see, that is good to hear.” I bow down as a smile appears on my face. With this, I know my window of opportunity to complete Millan’s request.

I extinguish the smile on my face as I look back up. Uther looks at me with his arrogant face as always. On the other hand, his sister is now glaring at me, as if she suspects me.

Alright, time for a tactical retreat.

“Now then, I have stated my information. With this, I hope Count Uther can excuse me. I wish to gather more information from the church forces.

“Yes, yes. You may leave, lowlife human.” Uther has lost interest in me.

“Alright, until next time, Count Uther and Countess…?” I look at his sister; never once did she state her name.

“……Felli…” she replies reluctantly.

“Countess Felli. Please, excuse me.” I turn around and head towards the front door.

Felli Lyfon…doesn’t sound right…

Part 3.5 (Intermission)

Regardless, Felli looks really intimidating, in a good way surprisingly. Let me put it in perspective.

Marian looks like a beautiful noble who refuses everyone who asks her hand in marriage. She is kind, courteous, hardworking, caring, beautiful…in other words, the ideal wife. Though inexperience, she’ll try her hardest to improve and in no time, she’ll be the perfect wife.

Lara seems more of the mature kind, your ‘senior’ as some might say. She has the erotic aura that can never be achieved by Marian, the seductiveness of a more mature lady. But since she is holding a position of a maid, her potential to use that card has been suppressed. It’s sad, knowing that she won’t climb into my bed at night. Truly, it’s such a waste. Still, the thought of seeing her bare erotic body in front of me as she approaches my bed…… *glup*

As for Felli, she resembles someone above a mature lady; a married woman. I’m not saying that I have such interest or anything of such sort…but some men (Not me!) would love to dominate a married women and force her to become theirs (Seriously, I’m not one of them). The thought of adultery is actually something than some people actually try to do (I don’t have such thoughts!)

Then, there is another pattern when approaching ladies like Felli (This one…I’m can’t say that I don’t have any interest). She takes the initiative and hunts you down to release her carnal desire…I think Felli would most likely fall into this category…

Of course, these are nothing more but my delusions.

Marian remains close to me and takes care of my home, prepares my three-meals, do the shopping…she sounds like a wife…oh…

Lara is serving under Dixion with Licia, so a mere outsider like me won’t catch her attention. Now that I think about it…Licia and Lara, are they sisters? Mother and daughter? Cousins? I guess I’ll ask them tonight.

Felli is a Count-ranking vampire who is working with her brother to return their Lyfon family name to its previous glory. Never once did she look at me with the eyes of a maiden in love. She only looked at me with hostile eyes from the start right until the end. I guess it’s no surprise. After all, I am aiming for her brother’s neck. Though when the time comes, I hope that I won’t have to kill her. She looks so alluring; it’ll be a waste to cut down such a lady.

Ah! Charlotte is staring at me with a puzzled expression. Is my face that easy to read? Am I unable to hide my perverted thoughts?

Oh wells, time to head back and meet up with Marian, Lara, and Elisu. I hope that they were not harmed. I got the information I needed from Uther’s reaction and statement.

Next destination: The Church forces.

Information required: When they really plan to attack, and whether they are a threat for me in completing my request.

Part 4

Charlotte and I return to the horse wagon without any problem. Waiting for us at the wagon are Marian, Lara, and Elisu.

“Welcome back, Master Vena.” Lara greets us.

“I’m back.” I greet everyone.

It seems that Marian bought some items from the village; a weird looking necklace, some trinkets, and other random items.

“I felt sad for them so…” Marian tries to explain.

“There is no need to feel guilty about what you did.” I reply as I help Charlotte up the wagon.

Speaking of Charlotte, she hasn’t spoken a word since we left the mansion. Even I am starting to worry.

“Master…” Charlotte finally speaks in a soft voice.

“Please…please save the villagers!!” Charlotte raises her voice and begs.

I feel a sting inside my heart. As much as I wish to fulfill Charlotte’s request, I know that it’s not possible.

