Author's notes: This is the final chapter in the special 3-part back story of Fate. The next chapter will be back to the present time, where she is telling Nanoha her story
When I parted from the small group of friends I had made, I began to wander aimlessly again. My name had become popular in the underworld, but since I changed it so often, I got a nickname that I was proud of at the time. Golden haired vampire with blood red eyes. Sometimes just 'Blond Warrior' or sometimes just 'Blood Eyes', but it all meant the same. I was slowly starting to be someone that people feared. This, of course, put bounties on my head. I was smarter, but still reckless. I didn't try to keep myself undercover, and it lead to a battle that changed my life.
Vampire!Fate Creation III
Fate smiled to herself as she walked up the stairs to an alter lined in gold and silver. An old priest was slowly backing away from her, eyes wide and scared. The church was vacant from all other life, being a stormy Tuesday night. Lightning flashed brightly, lighting the church for a brief moment before it fell into candlelight again. "Ha...have you... come to repent?" The priest asked hopefully, making Fate throw back her head in a laugh.
"I'm just thirsty," She cooed, stepping closer and grinning sadistically when the man stumbled back more. "If you're lucky, I may even let you live." Sharp red eyes caught the man's hand reaching into his robe and Fate curiously waited to see if a stake would be produced, or maybe a cross. Instead, she felt water splash on her face.
"The power of Christ compels you demon! Be cleansed!" Another splash of holy water fell onto Fate, who simply grabbed the man's wrist.
"Why thank you, I did say I was thirsty." She pulled the flask from him and turned it up, drinking the contents before letting out a sigh of contentment. "But that wasn't what I had in mind…"
"Im... possible..." The priest went silent as his neck was bit, eyes looking up at the stained glass image of his god as he slowly died.
The church doors burst open, revealing a man in his late teens standing there, panting heavily as the rain dripped from his body. "Elder!" Running forward, he caught the priest as he was discarded by Fate. "Elder! Elder, speak to me!" Silence answered him while Fate just watched, curious. "I was too late... I should have ran faster when I heard that you were nearby... Blood Eyes..."
"Oh?" Fate brought up a hand and licked her finger clean of the small amount of blood that stained her skin when she threw the priest. "I don't know you, though." Shrugging, she simply cast him aside and started walking down the church isle.
"Demon!" The familiar sound of metal being drawn from a sheath came to Fate's ears. "I will make you pay, in the name of god!" Gripping his traveler's cloak, the man threw off the rags and revealed his clothing. White cloth laced with metal, a golden cross on his chest, and a sword forged with rock from the sky.
"Paladin..." Fate turned, drawing her own sword. Her blade was black and red, curving to two points at the end and held a sharp point near the handle that served as a niche when locking blades. "I hope you've prayed today, for I'll send you to meet your god soon enough."
"My name is Kei," He introduced himself, short brown hair falling across his forehead from the weight of the water on it. Determined blue eyes glared at her hard around the blade held firm in his hand.
Fate smirked. "I have no name that holds meaning."
"Then perish and be forgotten!" Kei shot forward, slashing his sword with a speed that made Fate react faster than she had in a long time. A follow up kick came out and the blonde found herself leaping back into the air, feet landing on a pillar and springing off of it to flip over the man. Her sword was brought around to her back to block another attack and a dagger followed, only swiping air as Kei dodged out of the way.
Snarling, Fate moved forward to take the offensive. Her sword met metal and her hand moved to slash the teen's flesh, but only met a dagger that belonged to Kei. Ignoring the pain in her injured arm, she put more force on her blade and sent the man flying backwards, crashing through several benches.
Before the wood could settle, several broken pieced sliced through the air towards the vampire, making her knock them away with her sword. When the last piece was splintered, her eyes widened in shock as she looked upwards out of instinct. Kei was above her, sword posed to kill. Time stopped for a brief moment as their eyes locked, and the male landed, black blood running down his blade as Fate fell back, a blood chilling scream coming from her mouth.
