"I salute Thee, leader of Yogis, one with the Brahman,
Dweller in the Mandara forest.
Virgin, Kali, spouse of Kapala, of tawny hue.
Salutation to Thee, Bhadrakali.
Reverence to Thee, Mahakali,
Chandi, Fearless one. Salutation to Thee,
Saviour imbued with all good fortune."
- The Hermit
- The Hermit
History was not linear.
It was made by cycles that kept repeating themselves over and over again. Chains of sadness, rage, and violence as the circuit rehashed itself through all the eternity. It was never-ending. Very few times, there were periods of pure joy in which the victory of battles did not taste like bitter ashes. They were so sparse that one had to measure them.
Alucard was not a Buddhist - or follower of any religion in particular. He only spoke of personal experience. What happened to Seras Victoria reminded him of many losses he had experienced: His wives, his brides, Lucy, Mina, Tillabeth, Integral.
There was sorrow and anger. Flames of rage ignited inside him. He blamed her own weakness, her incapacity to leave her humanity behind; also the damn traitors that did not fulfil their promise. Integral was responsible as well If his former Master had sent a word that she was alive, he would not have attacked if he knew. However, Alucard was furious, his mind swayed of his prime objective when Integral appeared before his eye. Was not he important enough to be aware that she was not dead?
But the wrath against the Hellsing disappeared when he beheld how Integral held Seras' head. In the previous clash between the two, she had warned him that something may happen to his fledgling. Was this his fault too?
Ridiculous. Alucard sneered to the mere idea of remorse feelings. Those were human emotions. He held none of those pesky things – never did of the times he recalled his heart still beat.
Now bloodshed. That he was acquainted with. Slaughter and he were close friends. With a maddening grin, he allowed Integral her quarry with the leader of the pathetic army. Alucard strode towards Lin. His opponent had cast his gaze to the ground. It was the picture of a fallen man.
"If you seek mercy. You are wasting your time. These bones hold none."
"I don't wish pity. Least of all from you," Lin stated, pride flickered inside his eyes. "You won't grant forgiveness, and I have committed no wrong to beg for it. But her blood taints my hands. I won't defend myself, take your revenge."
Alucard was not impressed by the Commissioner's display of honour, rather annoyed that he was not trying to run terrified or fight for his existence. It took away the thrill. "Bah," he uttered, aiming his Jackal to Lin's head. The Midian pulled up the trigger, emptying the clip, blowing up his cranium. Lin's body collapsed, shifting to rice.
He even denied me my trophy, becoming mortal food.
Perhaps under other the circumstances and if Alucard's mind were less chaotic and not so filled with black rage, he and Lin could have reached understanding. Both used to fight against invaders of their nations and held high standards of purity. But this never occurred to Alucard. He had only one thing in mind: Kill.
The Asuras beheld wide-eyed how one of their leader perished. Alucard smirked as they stopped their feast on the fallen humans. Some even started to retreat scared. He grinned devilishly and the branches of the trees captured the fleeing undead.
"Tsk, tsk. Leaving so soon? But we haven't begun yet," Alucard commented, lifting a brow in amusement. Many Asuras sought to defeat him. Throwing the most varied arsenal of primitive weapons, powers and fighting technique. He extended his arms, allowing them to reduce his body into a pool of blood and flesh – a false sense of hope for the gathered; a brief taste of triumph before he regenerated as nothing had happened, brushing away the dust from his coat. "Now it's my turn."
Alucard fancied to see himself a connoisseur in the art of slaughter- mutilating, boiling, setting in fire, gutting, impaling, shooting, hanging and stoning. He was a professional in each method and he showed it.
As Integral fought Mahisa, Alucard experimented the limits of the Asuras' bodies. The woods became alive, capturing each vampire and brought them to his wanting hands. There, Voivode Dracula exercised his art. Painting the palette of crimson and black. Each brush of blood and bone done by his fingers was mindful - his masterpiece of pain. He was a musician choreographing the symphony of the damned.
Alucard laughed, overwhelmed with insanity as he accomplished the final steps of his creation. Hopping all to the air, he forced the Asuras down the top of the trees that, mysteriously, acquired a sharp end. They shrieked so loud that it nearly pierced his ear drum. His ears were bleeding, regardless of that Alucard remained engrossed in the spectacle.
The spell was gone when Integral returned. She looked glorious in his eyes, all covered with blood and with a gaze of contented. For killing, she loved the massacre as much as he did. Alucard remembered that, recalled the time they had spent together whilst his Master was alive.