“We’ll…discuss this when we return.” I jump onto the wagon and signals Lara. The wagon begins to move, going back through the road we came from. For now, I ask Marian and Elisu about the situation of Lyfon village.

As I suspected…

The humans in Lyfon village are kept there as blood supplies for the vampires. It seems that the vampires feed on them once every day. After that, they are left alive by eating two meals a day. Though the villagers are allowed to move around freely, the moment they try to escape from the village, they’ll be brought back and tied up, to ensure that they don’t try and escape again.

As for the numbers, about 60 vampires came to the village. 40 of them are stationed outside, meaning another 20 are stationed inside the mansion.

“I should have brought some food for them…” Marian looks depressed. Even Charlotte and Elisu are looking glum.

It’s to be expected. After seeing your fellow human beings living their life as nothing but a livestock, who wouldn’t feel bad for them? The wagon comes to a sudden stop. The wagon is parked at the side of the main road. It looks like this is the woods heading into the church hideout.

“I am sorry Master Vena but the wagon is too big to go through the forest. We’ll have to proceed by foot.”

“It’s alright.” I leap down from the wagon and turn to face Lara.

“Lara, please send my companions back to Dixion’s house. They are exhausted after everything that has happened.”

I won’t lie; even I feel tired. Right after the 3-day journey to reach Purna, I forced everyone to come to Lyfon village.

“Master! I am fine!” Charlotte starts to protest.

“Vena, there’s no need to worry about me.” Marian puts on a fake smile that I can easily see through.

Only Elisu remains quiet. Her eyes are closed, pretending to be asleep.

“No, you all have done enough for today. Just head back and rest. I’ll be fine from here.”

I look at Lara again, waiting for her confirmation.

“But…how would Master Vena return?” Lara asks, with a slightly worried expression.

Hmm…she has a point…

“Then, once you sent them back, come back for me with a horse.” I provide a suggestion.

“…Understood. Please be save, Master-”

“Just Vena is fine.” I cut in, “Everyone, I’ll see all of you later.”

The wagon begins to move forward, slowly disappearing from my sight. There’s still time before evening. I rummage through my pocket; the letter from Dixion is still inside.

“Now then, which direction should I head?” I speak out load as I begin to walk randomly into the forest.

* Felli’s point of view*

“That boy…the Demon Hunter, Vena, I don’t trust him.” I try to tell my brother what I think. We are both talking in the dining hall.

He listens to me as he finishes his raw steak and cup of blood.

“That human is definitely planning something. He is nothing more but a man filled with lies.”

“Sister, you worry too much.” Uther gets up from his seat and walks towards the window. I follow my brother from behind. He looks at our village; Lyfon village.

“No human can stand in my way. Be it the church forces, or the Demon Hunters. This land is rightfully mine! I won’t hand it over to anyone!!”

My brother turns around and looks at me with his usual arrogant face, “The humans are free to come and challenge me, Count Uther!! I’ll cut every last one of them with Boldevique!!

“Worry not, my sister. We Ageless Vampires won’t lose to the likes of those lowlife humans.” my brother leaves the dining hall and heads towards his room to rest; there’s still time before evening comes.

My brother, Uther Lyfon, is young, inexperience, and arrogant. We are the only two left of the Lyfon family. Though my brother is younger than me, he is a male, thus the head of the Lyfon family is rightfully his.

He was given Boldevique, our family heirloom, to signify that he is the true Master of the Lyfon family. But the way I see it right now; he isn’t one worthy to lead the Lyfon family. No, he is too arrogant to lead anyone.

Looking at the state of the village, there isn’t any income coming in at all. We feed the humans; the humans feed us with their blood. That’s as far as the cycle goes; we are not generating any income.

In due time, we will run out of funds, where we’ll have to hand over our land to the other Counts or Lords. If nothing is done, the Lyfon family will head towards ruin.

To be honest, with the death of my parents and husband, I have lost the need to carry on the name of the Lyfon family. If it wasn’t for my brother, I would have accepted my fate of losing my Countess title and live the life of a normal vampire in the capital. Still, my brother wishes to rebuild the name of the Lyfon family. And now, without realizing it, he is leading himself to ruins.

