There aren't many fics in this fandom, it appears. Well, not many recently updated. Might as well augment my own story ^^ This fandom deserves more recognition
I'm new to the community, so please be kind~!
Also, I read lots of classics (current project: Dracula), so expect that style, as well as lots of Japanese names
Requiem for Ether
A paradise in the clouds—Hell in the Heavens
With a flourish of motion, black cloak swirling in a fluid arc, a flurry of fluttering, twisting fabric, the dark shape soared through the skies. Below the form raced a group of four men on horseback, the metal plating adorning the cyborg beasts glimmering strangely in the dim light. The cloaked figure was distinguishable only by how the shadows adorning the clouds overhead seemed to shift amidst its presence.
One man pulled out a blaster, aiming the weapon at the being. He traced the shifting blackness with the barrel, savoring the thought of the blood spatter whilst it rained down from the skies. Savoring the perfect shot which would make the thing fall, fall from above unto the unforgiving Earth below, and how it would still live, although just barely, and remain consciousness enough to endure the man's wildest dreaming of torture and merciless sadism. Savoring the idea of killing it slowly. Painfully. Narcissism come to play. Oh, how he he'd relish in the thing's pitiful cries for mercy! please, I beg of you! Every moment would be worth it. Thus, the perfect shot was key, and a grotesque smile pulled at his lips as one grimy finger pulled the trigger.
A blinding beam of light shot forthwith, blinding in its brilliance for a split second before all faded back to darkness.
The man waited for the figure to crash to the ground in a screaming heap of blood and shattered bone. His comrades waited just as expectantly.
Yet that moment failed to appear.
Desperately did they search the skies and land all 'round. To no avail. The figure was nowhere to be seen.
Lurid strings of profanities tainted the air in response with the acknowledged failure.
Their quarry had escaped.
There went their paycheck. And boy was he going to get it from his teammates once they returned to camp. Far as they were concerned, he'd just lost them a fifteen million dala deal and the excitement of tearing the monster limb from limb.
Little did the men realize as they reined their rides to a skittering half that their quarry had not escaped. Nor had it tried to.
Insolent fools. They dare fall for such a ridiculous farce? What true creature of the night ran in fear of wriggling mongrels as pathetic as humans? No true Noble would ever risk something so detrimental to their reputation. It would be absolutely devastating to their name as a Noble, not to mention their oversized egos.
But who was the idiot now! It was this group of mortals who dared call themselves "Vampire Hunters". Oh, how this Noble could scoff at the title. A human who kills the Nobility? Whom did they consider themselves‽ Fools! The world would be so much better off without such asinine creature living in it. All would be better off living without their stupidity.
A cruel smile pulled at the Noble's features.
He gazed at the man from his perch in the clouds.
He watched as they pulled their horses to a sudden halt, searching this way and that for him. All for naught! No human held the eyesight to pierce the cloudy barrier behind which he dwelt, let alone see anything in the dead of night when darkness encompassed all. They dare take a Vampire on at night? Insolent mortals! They would pay for their lack of humility in the presence of one as great as him. Oh, how they would pay. And so he planned their demise, silently trailing through the clouds as they called off the chase and returned to their camp. They were human. They would seek rest after such a long trek, and that was when he would take them.
He could already imagine the taste of their blood on his tongue.
Ah, this was such a beautiful night. Why not grace its black canvas with a few vermillion brushstrokes? Throw a bold color into the mix. Create a realm of red and black—a realm where the Nobility reigned supreme.
His bloody eyes sparkled with mirth.
Tonight was destined for fun.
Come the light of the morn, villages scattered 'cross the Frontier began to wake. Village life starts early, for there is much to do and only so much time. Everything much be accomplished betwixt dawn and dusk, or it's too late.
All 'cross the Frontier, this schedule was fulfilled.
Mothers and fathers rose from their beds. Mothers prepared the morning meal while fathers began setting up farm equipment so work could begin soon as breakfast was done. They finished about the same time, and one or the other awoke their sleeping children. A brief moment of family time at the table, smiles through groggy eyes, minds lost to the tasks assigned for this day. And then it was off to work. Plow the fields, feed the animals, weed the gardens, gather the ripened fruits, clean the home, purchase necessary supplies, etc.
Everywhere, this schedule became reality.
As was the way of all Frontiersmen, they completed their tasks with efficiency and congenial effort. Get it perfect the first time, and save oneself future work. Time was of the essence. Daren't risk staying out past dark.
This morn, however, something was different.
In the small village of 忘失天国 (Boushitsutengoku), the Forgotten Paradise, the ceremony was disrupted. Families awoke, but they failed to begin preparations for the long workday ahead. They rose, ate, and then saddled up the horses and hooked up the buggies and carts, riding off to town. Not a single storefront alighted with business.
All assembled within the center of the village, the small buildings seeming inadequate to contain as many people with their walls; there must have been at least five hundred gathered around in the square. They all stood around a single podium placed at the center of the square, an island of clear ground amidst the throngs of people surrounding. Its solemn, dark wood spoke of foreboding. Something was dreadfully wrong.
