A/N- Alright, this is my first Vampire Hunter D fic. So review kindly. So, my inspiration for this fic? Well, first of all I love Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust! And second, I recently read the first novel in the ongoing series…I'm glad that they're putting them into English now. Now, I'm using the word dhampire because it is the term that I'm most familiar with for a half-blood and it is what was used in that novel I read. I hope you enjoy this. Now, this fic is set maybe ten or so years after the very end of VHD: Bloodlust.
Disclaimer- I don't own Vampire Hunter D. It belongs to Hideyuki Kikuchi and Urban Vision. This applies to all chapters.
Chapter 1- Old Town, New Faces
He'd been here before, many years ago, this beautiful half-blood. Usually, when he recognized a town, it was because of a job he had had there before. Being a Vampire Hunter, this was always very likely. However, it was untrue concerning this town.
He recognized this town because a friend of his was buried here…long ago. About ten years ago, in fact. Leila, an excellent Hunter herself and an ex-member of the Markus Brothers. Ex, because they had all died on their last mission. She was a good friend, but their friendship was strange. She had hated him at first. This hadn't bothered him. Many people hated and feared him. And it wasn't because he was mean or evil…it was simply because he was different. A spawn of the Nobility, the vampires, and of a human. But, as they both completed their mission to the best of their ability, a friendship grew. Leila had decided to leave the world of the Hunt behind. He visited her every so often. Until, that was, she got married. Then he felt that it might be better for her and her husband's relationship if he stayed away. She had moved to this town with her grown son and his family after her husband had died. Then she had died here, peacefully.
That was the first day D, this dhampire, had seen this town. He remembered setting astride his cyborg horse, far away from the burial site in the shade of a tree as Leila's funeral progressed. He also remembered Leila's granddaughter running toward him to thank him for coming and to invite him to dinner. He had refused, of course. He had thanked her in return for her show of kindness, so rarely seen for him, and had rode off into the mountains of the Frontier in search of yet another bounty.
Now, in the present in a pub, he tossed two gold coins to the bartender and exited. Outside, it was pitch black, for night had fallen long ago. He undid his horse's reins from the hitching post.
"You haven't visited Leila's grave yet. I thought that was what this trip was about," came a voice from somewhere around the horse's reins.
"Where do you think my next destination is?" he replied with no emotion whatsoever in his voice to the source of the other, the parasite in his left hand.
As D mounted his black horse and turned it about to head toward the gravesite, he heard something.
"Do you hear that? It sounds like someone running…and being chased, as a matter of fact," his left hand interjected.
Indeed, staring toward the apparent source of the commotion, which was an alley way opening between two buildings a few yards ahead, there shot out a young girl, pursued by two monsters. Werewolves, by the look of it.
"Werewolves!" Left Hand exclaimed. He always did point out the obvious a second or two after the cause. "But they look as if they're acting alone. That's unusual. They're usually found serving the Nobility. Perhaps this girl has angered a vampire lord? This could be a job, D!"
The dhampire had realized this as well, as he had already dismounted from his cyborg steed. He approached the scene before him, his long sword yet to be unsheathed. The girl had fallen. She now lay, looking up as the two canine terrors began to slowly close upon her. Five feet away, D whistled.
There was a flash of silver, then two werewolves became four pieces, and D was re-sheathing his sword. He approached the girl now. She was older than he had originally supposed. He had put her as being a teenager, but now he saw her to be at least in her yearly twenties. Not too far off. She was familiar to him, though he couldn't quite place her. She had long blonde hair that was braided down her back. She also had large blue eyes that were now blinking up at him. She was quite beautiful. But there was something strange to her beauty, as if some of it didn't belong fully to her. Ignoring this feeling of uneasiness, he began to look her over for signs that the werewolves had pierced her skin in any way. There were none.
"Are you all right?" D asked.
The young woman climbed to her feet and dusted off the faded maroon dress she wore. It was plain and extended to her ankles. There, on her feet, were simple brown boots. A farmer's chosen footwear.
"I'm fine, sir. Thank you, for saving my life," she said.
"Werewolves are rarely seen chasing someone on their own accord. They usually have orders issued to them by Nobility. What vampire have you angered?" D inquired further.
"None, sir. I merely came across them feeding on a dead animal's carcass and figured that maybe that the world would be better off without them," she answered, smiling.
It was an odd smile, one that matched the odd beauty.
"A Hunter, perhaps?"
"No," chimed the young woman in a voice that was surprisingly cheerful for nearly being eaten alive by a pair of ravenous werewolves. "I just wanted to do something good."
Once she had said that, her face fell. It was as if some word in the previous statement had caused some unpleasant memory to resurface. D scoffed so lightly that it would've gone unheard on human ears.
"A wannabe Hunter with no experience? Go back and train some more, young woman," the dhampire said, turning his back on her.
"Please, sir! You're the reason I'm here in this town, anyway!" she called.
D stopped walking but did not turn to face her.
"Please, surely you remember me from my grandmother's funeral? I invited you to my house for dinner? I need your help, D," the young woman pleaded.