Kei stood slowly, looking down at Fate as she nursed the long gash from her left shoulder to her right thigh. "That should keep you from hurting people nearby, demon. Use this lesson and learn to repent for your sins."
Fate knew that tears of pain were springing to her eyes and she had to keep her voice in check when she spoke to him, lest she show how much she was truly injured. "Why did you slow your sword, Paladin?"
Kei sheathed his blade after slinging the black blood from it one a sharp fluid motion. "It is forbidden to kill on holy ground, Vampire." With that, he turned and started walking away. "But, there are those who do not follow our code, and they will be here shortly. I'd advise you to wait for them and seek their judgment."
"Burn in hell, mortal." Fate stood and smirked, holding onto her wound with one hand. "I will come for you in the night." With those words, Fate jumped into the air and used one of her throwing knives to shatter a stained glass window so she could escape.
Kei looked at the broken image of a Sheppard tending his flock and sighed sadly. "May god forgive you, poor creature."
That was the first time I met Kei, a paladin who beat me in combat easily, sparing my life because I was in a church. This brought both fear and anger into my heart. I could kill many paladins at the time, but there were still some who were better than me. I took the time of my recovery to spy on him, going back to Access's motto of using your head before your body. He seemed to simply travel and if he had a family, I couldn't find them. I'm not sure how long passed before I attacked again, but I did know that he was aware of my tailing.
Kei looked up at the sky and smiled lightly before standing from the grave he had been kneeling at. "Are you a zombie as well?" He spoke up, voice firm.
"I was wondering when you would notice me." Fate looked over at the man's back from her spot leaning against a tree. "I've waited for this, Kei."
"Blood Eyes..." A soft sigh came as he drew his sword, turning around slowly. "Has the past time not taught you anything? The will of god will prevail over the darkness of Satan."
"Good thing I don't serve Satan then, isn't it?" She growled at him, walking forward and unsheathing her weapon. "I am my own, and do as I please."
"God will accept you, vampire. Come to the light."
"Die!" Fate threw two daggers at the man and ran forward as well, watching him deflect both projectiles before clashing his sword with hers. The blonde moved a hand past her wrist and pulled a smaller throwing knife, stabbing it into Kei's arm right away.
Stumbling, Kei took a roundhouse kick to his side but managed to grab Fate's leg, jerking it to overbalance her enough to slice into her back. The vampire bit down a scream and turned pushing out her hand and blasting Kei back several feet before he crashed through a grave and twitched, lightning arching off his body. Fate panted out, drained from the mana usage, but still found the energy to taunt him. "How does it feel, Paladin? The power of the skies?"
"It hurts." Kei grunted as he stood, making Fate take a step back in shock. "But I was trained to withstand spells. God will protect me always." His sword was drawn again and he ran forward, clashing against Fate many times before finally getting an opening to thrust it into her stomach.
Fate inhaled a long, raspy, gasp of air before shoving both her hands forward, impaling Kei's shoulders with throwing knives. The paladin lost his grip on his sword and stumbled back, allowing Fate enough time to pull the sword from her body and collapse onto the ground. Kei fell next to her and started to pull the knives from his shoulders painfully. The blonde, being worse off, felt her energy slipping from her body and she fell forward onto the grass.
Kei swallowed and stood up, lifting his sword and sheathing it. "You pick your battles well, vampire. A cemetery is blessed by god's light to show the souls where to come. I shall spare your life on this holy ground."
Fate pushed herself up and looked at the back of the paladin walking away from her, anger coursing through her body. She could attack again, she knew, but it would prove nothing. Instead, she stood and limped away to find shelter and time to heal.
I was angry beyond belief. Having been bested twice and being spared because of the Paladin code that I despised so much. I became obsessed with Kei, determined to know how he could fight so well. To be able to beat me, who was starting to push almost five times his age, was simple impossible in my mind.
