Quest 0

A Thunder under the Silent Night

The moon had waned, leaving the night as black as pitch. The ocean breeze and faint sounds of footsteps and murmuring were heard from the silence, a few lanterns could be seen shimmering throughout the cold and misty streets of Coimbra. Most people had already retired indoors; few sailors were still attending to their galleons and boats in the port, hastened to finish their repairs to the rigging and to coil ropes neatly on the dark, scrubbed decks, stevedores hurried to haul cargo to the safety of nearby warehouses.

Lights also glimmered in the bars and brothels around the city. But very few customers came for a drink or two at this late hour, especially at the shabby little bar at the edge of the docks. The place was in a very sad state; its wooden floor cracked and the tables and chairs were chipped off, even the windows were seemingly shattered. Yet still the bar managed to keep their business running as they served one of the finest of liquor in Coimbra.

That night, there were only a few customers who had come to drink at the shabby establishment. One table was occupied by a group of three men; their expressions remained hard and sober even after a few swigs of drink. Even so, they didn't spoke a single word to each other the entire time and they had their heads bowed down. Another table was occupied by a flamboyant young man and his two beautiful ladies, all three of them were slurring and laughing at one another as their mind were already intoxicated by their excess intake of alcohol.

The most interesting pair of patrons present inside the bar was the two gentlemen who were sitting at the counter. From their appearances, they seemed to be around the same age. The first man had a thick straw of gingery brown hair that reached his nape, while the other one had a wild-looking shaggy, layered black hair. Both of them carried weapons on their bodies. The blonde gentleman had a large black-bladed great sword strapped on his back. His black-haired partner however, had two pistols holstered on his belt, both guns had their muzzles crafted into a shape of a snake's head.

"Hey pops! Another round for me and my buddy here will ya?" shouted Rezxy Lycis, the brown-haired gentleman.

"Coming right up, sirs."

The bartender, a broad-shouldered man in his late forties came rushing to the counter with a bottle of wine in his hand. He poured the wine into two glasses.

"You two don't seem to look like a regular pair to me. May I ask what brings you all the way here at this time of night?" the bartender asked in a humble tone.

"Why...to have a nice, warming wine of course." Rezxy smiled faintly.

"You don't say." his black-haired friend added with a smirk as he took a gulp of the crimson red wine that was refilled into his glass.

"Alright, sir. Sorry to offend you. I mean you no harm."

After refilling his two customers their drinks, the bartender turned to face the glass cabinet that was located opposite to the counter. Picking up a soaking wet glass from the sink, he started to polish the surface of the glass with a piece of cloth in his hand.

"Sorry for my friend's attitude. He's always crummy at this late night." Rezxy said as the bartender had his back on them. "The truth is, we're here looking for someone. To be more precise; a 'something' that has been attracting a lot of attention recently."

The bartender stopped polishing his glass for a moment, and resumed.

"I see, and who is this person you are looking for exactly?" he asked stiffly.

"Oh, I'm sure he can't be missed. His name is quite spoken by the folks these days." Rezxy chuckled, taking a swig of his wine.

"The Undead Baron, Wahlansche." the young man muttered under his breath, before smacking his lips together appreciatively.

The bartender turned his head around to give the tow a cold stare. He then returned his gaze to the wine glass in his hands and shook his head.

"Sorry, son. Never heard of him before."

"Really? Oh well, that's too bad."Rezxy said disappointingly, with a slight sarcasm in his tone. "Because I thought that someone like you would know where to find him."

"I don't believe that we will be getting out of here empty-handed." mumbled the black-haired man, as his venomous pair of eyes turned to the three brutish men who sat on the table behind him. They all stared back at him, and from being quiet, they were now mumbling roughly to each other.

"I never doubted you for one sec, Vex." Rezxy grinned.

The bartender placed his polished glass next to the sink, and turned back to the counter.

"If I may ask, sirs, who exactly are you two? You don't look liks soldiers. Are you two Pioneers?"

Rezxy responded with a sigh. "Oh my, I'm sorry. I forgot to introduce myself, did I? I'm Rezxy Lycis; Eins of the Thunderspring Squad. "

"Vexen Dmitri, Zwei of the Thunderspring Squad." said Rezxy's companion.

"The Thunderspring Squad?" exclaimed the bartender. The three men sitting at the table were also put to shock. The young man and his ladies, however, were too drunk to hear a thing.

"Don't tell me that the two of you are..."

"Bounty hunters, mercenaries, assassins? Feel free to call us what you want, old man. And don't worry. We won't do any harm to you. We're just here to look for some leads that may lead to our so-called undead friend." Rezxy cut the old man's sentences short. He looked at the three men, who had already gotten up from their seat and were making slow steps for the exit.