Now, D turned.
"You do remember!"
"You say you need my help? You wish to hire me?"
Looking past D, the young woman shivered. The dhampire turned to see three burly men, the town's sheriff and two of his deputies, emerge from the pub. He turned back.
"No, not really," she answered quickly, still staring at the men uneasily. "Could we go to someplace that I would be safe and free to talk?"
D nodded. "Do you have a horse?"
"She's waiting for me, where we're going. Can I ride with you?"
D nodded once again.
The young woman now sat upon her grandmother's grave, her back rested against the tombstone. D's horse and the girl's, a snow white mare, stood off in the shadows together. D stood a little ways in front of the girl's extended feet.
"Now, what is it that you need me for?" D asked.
The young woman's eyes focused on him. She looked extremely sad.
"Can you tell?" she whispered. "Can you see that I'm different?"
D took his time before making a reply. He was once again drawn to that arcane beauty of hers. It was beginning to dawn on him what made it so bizarre.
"You're not human…" he said slowly.
She looked away from him, her eyes still sad. She sighed, and, without looking back at him, began her story.
"You must understand that this is difficult. It happened a year ago, in the village that my family had moved to after my grandmother had died. You see, the doctor in that village wasn't very good at his job. Unless, of course, the actual job description for a doctor is to spend each night in the pub getting completely shit-faced."
She paused here, looking up apologetically at D for her use of language. She drew her knees up to her chin and wrapped her arms about them.
"Sorry," she continued. "There is just no other way to put it. Anyhow, so I had taken to practicing earthen magics. Mostly healing, though I can do a few other neat tricks. I was already an outcast of sorts because of this. Then, one night, I was walking home alone. I knew I wasn't supposed to be out that late at night, but the woman I was healing had taken longer to heal than I had anticipated. I figured, hey, so long as I try not to draw attention to myself, I will make it home alright. So, stupid me, I take the back roads instead of the main street."
The young woman paused again, this time to note D's reaction thus far to her story. He seemed almost skeptical. Shaking her head, she continued further.
"Then, I see a figure in the distance. I stop, not knowing who it is. Then, it starts to come closer and closer. Then, I see its fangs. Before I knew it, there was this excruciating pain in my neck, and I was hitting the ground. I felt completely drained and I knew that I was dying. What little blood this vampire had left me with was not enough. I beg you to understand, I was only twenty-three at the time. Even now, only a year's difference, I would be thinking the same thing I thought then, which was 'I don't want to die.' Incredibly, as soon as I thought that, I could feel something well up inside of me. I knew that it was magical. My energy was returning…my energy and then some. Suddenly, as I sat up there in that dark street, I realized what had happened. My magic, acting on my simple will to live, had merged what was left of my blood with whatever amount of essence the vampire had left on me. I knew instantly what I was…"
"You're a dhampire…" D muttered, a slight tone of amazement in his voice.
The young woman sighed. "Yeah. That's it. Immediately, that night, I packed up ol' Princess over there and left. I knew that if I could find you, you could help me."
"With what, exactly?"
She stood to face D, which was not easy. She was at least a head shorter than him.
"I can feel the bloodlust, D. It's not strong, but it's there, tugging at the back of my being. I know that if I can't learn to control it, one of these days, I'll do something bad. I'll hurt…or even kill someone. I've always tried to be a good person, D. I don't want to become a monster. Then, I remembered how my grandmother would speak of you. How noble, how kind you were. I knew that I could ask you to help me, teach me, how to live like this."
Another scoff. D turned from the girl and called to his horse. As he mounted the steed, he said, over his shoulder, "Sorry. I'm not looking for a protégé." After digging into one of his saddlebags and throwing some gold coins to the ground at the girl's feet, he added, "That should get you a room at the local inn and a decent meal. That's all I can do."
Shocked, she didn't move. D clicked his tongue and the horse started off at a walk. As soon as the young woman was out of earshot, Left Hand started in.
"Are you nuts, D? Didn't you hear her? She's a witch! She could be a big help when it came to you, as a Hunter. But no, you leave her standing there…with nothing but a mare and a few coins," he scolded.
"Shut up," D said, rather calmly.
Left Hand was silent for exactly five seconds. Then, with a sigh, he said, "Very well. Your call, of course. But what would Leila think? You turning down her granddaughter in the girl's most dire situation. Oh, well…"
D stopped his cyborg horse and sighed. He hated it when Left Hand actually got something right. Turning in his saddle to look back at the girl, something D tried not to do often--he rarely looked back on anything--he noticed that she had still not picked up the coins. Instead, she was merely staring at them, her eyes filled with silent tears.
"What's your name?" D called to her.
Quickly wiping her tears and looking up at him, she called back, "Lilah. My name is Lilah."
"Lilah, gather those coins and try to catch up," he said.
A small smile was forming on the girl's lips, "But I thought you said…"
"Never mind that. I've changed my mind. Now come on, we have work to do."
End Notes: How was that? Any good? Please, R & R! Thanks!