Vena, the immortal hunter - Volume I

By ~Skyle~ All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Action

Chapter 5: To save, or not to save.

Part 1

“I-I can come down on my own.” Lara refuses my support as she tries to come down from the horse. Instead, she jumps down from the horse; how unladylike.

“Thank you for accompanying my companions and me today. You have been of great help.”

“There’s no need for thanks. Now, please excuse me, Ma-…Vena.” with that, Lara hurries towards the back side of the house.

Walking towards the front door of the house, I see Licia standing there, bowing at me. She is still her maid outfit; guess it has been a hectic day for her.

“Welcome back, Master Vena.”

“Hello, Licia. How is everyone?”

“Your companions are fast asleep upstairs. Master Dixion is currently out, having a meeting with the local nobles.”

“I see…” I walk into the house. It’s as Licia said, the whole house is quiet.

I remove my brown cloak from my shoulders. Just then, Licia offers to take the cloak from me.

“Ah, it’s ok. I intend to wear it again tomorrow.”

“It’s dirty after a day’s journey.” Licia insists on taking the cloak to wash, “Please, let us wash it.”

“It’s just slightly dirty; there’s no need to wash it. In the end, the cloak of a Hunter is meant to be dirty.”

“…very well. At least, let me hang it up for you.” Licia maintains her grip of my cloak.

“If that’s the case, thank you.” I surrender my cloak to Licia, in which she hangs at the cloak hanger right next to the front door.

“There’s still time before dinner. Please take a shower and rest. I’ll call you once dinner is ready.” Licia gestures towards the stairs.

“Alright, I’ll do just that.” I slowly climb up the stairs.

“Master Vena.” Licia suddenly call out to me.

“Hmm??”

“My daughter told me that you met the Count of Lyfon village.”

Daughter...so Lara is Licia’s daughter??

Licia continues, “How is the Count like?”

“He’s an arrogant vampire.” I answer immediately.

“I see…” Licia seems to be thinking about something, “I know it is rude for a mere maid to ask but-”

“Licia, before a maid, you are a Devil race. Please have more pride in yourself. Feel free to state your thoughts.”

I heard many stories about the Devil race from Master Minerva while growing up. They are a powerful race that can take down an entire army of vampires with ease. Though Master Minerva describes them as if they are dangerous, in my eyes they are a race to be respected and look up.

Licia looks at me as if she wasn’t expecting me to say that. In the end she looks at me, “Master Vena, what do you plan to do with Lyfon village?”

I guess from Licia’s point of view, a mere Hunter like me, travelling to this side of the Continent, followed by a visitation to Lyfon village. This can only be: either I am supporting the ‘Purge’ or I am planning to aid the vampires. Licia wants to know where I stand.

“I do not support the Purge, yet I do not support the vampires; I am merely a third party.” I reply while Licia looks at me with an indifferent face.

I continue, “I am just here to fulfill the request of my client. Whether or not the Purge succeeds or not, that is none of my concern.”

I continue to the top floor without waiting for Licia’s reply I open my room door and rest myself on the wooden chair facing the window. I take a deep breath and close my eyes, thinking of the situation at hand.

Part 1.5 (Intermission)

Millan’s request:

1. Save the girl.

2. Head to Lyfon village.

Why would he split up the request into two parts? Couldn’t he just say ‘Save a girl at Lyfon Village’?

No, there’s a reason why he phrased his request in such a way; as of now, the girl is not at Lyfon village. She is in some other place, living her own life.

If that’s the case, why would this ‘girl’, suddenly appear in Lyfon village?

It’s because of Count Uther. He will kidnap the girl and bring her to Lyfon village. For what reason he wants to do that; I don’t know. All I know is that when the time comes, the girl will be in Lyfon village and that is when I need to fulfill that bastard’s request.

Assuming that Count Uther will kidnap the girl, one important question arises: When will he kidnap the girl?

That is why I asked Count Uther that one question with my hidden meaning ’What will you be doing tomorrow night?’

