"Master Hunter, I haven't a clue of what to do,"
I cleared my throat before looking back at the man.
"Start from the beginning and describe what you saw," I replied.
He took a deep breath before sighing deeply.
"It all happened so fast that I didn't get a good glimpse of the beast, but I know that it was very fast and managed to kill both of the victims in the blink of an eye," he explained.
I nodded slowly.
"Did the creature appear to be a humanoid?" I asked.
"I'd say so, maybe a foot or two larger than the average man," he replied.
"Are the bodies still around? I'd like to examine them," I said.
I followed the man to the morgue. He pulled the cloth off of both bodies as I sighed deeply.
"Both heads lopped off...but the internal damage to the blood vessels and muscles inside indicate that it was torn...perhaps he mutilated the corpses afterward with a blade? It's strange of the creature to leave them behind though."
I approached them, examining any injury that I could fine.
"Throat appears to have been under immense pressure...whatever killed these people didn't immediately decapitate them; they suffocated before they were beheaded,"
I glanced at the male victim's hands to see that they were still slightly red.
"He must've been gripping something tightly...tried to fight back unlike the woman, who probably didn't see the attack coming judging from how little of a struggle she seemed to put up,"
I continued to examine the bodies until finally, I found something I could use: the remnants of a bite.
"This wasn't any humanoid...this could've only been the work of a werewolf, or at least someone who has the werewolf curse and has learned to manifest it,"
"This bite...it's no ordinary one," I said.
"What are we dealing with?"
"All signs point to a werewolf," I replied.
The man gasped.
"So...what do we do about it?"
"It's too dangerous for you to deal with any of this and considering that you witnessed the murders, he knows that you've seen what he looks like...so you can bet he'll be coming for you soon," I explained.
He looked absolutely horrified to hear my words.
"What do I do then?!"
"Stay indoors, bar your windows and go purchase some wolfsbane at the apothecary in town," I instructed.
"Werewolves greatly dislike the scent of it, it also disrupts their senses," I explained.
He nodded slowly.
"What will you do Master Hunter?"
I handed him a small scroll, dictating the terms of the contract and the pay that he had to send to the guild as well as myself.
"I'll return with proof that the monster will not disturb you ever again,"
"Considering how quickly he murdered those two people, despite the male wearing battle armor, this could only be the work of an elder wolf...no fledgling would be able to move quickly enough to kill a soldier before he could react,"
I checked all of my equipment, ensuring that I had all I needed to slay him should I find him tonight.
"He's going to be back to finish the job tonight...so I'd better hang around his home in case; if he can manifest his wolf form at will, he's a lot less susceptible to wolfsbane and it might not be enough to stop him,"
I loaded my clockwork revolver with silver bullets before holstering it in my jacket. I then picked up my sword before securing it to my back. I then pulled the hood over my head before climbing the stairs to the roof of the building. I took a deep breath before focusing my senses.
"Werewolves have much higher heart rates than the standard person...maybe I can find a sign of him if I listen closely enough,"
I sat down, crossed my legs and focused. It wasn't long before I could hear the heartbeats of just about every person walking the streets. It was difficult to keep my mind on the objective...my body was beginning to weaken due to my lack of finding sustenance. Finally, I had found something promising: a single rapid heartbeat that was rapidly approaching the house of the contract issuer. Considering that it was now night and most individuals wouldn't pay attention to a fast moving werewolf, it wasn't surprising that he was already on the hunt.
"I'd better find out the motive behind those murders...werewolves don't normally fall prey to their primal instincts and considering how clean the kills were, this one must've had some serious intent with his actions,"
I got to my feet before gathering strength in my legs. Once I felt ready, I kicked off the roof, launching myself a good distance away onto another roof. I then began to sprint as fast as my legs could carry me; I didn't have much time. It took a couple of minutes but I finally arrived and just as I predicted, the wolfsbane had a much reduced effect. It was very obvious who the culprit was; he was holding his nose in complete disgust.
"I'm going to have to lead him away from here...too many potential eyes,"
I jumped down to the street before approaching the man.
"Isn't it a little late to be out?" I asked.
He turned to me and shook his head.
"Come to kill me hunter?" he snapped.
"I'd like to know why you killed that couple one week ago," I replied.
He laughed loudly.
"Because that filthy soldier laid his filthy hands on my sister...killing his wife was a bonus," he replied.
"Do you really think it gives you a right to murder two people? Did you really think that you'd get away with it?"
He clenched his fists as I noticed his eyes changing to that of a wolf's.
"And you're going to kill me? A mere human thinking he can kill a one hundred year old werewolf?" he said.
I shook my head before unsheathing my sword.
"I tried to be civil...but you just won't listen will you," I said.
"I've no reason to listen to a weakling, especially one who tries to keep me from my prey,"
He growled loudly as his hand began grow hair and his nails began to lengthen into claws.
"Hunters like you make Liscario an inhospitable place for any supernatural creature to live; you're nothing but a bunch of mercenaries who go out and slaughter all things inhuman and collect gold to go on your way," he growled.
"Call me what you want, it doesn't change the fact that you took an innocent life...and for that reason,"
I raised my sword.
"You cannot go unpunished,"
"You have no idea what you're fucking with do you kid?"
He began to transform, just as I was hoping he would. Once he got to his knees to finish his transformation, I hastily made my way to the alleyway before scaling the wall as quickly as I could. I made it to the roof within seconds as I held my sword in one hand and my revolver in another. I listened closely and just as I felt a rush of wind, I ducked down to dodge a swipe from his claws. I fired a bullet and managed to hit him in the arm, but he shrugged off the silver as if it were nothing.
"Your bullets tickle; silver stopped working on me a long time ago," he said.
I shook my head.
