The Lost Priest
Last Time by Moonlight
(A/N FYI I wrote this before the actual story came to a close. I figured I'd write this before I forget it. I do have a sequel in the works just to let everyone know. It will have a lot more characters in it than this ever did. I hope you wall check the sequel as well. It sure to be good. Thank you.)
Years turned into decades, decades into centuries, and centuries turned into millennia. People came and people went like the seasons. History became legend and legend became myth. The battle that decided many things was nothing but a myth; just a bygone era of mystery bringing forth the rise and fall of many powers. A lot of what happened was lost or twisted into something else, blurring the line between fact and fiction.
The story tells of time travel, bravery, mistakes, blood shed, death, love, mysterious beings, and the beginning of the end for a powerful empire, which brought forth another dark era. There was once a time where humans and vampires lived in relative peace but the war of myth changed the tides and now the vampires rule.
The child empress that kept the peace between the race of the sun and the race of the moon was no more. Story tells that she was assonated while she slept, leaving her "children" on their own. Now they did what they wanted, bringing in the new dark-age. This of course brought forth the hunters to protect the humans and only more blood was shed and more lives were lost.
Although, the war is considered nothing more but a myth a very small select few knew the real truth behind the myth. The war was real just as real as they were. They were there amongst the blood, the gunfire, the smoke, and the decay. They knew the real truth behind the myth.
Those select few are now scattered, never speaking of what they know to anyone. They never see each other. They've lost contact with one another over 9 millennia ago. Most have moved on but one has remained trapped unable to move on; consumed by grief and loneliness unable to live on but unable to die. He's nothing more but an empty shell, drained of emotion and life.
Two full moons shown high in the cold winter sky. A good foot of snow blanketed the ground, the barren trees, and the countless graves. The image was both serene and haunting. A tall, slender figure walked slowly towards a large marble grave. The wear on the marble showed that it was an ancient grave but one that stood strong against the test of time.
But the same could not be said about the grave's lone visitor. Though outwardly he looked like a hansom young man in his early 20's he was much older than the ancient grave he now stood before. His soul was old and tired and showed greatly on his gentle face but not nearly as much as his winter lake eyes. His eyes gave him away in an instant. Once they sparkled like a sun drenched lake but now they were as dull as dolls eyes. They had lost their warm sparkle a very long time ago and now they looked dead and cold.
His dark lips parted as he let out a mournful sigh. The mist from his breath danced briefly in his face before fading away into the fridge night. He put out a thin black gloved hand on a plaque on the front of the large mausoleum, brushing off the fresh snow. The name of the person and the words that followed was just as clear as the day it was mounted on the gravesite. The mausoleum had been sealed up centuries ago to preserve it and its precious contents.
His other hand held a large bouquet of red and white roses, fastened together with a black lacy ribbon. He clenched the stems of the flowers tightly for a second before setting them down tenderly before the sealed doorway. Although, the grave only had one name on it, these walls sheltered two long forgotten souls. Both were women of power, both were strong-willed, both fought for what they believed in, both had changed the world, both had loved him, both had saved him in one form or another, and both were snatched away far too early. One by murder and the other by illness. Both had been young and full of life and he loved them both like no other. He had to bury them both and together they would stay forever.
His tears had dried up long ago. Tears no longer brought relief from the pain in his heart they only worsened it. Tears couldn't bring them back so, what was the point of crying? This wasn't the only grave he would visit. There were many loved ones scattered about the vast lands, miles and miles apart. Too many he had concluded. He had learned to surround himself with friends but they slowly vanished, leaving him alone.
He wanted no more of the pain. He hid himself away never getting close to anyone. His soul was already cracked and another loss would shatter him completely. He felt like there was nothing left to live for but he couldn't die. Whether it was because he was too cowardly to end it or that despite the darkness in his heart a small ray of hope kept pushing him to live on. He didn't know which was to blame but if this was living then he already had one foot in the grave.
He never opened his mouth to speak to them. His faith had long since left him to believe that they could hear him in the utopia high up in the sky. There was no point in talking to the dead for they can not hear. He had tried to keep his faith but the grief and bitterness within him drove it away. All he did for them was honor their memory and left it there.
As he stared at the icy grave he heard a voice coming from the shadows cast down by the moonlight. It was small and faint as though the wind was speaking to him but there was no wind. The air was still and empty; void of any warmth and emotion. But he couldn't deny that he heard a voice floating through the night air. It sounded as though the voice was singing a hymn for the many departed that surrounded him.