He acted is a suspicious way, stating that he has other matters to attend to that time. Therefore, tomorrow night, he will kidnap the girl.

Meaning, after midnight tomorrow, I can save the girl at Lyfon village.

Finally, there’s the Church Forces. If possible, I hope not to become an enemy of the church. Thus my time to save the girl must be before the church begins their ‘Purge’. Thankfully, though the window of opportunity is small, it is still available.

Tomorrow night: Uther kidnaps the girl à Midnight: Uther returns with the girl à Before sunrise: I save the girl à Sunrise: The church begins their purge.

This plan is ideal. I save the girl, while maintaining my status quo with the church. However, another problem has arisen after visiting Lyfon village: The Villagers of Lyfon village.

Marian, Elisu, Charlotte: Everyone wants to save the villagers from the hands of the vampires.

My original plan is to just save the girl and let the villagers get killed during the purge. My request is just to save the girl, not to save the villagers. Still, it’s a request from my close companions; I can’t just reject them.

But two problems arise:

First is manpower. In terms of combat ability, there is me, Charlotte, and Elisu [3]. Marian have no combat experience. Let us say, I invade the mansion alone while my companions try to save the villagers.

I will have to face 20 vampires (Sir-title vampires might be included) and two Count- Title vampires. It’s not impossible but it’ll be rather hard; I might lose a limb or two. Then there is my companions; Charlotte and Elisu will have to face 40 vampires (Sir-title vampires might be included) as they try to save the villagers. It’s an impossible feat with just the two of them.

Aside from manpower, there’s the next problem; going against the church. The ‘Purge’ is said to kill everyone inside Lyfon village; both vampires and humans. If we try to save the villagers, we are making the church our enemy. No matter how strong I am, I have no intention of making the entire Human Continent my enemy.

Yeah, as much as I hate to disappoint them, saving the villagers is out of my reach. I am only human, I can’t do something amazing like face 60 vampires and the church as my enemy; even I have my limits.

Yeah, there is no other choice. I’ll tell my companions after dinner; we have to abandon the villagers.

Part 2

Licia informs us that Dixion is eating out with the other nobles, so dinner will just be the four of us (Licia and Lara refuses to eat together with us).

After dinner, the four of us remain seated at the dining table as Licia and Lara clears away the plates. I sit at one side of the table with my back facing the wall. Seated in front of me are (from left to right) Charlotte, Marian, and Elisu. Behind them are the two entrances to the kitchen and the basement. From my view, I can see Licia and Lara going about their tasks in the kitchen.

“Now, I’d like to start this meeting.” I speak with a serious look.

And so, I tell them about the real reason why I decided to come to Lyfon village – It’s just a request to save a girl. Based on their reaction, I guess that they thought I came here to save the villagers. However, they don’t cut-in while I speak; they let me continue.

I proceed to talk about the information I gathered; about when Count Uther will kidnap the girl, when the church forces will begin their purge, as well as my plan to save the girl before the Purge begins.

“Then!! We can save the girl, as well as the villagers, right?” Charlotte is the first to butt in, “From midnight until sunrise. There’s enough time to save everyone.”

“I’m impossible. Even if we do succeed in killing all the vampires, bringing all the villagers out of Lyfon village will be hard. The church forces would have noticed our movements and block all roads to Purna. We’ll make the church forces our enemy.

“So what?!! I’m not afraid of them!!”

“Charlotte, don’t say something so irrational.” Elisu speaks in a bored tone.

“What!!!” Charlotte is really angry this time.

Elisu speaks “There are only three of us. To face 60 vampires, followed by 220 church forces? The numbers themselves aren’t in our favor.”

“Still!!...”

“Now, now. Please calm down, both of you.” Marian tries to relief the situation.

Charlotte reluctantly sits back down while Elisu looks the other way. With this, Marian faces me with a smile on her face.

She seems to be playing around with her hands; her cheeks blushing slightly.