"Did you really think that I'd just use silver alone on a wolf as old as you are?"
I saw his skin begin to burn as I fired another bullet, this one hitting him in the leg.
"I coated each and every one of these bullets with wolfsbane and the venom of a wandering spider, you won't be able to move unless it wears off," I said.
I approached the monster, who knelt down as a sign of giving up. For some reason, I couldn't bring myself to finish the job.
"What're you waiting for hunter? Didn't you come all this way to claim a bounty on me?"
"The rules of the trade dictates that I am not to kill any supernatural creature unless they pose a threat to humanity," I replied.
"There are actual rules?"
I rolled my eyes and sighed deeply.
"You're a werewolf, definitely no stranger to the curse because you've learned to transform at will rather than having to wait for the full moon, which means you've mastered it," I explained.
I holstered my revolver.
"Everything has its place in the world, even things that people consider to be monsters so I offer you a choice,"
I approached him before holding a hand out to him.
"Turn yourself in and you'll be allowed to live provided that you swear to never take an innocent life again," I said.
He shook his head.
"So those humans are to be allowed to get away with everything? What kind of society do we live in? You yourself aren't human and yet you defend them?" he snapped.
"I would've understood if you killed only the offender, the woman did not need to die for his sins," I replied.
He roared loudly.
"I will not be lectured by a filthy half-breed!"
I sighed deeply and immediately reached for my broadsword, forged completely in silverite. The moment he jumped at me. I sidestepped his claws before impaling him directly through the chest.
"You've made your choice,"
I yanked the blade out before swinging at his neck with tremendous force. Before I knew it, his head had already gone flying through the air. I caught it before it could hit the ground and shook my head.
"I didn't want to do this...because I can't imagine his family will be amused with what happened,"
I searched the body and found a wallet along with any other important items that would identify him. I then removed a small flask of concentrated gasoline before pouring it all over the remainder of the body. Once I was satisfied, I lit a match and threw it onto the body. After flashing all of the blood from my sword, I sheathed it before making my way back to the home. After knocking three times, the man opened the door to see me.
"It's been done," I said.
I showed him the head of the werewolf, causing him to sigh in relief.
"I...don't think he needed to die, maybe he could've been reasoned with," said the man.
"It's difficult to reason with such primal rage, considering that this one was old as well, he knew full well what he was doing...and the consequences if he was caught," I replied.
I then led the man to an alleyway before igniting the head and tossing it into a dumpster.
"The gasoline will ensure that nothing remains but ashes so you needn't worry about anything else," I explained.
"Thank you Master Hunter," he replied.
I shook my head.
"It's what we're here for, you can leave your payment at the guild house," I said.
"For your efforts,"
He handed me a rather expensive looking necklace with a sapphire jewel as the pendant.
"I will be sure to leave the payment tomorrow morning," he said.
I took my leave, still thoroughly disappointed that I had to kill the werewolf.
"I suppose that even as a supernatural creature, one cannot escape malicious intent,"
I climbed through the window, looking around for any signs of life.
The voice brought a smile to my face.
"I brought you a gift," I said.
She smiled at me before giving me a hug.
"You're always so kind to me," she said.
"You're my mother, how could I not be?" I asked.
She shook her head.
"Because I have to spend a lot of my time inside rather than working a job," she replied.
"It won't be long before I can get an enchantment done by one of the witches...so I suppose the pendant has a use apart from just looking pretty," I said.
She laughed softly.
"At times I forget that you make a tidy sum being a Hunter and all," she said.
"Did you finish your stores again? Your skin looks paler than usual," I asked.
"Unfortunately yes," she replied.
I nodded slowly.
"I'll order a refill from the Band tomorrow," I said.
"You...really don't have to go through all of this trouble,"
"There's nothing I won't do for you mother,"
She smiled at me before hugging me again.
"It's difficult to believe that you're half of what I am; you have a heart of gold even though we vampires are supposedly sadistic killers," she said.
"Even in this state, your motherly instincts haven't changed,"
"A fact I'm glad for...because I doubt I would be able to function on my own,"
I sat down beside her before sighing deeply.
"I...had to kill a werewolf today," I said.
"Did you take his ID and such?"
I took out the wallet and handed it to her. After examining it, she shook her head.
"I knew this man...he grew far too cocky once he learned how to control his transformation, did you at least give him the choice?" she asked.
"He chose wrong,"
She nodded slowly.
"What's on the agenda for tomorrow?" she asked.
"I'm supposed to meet with the guild master in order to discuss a special contract that I've been assigned...something about escorting some kind of important noble," I replied.
She got to her feet.
"You'd better go home and get some sleep," she said.
"I wanted to be sure you were alright,"
She once again smiled at me.
"You can worry about me after you finish that important task of yours,"
"I'll get the enchantment done once I return, I should be gone for about three days...I'll have Larson bring the blood bags here in the morning as usual," I said.
I turned to leave but before I could, she grabbed my hand.
"I've been meaning to give this to you...it was your father's,"
She handed me a sheathed dagger.
"It's made out of pure silverite...the blade is nearly unbreakable," she said.
"Thank you mother," I replied.
She hugged me once more.
"I'm very proud of you Arvo," she said.
I hugged her back tightly; I didn't usually get the chance to visit her because I spent a lot of my time outside of Liscario.
"I'll return in a few days...don't get into any trouble while I'm gone," I said.
"Are you really telling an eighty-five year old vampire what to do?" she asked raising an eyebrow.
"No, I'm urging my mother to not get into trouble until she can walk in the daylight without passing out and making it obvious that she is indeed a vampire," I replied.
I climbed onto the windowsill, but turned back once more.
"What happened to father...wasn't your fault," I said.
Before she could retort, I leaped out the window.