"How long are you going to follow me, Blood eyes?" Kei's words were simple, no trace of fear in them as he spoke. It was a calm spring day with scattered white clouds in the sky, not a day he wished to ruin with bloodshed.
Fate dropped from the tree she had been perching in and stood her full height, staring at the man with narrowed eyes. "If you knew I was there, why didn't you attack?"
Kei leaned back against the trunk and smiled up at the sky. "It is such a pretty day... Tell me, though, why are you able to walk in the sunlight while others aren't?"
"I am stronger than them." Fate stood in front of the paladin and drew her sword. "Fight me."
The tip of the blonde's sword trembled. "Fight me!"
"I refuse." Kei averted his eyes and looked at a field of flowers not far from them.
"Draw your weapon, Paladin!" Fate was screaming now, blade shaking ever so slightly in fury and confusion.
"... What is your name?" Fate's eyes widened and she thrust her sword forward, impaling the three halfway up her blade. Kei didn't seem to mind, despite the cutting edge almost grazing his neck. "The question still stands."
Fate felt her chest tighten, looking into the honestly curious eyes questioning her. "... I don't even remember anymore."
"Then I shall give you a name. How about Ruth? I think it fits you."
"Don't name me from your book of lies!" Fate withdrew her sword and glared again for several long moments before finally sheathing her weapon and walking away.
I don't know why I didn't kill him then. Maybe because I wanted to fight, or maybe it was that deep down I didn't want to kill someone who honestly didn't want to battle, despite me being his target. At any rate, it only served to confuse me to the point where I trailed him openly, looking for some answer as to why he interested me so much.
"Now see here," Kei's voice was a little annoyed and a deep sigh came when Fate simply stopped walking when he did. "You can't just follow me like this, Ruth."
"Then fight me," Fate countered simply, smirking at the fact that she knew she was starting to get to him.
"I have a sermon to attend." Kei began to walk again, stopping once more when Fate followed. "Say?"
"Yes?" Fate grabbed the handle of her sword, voice eager.
"Come with me?"
Kei turned. "To the sermon."
"I will fight you after-wards?"
Fate hesitated, eying the man curiously. "A real battle? You know I won't hesitate to kill you."
"Yes, a real battle. If you want to so bad, then I will honor your request."
The blonde seemed satisfied at that. "Then I will meet you for the night sermon."
"Why not now?"
"I need blood." Fate walked past him but stopped when her arm was grabbed. "You want to go at it now?"
"I can't allow you to drink from these villagers."
"You don't know them; this is just a random town you're passing through. No one will notice until I am gone."
"Even still," He held her arm tighter when she tried to move. "Drink from an animal. There are sheep not far."
Fate made a disgusted face. "It tastes horrible. I'd sooner go a few more days than drink from an animal. If I am to fight, then I need my charge."
Kei met Fate's serious eyes and they stared at each other for several moments before the Paladin grunted. "So be it, drink from me."
"You would weaken yourself before our battle?" Fate grinned, letting a fang show over her bottom lip. "What would keep me from sucking you dry?"
"If you wanted me dead, you would have killed me the other night when you snuck into my hotel room to escape the rain."
Fate recoiled, having no idea that he could tell she got in and left before he awoke. "Shut up!" With that, she grabbed him, twisted his arm behind his back, and bit his neck hard, sucking fiercely. To her surprise, the man only flinched at the move and stood still while she drank. The flow was strong and clean, reminding her that there were still people who were a rare gem of flavor. Despite this, she still stopped sooner than she wanted, and pricked her finger on her left fang to heal the puncture wounds. "I thank you for the drink."
Kei stumbled lightly and was a little unsteady on his feet for several long moments. The vampire watched him with an amused look until he recovered enough to stand properly. "You didn't take much?"
Fate narrowed her eyes. "I don't want you to be weak for our fight." Turning up her head, she sniffed indignantly. "Don't confuse me with the weak, mindless blood suckers who cause so much trouble."