“Vena, I love you.” Marian suddenly confesses to me.

“Ehh??!!!” Charlotte shouts aloud while Elisu looks at Marian with a surprised face. From the kitchen, I hear something drop onto the floor and breaks, most likely a plate.

…Ehh??...EHH???!!!!

Even I am starting to feel flustered. What should I do? What should I say? No no…calm down; I have to reply first. Yes, I have to say-

“I-I didn’t mean l-love in the…love couple kind of way…” Marian retracts her confession.

I hear something break inside my heart.

No!!! Marian doesn’t love me??!! Uwaa!!!

Marian clears her throat. “As you all know, I was once a slave. From a very young age, I accepted my fate as a slave; that I will grow up to serve random strangers for the rest of my life. Yet, on that one day, you walked up to my owner and said that you wanted to buy me, to free me as a slave.”

Even Licia and Lara have stopped whatever they are doing at the kitchen as they eavesdrop on our conversation.

“At first, I didn’t believe you.” Marian continues, “No one would be willing to spend 50 Gold coins on a mere slave like me. I refuse to have my hopes up, only to be torn down by the end of the day.”

“Yet you did it.” Marian looks at me with teary eyes, “You freed me from my life as a slave and allowed me to stay in your house. Vena, you saved my life. That is why I swore, to always be with you until the very end.”

I am speechless. No one speaks; everyone is listening to Marian.

“Vena, you are an amazing person…but you don’t need to carry the entire burden by yourself.” Marian face looks like an angel, “We are here for you, so there is no need to -”

“Just hire some other Hunters!!!” Elisu suddenly shouts out.

“Ehh? Elisu!! I wasn’t finish yet!” Marian angelic face turns into a pouting face.

“Your life-story was too long, I got bored.” Elisu lets out a sigh.

“Umuu!!” Marian pulls Elisu’s cheeks as she continues to pout.

“Ah?? Ehh??” Charlotte is just like me; we don’t understand what is happening.

It seems that after the three of them returned to the house, Marian and Elisu were discussing about what they can do to face the vampires; Charlotte was fast asleep in her room.

“If we are lacking manpower, we should just hire some Hunters or soldiers around Purna. Just give them a good reward like 20 silver coins of something.” Elisu speaks.

Marian clenches Elisu’s mouth shut and speaks, “We can hire some horse carts to escort the villagers out. Also, we can use a different route while heading back to Purna to avoid the church forces.

“As for the villagers, they can stay and work in Purna for the time being.” Marian continues, “Once everything has settles, and a new management is placed at Lyfon village, the villagers can move back. Vena, what do you think?”

I ponder at Marian’s suggestion. With the 2 Gold coins that Millan gave me, I could hire about eight Hunters, or about 10-15 soldiers. With this number, clearing the vampires wouldn’t be impossible. As for the villagers, transporting them with the horse wagon’s using a different route is possible. Sure, the church forces might be furious to see the entire village empty but that is not my problem.

“I guess it’s possible.” I finally give my verdict, “I’ll have to discuss with Dixion first whether it’ll be alright to migrate the villagers into Purna.”

“Really??!!” Charlotte asks as she stands up.

“Yeah, it might be possible to save the villagers.”

Charlotte shows a satisfied face and returns to her seat. Marian is smiling while Elisu continues to look away from me.

“Everyone, thank you.” I stand up and bow towards Marian and my two disciples, “I failed to see this option. I was ready to abandon the villagers but…I am sorry for showing such a pathetic side of me.”

“It’s fine, Vena. We aren’t perfect.”

“That’s right, Vena! You should rely on your disciples more!!” Charlotte seems to be brimming with confidence.

“I’m tired…going back to my room.” Elisu gets up from her chair and walks toward the staircase.

With this, the meeting has come to an end. All that’s left is to speak with Dixion about our plan. If he says it is fine, I can begin to recruit Hunters tomorrow.


