I do not own Vampire Hunter D, but I am thoroughly in love with his world :D Enjoy!

A cold wind blew across the barren Frontier lands. Dark shadows could be seen shifting restlessly at the edge a small village. Surrounding them, there lay a haunting aura of bloodlust and despair. A single word commanded them, seemingly issued from the night itself: "Go."

The shadows began their descent upon the slumbering town.

Silence enveloped the village. A lone traveler garbed completely in black was slowly making his way down the main street. Looks of hatred, awe and lust were showered upon him. Stopping his mount in front of a large crowd of people, he gazed down at them. A sturdy man stood at the fore of the group. His muscular body and height were that of a younger man. However, the graying hair at his temples and lined face betrayed the illusion.

"Evenin'," said the man to the figure in black. "My name is Samuel Totner, and I'm the mayor of this town."

The rider remained silent.

As if this had been expected, the mayor continued. "Of course you know why you're here. If you'll kindly dismount and come inside I may explain further."

The man in black quietly complied. Once on the ground, he cast his gaze about for a stable.

"I'll take that for you!" a boy announced, stepping forward from the crowd. Without so much as a second's hesitation, the man handed the boy the reigns of his mount and proceeded after the mayor into a nearby home.

Upon entering his home, the mayor released a small sigh. He had been taken slightly aback at the appearance of the youth, whose beauty had nearly dazzled him. Turning to the dark figure behind him, the mayor proclaimed sternly, "Down to business,"then eased himself into an overstuffed chair. The man remained standing. "About two weeks ago, our village was preyed upon," he began simply. The man in black made no move to sit or even look directly at the mayor. He appeared completely unattached to the world of humanity. "Three shadow demons were seen earlier that same evening, just outside of town. They're well known servants of the ruling vampire of the region, Lady Khardina. The next morning when we woke up, three people were missing," he paused, waiting to see if the man had any questions. Not surprisingly, he didn't.

"This wasn't the first time some one had been taken," the mayor continued. "However, the people are normally pre-selected sacrifices, as is normal in the North. The folks of this village have done nothing to evoke the Lady's wrath and she has been fairly lenient with us for several generation. However, we don't want her as our liege if she's simply going to make off with all of our people!" Looking at the man's face, the mayor was livid. But, after a moment, he seemed to relax. Such was the beauty of the rider in black.

With a voice that made men and women alike swoon, the youth asked, "Who were the captives?"

The mayor seemed lost for a moment, and then said, "Two young men and a girl. They may not be outstanding members of our community or anything, but they're still our kin, and we want 'em back."

The youth in black said nothing.

"Will you accept? This village may not be all that wealthy, but we've pulled together all of our funds. We can give you roughly one million dalas," the mayor told him.

"What would you have me do if these people have already been made into servants?" the man asked.

The mayor's face fell for an instant, clouding over in thought. He seemed to hesitate before answering, "Kill them swiftly and mercifully."

"Okay," said the youth. The mayor looked up.

"Then you accept? Excellent! If you can, you'll start tomorrow. Rest for tonight. You may stay at the inn. I've already seen to it that a room was prepared for you. I hope to see you in the morning." With this, the mayor stood and offered his hand. After a moment, he realized what he was doing and quickly withdrew it. It wasn't solely because the young man seemed wholly inhospitable, but also because it felt almost sacrilegious to touch this unearthly beauty. The mayor motioned to the door

"Where are the stables?" the rider in black asked.

"Ah, yes," exclaimed the mayor. "Just next to the inn."

Without another word, the youth left.

The inn of the town was not very impressive. But then, neither was the town itself. The main road consisted of the standard lot: pharmacy, grocery, blacksmith, tailor, supply, doctor and a few others. Everything seemed to be caught in a dusty haze, silent and unable to move. Even the people seemed to move sluggishly as they made their way down the road. As the man in black walked, he saw a dilapidated old shack to the right of the inn, and the smell of warm leather and muck permeated the air. Crossing the narrow street, he entered the stables.

Immediately as the man passed through the open doors, a boy of about fifteen or sixteen ran out of one of the nearby stalls to greet him. It was the same boy who had taken his reigns from him earlier. He had the firm yet lanky build of a farm hand, and muddy boots to prove it. No doubt he was the stable boy.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, sir!" the boy said excitedly. "I'm Daniel Datton."