A small nod came and Kei stood at his full height again, walking from the back roads to the main streets. Minutes passed by in silence as they traveled, stopping only when they made it to a very large church that took up most of a city block. "A marvelous relic from the roman empire, wouldn't you agree?" Kei took a moment to soak in the beauty of the building before heading forward.
A greeter at the large double doors smiled as they approached and offered his hand to shake. "Welcome, travelers, please take refuge within our walls. Ah, a paladin! God bless you, warrior."
"Thank you, brother." Kei shook his hand firmly with a smile. "This lady is with me today upon my request; please extend your greetings to her as well, as I'm sure she doesn't come often."
Not sure if Kei was saying that to put her out of place, or if he honestly wanted to feel welcomed, she reacted on instinct without missing a beat. "Good morning," Fate lifted what little side of her skirt she could and went into a perfect curtsy. "Thank you kindly for the welcome."
The greeter smiled brightly. "Not at all, young lady. Please, enjoy yourselves."
Kei walked into the building along with Fate and glanced to his side. "Ohhhh, I never thought you to know manors, no offense."
"Offense taken," Fate let a small snarl. "Of course I know how to act in public." Her eyes looked around and she shifted lightly, clearly being uncomfortable being surrounded by who she knew to be Paladins from their swords still on their sides.
After making it to the middle of the church auditorium, the two sat on one of the many padded benches. Kei felt a small smile come to his face as Fate properly crossed her legs and placed her hands on her knee. "Tell me, Ruth, why does a lady such as you do all these bad things?"
"What bad things?" Fate asked softly, eyes in front of her. "Survive?" She glanced over at him lightly. "Is that so wrong?"
"...No. No, it is not." Kei smiled and looked back at the front of the room. "No it is not..."
The sermon began shortly, making everyone look up at the front of the room. Introductions of the preacher were made and then a request for song. Kei stood along with everyone else, followed by Fate after a few seconds. The hymn book was taken from the back of the pew in front of them and Kei held it for Fate as well, making the vampire get uncomfortably close to him. What surprised him the most, however, was the almost angelic voice that came from the girl beside him. Not only his eyes, but the eyes of everyone remotely close by all turned to find the source of the sound. Fate's cheeks colored, but her voice lifted, carrying easily in the room, almost taking the entire female choir on her own.
When the song was over and everyone sat back down, whispers came at once and Fate found herself looking down at her lap, embarrassed thourghly. "You," Kei whispered so only she could hear. "Have a very pretty voice, Ruth."
I think I will always remember that day. After the sermon was over, I talked to many people. I knew that some paladins saw my fangs, as their hands touched their swords, but no one attacked me. I thought it was because of the large mass of people nearby, but actually it was something a lot worse...
Fate looked up from her place in the rafters of an empty two story abandoned barn when the door opened to it. The sun was setting, casting orange light through the broken windows. Instead of Kei coming to meet their battle as planned, she saw several paladins walk in, swords drawn. 'That bastard double crossed me!' Fate's mind twisted in fury, the confusing events of the day suddenly turning to rage. 'I'll kill him and bathe in his blood!!'
Before Fate could jump from the rafters, another door opened, letting in the man she suddenly felt the desire to kill. "What are you doing here?" Kei's voice came up when he spied the other Paladins in the room.
"Kei, what were you doing with the vampire today?" One of the other men stepped forward. "There were reports of you being with one but we dismissed it. Our greatest warrior betraying us was something we could not believe."
"That vampire has done nothing wrong." Kei stated flatly. "She is just trying to live."
"Demons from hell do not deserve to live, Kei! That is our code, why we fight!"
"We fight to protect! I have not seen her hurt a soul since we met!"
"You let her live, not once, but twice!"
Kei grimaced. "She was on holy ground, our code-"
"The code be damned!" The man shouted, interrupting him. "You are to kill when you can, be it on holy ground or not!"