Seras would not repeat Integral's feat of rising of the grave. She would be buried and gone. Just like his other failures. The Hellsing would remain in her alluring splendour of undead might.
Alucard smirked smugly, noticing Integral was taken by the morbid sight. She was enchanted. Furthermore, apparently she was willing to push the conflict aside. As much fun as he would have to battle her, it would be best to leave it for another day.
"I thought you would appreciate the sweet aroma of death," Alucard pointed out slyly to her former remark about the decomposition.
"Buying me expensive perfume now, Voivode? What's next? Carnivorous plants to decorate my halls?" Integral inquired. Alucard grinned; he missed her sarcasm and wit. He could not reply to that, she continued while casting a gaze towards her Mansion. "You should go. I need to clean this mess... help my people and clear my thoughts."
"No. As I said, I'm still indecisive in the issue."
"As you like then... I'll be watching."
"Not if I cast you away from my territory."
Alucard inclined his head. She did not accept his aid and wanted time alone. But he would not lose contact with Integral anymore. Not now that he knew she was alive. He phased out of the Hellsing Manor, spending time on the Tara Romaneasca Embassy until he had another opportunity to make amends. There were matters to take care of his country - such as the increasing political and territorial influence of the Ottoman Empire that had risen from the ashes like the phoenix to annoy him.
It grated him greatly reading reports that the heathens dared to predate on his lands once more. Alucard would crush them as the bugs they were.
The Islam became the world's most popular faith since the fall of the Catholicism. They were gaining the nation's approval by using the religion. Perhaps, it had been a bad move of his destroying the Vatican centuries ago.
Days had passed; they were a mere blink of an eye for a creature as old as Alucard. The progression, however, was slower than usual. He hoped he was not going to brood. He was a vampire, a good to honest monster. Thus he could not consider himself investing in such petty human habit.
Alucard returned to face Integral during the funerals. He had to come back to his State soon. He watched the burials of the Hellsing troops from afar, not wishing to involve himself in the dull ceremony unless he gained something.
The few survivors gathered around Integral, giving condolences and the duel courtesy that was proper. Once the vicar finished the blessings, the crowd started to leave. They passed near him without acknowledging his presence. Humans preferred to hide in denial than to admit there was a monster in the closet? The existence of vampires was no mystery but after the initial boom, the human beings chose to fall into blissful ignorance once more.
Their God blessed ignorance.
"Alan. I want to be alone," Integral commanded, she started to move closer to the newly dug graves.
"As you like, Lady Elspeth," the steward replied curtly, starting his path with difficulty. Favouring one leg over the other, Alan stumbled towards the car.
"So you know I'm here already."
Alucard appeared behind Integral, scanning the names craved on the tombs - old and recent. Walter Dornez, Pip Bernadette, Seras Victoria, and Peter Bernard.
"The soil is one with the Master vampire, Alucard. That's me, and it whispers everything," Integral repeated with a neutral tone. "I know you're familiar with that."
Alucard sensed something odd now he was close and not in a battle mood. Integral's aura was frost, even colder than his as if there was no stolen heat rushing inside her veins. It was strange. She did not look like someone reluctant to kill.
"There's no body warmth. At all… Feeding on blood bags instead of taking living preys? That's disappointing… Are you moping for Seras?"
"I'm mourning, not moping," she sneered. "And I dread the medical supplies, their flavour is awful. You shouldn't make such assumptions… My victims aren't the living," Integral stated proudly.
Alucard realized that killing humans, the impure ones who stood her way, did not faze his former Master at all. He was aware of that by personal experience in Brazil and with her uncle. But she was born and raised as a vampire hunter and would not settle for a lesser quarry, that was obvious. Vampires and monsters were her preys, a predator of predators. Integral was simply perfect. Once more, Alucard's gaze fell on the tombstones. Their soil was holy. Christian.
"You gave vampires a Christian burial, Miss Hellsing? Pity their bodies melt to nothing."
"It's symbolic. They fought for God, the Lord would received them with welcoming arms... Besides, I know that Seras would like to be there, next to Bernadette."
"Ah yes... She never could get the rid off that attachment with the mortal. That was her undoing."
His tone was cold and hateful. Alucard still had not forgiven Seras' nerve of defy his great plans. His strategy was to place her high on a throne. Stupid girl, after all the problems he had faced for her. Children were ungrateful these days.
