Chapter 6: Final Preparations.
I wake up just as the sun could be seen from the horizon. With half-asleep faces, Charlotte and Elisu accompany me for morning practice. We decide to run a few rounds around the outskirts of Purna town; Elisu surrendered halfway of the first round while Charlotte collapsed after two rounds. I continue until my 4th round before returning to my two disciples, who are waiting for me at the South entrance.
Next, I proceed to teach them Flash Step.
“It’s just a much harder version of leaping around.” I proceed to explain.
When you try to leap forward, or sideways, you have to crouch down and use your leg muscles to push yourself towards that direction.
“Flash Step applies the same principle. However you only can use you ankle.”
“Why must we use only the ankle?” Charlotte asks.
“An experience opponent would know which direction you plan to leap just by looking at your leg. Therefore, by just leaping forward with your ankle, most people would fail to notice it.”
“Besides, it is cooler if you can move from one position to another without changing your posture. It’ll look like you magically teleported.” I use the duel at Anzu village as an example.
For the next hour, I teach both my disciples about Flash Step. Though the progress isn’t much, at least they got the fundamentals.
“Alright, that’s it for today. Practice Flash Step during your free time.”
After morning practice, I proceed to explore Purna town, alone. Yeah, I try to invite Marian but she already promised both my disciples that they’ll explore the town together; no males allowed.
Never mind. It’s not like I feel left out or anything like that. Since I am alone with no female companions, I proceed to check out the tavern with the cute barmaid that I saw yesterday.
From afar, I already see my target inside the tavern. She is serving the customers as her front rack sways with her movements. The moment I enter the tavern, the barmaid looks at me and smiles. Though I know that it’s a simple smile to attract customers into the tavern, even I can’t help but feel a little, aroused.
First I’ll buy a drink, and then I’ll ‘accidentally’ grope her -
“Vena??” I hear someone call my name.
Turning towards my right, I look around; trying to find anyone I know.
A lady gets up from her chair and walks towards my direction.
Err…do I know this lady? Perhaps I slept with her before-…eh??...Ahh??!!!
I see a unique looking sword dangling around her left hip. Suddenly, I remember who she is. Though her brown black hair is now tied in a ponytail, I see a certain resemblance to someone I know.
If she is here…
I spot another figure looking at me from the table where the girl was sitting. A man with dark brown hair with silver strands here and there, the lower half of his face covered with a red cloth, and a unique bow resting on his back.
“Vena!!” The lady jumps towards me; her legs aiming for my face.
I surrender my body to fate.
“That is for leaving without saying goodbye!!!” The lady shouts with a furious voice as she continues to stomp on me.
While protecting my face, I greet an old companion of mind, “Hello Merra. I see that you are as rowdy as always.”
“That hurts! Vardus!! Stop staring and help me out!!” I shout towards another ex-companion of mine but he refuses to move from his seat.
At one of the tables inside a certain tavern, sits three figures [from left to right]; a hot-looking guy, a pouting flat chest lady, and a beaten up handsome person. The three of them are Demon Hunters who is the past, by coincidence, accepted the same job of escorting certain supplies from one end of the Border to the other end.
The three of them were companions during those 2 months and as time passed, a bond was formed between the three of them. Then one fine day, the handsome person [me] suddenly left without saying goodbye; that was the last time I ever saw both of them.
“Glad to see that the both of you are doing well.” I decide to strike up a conversation. Merra stops pouting and glares at me; I feel like I could die any moment.
“I’m surprised that Vena is still alive.” Vardus replies, “I thought that the Immortal Hunter died at the bottom of a ravine somewhere.”
I can only laugh dryly at his statement, “I guess, leaving without say goodbye wasn’t cool of me. I apologize.”
“You should be!!” Merra punches my stomach. For someone who is the same age as me, she sure can hit hard.
“So, how have you been?” Vardus asks as he takes a sip from his cup, “As far as I know, the Immortal Hunter is no longer ‘reported’ around the Border. Did you settle down?”
With that, I begin to tell Merra and Vardus about what I’ve been up to; buying a house in Burg, living my life doing requests, meeting Marian and my two disciples. Vardus listens to my story with a calm expression, while Merra continues to hit my right shoulder every now and then.
“It sounds like the Immortal Hunter has been ‘tamed’ into a town guard.” Vardus answers in a jokingly way just as I finish my story. Merra looks at me with a puzzled face, as if she is unable to believe my story.
“Well, I only hunted around the Border because I needed the money. Once I had enough…”
I can’t say I was saving up just to free Marian…
“Anyways, how have the two of you been doing? Engaged? Married?” I ask jokingly.
“I wish.” Vardus laughs dryly.
“O-Of course not!!!” Merra cheeks begin to fluster.