Dixion and I are sitting in the main hall. Though he came home looking weary, he was still willing to sit down and listen to my plan about the villagers of Lyfon village.

“To be honest, I actually support your plan.” Dixion answers as he sips the cup of tea prepared by Lara.

“The other nobles and I were actually discussing about further expanding the fields and areas around the south side of Purna. To do so would require us to have more manpower. Your plan to smuggle the villagers to Purna solves our situation.”

Without much trouble, Dixion agrees with my plan.

“I’ll speak with the other nobles about your plan tomorrow morning; I’m sure it’ll be fine.”

“What about the church? Won’t your action be taken as [going against the church’s teaching]?” I ask.

“It’s not like praying to the church will suddenly solve our problems.” Dixion replies as he stands up, “I’m sorry for being rude, Master Vena, but I would like to turn in for the night. It’s been a tiring day.”

“Yes! Thank you for all your help. I am sorry for troubles I caused you.” I sincerely bow down to Dixion.

He smiles wearily and proceeds upstairs.

“…” I am left alone in the main hall.

Guess I’ll turn in for the night –

Licia walks out from the kitchen just as I was about to climb up the stairs.

“Ah, Master Vena. Have a good night’s rest.” Licia greets me and proceeds to clean up the cups left in the main hall.

Now that I think about it, I don’t really feel that tired.

I guess some night workout won’t hurt.

“Licia, are you free right now?” I walk back into the main hall.

“……” Licia stares at me, “Master Vena, are you flirting with me?”

Ah, I got misunderstood.

“No no no. I was just wondering if I can have a duel with you later. Just one round; I have never fought against a Devil race before so…”

Licia’s expression relaxes. With the tray of tea cups in her hands, she walks pass me while gesturing me to follow her; we proceed towards the kitchen area.

Inside, I see Lara cleaning up the kitchen area; she is dressed in her maid outfit.

“Ma-…Master Vena.” Lara greets me and continues with her work.

“Master Vena, we are more than happy accept your proposal.” Licia speaks as she washes the tea cups.

“Eh?” Lara looks at her mother, wondering what is happening.

“Please give us half an hour to finish the rest of our work; we’ll depart to a much quieter place. We wouldn’t want to wake up the neighbors with all our vigorous movements.”

…she’s doing this on purpose…right??

“I got it. Please take your time.” I reply and proceed upstairs, to grab my combat gears.

As I walk up, I can hear Lara’s voice, “Mother! What proposal??!! I didn’t ask to-”

It’s not good to eavesdrop on a maiden’s conversation so I stay in my room until they are done.

Part 3

Using the three horses, we exit the town via the South entrance. We travel quite a distance before arriving at an open area.

Though we didn’t bring any lamps, tonight’s moonlight is surprisingly bright. I can see the area without much trouble. Further ahead of the open area are the black shadows of the forest. Looking back, Purna town is nothing more but a small speck on light. I guess at this distance, we wouldn’t trouble anyone.

The three of us dismount our horses and proceed to warm up. I am wearing a comfortable black shirt and long pants. I also brought along my brown cloak and leather gloves, though I left my hat on the bed. Lacero remains sheath under my cloak.

Licia and Lara are wearing similar clothing; a black shirt and long pants. I think that their voluptuous breasts are pressing against their shirt…but due to the bad lighting, I can’t be certain.

“Shall we get started?” Licia asks while Lara continues to stretch her body.

“Alright. It’s an honor to train with a Devil race.” I bow politely.

“Before we begin, Master Vena, please choose an opponent. I highly discourage that you challenge the both of us at one go.”

Wow…I guess the Devil race is really strong…or she is underestimating me.

“Then…Licia, please be my opponent.”

“Master Vena, to pick an old lady like me, compared to my younger daughter…you sure have some unique interest.” Licia is teasing me…not that I mind. I am unable to see Lara’s expression from this distance.

“Licia, there is no need to hold back. Please use your full power.” I suggest as I draw Lacero with my right hand.

