Title: Blighted

Author: Alicia "Kamitose" Guy

Summary: In these hallowed halls of sacred hearts and idols, he's the only thing that burns.

Rating: PG-13, for violence

Disclaimer: None of the characters in this piece of fiction belong to me. They belong to Namco.

Distribution: As long as I am credited, and as long as you ask (and let me know once it's posted) then I don't care where it's distributed. BUT you have to ask.

Author's Note: This is my fifth Soul Calibur fanfiction. I have to admit, I have a thing for vampires, and I love Raphael as a character, so I had to write a short drabble about him.

"Like the coldest winter's chill

Heaven beside you, Hell within."

Heaven Beside You – Alice in Chains

Cursed, they say for I am all and nothing at once. I watch them from where they can't see me... and yet they know I am there. Watching, waiting, moving only when the time is right, descending on their pathetic village as the moon rises high in the night sky over dark mountains. For here I am as untouchable as God, yet lacking in any form of mercy.

They've learned to fear me, and rightfully so. I descend upon the village below, my hunger calling me to sate it. The halls of the local chapel are cold and empty; its usual inhabitants all nestled warmly in their beds, tucked away from the cold darkness of the night. Away from the things that stalk when the sun goes down over the mountains. Away from God. Away from me.

I wait for any sign of life. I can faintly hear a heartbeat, that of the priest no doubt. Hiding in shadows, I wait for the priest to enter the main hall of the chapel. It is in this moment that I really feel alive, the anticipation of the hunt, the thrill of the kill. Had my formerly human self met me now, oh the things he'd think. I was cold then, but nothing compared to the ice in my veins now, ice that only ignites when I hunt.

Movement now, and I can see my company as she enters the room. Not the holy man, but someone else, someone dangerous. My interest is piqued as I slither from shadow to shadow following the young maiden. The dim candles cast poor lighting in this place, unfortunate for her, but all the better for me. I catch her image in the flicker of the holy candles. Light blond hair pulled back in a dark bow, green eyes flickering brightly, the slight curl of her lips, and I realize, I've seen her before. The woman who stood in my way before. Why is she here now? I feel rage building in me as I leave the comfort of the shadows to stand behind her, hand reaching out to grasp her throat and squeeze. I smile as she wheezes, trying to catch her breath.

"Foolish child, why have you come?" I ask, hissing in her ear.

"I'm here to stop you." She says quietly and I watch as she grips her weapons tight. I sense no fear from her.

I feel anger building from the pits of my stomach. "I could kill you here and now. Why do you not fear me?" I squeeze tighter, but she just closes her eyes tight and waits for me to stop before answering. I will make her cower.

"Because, you don't want to do this. I'm here to either save you or stop you, your choice." She replies quietly but with an air of confidence. Could she really be so sure of victory over me?

"Wretched girl, you are foolish and know nothing. You enter my domain and expect to change me, make me all better? Have you never stopped to think that I want to be this way?" I forcefully wrap my free arm around her, rendering her arms helpless.

She pauses, carefully formulating her words no doubt, and as I wait my hunger grows. "You're cold..." She merely states. "why are you so cold?" And I realize that she is shivering slightly in my grasp.

"Does it unnerve you..." I ask tauntingly. "to feel a man as cool as the winter's night? To feel fingers as cold as ice brush against your skin?" And I run my bare hand across her cheek, letting her feel the frigidness of death, letting the direness of her situation sink in. Her shivering increases, and yet, I still cannot taste fear.

"You feel dead..." She observes, accurately too, as I smile and nod my head. She pauses before continuing. "Well, I can't save a corpse." Her voice dips now, sounding deeper, and I sense a remorseful darkness in her words. "So, if I can't save you..." I feel her struggle, she is gifted with a strength that I had long since forgotten, the swift elbow to my gut, the pain shooting through my stomach momentarily serves to remind me that she had bested me once before and should not be taken lightly. I stumble backwards as she jumps forward and turns to face me, sword and shield raised in threat. "then I'll just have to kill you."