Yet this wrongness was not newfound. For it had already occurred. The people now met for more than their absolute horror at what they had discovered come the light of dawn but yesterday morn. Had it only been yesterday?
How well they recalled the sight of all the village's hunting hounds' corpses torn limb from limb, scattered through every street, ravens feeding greedily upon the spoiling dog meat. The memory of blood painted across each and every doorway was equally lucid. As well as the discovery of four Vampire Hunters impaled one atop the other, transfixed to the upraised blade of the bronze statue of Vampire Hunter Hakujou who hard slain the Noble which ruled this region four centuries previous. The Hunters' blood dripped down the bronze blade grotesquely, making the magnificent statue seem rusted and broken; nothing like the glorious savior which had rescued the people from their tyrannical lord all those years ago.
Four distinguished Vampire Hunters—dead. Just like that.
The villagers had pooled together all their money. Gave the Hunters a considerable advance payment. They would never see those dalas again.
That was the purpose of this meeting.
Four centuries; twenty score; forty decades. That was when the great Vampire Hunter Hakujou had appeared and liberated the villagers from their tyrannical Noble lord, Eimin Kasa-danshaku. Then, but a decade or so later, a new lord appeared and overtook the town. Such a short period of freedom. Their new lord was Son-Gyoukumo Kousui, and he was even more ruthless than Eimin-danshaku.
In the beginning, the villagers had attempted to contact Hakujou, but he had died by then. And no other Vampires Hunters went so out of the their way as to pass through Boushitsutengoku, a village so tiny it was a paper town, so they held no hope of hiring anyone to take care of Son-Gyoukumo. It didn't take long for them to give up.
Son-Gyoukumo has stolen many a life since, the majority of which were young women he took a brief liking to before drinking them dry. Every girl met her fate at Son-Gyoukumo's or her own people's hands. No matter what, they couldn't have another Noble being born. Already, too much was at stake with but one on their land.
This cycle had continued since then, unbroken for four centuries, more or less.
The people expected it to continue on forever.
Until one day a group of strange men came into town.
They were Vampire Hunters, and had heard of the unmatched cruelty of Gyoukumo Kousui. They fully intended to take a huge payment for their services in disposing of the fiend: fifteen million dallas. And the people paid them their dues. Finally! They would be free!
Only, the Hunters had failed.
All four had been slain, transfixed upon Hakujou's bronze blade. The situation was so ironic, it wasn't even funny.
Son-Gyoukumo was angry, now. He was angry at the insolence of the people he governed, turning against him. There would be retribution. This they knew undoubtedly. The Hunters' mutilated corpses were evidence enough, as well as the lurid memories of murders past.
The people trembled in fear as they stood in the square.
What was to be done?
"Where is my daughter?" one voice suddenly asked.
"Where is my daughter‽" The voice grew more urgent. More frenzied. Terrified.
The retribution had already begun, it seemed. A girl had already been kidnapped.
When night fell upon Boushitsutengoku, it engulfed the village entirely. Their paper lanterns pierced the oppressive darkness but a miniscule distance, the blackness a solid wall at the light's edge. Every breeze was eerie and foreboding in how it crinkled dead leaves across the way, the dried out foliage impacting windows with a ghostly wail, scratching the glass with a high, frightening pitch. The moon and stars were invisible in the overcast skies. Darkness consumed all, and the winds were light and unwanted. The air was frozen stiff, a pregnant silence pervading, the crinkling leaves seeming to only echo yet more silence. Time was ominous.
It was at this time when the Nobility reigned supreme. This was when human and hound alike fell to the clutches of sleep, despite their best efforts, and grew entirely helpless. None could resist. None could forewarn. None could escape.
No birds twittered. No children giggled. No hounds barked. No felines meowed. No human woke.
Ah, such a wonderful time of night!
Son-Kousui gazed with wonder upon his village from a perch atop one of his castle's various balconies.
The grotesque gargoyle beside him was astoundingly out of place with the sakura trees beneath, blooms gone, but trunk and limbs still withholding the grace of springtime bloom. At least the village roofs, with their slate tiles, somewhat resembled the obsidian stone making up his medieval manor. Otherwise, the two were obtuse in every which way.
The Noble breathed the still night air in deeply, reveling in its death-like quality. He could still taste lifeblood on his tongue, so the contrast was of great interest.
Hm. Almost forgot about that.
Son-Kousui glanced back into his bedroom—although coffin-room would be far more appropriate an address—to spy the girl lying on the floor, facedown. He'd thought her beautiful when he first saw her. That euphoria had soon worn off. Bleh! human! Her blood was delicious, though, so at least he had that. His hunger was sated, body radiating a warmth an undead should never possess. She wasn't dead yet, either. Such a waste to just kill her.
A frown marred Son-Kousui's fantastic countenance. What to do, what to do...?
Simply killing the girl would be such a bore. After what those wretched villagers had done, especially. Hm, he should make the girl suffer. And not just here, either, but every single human in that village. Torture them, like he'd tortured all their hunting hounds. That had certainly been entertaining. And it had been most fun to scatter the dogs' bowels and limbs through the streets in a grotesque painting of grayscale and vermillion. A wide smile at the memory of killing those Hunters and impaling them on Hakujou's blade; he almost laughed at his brilliance. Had to stay creative. What more could he do to make the people suffer? Hm...