“As you request, Master Vena. I won’t hold back.” Licia takes a battle stance. We are about 10 steps apart.

“?? Licia, are you a magician?” I ask as I notice her battle stance.

“Very observant, Master Vena. Yes, I am a magician. For your information, I’ll only use earth magic this round.”

Earth magic…

I decide to use the stance of a duelist. Hiding my left hand holding Perdo behind my back, I move my right hand forward, with Lacero now in front of me.

“??? Master Vena, are you looking down on me because I am a magician?”

“Of course not.” I take two steps forward.

Licia remains where she is, her devil tail can be seen from her back. There is no way I would look down on a Devil race.

I won’t make any mistake…I’ll use my ‘secret technique’ before anything happens.

I take another step forward and immediately use Flash step.

Appearing on Licia’s left side, I prepare to strike.

Secret technique – Light Pier-??!!!

Something hard hits my stomach; I am thrown into the air.

Wha-??

Something hits my right shoulder and I accidentally let go of Lacero.

Ugh!!

I am hit by a round-like object on my right cheek. It hits me with such a force, that my body twirls in the air before I land face down on the ground. My stomach, right shoulder, and right cheek hurts. I spit out the blood in my mouth as I look up.

“Master Vena, I real think you underestimated me.” Licia is a few steps in front of me.

No, she hasn’t moved from her spot. In her right hand are floating rocks, each about the size of my fist. They are oval-shaped while being sharp at both ends.

Such power…

I look at my stomach area and right shoulder; there’s a circular bruised mark on both areas. I stand up and try to move my right shoulder; it hurts but it is bearable.

I can still fight…

I walk towards Lacero and pluck her out from the ground. Perdo remains dangling on my left side.

“Do you still want to take me as your opponent? Or would you prefer to fight against someone who uses a sword.” Licia gestures towards Lara, who has a sword in both her hands.

A dual-blade user…

Without waiting for my reply, Licia retreats as Lara walks up towards me; we are stand about 10 steps apart.

??

Even when I take up the stance of a duelist, Lara remains in her relax position.

“Again with that stance…” Licia lets out a sigh, “Master Vena! For your information, my daughter prefers to settle everything in just one move!”

With just one move??!!

Taking Licia’s advice to heart, I decide to go on the defensive:

“…wrong move…”

Huh??

Lara stands in front of me with both her blades pressed against my neck. She broke through my defense before I even realize it.

“…I could have killed you…” Lara speaks with a stone-cold tone.

“Yeah, it’s my lost.” I lower down Lacero and Perdo as Lara retreats from me.

I drop down to the ground and face the sky.

As expected…the devil race is really strong…

I couldn’t see Licia as she used her earth magic. I couldn’t see Lara as she broke through my stance and went for my head.

I couldn’t do anything...I’m the weak one here…

Yet, what is this feeling? Why do I feel restless? Without the need to look, I know that there is a grin on my face. Why…why? They could have easily killed me. I could have lost my life. Yet…why do I feel happy?

Ah…so that’s it…

The reason is obvious: it’s the Devil race. I just fought with the very race I looked up to from my childhood moments; I just fought against a Devil. Sure, it was an overwhelming defeat but I managed to test my skills against them.

[An overwhelming defeat? HA! Don’t make me laugh!]

I hear a male voice in my head; it’s Perdo.

{Umu…Perdo! You are too loud!!~~}

[Shut up Lacero! You heard what Vena said: An overwhelming defeat!! The hell does that mean??!! You didn’t even use our powers!!]

No…I have no intention of ‘transforming’ in front of them.

{It’s as Vena said. Besides, it’s late. I want to sleep, so stop swinging me around~~}

Ahaha. Sorry for getting in the way of your sleep.

[That’s all she ever does in here; laze around and sleep.]

{I could say the same for you!!~~}

Standing back up straight. I put Lacero back into her sheath as Perdo disappears from my left hand.