"If this is what you want, then you will surely die." I say reminding her of who is the one in control. She is beautiful, all confidence and righteous fury, such a waste; could have made an excellent servant to me. But she is too strong willed. I draw Flambert and ready myself. "This place shall mark your grave, woman." I feel a quickening of the stolen blood in my veins as she charges at me, coming down hard with her short sword but she underestimates my speed as I parry the attack. "Foolish!"

But as soon as I allow my confidence to get the better of me, she sends a shockwave of pain through my stomach as she thrusts her sword into me. I feel my strength weaken as the holy ore of her sword burns deep. No, I will not allow this child to best me twice. The room spins for a spell, yet she waits for me to be steady on my feet. "Mercy… will be your downfall." I say as I struggle to my feet.

"Says the man with the gaping hole in his stomach." She mocks, a sneer on her face and a slight laugh in her words. She now seems to be enjoying this, she too thrills for the hunt, but not as I do. I lunge forward with incredible speed and catch her off guard as I drive my sword into her right shoulder. I savor the look of surprise and anguish on her face, the tiny water droplets forming at the corners of her eyes, as she stumbles back, my blade still firmly in her flesh. She lacks my unnatural stamina, surely such a blow will deter her from further relentless blows. I have the upper hand. I smile.

"Now who is laughing, child?" Her sword arm is useless. This fight is mine. I'm caught unawares, however, when her shield comes bearing down on my head, strong and fierce. This woman possesses the spirit of a devil. Unrelenting, fierce, I must keep my wits about me. I underestimated her before and it appears I am doing it again. This stops now.

She pulls herself off of my blade, her blood staining its shining surface. I run my tongue along the bloodied trail, savoring the taste. Her eyes widen in shock and I smile. "It's been far too long…" I say as I lunge for her once more, but she has taken flight through the pews, playing a clever game of cat and mouse. I must say, the girl has aroused my interests. She's overturning chairs, kicking over pews and idols, all to avoid me. She's a feisty one, that girl. I'll conquer her yet!

I smile as I notice her slow down. The blood loss must be taking the chase out of her. I corner her, fangs bared in a most wicked smile as I tower over her small frame. And still she raises her sword, weakly, grimacing as she lifts her arm. I hear her cry out in pain as I just push her arm back down. "Foolish, indeed." I came here to sate my hunger and I will not be denied. I pin her against the wall and lower my head to her slender neck, the scent of blood from her shoulder is strong and it drives me forward. I feel her struggle in vain as I sink my teeth into the flesh of her throat. She can squirm all she likes, it will not save her now. I feel the blood rush into my mouth, sweet, metallic, delicious. Such a sacrilegious act in such a holy place. It won't be long now until she will lie dead in my arms, but something's wrong. I feel a divine presence in her blood. I can feel it burn down my throat. I ignore it; I will not lose to her again.

"Suffer you to the River Styx." The young woman says weakly as I feel my arm burning. I lift my head quickly to find that she had managed to pull a candelabrum down on me. The fire is burning; the pain excruciating and I curse her. I place my hand to the bleeding wound on my stomach and smatter it against the wound on her neck, pushing her away from me as I seek to douse these flames.

As I recoil away from her in pain, I watch her look to me in shock, holding her still bleeding neck and then leave leaping through a stained glass window heading for the cemetery. She'll seek help for her wounds, no doubt, but none will save her. For as she has made me suffer, so shall I make her. Despite this setback, despite the scarring this will no doubt leave me, I have won.

Go home, girl; for as I am blighted, you shall be too. And when that first hunger comes… you'll be back.

A/N: I wanted to try something different. I know I know, I already have a fic where Cassandra gets turned by Raph. But I wanted to do something different, no love, just a tale through the eyes of a hunter. As for those wondering how just having Raphael mix his blood with hers would change Cassandra, it's easy… that's how Amy got changed, from dealing with Raph's blood, his wounds from Soul Edge. Coming in contact with his blood, particularly into the bloodstream is one way to be turned.

I was in a weird mood when I wrote it. I almost didn't post it, but I particularly liked the suspense I built up and wanted to share it. Besides, I owe Anysia anyway because I told her I'd write her something to cheer her up. :D