Well, he could steal some more girls. He was certainly bored enough to pull that. But what good would that do? He did that two score ago, already. No. Something more interesting, more grotesque and sadistic. Something more fun.
Watching those useless mongrels panic was certainly entertaining. But humans were eternal idiots and could easily perceive his not taking retribution on them as a sign of his growing weak. No, no! That couldn't happen! That would only mar his bloodsoaked reputation. Plus, it was boring just sitting around.
Think of something interesting. Something so morbid, the people would vomit their insides. Haha, that would be fun to see, if only he could be awake to watch it.
It was just then when the perfect retribution struck him.
The grotesque grin which stretched Kousui's lips was truly divine in its morbidity. It would've made the Devil himself cringe in terror.
A single black cyborg horse trekked through the waning darkness. Its breath came out in a white steam and loud huffs. Night had been long with nonstop travel, and the beast needed to rest. It could see its destination up ahead: a small village with black-slated roofs and paper lantern porch-lights. There, it knew, it would be given rest and sustenance.
Its rider had spied the village long before. As well as the castle which loomed ominously beyond it, built straight into a sheer cliff face. It was truly an amazing sight to behold, yet the rider's youthful countenance betrayed not a single expression or thought.
He placed the slightest pressure on the horse's reins, pulling the mighty beast to a halt.
Overhead, the black sky was lightening, although not to the normal flourish of color and grayscale that accompanied the dawn, thanks to the pervasive cloud cover. The transformation from the night to dawn was far more inconspicuous than that, the change so gradual and minute that it was entirely imperceptible to any but creatures of the utmost instinctual knowledge and sensation. All 'round, the world remained dark and oppressive. Distant and nearby mountains alike towered overhead with foreboding, silhouettes blacker than the night which was only just coming to a close. There's no telling how long rider and steed remained at that spot in the road, youth staring unblinkingly ahead at the village. Yet, slowly but surely, the skies lightened to a more natural overcast shade of gray. Dawn had arrived.
As he watched, a change overcame the village. To his keen ears came the sounds of great yawns and grumbles; the villagers were waking.
And the steed began its pace once more, head bobbing rhythmically to the percussion clopping of his hooves on the half-eroded slate pavement beneath.
Screams echoed all 'cross the land.
Okay, I realize I used lots of Japanese, so allow me to elaborate on the names' meanings:
薄情 – Hakujou – Cold-hearted; cruel; heartless; unfeeling
永眠暈男爵 – Eimin Kasa-danshaku – "Eimin" equates "death or eternal sleep"; "Kasa" means "halo"; and "danshaku" is "baron"
尊凝雲降水 – Son-Gyoukumo Kousui – "Son" is a prefix meaning "exalted, noble, precious, priceless, sacred, or valuable"; "Gyou" means "frozen", "kumo" "cloud"; and "Kousui" is "rainfall or precipitation"
Meanwhile, honorifics shall be utilized like hell. Here's a list:
San—Most common, honorifics-wise. It's gender-neutral and polite. One uses it for equals, or to simply be polite without sucking up or debasing oneself
Kun—In no way gender neutral; one'd only use it for guys. It's about the same level as "san"
Chan—A feminine address used for girls, particularly those younger than oneself; can also be used as an insult or endearment when used on a guy
Sempai—"Senior". They just have to be older than one
Sama—This one puts the person on a pedestal. They are above one in every which way—wonderful, admirable, oh lordship we worship you! Suck-up, basically. One'd use it to address someone they look up to; their superior; or simply to be polite (an innkeeper, for instance, would use it to address their guests)
Dono—Even higher than "sama"
Sensei—"Master of Your Trade". Mostly used to address teachers, professors, doctors, authors, and so-on; people who've gone through years of schooling and hard work. Or someone who's considered wise
Neechan / Neesan / Neesama—"Nee" can be surmised as meaning "Sister"; then you just add some honorifics to that "sister". Also, another common honorific is "o", so you could say "Oneesama"; adding that "o" drops oneself even lower
Niichan / Niisan / Niisama—Same deal, except "Nii" can be surmised as "Brother"
Imouto—"Little Sister". More often used as total address, rather than a suffix. The younger sibling, meanwhile, is not allowed to address their elder sibling without an honorific
Otouto—"Little Brother". Same deal
Kouhai, sempai, sensei, nee, nii, imouto, and otouto have the option of being used as a suffix or total address ("Tsukiko-sensei" or just "Sensei", for instance)
In case you're wondering, this story does in fact take place in Japan, post-apocalypse, of course
The timeline is the same as the books: 12,090 AD or so
D's left hand shall be addressed as 左手 – Hidarite – Left Hand, 'cause it's awkward just calling him Left Hand in English, plus it's an in-joke about Van Helsing from the movie (something about God's left hand)
Also the village shall always be addressed by its Japanese name of Boushitsutengoku, rather than the English Forgotten Paradise
Thoughts? Comments? Confusion? Review, please~! Feedback equals love *heart*