It seems that Merra and Vardus are travelling around the Border of the Human Continent to help out the soldiers stationed there. They just dropped by Purna town to relax for a few days before proceeding towards the Border facing the Vampire Continent.
“What are you doing all the way here? Burg is nowhere near this town correct?” Vardus asks.
“Well, I’m actually here to fulfill a certain request.” I continue to explain what is going at Lyfon village, as well as the church forces.
“To purge an entire village…” Vardus mumbles out.
“Those bastards!!” Merra bites down her lower lip to hold back her anger.
As expected of my companions; though it’s been 4 years, their personality has not changed.
“Of course, I have a plan to save the villagers.” I decide to tell them about my idea of smuggling the villagers into Purna.
“Let us help you.” Vardus offers his aid without the need for me to ask.
“You know our combat abilities. A few vampires will be of no trouble to us.” Merra replies as she sticks out her flat chest.
“I appreciate both your help.” I bow down to them, “Don’t worry, there’ll be a reward for the both of you.”
“Reward??” Merra looks at me with a ‘?’ expression.
“There is no need for a reward. We are doing this out of our own free will.” Vardus replies with a calm voice, “So? There are 60 vampires and two Count-Rank vampires. What’s the combat power on our side?”
“No much actually.” I begin to speak, “Including the three of us-”
Something hard hits me on my left cheek.
I drop off my chair and fall to the ground.
“Hey!!” I can hear Merra’s voice as she kicks aside her own chair.
“Thank you for the shield.”
“I’m glad that I was of use.”
While rubbing my swollen left cheek, I look at the person who hit me. Two figures, a bald knight and a beautiful noble lady.
“I’m glad that I have finally caught up with you.” the lady lowers her head, her blonde hair sways with her movement.
“Anzu Slypher…” I absentmindedly mumble out her name.
“I’m honored that you remembered my name, Mister Vena, the Immortal Hunter.” Anzu smiles and I can feel my heart skip a beat.
Suddenly, Anzu kneels down and faces me with a serious expression. The Bald Knight, Gren, kneels as well.
The whole Tavern is silent as everyone eyes are fixed on Anzu and me.
Finally, Anzu speaks, her blue eyes fixed on me, “I know that I am of no worth in the eyes of the Immortal Hunter but…”
“…ever since our duel the other day, my heart has been stolen.”
Ehh??!! A confession out of nowhere??!!!
No no! Don’t be fooled, this could be like Marian’s confession like before.
“I will lick your leg if I have to! I will give you my f…f-first time…to you as well…”
Wait wait wait!! What’s going on here??!!
“I don’t know if you would want the first time of a 21-year-old like me…but…as long as it makes you happy…” Anzu’s voice starts to become softer.
Finally mustering all her courage, she declares:
“Master Vena, please accept me as your disciple!”
……I have lost my faith in love…
Anzu begins to blush redder with every passing second that I remain silent after her confession. It can’t be helped; I’m feeling kind of depressed all of the sudden.
“Master Vena, please accept me as your-”
“No.” I reply in a normal tone as I continue to eat my lunch.
Anzu on my left looks at me with a dejected expression. I continue to chew the food in my mouth while pretending that I couldn’t see her. Suddenly, Anzu grabs onto my left arm and places it in between her chest.
“Please~~” She tries to seduce me. However, there is just open plains around her chest area, so I remain unaffected.
“Hey!! What do you think you are doing?!!” Merra tries to separate me from the open plains by grabbing my right arm, pulling me away from Anzu. Sadly, my right hand is greeted with open plains as well.
Anzu grabs tighter onto my left hand. Seeing this, Merra pulls my right hand even harder. Though both my arms are touching one of the forbidden areas of a girl, all I feel is just a wide, open plain.
How sad…truly sad…
“Merra, please stop embarrassing yourself. We’re in public.” Vardus pulls Merra away from me, like an owner grabbing hold of his cat.
Well…that’s one ‘problem’ taken care of…
I turn and look at Anzu, who is still clinging onto my left arm, “Miss Anzu, may I know why you are here?”
“I am here to be Master Vera’s disciple.”
Gren, the bald knight, decides to explain what really happened. After we left the village, Anzu declared that she wishes to become stronger. It seems that my duel with Anzu sparked a flame inside her to become stronger. To do so, she needs to learn from someone strong; from someone like me.
Accompanied by a knight and a maid, Anzu raced off towards Purna town, in hopes of catching u with me.
“Maid? There’s a maid here?” I look around the tavern.
“Sophia is tiding up the room that we’ll be staying in.”
“Anyways,” Anzu cuts-in, “Master Vera, please accept me-“
“No.” my answer remains the same.
“I see…” Anzu releases my hand and look on the table with a depressed face.
