Disclaimer: Hellsing belongs to Kouta Hirano.
Author's Notes: Edited by Puck ¾, written for 30 romances of the theme "forget me not, memory." It was inspired for the current weekly art of Solid&Etc: www5e(dot)biglobe(dot)ne(dot)p/solid/e05/05-10-11(dot)html (it's amazing).
Once upon a time, before her father died, she used to read a lot of fantasy books. These books told her wars were fantastic ways to prove your courage, the love you held for your lands and allies, the noble sacrifices of the protagonist for the sake of their deity and country.
Integral Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing smiles, contemplating how different the wars are in fantasy than in reality. Those books were not descriptive about the screams of horror of the civilians caught in the crossfire, nor did they detail the slaughter of the towns or the massive hysteria.
She never read about how addictive the death was, either. How the destruction of the enemy brought the hero as much it brings into her spirit – her mind fills with triumph by the thoughts of their demise. How enticing their suffering is, their fear… She pauses her thoughts, eyes flickering to focus in the forest that extends in her sight. Vast, thick, covering the entire city with their shadow.
Major's corpse hangs on the longest pole, Integral thinks he is happy to see her work from that height, even if he has no life left in his fat body, his smile is plastered across his mouth.
Her fingers grasp the wooden cross stake firmly, she lowers her eyelashes to smell the blood filled lake that used to be the Serpentine, then opens to glances at the three tombstones she dug recently, by herself. Three cross stakes indicate the location.
Except for Seras', the other two are empty. The fire consumed Walter and she cannot recover Penwood's body.
Books made the loss noble, trivialized the emotions of the ones left behind. She is not inspired by their demises, only saddened that they died. What does she gain of her people's death but sorrow?
Integral touches her lips, tasting the last remains of Alucard's blood, holding the flavour to be unforgettable. Timeless. She wonders if she should use her last stake and pretend to bury what is left of her Count. But she dismisses the idea immediately, all he is, lingers around her, shifting the landscape to a single colour. Dracula is not really dead, unlike the rest.
The enemies he killed. The allies they killed. The foes she destroyed after her transformation. All gone, even part of herself died when Alucard's body disintegrated in her embrace.
Snow starts to fall from the crimson sky, rosy flakes brush her hair. Snow in April when nature is supposed to bloom. Integral understands her assumptions were mistaken and that spring turning to winter overnight fits with the landscape of the end of battle.
Forget me not, Countess…
Integral remembers his last words, they are a whisper in the cold wind and lets his presence enfold her. She puts a hand on her hip, gazing down at her reflection on the lake. Her skin is paler, her irises red and her mouth has sharp fangs.
She smiles again and lets out a twisted, frightening laugh to shatter the silence.
Wars were supposed to bring out the best of warriors, the decisive moment to prove their worth. Books did not tell her about the joy, killing, and sorrow. Books did not tell her about them really bringing out the worst.
That heroes could become monsters to rule a kingdom of nothingness.
"I won't forget, Count," she murmurs, straightening her posture and admiring her work, her display of despair and self-delight. "How can I forget myself?"
Integral holds the cross stake tightly as her reflection shifts into Alucard's.