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Fire and Blood

Discussion in 'Tales from the Crypt' started by vg11k, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. vg11k

    vg11k Zombie

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Allright. With some help of the wonderful tool https://www.deepl.com/translator, i throw myself in an english version of my stories. Before i begin, i'll warn you about 3 points :
    - As i told you in my introduction i'm not a very good english speaker. So even with the help of deepl i guess many speaking mistakes will appear. Please feel free to highlight them if it peel your eyes, but in PM and i'll correct them as soon as possible : i wish not to get a topic full of english lesson...
    - This story is a long one with many chapters and it's still in writing. They all are already shared in french on your neighbor the whcv forum and on my personal blog . And it's currently divided in 3 acts. This one is the second : the most recent and better written in my opinion. The first is the Lahmia events where my characters met vampires for the first time before becoming night children themselves.
    - I am not 100% lore friendly since i took some liberties in my firsts writings (by choice or by lack of knowledge) and choose to keep them as it is. For example, my Abhorash was not a asshole killer and lover of the queen but the proud Lahmia's general who was fighting this new threat without knowing it was his own high-class he was hunting. And i add to the vampire a common power of the Masquerade universe : when a vampire drink blood he stole few memories and a bit of power. But this second isn't permanent and without practice, powers recently acquired will be lost.

    Soo i guess i said everything i wished before starting this. I'll not translate the whole story at once but one chapter after another, offering you some time to read it - and time for me to go on :-D

    Have a nice reading.


    Fire and Blood
    Introduction​



    The young woman, humming a cheerful air, attacked the ascent of the talus. Her blond hair wavered on her shoulders, seemingly accompanying the melody to the rhythm of her footsteps. She was walking barefoot in the grass. A light breeze blew and crept into her clothes, making her shiver. She tightened her thin white dress, but left her shoulders and long legs exposed to the rays of the setting sun. When she reached the top of the hill, she rotated, turning her back on the building.

    She smiled and looked at the landscape drawn before her eyes. The orange rays streaked the colored sky as the day drew to a end. The foliage appeared amber, extending from north to south. They were reflected in a long line of fire along the length of the river. And, a few kilometers to the west, the few towers of the city were looming, surpassing the tops of the oldest trees. The city's trade routes, whose only reason for its existence was its strategic position, were all far from this location. Nestling in the heart of the forest, Grissenwald allowed merchants from Nuln as well as those coming from the duchies to go either to the heart of the Empire or to the North, with its capital and its large ports. Grissenwald was a business node.

    But it wasn't this magnificent landscape or the geographical advantages of the city that made the young woman smile. She turned around and looked at the half-finished sculptures. Despite the passage of many winters, peoples could still be seen in line with a higher figure. Profile riders raised their banners high, as well as many sentences now illegible, which she did not think to decipher to any minute.

    Taking up her melody again in mid-voice, she entered the old building, which had no doors to prevent access. She went down a flight of steps and stopped at a rusty grill hanging on its hinges. With a distracted gesture, she pushed it aside in a sharp creak that disturbed several spiders who had woven their webs here. Then she came down the snail made to prevent access. Each of her steps raised scrolls of dust, blind insects quickly descending, disturbed by her passage. Without ceasing to hum her melody, she moved into the depths, now plunged into complete darkness. The steps became slippery and viscous under his feet, the wet wall covered with damp and nauseating foams. She perceived around her the regular sound of water drop bouncing on the stone, the squeaks of a few frightened rodents, as well as the increasingly heavy and motionless air of the underground. Plus the regular echo of her footsteps and her song.

    - If I tell you that she entered into it, said the tallest of the two boys.

    With his face covered with acne pimples, he smiled from all his teeth at his partner.

    - Look, to get her out, she had to go through there, we'll have fun! he encouraged him.

    The other laughed, while he was evoking his thoughts with a hip movement. The two teenagers were barely in their forties.

    - It's going to be dark in there, he pointed out, taking his seriousness back.

    - It's just one girl, said the other one. She'd have afraid in the dark alone, she's got to have a flashlight.

    - Yeah, but i don't want to go into the dark. Stay here, I'll get some branches, he said, showing him his lighter.

    A few minutes later, both entered the building in turn.

    - How many times do you say he did it, your brother?

