Disclaimer: vampire Hunter D belongs to Hideyuki Kikuchi.

The first installment to this 2-part Vampire Hunter D fanfiction.

A young man, beautiful as the night, reclined in an old, wooden chair. Faint swirls of ancient dust rose from its rotting upholstery. In the tall, dust-covered windows of the room, lightning flashed, violet and white, as a storm raged in the night.

The youth studied the room through half-open eyes; it was the foyer of a large, abandoned castle. His long, curved sword rested on his lap, ready for what ever should come. He sat quietly, dressed in black from head to toe, like a shadow in the shadows. A frightening aura hung about him, capable of scaring even the most ferocious demon (or any mutant beast of the Frontier) into submission.

He would not relax, tired as he may have been. He could not afford to let his guard down. Though the castle looked and felt empty (which was a rarity in itself), one could never be too careful. Usually, any abandoned building quickly became a suitable habitat for all kinds of Mutant Creatures begotten through the various genetic experiments the Nobility conducted during their reign.

"It's too quiet, too still. Makes me nervous.", said a gruff voice, though the youth's lips never moved. Indeed, the voice seemed to be coming from his left hand.

The youth remained silent, as if there had been no voice. To any one witnessing, this could have been the world's greatest act of ventriloquism... or just a sign of ensuing insanity. Thunder rumbled in the distance, and heavy rain pelted the glass of the windows where it remained. Where the windows were broken, the moisture entered in a chilled fog.

As time dripped by, the youth's eyes began to grow inevitably heavy. And though he fought his fatigue, in the end his eyes became too heavy for him to bear...

"Leave me be!", a voice hissed but a few inches from his face. gradually, the face to the voice came into focus. It was the face of a beautiful young woman; her eyes were pale blue and her long, black hair draped down past her shoulders and shimmered like the feathers of a cormorant.

She began to walk away from the tall youth, but he found himself taking hold of her arm and pulling her back to him. The young woman fought to get away, but to no avail. He could sense her dread, disgust, and hostility towards him - but why did he repulse her so?

"Is it because of what I am?", he asked her in a soft, even tone. His dark eyes scanned her visage cooly as he waited for her response.

She scowled and pulled against him once more. This time, she burst into a cloud of black feathers. The youth's eyes widened in surprise for a split second as it happened, then he stared at the falling feathers with his usual, emotionless expression.

His tall, thin figure stood alone in the foyer. On the marble floor, the black feathers gathered around a dead raven. He glanced down at his empty hands and froze; they were covered in fresh, bright red blood.

The youth staggered backwards and collapsed into a wooden chair, upholstered in emerald green silk, embroidered in gilded paisleys. He shut his eyes and fought the immense hunger that raged against his self-restraint. A deep growl escaped his throat as his hunger began to win, bringing his blood-stained fingertips to his quivering lips...

The youth's eyes snapped open and gasped. Startled, he sat up in the old wooden chair, panting.

"Hey, you okay? D? What was that all about?", his left hand asked as the youth regained his composure.