"You cannot change the honorable code-"
"Kei," the soft word made the Paladin stop again. "It saddens me to know the rumors are true. You have strayed from the straight and narrow."
"If by straying, you mean giving pity to a lost soul, then yes, I have." He drew his sword slowly. "I will not turn my back on my beliefs. If this poor girl can be saved, then I will fight for that. Once you turn on one soul, you turn on them all. That is not why I swing my sword."
"So be it." The small group proceeded forward, met by Kei halfway into the barn. Silence stung the air for several seconds before the clashing of blades came at once. Kei deflected three strikes against him and swung out on his own, sending all the men backwards. The group split and surrounded him, walking in a slow circle with the tips of their weapons all pointing at him.
Dodging one, Kei sidestepped and grabbed the back of the man's shirt, slinging him to deflect another swipe and kicking the man's back to send him stumbling to offset the third. A dagger was thrown in the air but was deflected be a shield bearing a cross. The two recovering attacked again, forcing the single paladin to take several steps backwards. Attention focused on defending himself against two, his back turned on the last man, who ran forward with his sword parallel to the ground.
A grunt came as Kei deflected both attacks to his front and turned around in shock, seeing Fate standing behind him. The man who tried to backstab him was on his back, blood pouring from a hole in his chest. His limbs twitched, sparking with electricity as Fate removed her sword. "Why?" She asked softly, turning with tears in her eyes. "Why are you doing this!?"
Kei didn't reply. Instead he turned to the other two men who were now glaring at both of them in a silent fury. The Paladin didn't make the attack; instead Fate darted around him, deflecting a sword with her own and grabbing the hilt of the other man's, using it to slice the arm of the first. When the screams rang out, she slashed on her own, ending their lives quickly with a well placed cut. When the bodies hit the floor she turned again, blood splashed on her face, smearing with the warm tears that she couldn't stop from her eyes. "Why?" She repeated again, voice breaking. "Why!? Why did you stand up for me!? Why didn't you kill me those two times!? Why!? God dammit, answer me!"
"...Because devils don't cry." Kei spoke softly. "I could tell from the way you fought, the way you swung your sword… I knew you were confused." Walking forward, he put his hands onto Fate's shoulders. "I can tell from the sadness in your eyes..."
Fate shook her head roughly, watching her tears fall to the ground beneath her. "I... I don't understand... You're a Paladin...You kill everything without mercy..."
Kei gave her a soft smile, even though she wasn't looking at him. "So, are you saying that all vampires kill without mercy? I do recall watching you not drink from someone because their child was near." Fate flinched but didn't say anything to counter him. "Ruth, the world is a corrupt place... I know that now. Even things that I thought could not be wrong..." He looked at the dead bodies of his former allies. "Come, we need to leave this town."
At the time I just followed him. I remember being confused and helpless, much like when I was first turned. Kei talked to me a lot, about his past and about where he wanted his future to be. Now free from the burdens of being a Paladin, he openly took to helping me. He let me drink his blood whenever I was thirsty and in turn, I listened to him tell me about his god and salvation. I could never believe like he did, but there was something about him that made me go with him to his lessons and sermons. I don't remember how exactly it happened, but at one town, we were offered an old farm house to stay in while Kei did his normal rounds of meeting with elders and preachers. We both decided to settle down for a bit and... well, before I knew it, I was learning carpentry and woodworking. I rebuilt the house and the barn by myself and then worked for someone in town... I got paid decently, but Kei took a job preaching as well... we got enough money to start farming and began a new life there... Plain and simple... I remember being happy every day then, wishing those days could last forever.
It goes without saying that I couldn't stay there indefinitely. Kei slowly stated growing older, changing from a skilled swordsman to a knowledgeable elder and farmer. I still trained my skills, but he took to a peaceful life. I respected that, and for some reason, I never thought of him as weak. I told him all about myself as well... how I was turned, what I went through... about Access and the decades I spent wandering in a rage killing everything I found, demon or human. He accepted my past and was there for me when I finally broke down and went into a depression that lasted a good while. I knew he feared for my well being and that alone made me cheer up a little. After a while, I was back to how I used to be. I could look at humans and not see them as nothing more than food, and I could once more swing my sword in defense instead of rage.