"They've made their move." Vexen said, as he finished off his wine before his hand went to reach for one of his guns. "It's time."

"I'm afraid so." Rezxy sighed, taking the last sip of his drink as well. "Fye, if you would be so kind..."

The drunken man, who had already ceased his laughter along with his female companions a while ago, replied with mischievous grin.

"Gladly."

Just the three men arrived in front of the exit, the flamboyant young man banged the cane he held in his hands to the floor, which sent a smooth vibration throughout the ground. Out of the blue, the winds outside blew a little stronger. A loud banging was heard when all door and windows in the bar suddenly closed themselves shut, preventing the three men from exiting the joint.

"Now where are you boys going? The party's just getting started." said one of the young man's 'girlfriends', a woman with a long jet-black of hair.

"What's that you sa…"

An explosive bang broke the silence of the bar and the man crumbled to the floor, a hole had pierced across his forehead. The woman was holding a pistol which was concealed under the cloak she wore over herself.

"What in the name of…" the old bartender exclaimed at the sudden witness of violence.

"Get down, pops. This might get very ugly." warned Rezxy, whose still sitting calmly on his stool.

Without another word, the bartender obediently squatted down under the counter.

A frightening snarl was heard from the corpse's lips. The dead man suddenly sprang up from the floor and vaulted towards the black-haired woman. The undead man had somehow grown larger, and skinnier, his face had morphed into a gruesome skeleton-like. A sharp, thin blade extended out from his bony arm.

Before the creature could swing his blade upon the woman's neck, a flash of steel whistled passed in front of the creature and sliced off its bladed arm, spraying blood all over the floor. The monster let out an agonizing scream, but not for long when six bullets came raining down against its chest. It staggered into its own pool of blood, and this time it was dead for good.

"I knew that this place somehow smells like rotten Gavis. Don't you think so too, Athena?" said the other woman, who had a dark brown hair that was tied into a ponytail. She was holding a uniquely-crafted pistol in her left hand, while her right hand wielded a sharp glimmering sabre, its blade stained by the Gavi's blood.

"Well it looks like he's not the only one that stinks, Celeste." Athena's eyes pointed out to the other two men, both were also transforming into Gavis; pale humanoid yet undead creatures with two times the size of a regular human.

The first Gavi made its charge for Athena and Celeste, wielding the two bone sabres which had grew out from his arms.

"Don't you know that it's very rude to strike a lady?" Fye, the flamboyant young man, stood between the path of the Gavi and the two women.

In a single swing from his cane, three sharp blades of wind radiated outwards from it. The Gavi only managed to give a short snarl before the blades filleted it into four separate pieces, scattering flesh and blood all over the floor.

Then it was the last remaining Gavi's turn to attack. But before it could take a step forward, the staccato noise of gunfire was heard as countless of bullets came showering down from the Gavi's side. The monster groaned feebly as it swamped to the floor by the dozens of bullets that was pumped into its body.

"Next time, don't turn your eyes away from your opponent." Vexen smirked, sitting on his stool while his two serpent-headed revolvers were pointed to the gunned down Gavi.

"Guess that's all of them, right?" said Fye merrily.

"Not quite. There's still one left." Rezxy corrected. Both he and Vexen rose from their stools and looked below the counter.

"You can come out now, Undead Baron, Wahlansche." Rezxy smiled.

The bartender emerged from bottom of the counter, only this time he was no longer the broad-shouldered old man that he used to be. He had transformed completely; becoming taller and thinner, almost two to three times larger than Rezxy and Vexen, even larger than the Gavis. His skin had turned sickening blue in colour and the nice set of clothes that the 'bartender' had worn immediately changed into an ugly red coat which reached to his long, skinny legs. Another pair of arms had grown out under his original ones, and he was now holding four gruesome-looking pistols in all four of his hands.

"He's a lot uglier than I thought." Rezxy whistled in amusement.

Vexen was going to reload his pistols, but then Rezxy waved a hand to him.

"No, Vex. This one's mine." Rezxy smiled reassuringly.

Vexen's eyebrows rose. "If you say so." He nodded in acknowledgement as he sheathed his pistols and stepped away from his captain.

"You foolish pests! I'll kill all of you myself!" roared Wahlansche, as he aimed his four guns at the five threats that stood before him.

Rezxy's hand reached for the handle of his great sword.

"Thunderspring Squad, mission accomplished."

Wahlansche pulled the trigger of his pistols. At the same time, Rezxy withdrew his great sword at a lightning-fast speed and swung the large blade downwards to meet with the Wahlansche's shoulder. Blood came gushing out as the Undead Baron was violently cut into half by powerful attack.

A loud agonizing roar was heard across the silent streets of Coimbra, as another Devil fell by the hands of the Thunderspring Squad.