Father Celestine was somber.
He stared at the confused, horrified girl in front of him. The dark haired priestess was more than distraught- she was livid with absolute disorder and confusion. Sister Christine couldn't fathom the idea that the woman she held, the shivering corpse, was alive and well- walking around as if nothing had happened around them. She pulled her hands away from the table she slammed and curtly pulled back, trying to calm her facial expressions to a more polite face.
But her eyes spoke of raging questions and mad theories.
"Sister Adelaide... how is this possible, Father?" she whispered, not trusting her voice, "I saw her myself, I held her! I-I...,"
Father Celestine gravely nodded, putting his hands together in a calming posture, considering the situation and assessing the questioning woman.
"I know it seems odd... but in the heat of the moment, you may have thought wrong. Sister Vanessa brought her to the office, unconscious- but she was breathing...Shallowly, of course, and shivering... Thankfully, she's fine but it was very close-,"
"I HELD HER DEAD CORPSE!"
Christine could no longer hold her tone, she gripped her uniform violently as her eyes widened at shock from the words spewing from the Father's mouth. Celestine looked at her outburst grudgingly, his stone cold eyes started at her until she calmed her breathing and he stood up slowly before walking around the table and putting his hands on her shoulders as a form of comfort.
"I understand... that is what you believe. But how can you deny the fact that she alive and well outside- she was close to death's door... but she is most certainly alive. I am sure it is just," he smiled at her softly, "The work of our Lord."
"I...I can understand that the Lord works in mysterious ways but," Christine soon realized she as fighting a losing battle, not to mention she began to sound like a raving maniac, "I... I was just so concerned with all the vampyres and... trouble."
"We're all on edge, Sister," Father Celestine cooed softly, patting her head like a mentor, "Rest yourself for evening mass, the others will look after your duties. Also, why don't you welcome our new hunter?"
She wondered aloud, slitting her eyes as Father Celestine turned his back and shooed her away with his hands so that he could work. She didn't push the subject and merely escorted herself out of his office- still filled with more questions.
Nothing added up when it came to Adelaide. Nothing added up with her blindness, her quiet nature, the things she was saying the night before. Everything was a mess in her mind and she lived her her entire life- she couldn't imagine what the hunter D was feeling.
Finally it struck her as her legs carried her to the chapel, stunned at a tall man standing in the doorway with a foreboding cross strapped to back.
"Well, now... Good afternoon sister," his accent echoed heavily as he waved from the doorway, approaching closer, "The name is Derik- I happened across your request for a hunter outside the doors. I'd like to offer my services."
He was a well built man, probably just touching six feet, with a rough tan stretching across his features with dreadlocks hanging from his head to linger over his shoulder. Green eyes shifted across her, like a man long starved of female company, before looking off at the church's pillars in order to not be caught for his idle glances.
"Ah," Sister Christine began, not realizing that their poster hadn't been taken down sine D arrived, "Well.. the position has been filled... but..."
She wondered, for a moment, how Father Celestine had known about the hunter arriving if he had only just seen the advertisement. She knew better- something wasn't right.
"I'm sure two hunters are better than one, at this point in time."
Derick's face lit up, he grinned with a few missing teeth but with the genuine politeness which Christine welcomed in such a darkened time.
"Your memory sure has been a mess these days."
The rough, hoarse statement filled the silent room from unseen lips as it was followed by slapping of a tongue and a small, sadistic giggle.
"A lot of girls have dark hair and dark eyes- but how many have that longing, hopeless look in their eyes when they're looking at just about anything?"
D grunted, tilting his head to the side to stare more at the wall than at the book he had preoccupied himself with. The book held the map of the area, he needed to familiarize himself with the surroundings while staying close to the church in the event anything occurred. He was more than uncomfortable with the setting he was forced into but this case had become something different entirely- something far more twisted than a regular vampyre or beast.
"It may have been centuries ago... but you can't be that stupid?"
D clenched his eyes closed.
"You're a hunter, you are not a mere man. Out of your memories, sloshing about in your head, there is that one day- where you chose to do nothing."
A faded memory surfaces into his mind, slightly blurred by candle lit street lights and a darkened carriage. The door creaked open and a thin, malnourished hand slid through it to offer it as a gentlemanly greeting to the hooded girl. The girl seemed to hesitate, taking a step back. D couldn't hear the words they were whispering- he was young, untrained, foolish and rash.