I guess if the humans actually succeed in taking back this village, my brother will lose his will to fight, and I can finally be released from the burden of carrying on the family name. However, I know that it is impossible. My brother has Boldevique. No matter how strong the humans are, my brother can pierce though them instantly. As long as my brother has Boldevique, it’ll be hard.

Wait…what about that Demon Hunter, Vena. He was able to withstand my brother’s full-strength strike without getting injured. He might be holding back his fighting capabilities back then. If it’s him…

No, he is nothing more but a normal human. Even if he can stand brother’s strike, the moment my brother uses Boldevique, it’s over. Still…

Alright, it’s decided. When Vena comes over tomorrow, I’ll test him with my Cursed Weapon – Martyr. If he can survive my attacks with Martyr, he might have a slim chance in facing my brother and Boldevique.

Please don’t hold any grudge against me, brother. Even I have to plan out my own life.

Part 5

*Vena’s point of view*

I cut through the forest with Perdo in my left hand. It seems that the Church Forces had no intention of covering their tracks, making it easy for me to maneuver my way through the forest.

“Halt!! Who goes there??!!”

Two guards, a male and a female dressed in standard Holy Knight Armor, walks towards me from the front. They look around my age or Marian’s; around 17-20 years old. The male is a pretty boy with neck-length light blue hair. He has the body figure that can stand on par with the lady beside him. In his hands are a round shield and a double-edge sword.

The girl is around the same height as the male. She also has light blue hair, though she keeps hers halfway from her shoulders. The two of them might be brother and sister, judging by their hair color. She wields a double edge sword in her right hand. Her left hand is empty, though her left gauntlet is decorated with a red and blue gem on it.

Since they are staring at me with hostile eyes, I decide to introduce myself first as I take out the letter given to me by Dixion.

“Sorry to intrude this place but I am Vena, a Demon Hunter.” I do my normal gesture as I bow down, “I have a letter here that allows me to see the head of this Church Force. Please let me through.”

“Lord Strex told us not to let anyone through. Your permission is not granted.” the male knight speaks while maintaining his hostile glance.

Well…it’s not like I have to meet up with this Strex person. I’ll just make use of theses Knights.

“Very well, I will leave. Before that, may I know when will the church forces commence their operation of attack Lyfon village? I wish to-”

“Who did you hear that from??!!” the female knight asks in an angry voice and points her sword at me. She moves towards my right side while taking a battle stance.

Ah, I forgot that the attack is supposed to be a secret…

“I am a true supporter of the church.” I begin to speak some lies, “Though I failed to become a Holy Knight, I wish to aid the actions of the church however I can. That is why I became a demon hunter, so I can slay demons on behalf of the church!”

Ugh, I sound like an obsessed follower of the church. Even I feel like throwing up.

“So if possible, please tell me when the purge will begin. I plan to participate as well. Please, I beg you!!” I get on my knees and prostrate myself in front of them.

“……” the both of them remain quiet, wondering how to react.

“…I guess it can’t be help, if you are a true follower of the church.” I can hear the girl knight’s voice.

“Arisa! You can’t trust this stranger that easily!” the male knight protests.

“It’s alright, Alexia.” the female knight known as Arisa speaks, “Since he was willing to prostrate himself in front of us.”

The argument between Arisa and Alexia continues for about a minute. In the end, the male knight Alexia surrenders. Though I hate lying to a girl, it can’t be helped. Thus, I was told of the information that I needed to know.

“The purge shall begin two days from now, right after sunrise.” Arisa informs me as I return to my usual posture, “If you wish to join us, please gather at the forest area surrounding the village.”

Two days…looks like Dixion’s information is correct.

“Thank you for telling me this information. May the blessing of the church keep you and your companions safe.” I decide to copy the phrase Sister Amelia said to me.

Arisa smiles and says the same statement back to me; she is such a kind girl. On the other hand, Alexia continues to glare at me. Suddenly, a mischievous idea comes into my mind.