The youth said nothing. The boy, Daniel, stared at him in awe. His beauty seemed to blind him for a moment, for Daniel blinked repeatedly then said, "This way to your horse, sir."

As the man in black began to unbuckle his horse's saddle, Daniel watched anxiously, as if every moment was more than he could stand. "Sir?" Daniel finally said. He seemed breathless. "I know who you are, sir. You're Vampire Hunter D!"

Holding his saddle on one arm, the figure in black looked at him.

"I knew it! Wow! I'm a great fan of yours!" Daniel looked as if he was ready to burst with joy. "I've heard so many stories about you! In fact-wait right here." The boy quickly dashed to a room that was in the back of the building. As he went, Daniel seemed to have trouble with his right leg. It wobbled slightly as he ran. Despite this, he returned seconds later with what appeared to be a notebook in his hand. Stopping short of the Hunter, he handed him the book.

"I wrote down everything I've ever heard about you or what people have told me. There are even a couple clippings from the newspaper in there talking about the Frontier's most forward Hunters," he explained as D flipped open the notebook. But then the boy said, slightly embarrassed, "I suppose that you wouldn't think that you had any fans. As you'll see, not all those stories are good. Some say pretty nasty things about you." The man in black, this D, handed the notebook back to the boy.

"How long have you been collecting information?" D asked. Though his voice seemed uninterested, Daniel seemed to nearly jump out of his skin with excitement at the sound of it.

"Only about four years," he replied quickly. "Though some of those stories are over fifty years old." Daniel looked D over with a fast eye. "But you don't look a day over twenty. I guess that's to be expected since you're a dhampir," the boy remarked carelessly. Realizing what he had just said, Daniel clamped his hand over his mouth. Worried , the boy looked to see if D was offended. He wasn't entirely sure if the rider in black had wanted to keep his heritage a secret. Without another word, Daniel held out his hands for the saddle on D's arm. "Let me clean and polish that for you," he said quietly after reigning in his embarrassment. Handing the saddle over, D turned to leave. "Wait!" D halted, not turning to face the boy. "Um, if you don't mind, could we maybe talk some time while you're here?"

Without so much as a glance. D replied, "I have business to take care of."

"Yeah, I figured." Daniel's shoulders dropped. "Well, if you ever have time, I'll be here or at the electronic repair shop down the road. That's my dad's place." With that, D was out the door and heading for the hotel.

Later that evening, Daniel was working diligently in his father's shop. As his hands deftly moved over a mound of broken computer parts, a large, sweaty man came stumbling through the entrance way.

"What d'ya think you're doing?" wheezed the man. Daniel looked up at him timidly.

"Nothing, pop. I was just finishing what you started earlier. It needs to be done by tomorrow." Eyeing the boy, Daniel's father leaned over to him, their faces nearly touching. He reeked of alcohol.

"Where the hell have ya been all day?" he demanded, swaying drunkenly.

"I was in the stables, helping-"

"Helping that damn dhampir! What did I tell ya about that, huh?" Daniel's father grabbed the front of his son's shirt and swung at his face. The man's large hand made contact and Daniel's head snapped back brutally. A large welt soon appeared underneath his left eye.

"Y-you're drunk, pop. Please, please I'm sorry!"

The boy's father seemed unable to his son's plaintive cries and continued to beat him until he fell into a drunken slumber right there on the counter. Daniel lay crumpled on the floor for an unknown amount of time, biting back tears and letting the fear ease out of him. Cool moonlight lit his discolored body. His father was making a habit of this ever since he had found Daniel's notebook two months before. He simply couldn't understand why his son would revere something as vile as a Noble's offspring. Daniel himself didn't even know. Something about the inhospitable yet valiant figure of D stoked a fire in his chest.

Daniel waited until the unwarrented shaking in his limbs had ceased before picking himself off the floor. His right leg buckled slightly under him, causing him to stagger. With one final glance at his snoring father, Daniel crept out of the shop. Bruised and bleeding, he left in search of somewhere-or someone-safer.

Dun dun dunnnnn! I tried to stick to a Kikuchi-esque tone, but no one can match the master. Tell me what you think? :3