The time I knew that was coming finally approached. Kei was old and was to pass before long. I stayed with him through it and took care of him... I remember his smile at me that night, his once bright eyes now glossy and tired. He asked me about the place Access wanted to send me, and took my hand softly. He asked if I would go back, and give it another chance... I said I would and kissed his hand, managing to tell him I loved him one last time before he nodded and finally went to meet his savior.
I buried him in the church graveyard and then sold the farm to the mayor, asking for nothing more than enough money to let me travel a while. He agreed and I was given a grand farewell, as we were well known in the town. I searched for a long time, asking the wind to guide me whenever I felt lost. I went where it blew and trusted in the words spoken to me so long ago. My faith was rewarded when I was in the mountains again, along a trail that seemed familiar yet different all at the same time. I found the gates again, and went through them.
Fate stood in the opening of the large wooden gates and looked over the empty area of the monk's training halls. The night was calm and illuminated by torches lit along the pathway. Slowly she stepped forward and followed the path, entering into the main hall of the sanctuary. A man was there to meet her with a smile on his face and a robe folded neatly into his hands. "Welcome back, Myst."
"I go by Ruth now," Fate told him softly. A small bow was given and she accepted the robe with both hands. "Thank you."
"You will begin anew, in the morning. Rest well, Ruth."
After finding her old room still vacant, the blonde changed clothes and fell into a deep sleep on the bed that she once hated. Morning came quickly, and she awoke to the familiar sounds of birds chirping at the rising sun. Her feet lead her down a path that thought she'd never see again and after a few moments, she came to rest in front of a monk. "Good morning," Fate greeted politely.
A smile came along the monk's face and he opened his eyes while giving Fate a pleased expression. "Welcome back, young one. How was your life in the outside world?"
Fate smiled back and sat in the meditation position that she had learned so long ago. "It was horrible, yet at the same time... I wouldn't trade it for anything."
"You have learned much on your own, I see." The monk reclosed his eyes and sat peacefully in front of Fate.
"More than that, I want to learn something that I think I can only find here."
"What is that, my child?"
"Why am I alive? Why does everyone I love die in front of me, while I alone live on? Am I a demon, or an Angel?"
"You wish to understand things that only you can find the answer to... But I will help guide you to your answers."
The two sat in a long silence, listening to the trickling of a stream nearby and the sounds of nature around them. When the sun's lights came up more, a scent invaded Fate's nose, making her open her eyes and inhale deeply. "What is that fragrance? Incense?"
"Incense?" The monk asked curiously, with an amused expression. "That, dear one, is cinnamon." He heard Fate's stomach grown and he stood. "Come, let us partake in breakfast and then continue searching together."
I stayed with the monks for a long time, only this time around I actually talked to other people. I befriended a worgen, as well as another vampire by the name of Chrono. I could tell he was smart and wise, but was torn because his master had died protecting a small village from raiders. We took an instant liking to each other and left at the same time, some years later, to go on to travel together.
My answers didn't all come to me then, but I found enough to give me reason to keep going. Just as Access had tried to teach me, there was no good or bad power in the world. People were powerful, but it was how they used that power that classified them as good or evil. Chrono and I fought together for, several decades, taking neither side on the scale. We would hunt demons that tried to cause an uprising, and we would slay Paladins who overstepped their boundaries on the balance of life.
I knew then that I was powerful, and I was still alive because others believed in that power. They knew that I would use it in the right way, to help out the world as a whole. To honor that, I keep living today. I hunt from the shadows and protect those who are innocent. I will fight those that take advantage of their power, and will always remain true to being neutral. I am a vampire...
But I am also human.