The girl, shaking, extended her hand to meet the frightening stranger. Before they touched, there was a second where her head whipped to his direction. Dark hair flew against the wind and pale skin peered through the hood- through the light of the candles in the street he couldn't see her face too well... but her eyes seemed like they belonged to a dead owl. Dark and empty, pleading and longing- absolutely desperate.
She might have whispered, her eyes were screaming for help through the silence of her lips. It was a second where he could have done anything- he choice to turn his back and continue his journey. The slamming of the door joined with his retreating footsteps as he heard the slapping of the horses and the carriage peel off.
A whisper, coarse and sounding amused flittered into the air.
"Don't blame me if you find her corpse floating down the stream. Coward."
D snapped out of his memory. The lingering thoughts from centuries ago still haunted his memories, as the day he should have done something, said something. He was a young, naive man then and drunk on the darkened illusion that he was nothing but a bastard child and the world was a tainted mess- humans deserved what they got. They all did- everything was dirty, what business did he have trying to.. fix it?
He quickly learned his lesson after years of traveling and finding himself a purpose- but at the back of his head, he remembers that moment, where he may or may not have led to a young girl's painful demise.
His thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the door, a few fretful raps followed by the door opening.
"A... Monsieur D," Christine poked her head through, "I have someone to introduce to you.."
The man quickly opened the door on his own, D didn't flinch at his entrance but merely surveyed him. He was muscular, definitely someone who had seasoned quite a few battles in his time- yet he was young, open and very full of life. Derick smiled at the hunter, realizing by a quick assessment that he was dealing with someone who was far more superior than himself when it came to the art.
"Is all that black of show or do you just enjoy feeling so much heat? Not that there is much hear in these parts with this weather," he laughed a bit as he waved Christine's silence away,
Christine winced at Derick's way of speaking to D, they had all been walking on eggshells around the hunter as they were all a bit wary and yet here this man came bursting in without permission much like an obnoxious ray of the sun.
"It's alright sister, the two of us will get acquainted like good men,"he stated, nodding to emphasize his statement, "Just make sure to bring the little lady that's being hunted to me alright! Hunted by vampires, not by us- that would be quite awkward!"
He laughed at his own joke, poor laid out and yet he watched searchingly to D for a partner in his humour.
There was no movement in the stoic hunter's behalf, much to the chagrin of the foreigner.
"The name is Derick," he began, putting his hands on the cross on his back, "And this here is Juliet, my sister."
D wasn't sure if he was joking or being literal. By the way this man looked, he was willing to bet that there might have even been a younger sibling stuffed into the cramped casing.
"You must be D, the big bad man in this town that everyone seems to be chatting about... and by everyone I mean the small nun that walked me here."
"I am D," D finally replied, nodding to the man's statement, "How did you manage to find out about this job?"
Derick seemed confused for a moment.
"I was wandering a bit, you see, kind of lost along the path of life," he whispered, "But I woke up in the park- I guess in my daze I ended up in this fine city. Yet... everyone here seems to be in a daze. I figured they were scared- so I listened in a bit to a few conversations," Derick began tapping a few books as he spoke, "A vampire has been terrorizing these people's women and this little nun isn't the only victim. Young girls are being taken every night!"
He lifted up another book and began to flip through.
"I've heard some of them talk about hauntings and ghosts in the area... Saying that spirits are lurking in the shadows," Derick scoffed, "I didn't think in this day and age that people would still be talking about that kind of nonsense. I'd be more worried about these fanged sons of bitches on my ass than a little boo hoo ghost!"
D allowed the man to ramble as he couldn't find himself to fit anything into the conversation.
He hasn't even sensed or heard anything about outside attacks than the ones he had seen and witnessed and heard of from the nuns themselves. In fact, he hadn't seen anyone in the village since they all seem to be indoors and hiding from the things outside.
How did people survive this way?
"Sometime spirits who are strong enough, that wish to convey a message, can create such illusions- They haunt the place they hold the most energy to so that the one person they want to know... will hear them," Derick laughed a bit, "At least thats what I heard."
D looked at the man, who happened to spend his time awkwardly flipping through the books and making faces at the amount of words involved, and thought on his statement for a moment.
A image of the lost girl looking his way flickered through his mind. He thought for a moment on the time when he met Adelaide.
"Pain and Kindness...," he muttered, "There must be a balance."