“Vena, why not invite Miss Anzu and her knight into the team.” Vardus gives a suggestion, “You can test out her ability against the vampires.”
I ponder at Vardus’s statement as Anzu looks back at me, awaiting my verdict.
Well, based on that one duel I had with Anzu, I believe that she is someone of ‘reasonable strength’. She showed great mastery over the art of a duelist, and her reflexes are above average.
Yeah…she’ll do fine against the vampires.
A plan is formed inside my head; a plan that allows her to kill vampires while ensuring that she gives up asking to become my disciple in the future.
“Alright, I’ve decided. Anzu, Gren, please assist me in killing some vampires.”
I proceed to tell them about my plan to ‘storm’ Count Uther’s mansion while saving the villagers at Lyfon village.
“Yes! I’ll definitely be of use to Master Vena!!” Anzu’s is back to her normal, high-spirited self.
“Sorry, but I have to leave now. We’ll attack the vampires after midnight.” I stand up and apologies, “Why don’t we meet up again in this tavern for dinner tonight? I’ll brief everyone in detail about how I plan to take down the vampires.”
“I guess we better take our leave as well,” Anzu gestures Gren to stand up, “Floria is waiting for us back in the inn.”
Floria?...Ah, that must be her maid…
I pay for my share of food and drink before leaving the tavern; I can here Anzu’s voice saying, “Ah! Master! Wait for me!!”
I walk around the city for the next 10 minutes. Finally convinced that I’m not followed, I head towards a certain old-looking inn. Outside the inn, I see a familiar face. He is resting against the wall of the inn.
“Good day, Mister Vena.” Paul the Stagecoach driver greets me as a grin appears on his face.
“He’s here, isn’t he?” I speak to Paul in a threatening tone.
“No need to be so tense, Vena.” Paul pretends to look afraid, “And yes, Master Millan is waiting for you inside.”
I proceed into the worn-down inn without glancing back at Paul.
“Vena, how nice of you to drop by unannounced.” a figure stands behind an old-looking reception desk.
The one who asked me to head towards Lyfon village; the half-demon, Millan, greets me with his usual sly face, “Now then, let us proceed with the final preparations of my request.”
Millan decides to tell me everything about his request.
There is a certain noble child whose name is Eris Bergat. She is 15 years old, and is the 7th child in the Bergat family. Being born as a girl, as well as the 2nd youngest among her siblings, Eris is a child of no value. Her only use in her father’s eyes is to be married off to another noble family, thus strengthening the family’s social standing.
She never found any meaning behind her life. Then one day, she met a demon who calls himself Millan. Elis told the half-demon Millan that she is bored of her life that she would rather die and be reborn. Be it for fun, or just to play mess around, the demon Millan accepted her request.
With that, Millan went to visit a certain friend currently residing in Lyfon village; Count Uther Lyfon.
“Friend? Count Uther is your friend??” I cut in while Millan was explaining.
“Of course! I helped him to take down the soldiers at the Border. I am the very reason why Lyfon village fell into the hands of the vampires.” Millan is grinning form eye to ear, “Anyways, let me continue.”
Millan went to Count Uther to ask for a small request: Kidnap the girl from her house and turn her into your familiar. When a vampire gives a human to drink their blood, the human will turn into a vampire familiar. Against the sun, vampire familiars are basically normal humans but once the sun is covered, they will gain the abilities of a vampire. However, their physical traits will be that of a human.
“Millan, what are you planning? Why would you want to turn the noble girl into a vampire familiar?” I ask in a threatening tone.
“A human can only go so far, but for Eris to survive in this world, she needs to be able to protect herself.” Millan explains, “Besides, she can leave behind her life as a noble the moment she turns into a familiar.”
“Of course,” Millan continues, “I have no intention of making Eris follow the orders of a vampire for the rest of her life. That’s when you, Vena, come in.”
As expected…Millan is really a bastard; both Count Uther and I are being used by him.
In Millan’s eyes, Count Uther is nothing more but a means to separate Eris from a life as a human; to become a Vampire Familiar. However, he doesn’t want Eris to live as Uther’s follower, thus I am send here to kill him in order to free Eris.
“I guess this goes without saying that you can only save Eris after Count Uther gives his blood to Eris.”
“Yeah, I understand.” I reply.
“One last thing; do not tell Eris that I am the one who sent you. I don’t want her to think that she owes me.”
“…Millan, are you in love with the girl?” this is the only conclusion I can come to after hearing those words.
Millan begins to laugh, “There is no such feeling between us like that. She just so happens to pique my attention at that time, that’s all. Whether she dies or survives after this has nothing to do with me.”
Millan stands in front of me and waves his hand, “Guess that’s all for me. I won’t appear again for some time. Once this is all over, Paul will send all of you back with his stagecoach.”