“Thank you for sparring with me.” I bow down, “I am really happy to have fought against a Devil race.”

“I can’t even consider that as sparring.” Licia replies. I can only laugh dryly.

“I know this is rude of me…but I have a request for the both for you.”

Licia and Lara look at me with a startled expression.

“Please assist me in with the Lyfon village plan!”

There is no doubt that Licia and Lara are powerful. If they assist me, the 40 vampires stationed around the village wouldn’t be a threat.

“Master Vena, don’t tell me that you are planning on using us to kill Count Uther.” Licia asks with a threatening tone.

“Eh? No! Of course not! It’s obvious that I should be to one to kill Count Uther!” I reply, “I just need the both of you to face the vampires in the village area; you won’t have to head into the mansion.”

“…Vena, do you think you are strong enough to face Uther?” Lara asks.

“Hmm? Of course I am. I have fought against some Count-Rank vampires before; and succeeded in killing most of them.”

Licia and Lara looks at me with an ‘I-don’t-believe-you’ look.

“Could it be…that you were holding back before this?” Licia asks.

“Well, I wasn’t really holding back. I mean, as a human I was…” I have no idea how to explain to them, “In any case! I have two aces up my sleeves! I’ll be fine against Count Uther.”

“Then, have you fought a Lord-Rank vampire before?” it is Lara’s turn to ask.

Why does this feel like an interrogation?

“Err…once, against Lord Vesh Barret.”

“What??!!” even Licia is surprised.

“Yeah, it was a hard battle you know? I almost died a few times. Though in the end, I wasn’t able to kill him.”

“Wait! Vena, you, a human, stood up against that Lord Vesh??!!” Lara is unable to believe.

“Of course I did! Well, not really, I had some help from my weapons…”

Licia is still unable to believe my words, “…What are his weapons name.”

As someone who faced Lord Barret, one would certainly remember the two swords that he used, “Barret family heirloom – Zairiku and Cursed Weapon – Diablerie.

Wait, aren’t we getting out of topic?

“Back to my main question! Licia, Lara; will you assist me??”

“I guess…as someone who fought against Lord Vesh before…” Licia continues to ponder.

“Very well. Master Vena, we shall assist you.”

Licia is nodding her head while Lara looks indifferent.

“It’s getting late.” Licia turns around and head towards the horses.

Lara runs after her mother; they both begin to whisper to one another. Though it feels a little anti-climactic, I managed to get two Devil race to help me at Lyfon village.

Part 3.5 (Intermission)

Cursed Weapon – Lacero & Arme

Cursed Weapon – Perdo

There’s no way I can tell them that I’m using two Cursed Weapons to fight; that I depend on the Cursed Weapons to survive a tough battle.

Well, Master Minerva has Arme, so I’m actually using one and a half Cursed Weapons.

Cursed Weapons are items with souls possessing them. For example, Lacero has the soul of a forgotten Elder Vampire while Perdo has the soul of one of the top Generals that served Demon King Nergal.

In exchange for feeding her blood, Lacero can transform me into a Vampire race; though how much strength I gain while in Vampire-form depends completely on her mood. Perdo transforms me into a demon race, though as payment he will try to take control of my body while I am in Demon-form. He also can release poison from the tip of the dagger whenever he is stabbed into someone.

Well, there are a total of 11 Cursed Weapons known to have existed.

Currently, I am holding one and a half while Master Minerva holds the other half:

[Lacero & Arme]

[Perdo]

Another two are held by two individuals stationed at the Border:

[Khronos]

[Mjolner]

Three cursed weapons are held by the Demon race:

[Mivit]

[Purga]

[Diablo]

Two cursed weapons are in the hands of the Vampire race:

[Martyr]

[Diablerie]

The last two Cursed Weapon locations are currently unknown. In fact, even their names have been forgotten, as well as their appearance.

Wait…isn’t Perdo inside me? Doesn’t that make me a Cursed Weapon??!!

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