Just a short piece based off of Hollow's Bloodborne playthrough (as of 16 episodes). I guess I can stop writing NaB for a while, but I can't stop writing entirely... :3

On another note, I have now discovered that I can, in fact, write a (short) fic, type it up and make a cover in one day. Kudos to Kia :D


Slaughter and Survive

Unearthly shrieking echoed around the streets as Hollow yanked his blade from the chest of yet another villager, casting its deformed body aside to lie with its brothers in the gutter. He shook his cape in what he knew was a useless attempt to get the blood off, more out of habit than anything else. True, a few more drops of the red now speckled the walls and some crusted brown flakes had drifted to the ground, but for the most part he stayed dyed the same bright crimson as his sword. Or like the sky, he mused, gazing up as he walked on, the moon looming over him like the eye of some giant beast studying its prey.

The hunt was long tonight, longer than it had been for an age. Perhaps even as long as his first day hunting here all those years ago. What a time that had been, overflowing with optimism and ambition led firmly by the belief that he and his friends would one day purge the blight from the city once and for all. Now, he was simply part of Yharnam's ecosystem, a mid-chain predator focused on the near daily tasks of both slaughter and survival.

As Hollow stepped out into a small plaza he heard the familiar snarling of a dog coming from his left and within a second grabbed the hilt of Ludwig's Holy Blade. The single-handed form was all that was required for such a low calibre foe, one swift stroke cleaving apart the vertebrae connecting the canid's head to its body. The corpse collapsed onto the cobbles with a thud and twitched as the last few remnants of electrical signals raced through its muscles, Hollow stepping over it without any more thought to the once intriguing creature. He crouched down beside the mangled human body the dog had been gorging on and rummaged through the coat pockets in search of vials or bullets. An unlit incense burner sat nearby, attesting to the foolish nature of the dead layman; it may not have been producing smoke but the burner still stank and Hollow kicked it away with a grimace as the foul scent reached his nose, before standing and stashing his loot away. It was quiet in this area, a pervading sense of being alone seeping into him. Maybe he should locate Rage – catch up with him and maybe swap tales of the creatures they'd killed? Yes, that sounded good. Rage would probably be in the Cathedral Ward by this time of night.

No, wait; that wasn't right. Rage had been slain by a darkbeast three winters ago. Or had that been Peace? He couldn't remember exactly, but catching up with them was obviously not an option.

The hunter wandered over to the one edge of the plaza not blocked in by empty houses, stopping a foot away from the stone railing that prevented anyone walking off and falling down the cliffside. He leant on the barrier with one hand, the other reaching beneath his cloak to check that the hunter's badge above his heart was still there. The material of the crest felt foreign under his fingertips despite his ritualistic checking in order to alleviate the persistent fear that one day he would lose it, just like he'd lost its original owner. The badge was clean and yet he still felt the slide of blood from when he had plucked it off of her cold form, clouds overhead and a crow circling around to determine whether he was worth attacking. He'd killed it before it had the chance to.

Hollow sighed as he looked out at the streets laid before him, the shadows between buildings only made darker by the eerie luminance of the moon. A swathe of fog had settled in the lower reaches of the valley, coiling affectionately around the spires and towers of Old Yharnam and denying access to casual onlookers like the hunter. He could almost make out the dark forms of beasts moving about on the ground but knew he was just imagining things, transplanting his everyday encounters on an area he couldn't possibly see from this distance. Hollow adjusted the ratty bandages that lay over his eyes and the visions ceased, allowing him to view only the fog again.

His gaze panned upward to the Cathedral Ward nestled on the other side of the valley, the elegantly structured buildings cutting sharp silhouettes against the burning sky. The asymmetric design was broken in one place more notably than anywhere else, the Grand Cathedral that had once occupied the gap now missing. Gubiak had brought the whole place tumbling down not long ago, effectively ending his hunting career as well as what little remained of the Healing Church. Hollow had never managed to retrieve his friend's body and so assumed Gubiak had gone to the Dream, a theory he'd not affirmed since he hadn't been able to return to the Dream for some time now.

Hollow stiffened as he heard the sound of someone approaching behind him, accompanied with an ethereal chittering of the messengers. The distinctive scent of a hunter flooded his nose, finally removing the burning stench of incense still stuck there. He turned to see a crow standing in the centre of the plaza, waiting. Was this the one who'd murdered his beloved? Or had he killed that one already? He didn't remember. He didn't care. Deranged cackling shredded the air as he readied the Holy Blade, his face splitting into a menacing grin when he lurched forward to eradicate the pesky crow.

He had to keep on; kill the beasts and not be killed himself. Slaughter and survive.

Slaughter and survive.

Slaughter and survive.

Slaughter. Survive.

Survive.

Survive.

...

Survive...

...

Survive...

...

...

...

Slaughter.