    - Boarf a good ten. They love it, don't worry about it. And even if she says it in the city, as my brother says, there are dozens and dozens of kids.

    However, their confidence declined over the minutes. They came to the open gate, and wielded their torches over the staircase. The footprints were clearly visible here, drawn in the thick layer of dust.

    The smallest of the two shouted a sudden scream, which caused his friend to startle.

    - What's the matter? What is it?

    - A spider fell on me, he whined as he shook his hair with energy.

    The other mocked, before his laughter quickly ceased. He too was not reassured.

    - Come on, come on. We will show him what men are like, he tried to encourage his companion.

    The other one was pouting. They began their uncertain descent.

    - Why the hell did she come here for? said the smallest one shortly afterwards, finally breaking the silence of a trembling voice.

    The other one did not answer him. The knees trembling, they slowly descended, taking care not to slip on the irregular steps and covered with foam. Their torches drew moving shadows on the wall, covered with viscous drips whose origin it was better to ignore. The regular sound of the crashing drops could no longer mask their quicker breathing.

    - We'll go back upstairs to do it, won't we? he dared to ask.

    The other one nodded his head, swallowing his saliva. His forehead was damp with icy sweat.

    They both finally reached the foot of the snail's foot. The air reeked of mold and closed it. They waded in mud clinging to each of their steps, producing a suck sound as soon as they raised their feet. They exchanged a look before crossing a new gate. The girl's footprints, embedded in the earth between two puddles of cloudy liquid, continued past. The two thugs had now forgotten all ideas of rape, crushed by the gloomy atmosphere of the place.

    They nevertheless continued their underground advance.

    - My mommy's gonna scream again because I messed up my shoes...

    Contrary to his habit, the other one did not make fun of his companion. He had just noticed that if they continued their exploration too much, they would probably have to go back into the dark. Thought that didn't enchant him.

    - But where does that bitch go, he said quietly. And what does she do in a place like this?

    - What are we doing here? Bidding the least loudest in a high voice.

    They finally ended up in a circular room where dust flies, lit by two torches. This one overlooked three other dark corridors and filled with white canvases. Bodies stood between each of them, lying in alcoves embedded in the walls.

    - I want to go back up, I want to go back up, I want to go back up!

    - Wait, grumbled the tallest, attracted to the nearest corpse.

    With his mouth open, he leaned over the dead man, raising his torch, fascinated. The teenager would never have believed that a dead person could look like that. He had been lying there for so long, with his arm crossed over his chest, that the skin was nothing but dust where a few bugs were fleeing. The material with which he had been clothed was now confused with the cobwebs covering him. Its empty orbits scanned the stone from above, on which lay another parchment-like skeleton.

    A hiccup of his friend made him startle. He was about to cast a black look at her, when he heard the reason for it. The slow-pitch scrape came from the central hallway approaching. Both eyes were riveted in this direction, with the torches gradually decreasing. With each step, crackling sounded in the hallway, accompanied by rattling and metal creaking.

    Under their amazed eyes, a person who was stuck in a rust gnawed stitch cloth stepped forward with a dragging step. Illuminated by the torches, they realized their disregard. No globes were sitting in the creature's orbits. With each step, the fragile skin cracked on its prominent bones. With his jaw without lips and lifted off on one side, he shouted silently while pointing to them with a broken half-length sword.

    One guy stumbled back, unable to articulate the slightest word. His torch rolled in a puddle before it went out whistle-blowing. Petrified, the other felt his pants wet as the skeleton in armor advanced towards them like a puppet, failing to collapse at each step accompanied by a muddy suction. He lifted up his weapon held by a hand made only of bones and tendons, continuing to move forward. Terrified by this nightmare vision, he could not hear the tremors from the alcove where he was leaning against. Both of them only began to scream once they were plunged into the darkness.
     
  2. Count Vashra

    Count Vashra Lord of Shadows True Blood

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2013
    Messages:
    1,521
    Excellent, excellent. Very few llanguage mistakes there. You did the atmosphere of going into a creepy dark place very well. Looking forward to more.
     
  3. vg11k

    vg11k Zombie

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Thanks for your comment.
    I'm currently reading your story and the one from get's of W'soran. Both of you tell looongs stories ! Would be a pleasure to comment them once I've read everything.


    So, here the true first chapter.