“Since the both of you are willing to tell me such vital information, I would like to show you my fighting skills; to prove that I am worthy of fighting alongside the Holy Knights.”

“Ehh??!! I don’t think that a mere Demon Hunter like you can stand on par against the two of us but…” Arisa scratches her left cheek as she ponders.

“Don’t worry, I’ll hold back.” Alexia is already in his battle stand; shield in front with his blade close to his right hip.

“Yeah, we’ll try and hold back.” Arisa smiles and moves her right hand forward, her sword is now in front of her.

The hell??!! These weak-looking ‘holy knights’ are looking down on Demon Hunters?? Do they think the term ‘Hunter’ in our title is just for show??!!

Yes, I am a man of great patience [self-proclaim] but even I have my limits. Though I hate hurting a girl, my pride as a Demon Hunter has been offended; there is no choice but to use physical-persuasion.

I draw out Lacero with my right hand while Perdo rests in my left hand. I glace at both my targets.

Guess I’ll take down the male knight first.

Since I plan to hurt them slightly, I decide to use a battle style from the Demon race; the Berserker stance (self-named).

I take a deep breath and exhales slowly. I try to relax my muscles; mainly my shoulders and hands. I slouch down my shoulders and look at the ground. I continue to inhale and exhale slowly while both my hands lay lifeless on my side. Arisa and Alexia continue to stare an me; wondering what I’m doing.

After observing how the demons fight, I have come out with two ways of fighting as a Berserker.

The style that I am using now is to look as defenseless as possible, so that the enemy would let their guard down. When the moment is right, you’ll deal a decisive blow on your enemy, instantly killing or crippling them. This style focuses on flexible movements, thus your muscles must be as relaxed as possible. You have to choose the moment correctly to deal the decisive blow. Of course, I can easily use the second fighting style if I ever fail to deal the decisive blow.

“…What’s he doing?” Alexia asks as I continue to inhale and exhale slowly.

“Mister, are you alright?” Arisa asks as she lowers her guard.

Fool…if this was a real battle, you’d be dead a long time ago…

“Alexia…you better hold onto your shield as hard as possible…” I exhale slowly one more time. Alexia is about 15 steps away from me.

“Hmm? What are you say-”

Before Alexia can finish his sentence, I fling Perdo forward as hard as possible. Perdo pierces through the air. He wraps himself around Alexis’s left hand; which is holding the round-shield.

“??!!”

Gathering all of my strength into my left hand, I pull Perdo back. Alexis is forcefully pulled forward by Perdo. Alexis flies towards my direction; with his feet a few inches above the ground.

I gather all my strength onto my right hand as I raise it. I swing Lacero downwards the moment Alexis is a few inches away from me; Perdo untangles himself from Alexis’s left hand at the same time. Lacero strikes the shield with such a force that Alexis is sent flying backwards, towards the direction of a tree.

“Argh!!”

He lands against the tree with such a force that he spits out some blood from his mouth. His round shield breaks into two as Alexis falls face down on the ground; he has lost consciousness.

One target down…

I move my body and face Arisa, who is staring at the place where Alexis has fainted. Her face shows a fearful expression. It’s no surprise, since I took down a Holy Knight in less than five seconds. Yup, it only took me five seconds to throw Perdo, hook Alexis, drag him towards me, and deal the decisive strike; this is the true power of my Berserker style.

This is just me, an above-average strong human, copying the demons race. Now, imagine a full fledge Demon doing the same, whose brute force exceeds a human. We would be dead before we even know what just happened.

Back at Arisa, tears are flowing out of her eyes as she continues to stare at Alexis.

“Alexis has just fainted; he isn’t dead.” I stop using the Berserker and return to my original posture.

“E-Eh??....h-he?...Hueh??” Arisa is tumbling all over her words.

Ah! She is really so cute!!

No, I will not be swayed by her actions. I have to teach her a lesson, since she is looking down on Demon Hunters.

“I’m sorry, but just like Alexis, this is going to hurt.”