Perhaps, it was a long lost phantom singing to the wayward moons up above. He shook his head at that thought. He no longer believed in that. It was just a silly thought he deduced. Perhaps, it was just a fellow moonlighter visiting another grave somewhere near by. He let out a long hard breath from his nose and slowly turned his head to look up at the moons and the stars.
"Towa ni—for eternity."
The man's eyes widened as he looked up at the heavens. The voice was now behind him; no longer drifting quietly in the air. Although, it was close the tone sounded distant and empty. He felt scared to turn around to meet this person behind him. He felt that if he turned around he would discover the voice to be nothing more but his imagination. He didn't want to be alone. He didn't want to look.
"You have fallen from grace, lost your faith, and your will to live but here you are still standing and still alive. I wonder why that is. What is it that keeps you here? Is it stubbornness, fear, or maybe a sliver of hope that things will get better. You've fought, won, and lost many battles and you keep on fighting even now. You have one foot in the grave but you don' want to making the final leap. You think there's nothing left in this dark cold world but you want to believe that there is. And there is. There is a lot still left in this world.
"You don't want to get close to anyone because you fear losing them and ending up alone again but you contradict yourself by staying alone. You only feed your fear of being alone by isolating yourself from the world. Neither you nor the world is dead. It's just that neither of you want to see each other. You both hind from each other because you're both scared. Is this what you want to do for eternity? To hide from the world and remain alone?
"Enjoy each day that you have like it's your last one. Look up and move forward to what's head of you. There is still so much to do and to see to give up on everything. You have all the time could have ever need. You could bottle time if you wanted to because you have some much of it. Have fun, be adventitious, and do new things. Try new foods and make new friends. Do something with your life, Abel!"
A sharp painful silence then filled the air. The atmosphere only grew darker and colder as the moments of silence past by. He didn't know if he should answer her or just walk away. He wasn't ready just yet; then again would he ever be ready to face the world again? With a hard breath he turned his head back down to face the snow, sparkling in the moonlight.
"What is there for me to do? I'm just plain tired to do anything. My time has come and gone. I'm just a distant echo from the past. No one knows who I am and what I've done. I'm just a bloody fairytale. Just an old broken relic from a distant bygone era. There's no place for me anymore," his voice was low and raspy as though he hadn't spoken in a long time. "You don't understand. You have your own kind to be with. I don't. I have no family left. There are no other beings like me. I'm singular. Alone. I'm always going to be alone even if I surround myself with others."
There was a long staggered sigh from the woman behind him. Was really this distant now? Was he so scared that he wouldn't turn to face her? He was lost in darkness and to be found once more. She had found him and she was going bring back into the light.
"No you won't. I will always be here for you. You can rely on me. You should never give up on anything. You would always be so willing to protect people and make friends. Where is the Abel that always laughed at a good joke and played games with the children? I am your friend and I will always be your friend. I don't want to see you like this anymore! Please come back to the way you were."
There was a brief sound of running feet crunching the snow before a set of arms wrapped around him from behind. He felt weak in the knees. He wasn't imagining anything. He soon fell to the powdered snow with the person still holding on to him. He slowly turned his head to see a pair of saddened red eyes staring back at him. He knew the shape of those eyes in an instant.
"S-Seras," he muttered, feeling the first tears in years to fall down his face.
"Oh, Abel. You are the only person I know to literally cry blood," She said with a faint smile, wiping his eyes. "For a while I thought even your tears had deserted you."
"They did. For many years," he chocked out, pulling her in closer to him. "I thought I was dreaming when I heard your voice."
"Well, you're not. I'm sorry I didn't find you sooner. I'm just glad to see you kept on living until we could meet again," She said as he buried his weeping face into her shoulder. "The last time I held you crying in my arms you were only 3 years old. Most of the time you were crying to Lilith. But that time Lilith wasn't there. Do you remember?"
"N-no," he cried into her shoulder.
"I didn't think you would. I forget why you were crying. Maybe from one of their tests. Who knows? You were sitting on the floor all by yourself in the hall. I watched people walk right passed you like you didn't exist. You were trying not to cry but tears still leaked from you pristine blue eyes," she said quietly, rubbing his back and rocked with him a little bit. "When I went over to you, you had tried to run from me but I caught your arm before you could go anywhere. I picked you up and all the while you were kicking and screaming to be left alone. After a few minutes of just letting me carry you around you had stopped fighting and you had stopped screaming. You just continued to cry into my shoulder. You cried for a good hour until you got tired and fell asleep in my arms. I let you sleep in the security room while I went about my business. You slept for a good 5 hours."