Black shadows appear around Millan and begins to engulf him, “Vena Reiden, the immortal hunter; don’t die out there; I still need you.”
Millan, engulfed in the black shadows, disappears through the wooden floor. Walking back out, Paul is no longer there. With that, I proceed back to Dixion’s house in preparation for the upcoming battle.
The sun has set an hour ago. Inside a certain tavern owned by Dixion (closed to the public tonight), three tables are arranged in a triangle pattern; the rest of the wooden tables are against the walls. 12 figures are seated around the three tables.
“Good to see that everyone could make it.” I decide to speak first as the barmaids serve various food on the three tables, “Before we being, allow me to introduce everyone here.”
After the barmaids are out of my sight I gesture towards the table on my left. On that table rest three figures, “This man is Master Dixion, the noble who made this operation possible. He is in charge of guiding the villagers at Lyfon village back to Purna town safely.”
Dixion bows down and signals me to continue, “Beside Master Dixion are Licia and Lara Mills; they are Master Dixion’s personal maids, as well as important factors during this operation.”
“They are from the Devil-race.” Licia and Lara bows down as the table to my right begin to become rowdy.
“Next up,” I look towards the table on my right.
“I am Anzu Slypher! I am Master Vena’s disciple!” Anzu introduces herself.
“No, I didn’t say that I’ll accept -”
“I-I am Merra! I am Vena’s…closest…friend…” Merra’s loud voice became a whimper by the end of her sentence.
“I am Charlotte!! I hold the position as Vena’s First Disciple!!” Charlotte decides to join in the introduction as she looks at Anzu with an arrogant face.
“I am Elisu.” my second disciple speaks in her usual tone.
“I am Marian Reiden! I am the person closest to Vena!!” Marian, who is beside me, blushes all the way to her ears.
Before long, Charlotte begins to argue with Anzu about ‘who is Vena’s best disciple’ while Merra and Marian begin to compete on ‘who knows Vena better’. Dixion, Licia and Lara remain at their table as they enjoy the meal. Vardus strikes a conversation with Gren (the bald knight) and Anzu’s personal maid (I believe her name is Floria). Well, the night is still young; let us enjoy this situation.
“Now then, let us get started.”
Now that everyone is clam and full, I move towards the main topic. Anzu and Charlotte are glaring at each other (at least they aren’t bickering). Marian is pouting while Merra puts on an unhappy expression.
“From the information we know, Lyfon village is guarded by 40 vampires inside the village; some of them might be Sir-Rank vampires. Inside the mansion stands 20 vampires and two Count-Rank vampires; Count Uther Lyfon and Countess Felli Lyfon.”
I pause for a few seconds to allow everyone to grasp the opponent combat strength before continuing,
“We have two goals at Lyfon village: To save the villagers and to save a noble girl inside the mansion. To achieve these two goals, we’ll split into four teams.” I begin to explain each team, as well as the members that make up each team.
The Cleaners: In charge of killing the 40 vampires around Lyfon village. [Licia Mills] [Lara Mills]
The Protectors: In charge to bring the villagers to safety once the vampires are taken care of. [Dixion Turton] [Floria] [Marian Reiden] [Soldiers and supporters that Dixion gathered]
The Borders: To prevent any of the 40 vampires at Lyfon village from heading towards Count Uther’s mansion. [Charlotte Boreas] [Elisu] [Gren] [Vardus]
The Saviors: To assault the mansion and rescue the noble girl. [Vena Reiden] [Merra] [Anzu Slypher]
Licia and Lara are Devils, thus hunting down the vampires shouldn’t be a problem for them. The most important team it ’The Borders’. As long as they hold back any vampires from entering the mansion, I can take down Uther and Felli without the fear of being surrounded.
Bringing Anzu and Merra with me is just for insurance.
“Vena!! Why aren’t I in ’the Saviors’ team?!!” Charlotte is furious.
I can see that even Elisu is showing an unsatisfied face. It no surprise; they are my disciples. They thought that they’ll accompany me.
“The Borders team is vital in making sure that I won’t be attacked on both sides once I’m inside the mansion. I place both of you in there because I trust that you can protect my back.”
“If you put it that way…” Charlotte returns back to her seat.
“Is anyone else unhappy with my arrangement?” I ask.
No one butts in.
“With this, please head back and prepare yourselves for the operation.” I clap both my hands together, “Feel free to take a nap. We’ll meet up around midnight at Purna’s north entrance.”
With that, the meeting has come to an end. I stay back to talk with Dixion about the final preparations. After that, I return to my room and immediately fall asleep.
I hope everything goes well…
The operation has many uncertainties, especially the Church forces. As long as we do not encounter them, it should be fine. My companions trust me, and I trust them as well.
We’ll all come back alive…we must.