I decide to use the style that my Vampire Master personally invented:

Master Minerva’s personal stance: Sword-Dance Style.

Part 6

“M-Master Vena??!!”

Lara spots me as I exit the forest.

“Ah! Lara, thanks for coming back for me.”

Lara is standing beside a horse. Both, Lara and the horse, are breathing heavily; seems that Lara rushed over upon dropping Marian and my two disciples. Lara has changed out of her maid attire. She now wears rather tight brown shirt and black long pants.

Back to the tight brown shirt, it’s really tight that it shows off just how big her voluptuous breasts are. Her long brunette hair isn’t tied in a bun like before. Instead, she lets them flow all the way past her shoulders. She must have taken a bath since her hair shines against the near-evening sun.

It’s not good to stare to long…

Forcing myself to look away from Lara, I notice something, “Hmm? There’s only one horse?”

“Yes…I rushed over so I wasn’t able to prepare a second horse.” Lara bows down and apologies.

“It’s ok. As long as we can head back-”

Wait!! Wait wait wait!!!!!

I just realized something:

I’ll be sharing one horse with Lara??!!!

Even if the situation of sharing only one horse is a good thing, let me analyze the situation.

Scenario 1: I ride in front as Lara clings to my back.

This scenario is ideal. I’m a gentleman, thus it’s obvious that I should be the one to take the rein of the horse. Moreover, with Lara behind me, I get to feel something soft pressed against my back.

Ah!! No good, I feel a nosebleed coming up…

However, knowing Lara, she wouldn’t want to press her chest against some random guy’s back [me]. That means…

Scenario 2: Lara rides in front as I cling to her back.

Bad points are that I’ll lose points for not being a gentleman and I won’t be able to feel that…but I could accidentally grope them from behind.

No no!! I’m a gentleman!! I won’t do something like that!!!

Well, there are perks to sitting behind. I get to smell whatever shampoo Lara used to wash her hair. I get to feel her slender waist with my hands. I could go as far as nibbling her ear –

No!!!! I am a gentleman!!!

“Master Vena? Are you alright?” Lara suddenly asks me.

“??!!” I notice that I squatting and looking towards the ground with my hands scratching my hair. It also seems that I have been quiet for some time.

“W-Well then!! Let us head back!!” I decide to let fate do what she does best (yes, fate shall be a girl to me!).

“Understood…” Lara attempts to climb back on the horse.

She needs help!!

I immediately grab her by her waists as I support her onto the horse.

Uhh…they felt so nice…

“T-Thank you, Master Vena.” Lara seems slightly flustered, making her look all the more attractive.

“It’s fine to just call me Vena…” I reply while leaping onto the back of the horse.

“Mas…Vena, please hold onto me. It’ll be troubling if you fall off the horse.” Lara speaks without looking at me.

“Ah…then…sorry for touching your waist.” I try to maintain the distance between my body and Lara’s while my hands move forward, encircling her stomach area.

Lara doesn’t squeal when I touch her stomach; as expected of a mature lady. However, she is fidgeting a bit.

“I’ll start moving now.” Lara informs me as she pulls the rein of the horse.

“??!Ahh!!” just as the horse moves forward, I panicked for a second while drawing my body closer to Lara’s back.

*Fuuu*

Without intending to, I inhale while my face is buried into her long brunette hair. I wasn’t greeted with smells of a flower garden and twittering birds as I rise up slowly to the heavens. Instead, I was greeted with scent that makes my heart feel at ease. Unlike the smell of a flower garden, this is more like a patch for flowers growing at the cliff of a hill, resting under a tree as the breeze sooths my very soul.

Though my body is reluctant, I force my face away from Lara’s hair. Lara’s face is out of my view, thus I am unable to see her reaction. However, even Lara is a maiden at heart; she would feel uncomfortable when a man buries his face deep into her back. As a gentleman, it is only right that I apologies.

“It’s alright.” Lara replies; her face still looking away from me.

We continue our journey back to town in silence. It wasn’t an uncomfortable silence.

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