"Do you really think so?" Integral glared. "Seras wasn't soshallow to die of a broken heart. She died for what she believed it was right."
"Pity for the weak now, Integra?"
"Seras wasn't weak. If your self centred standards could see beyond your nose, you would have appreciated different kind of strengths," Integral retorted with fanaticism. Alucard snorted in response. "If you considered her pathetic, you wouldn't have come for her, would you?"
And she had exactly nailed down the issue. Integral had read his intentions crystal clear. Alucard nearly snarled but refrained, keeping his lips pursed up within an infuriating grin that slightly faltered. "I wanted her to shine," he started, eyes fixed on the tomb. "I wanted her to be perfect, to make me feel proud of her achievements. She needed to take some small steps, to grow crueller, to break her idealism."
Alucard felt a reluctant hand patting his back and lifted a brow in response – Police Girl's attitude rubbing on Integral? "I know. That's why you brought foes that would question her morals... But you lost Alucard, Seras won. She remained herself. Not everyone will adhere to your mindset."
"Partly. But it was because that's how I am, independent of your influence."
Alucard's eyes left the grave to focus on Integral. "You are the real Durga. And don't shake your head, Integra. Are you telling me Seras is Durga now?"
Integral chuckled; he disliked her condescending gaze. As if she knew more than him. Alucard was five hundred years his former Master's senior.
"She was a different kind of Durga," Integral pointed out, rising her eyes to the grey sky. The clouds had gathered all day, menacing with a storm that never arrived. "Seras surpassed in morality to Mahisa by refusing to kill him. She was victorious in that sense."
Alucard's eyes narrowed, not quite seeing the point of a triumph so meaningless. The martyr-hood was pathetic in his opinion. "But she died."
"She did?" Integral hiked a brow. "She won eternal rest."
Christian mindset until the end - Integral had not changed in the least. He swayed from the subject, no need to have a religious debate over Seras' grave.
"Whatever you say, former Master."
"You know, Alucard. You should be honest of what you feel," Integral suggested, scrutinizing his features. Alucard noted that she was studying him. "I don't mean about being a sentimentalist or wailing. But at least acknowledge it."
"What makes you think I'm not hollow, Integra? Emotions are for the weak."
"It's proper of someone with a fragile character not being able to defeat denial. Are you so weak?"
Alucard's corners of his lips twitched, disliking the truth that was inside her statement. He did feel, in his own psychotic way, but he was able to have strong emotions. More animalistic than human.
"Fine, since you have me well deciphered. Yes, I will miss Seras. But I've lived without her for two centuries, it won't be a drastic change on my life..." Alucard's smirk deepened, his orbs gleamed with cruelty. "Unlike you. Perhaps, Integra, you should see beyond those self centred standards of yours and realize there's different kind of relationships."
Integral scoffed to his delight. Alucard had used her own words against her. He was certain, she wanted to maul him for his taunt. But she collected herself far too fast to his disappointment.
"I think... you should go, I'm sure you have a lot to take care on your country. Unless, of course, you yearn to hand the throne to the sultan," Integral gave him a cheeky smile. Alucard huffed, flustered by her come back. "Besides, it's better to part before you ruin any possibility of reconciliation with that big mouth of yours."
"As long you are willing to keep in contact," Alucard shrugged, inclining his head to the taunt.
"If that keeps you away of problems and megalomaniac schemes. I shall."
"It's a contract then," Alucard declared smoothly as his body started to shift becoming a horde of bats. "Good evening, Miss Hellsing." His basso voice purred between the squeaking noises of the mammals.
"Good bye, Alucard."
Alucard took off, diving through London's sky to a great speed. Docents of tiny pairs of eyes glanced at the distant figure of Integral on the graveyard. That brought back some memories of a previous funeral. Hers.
I wonder if she knows why she was wearing that dress. Probably not, Alucard thought, contemplating the possibilities to tell her before he returned. Finally, he decided against it. Better was to wait and heal the ties before discussing the topic. In another occasion. I have until the Judgment Day.
Such was the luxury of being a True Immortal.
Author's Notes: Well, this is the last chapter of 'Durga' (edited by Seras-Kelia). Many things went AU as new issues in Japan were released. Oh well, it was meant to be. I appreciate the support of everyone who reviewed, I'm working now in fix some format problems that happened when I updated to this site (thewordstogether). I would appreciate some honest critique in this story beyond the one liners reviews, I thank my readers who reviewed or entered in contact with me. Perhaps in the future I could write the sequel to this fic; Kali.