Her body was light, it would snap easily in the beast's arms. The girl struggled as the ape-like monstrosity pulled her back up the cliff she tried to descend, using the rope she had harnessed to herself to help. She would make a good meal, just like the others. It began to salivate at the thought, venomous drops of its drool hissing as they splashed on the moonlight soil. It almost had her, just a little bit more…

The beast shrieked in pain, letting the rope drop as it felt the blade of an axe embed itself within its back. As she fell the girl screamed too, certain she would fall to the rocks below. She was lucky, the rope held fast. The beast would have to remember to come back for her after dealing with the other.

The brown furred ape-man turned face, staring down at another human, a male, as it tried to back away. Before he could escape, the monster grabbed it by the waste, lifting the human's face to meet with his. The man would make a good appetizer. With a roar it opened its enormous maw, taking half the man's skull into it, razor teeth slicing through the flesh. Trickles of sweet blood ran onto the monster's tongue, and it savored the taste of the squealing human before finishing it off. With a wet crunch the monster smashed the human's head within its maw, turning back to hoist the woman back up.

Something was wrong. The beast looked around, its eyes reflecting the moonlight as its head turned. It sniffed the air as it searched for the girl, trying to find where she could have disappeared. A scent resembling the woman's quickly reached its nostrils, and it began to follow. Soon it would have its meal, soon the woman would…

The beast let out yet another cry of pain as another weapon lodged itself in its flesh. It grabbed at its arm, trying to wrench out the quarter-moon shaped sickle it saw there. No sooner had it removed the blade than another one appeared in its leg. Something was hiding, attacking it. It had to be killed.

The beast tried to follow the chains that the sickles were linked to back to their source, but nothing was there. It sniffed the air once again, trying to catch a scent that didn't belong. It was there…somewhere…hiding. It continued to try and detect the scent of the attacker. Yes…there it was…the trail of the scent headed north. The beast turned in that direction and stopped with a gurgled grunt. The three blades that struck the beast retracted back into the darkness, and its vision began to split two ways before it went dark with the coldness of death.

The guardsmen of the small town raised their rifles as the strange man appeared before them. In the blackness of this night, the stranger's dark attire was a sign that he wanted to go undetected as he moved, but then why would he be heading directly into a clearly light portion of the fortified home of the village chief?

"Halt stranger! What is your business at this place?" one of the guards asked.

The stranger stopped, just out of clear view of the riflemen, remaining a black silhouette against the dim lights of the tiny village. When the stranger began to move, many of the men prepared to fire their guns. After they saw what he carried, however, they halted. With a heavy thud, the head of the ape demon that plagued their town landed in the middle of the courtyard…well, half of it anyway.

"The demon that has plagued your town is now dead. I will collect payment for my deed," he said.

One of the riflemen, the one that spoke to him from the start, moved out into the courtyard to examine the head that was presented to them. It was indeed the demon that had been attacking the town. He turned and gave an order to one of the other men to call the chief. Within moments, the chief was present and began to examine the dead thing himself.

"Well it seems that we are indeed in your debt," the old chief began, "however, our village is poor because of this creature. I am sorry, but there is nothing that we can give you in return for your service."

"I see," the stranger said as he began to step forth into the light. "I suppose that you will just have to pay with your lives then."

"What? Now wait just a minu-"

The chief's words were cut as one of the chained blades sliced through his throat. With a gurgle, he fell to the ground in a pool of thick crimson. The riflemen looked on in sheer disbelief at what had transpired before their eyes. The stranger began to walk forward, the chain of his weapon clinking as it retracted back towards him. As the stranger stepped into the light, they opened fire.

The blasting sounds of their rifles filled the night sky as the fired volley after volley, and the strange man continued into the courtyard, a heavy, dark robe hiding his face and body. Shot after shot was fired, but no matter what they did, no one could seem to hit the stranger, the bullets passing right through his body with no effect at all. When he reached they dead body of the chief, he finally stopped, and the commander, after seeing the futility of his men's weapons, called for them to hold fire.

"What is it that you want from us?" he asked.

The strangers eyes, each a fiery reddish orange, narrowed. "Your life," he replied as one of the sickles shot forth from the stranger's robes into the commander's chest.

"Who…who are you?"

"My name is Marus, and I am the hand of Death."

With a wave of his arms, Marus threw back his cloak. Instantly, all six of the chained sickles strapped to him shot forth, tearing the commander before him into ribbons of bloody flesh. Sprays of thick crimson and scarlet shot forth from the body of the commander, splattering across the midnight blue tunic and gray trousers he wore above the black bodysuit that adhered to his slender form.

Guns fired at him from every direction, but the human's weapons were no match for Marus' speed and the speed of the chains that snaked and arched to deflect the bullets that came close to striking him. With the force of his will, Marus sent the blades at the other guards along the poorly fortified walls of the town. 'A massacre tonight,' he said inwardly. Beneath his hood, a sadistic grin crossed Marus' face as he began to leave the village, sickles cleaving through any and every living thing.

The sun began to rise the next morning, and D was, as always, on the move. He rode through the forest atop his cyborg horse, searching, once again, for a way to make use of his talents. He had heard rumors that one of the Nobility was living in a hidden castle inside the forest, and sought to find if these rumors were true. A stroke of bad luck had, unfortunately, crossed him when he found the people of the forest village slaughtered. The parasite in his left hand was none too helpful with the presence of so much blood either, constantly taunting D to go ahead and take a taste, even though it was clear that the people there were at least two days dead.

Blood wasn't his concern at the time though, information was. D squinted in the direction of the sun, brushing a strand of his flowing brown hair out from his eyes and lowering his brimmed hat a bit to help shield its rays.

"Ah, looks like its gonna be another warm day, isn't that right D?" the parasite said, the question more a statement than an actual question. D remained silent and began moving along the trail before him. After a couple more hours of riding, a town finally appeared before them. Perhaps now he could find out of the stories of a vampires presence were true.