"Did I really?" he asked, looking up at her and she nodded.
"Yes, you did. Abel, I have something for you." Seras said as she let go of him and took a bag out from under her cloak. "I had asked Isaak to modify it long ago."
Abel took the bag and opened it. It was the time device. She still kept it after all these years. He studied it carefully noticing that new things were added to it and that it was slightly heavier than before.
"Why are you giving me this?" Abel asked, looking back at the smiling vampire.
"To bring you back to the light. To have fun, to be adventurous again, and to make new friends. Isaak put in a new power supply it won't run out anytime soon. It doesn't just go back or forward in time now. It can take you to other dimensions."
"What? Seras, this is…" he began but Seras put a finger on his black lips to hush him.
"No. It's time you moved on and visiting the dead is not living. Caterina and Lilith both gave you a second chance at life. They wanted you to live on. Perhaps, there is another reason why you're still here. I think you can still do some good in the world and in countless others with this device. This might be the thing to get you your faith back," she said, leaning forward and kissed him on the cheek. "I'm getting your foot out of the grave and shoving you out the door. Who knows, Abel, you might find someone in an alternate universe where you won't be alone anymore. Of course you can always return here when you like. I will always be waiting for you. Maybe we'll find Kate and Tres somewhere someday. Those androids are around here somewhere."
"I don't know what to say," Abel said, blood tears returning to his eyes and tried to wipe them away. "I can't stop crying."
"A simple thank you will do just fine," Seras said, standing up and looked down at him with warmth. "It will be dawn soon. I must go now, Abel. I wish you the best of luck on where you decide to go from here."
"Thank you, Seras," He said with a faint smile as she walked off into the shadows. "Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
He looked back down at the device in long thin fingers. He noticed a note tapped to the back. He pulled off the paper and read it. It was a basic set of instructions handwritten by Isaak himself. He had a choice now. He could stay here in this miserable world or explore countless others. But it was nice to know he had someone to turn to here. He wasn't alone after all.
Seras continued out of the graveyard gates, stopping to take one last look at the graves before continuing forward. She stopped suddenly after hearing a grunt from a horse. She didn't turned to face the mount or its rider. She merely looked out of the corner of her eye at him. He was clothed in black armor, a long cape, a black wide-rimmed hat, and a sword strapped on his back. He was a hunter. She wondered how long he had been trailing her. He had to be a well seasoned hunter to surprise her like that.
Neither she nor the hunter spoke. They just stared at each other for a time in the silent night air. She was expecting the hunter to make the first move and from the looks of things he was expecting her to make the first move. But seeing that neither one was going to make a move perhaps words would be better suited for this meeting.
"How long have you been following me?" she asked, finally turning to face him.
"Not very long," he replied in a deep voice.
"As far as I know I've no bounty on my head," she stated bitterly.
"True you have no bounty on you," he said back calmly.
"Then why were you following me?" she mused with a snort.
"Were you visiting someone?" he asked in the same calm voice.
"Just a very old friend," she answered. "Now I bid you a good night, hunter."
"Don't move," he ordered as she stopped. "Who are you?"
"Just a pretty girl," she answered him with a mock smile.
"You look familiar."
"I get that a lot."
"Do you love that man?"
Seras was shocked. He had followed her into the graveyard. How much did he see of that? It was a personal moment! He had no right to watch that! Anger started to build in her throat but she wasn't going to tell him that. He moved his horse a little closer to her. Now what was this idiot man up to?
"I wasn't following you," he stated and her anger dropped. "I, too, came to visit someone. I was just surprised to see the grave already had two other visitors. So I kept my distance."
"Other vis—you came to see Lady Caterina's grave?!" she fought back a gasp. "Why would you visit the Duchess of Milan?"
"It's a long story. Dawn will be here within the hour," he stated.
"Yes. I know." She replied and started to walk away. "Thank you, Captain Obvious."
"I'd like to explain things on the way to where you need to go if you'd let me," he said, putting out his hand to her as she turned to face him.
She walked back to him and grabbed his hand. She finally got a good look at his face. Even he looked familiar to her. She climbed on in front of him. He brought the horse into a trot and started down the snow covered path.
"I'm Seras Victoria."
(A/N Well, it ended up being more of a chapter than an epilogue, didn't it? I thank all you for reading my story. I know it took a while to read and to finish it but I'm glad I wrote it. Thank you all again. Oh, and remember to look for the sequel because it's already out and waiting for you to read. That's right! You can already read the sequal.)
Millie M. Banshee