Chapter 1: Gagoze
So there I was, outside the local church, looking down at the mangled body of the now dead priest. It wasn't a pretty sight, but not the worst I'd ever seen. Hell, it didn't crack my top twenty.
You'd think a church would be the last place a demon would attack. You know, bibles, crosses, holy water, everything a demon would want to avoid. But the body showed up none the less; right at the foot of the stairs leading to the church.
The police said it was a hate crime, which would make sense. A young priest is just leaving the church and is beat to death by a crazed murderer. Too bad I found out about it. I never hear about it unless it's one of the creepy crawlies.
For those of you who care, my name is Hirikarue, but people call me Hiri. I'm what you might call a monster hunter. If something goes bump in the night, my tech guy Richie gives me the details and I go searching. After that it's up to me to cap the beasty before it caps me. I'm paid by an unnamed bank account filled by an organization that, as far as you know, doesn't exist. If you go looking for them they'll shoot first and ask questions never, so forget I said anything.
"Are you sure its a demon?" I asked Richie through my ear piece. "All the scratch marks and residue from the body point to something infernal." Richie said. "I can buy a demon that wants to clip a holy man, but three feet from a church? Might as well jump into the holy water itself."
"I'm doing some research now, just try to find out where its hiding before it gets someone else." Richie said before hanging up. I sighed, grabbed a few weapons, and headed out. The cops didn't find any clues as to where the killer might have gone.
Then again, the cops don't have holy magic. A few words in Latin, a little divine intervention and I was on the trail. "Okay, maybe it was a demon." I said to myself as the footprints became visible. I use the term 'footprints' loosely, they looked webbed and almost reptilian at the same time.
I followed the tracks into the nearby forest. Eventually I reached what looked like some kind of burned building, a shack really. I made it two steps inside before I was knocked to the side. I looked to see a roughly seven foot tall, vaguely humanoid creature. It's eyes were yellow, watching me with hatred.
Defiantly a demon. Infernal at least.
"You know, a simple hello would have suffice." I said. The demon roared and jumped at me. I rolled away, but it grabbed me by my collar and pulled me in, slashing my side. I yelped, jamming my elbow into the demon's gut.
I pulled away from the demon and flinched when Richie's voice sounded over my ear piece. "I found out what it is." He said.
"You've gone unbelievable timing." I tell him while avoiding attacks as best I can. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's called a gagose. It's a rare demon that attacks priests and monks outside their church or temple."
"That's real interesting and all Rich, but I'm kind of under attack and would like to know how to kill it." I tell him. "A standard exorcism will work, but you'll have to weaken it first. You know what to do." Richie said before hanging up.
"Perfect." I jumped out of the way of another attack and cast a quick healing spell on myself. All I really did was postpone the wound. It'd be back in about a half an hour. But for now I had other problems to deal with.
I got to my feet and side-stepped the gagose, pulling out my colt and firing at the back of the demon's head. It made direct contact.
It won't do anything to kill it, but I find that, no matter the species, a bullet to the head will always do something. After about five minutes, my theory proven true. After every bullet it took, it got slower, weaker, it movements more instinct and less precise.
Soon the gagose stopped entirely in an effort to gain a second wind. I started the exorcism, but the gagose charged again before I could get very far. This went on for awhile, then I got an idea. I loured the gagose out side and continued our little game of keep away, dragging one heel in the dirt as I did so, leaving marks in the ground.
Eventually I stopped and smiled at the demon, which was met with a roar and a charge. Imagine the creature's surprise when in couldn't get out of the circle of crosses I'd drawn in the dirt.
"What's a matter buddy? Can't cross the cross?" The gagose roared and charged the barrier to no effect. I chuckled and started the exorcism. In all honesty, I don't even speak Latin. I just memorized the phrases, don't judge me. I don't exactly have time to learn a new language. I barely learned English.
The gagose continued trying to break through the barrier, but inevitably succumbed the holy magic. It might have just been my previous blood loss, but as it faded I could've sworn I heard it whisper something along the lines of, "I'm sorry my brethren, I tried..."
You know, sometimes this job makes me wonder. Then I wonder if that was what whatever I was fighting was planning. Then I wonder if that's what the higher ups what me to think. Then I start drinking. Sometimes I wonder if I'll be doing this my whole life. Then I drink some more. Then I think about what would happen if I didn't do this. Then I stop drinking.