    Fire and Blood
    Chapter 1​


    The wagon was moving calmly along the river. The team was not in a hurry to get the passengers talking to each other. Two young men stood in the front of the car, keeping an eye on the monotonous road. In the shadow of the tarpaulin at the back, an older, thicker man kept passing a rag over his gun with his heels touching the dust. After a while, he lifted her up above his head and gazed at her in a ray of light. The mighty war hammer sparkled. Satisfied, the man in bure delicately put it inside, at the feet of a fourth man. He looked at her with great respect, before turning to the blue sky at the end of the afternoon.

    Snoring was coming up from under the fourth man's imposing hat. Despite the fine weather of late autumn, he had kept his ample coat, his arms crossed, disappearing inside. The jolt of a bad stone shook the hammer which touched his thick studded boots. Crystalline tinnitus erupted from the crates on either side of the sleeper.

    - John is still sleeping, said the man cheerfully following the wagon.

    Raising his head, the bald priest gave him back his smile. Few things could pull John Grenaille out of his sleep. Few things have been omitted from its obligations, as both of them had already noted on numerous occasions. Rare were the men who had practiced his profession so long and so enthusiastically. John had been a repudiator since he was nine years old.

    - He can sleep after the life he made in Nuln! cried one of the soldiers, also walking behind him, at the head of the fortnight's head.

    The first one laughed and approved. John had animated one of the city's largest inns until after sunrise, seemingly tireless, always dancing, courting or singing. And yet he had achieved the impossible the day before. Without the man in the adventurer's hat, the twenty or so people in the procession would have perished in the sewers of the city. He was the one who had killed the master mutator, the abominations puffed up suddenly destabilized by the disappearance of their pack leader. The vermin would still have been a real scourge for merchants for a long time, piercing their cellars and seizing their possessions as well as their servants...

    Tristofan Tisseron wore a white and gold tabard, embroidered with scarlet flames attesting to his status. He was a magus of fire. His beard, constantly brownish, contrasted with the thick red hair that grew in disorder on his skull and sparkling green eyes. Her bare arms were covered with freckles, whose skin stuck to her muscles revealed her regular excess in magic manipulation. Nevertheless, he advanced vigorously among the soldiers, holding his stick firmly and firmly.

    They had now been warned of increasing disappearances in the city of Grissenwald two days ago. They immediately set off, flanked by Dave and Leon, the two apprentices of the repurgator, and accompanied by Brother Brandit. To them five they had already carried out more than fifteen interventions through the empire, relentlessly tracking down the servants of ruin, the Skavens or any other vermin.

    A little less than twenty soldiers followed, with their metal armour rattling as they walked. They had heard about their problems with the solved skavens at the same time as the Grissenwald incident group. They were delighted to learn that John had decided to visit the scene of the incident. But surprised that he told them that if the soldiers wanted his help, they would have to move at his own pace, which means at the speed of a mule. Preferring to count on his support, Corporal Rechald had given up their mounts. At least they didn't carry the majority of their food and sleeping accommodations, which were currently used as mattresses and pillows.


    *​


    With her eyes soaked in tears, she begged the individual to let her go. Her long, brown hair was glued to her cheeks and her naked body by croupy water. She suffocated for a moment. Her gag prevented her from stirring her jaw completely.

    Lying on the cold ground, she could only contemplate the other three women slowly bleeding to death. A bloody furrow was traced on each of their throats, yet they were still alive. The trachea and esophagus had not been severed. Nevertheless, they remained immobile, paralyzed by magic. She saw the creature leaning towards the nearest one, observing it carefully. He totally ignored the naked, slender body dripping with hemoglobin, and stretched a emaciated finger towards the bloody cut.

    The fourth woman shouted a stifled cry as he slipped his finger into the wound of his immobile victim, the skin waving as he stroked the inside of the flesh. Slowly he took it off and carried it to his lips. For a moment he seemed to study her taste like a winegrower of a great vintage, the vague glance. Slowly, a smile stretched over his light grey face, revealing his yellowish, prominent canines. Slowly he leaned over the poor woman whose gag had been removed. His crackled lips rested on those, red and fleshy, of the throat.

    She was a witness despite herself of this long kiss in the light of the torches. The fluids of the first three victims flowed on their kneeling bodies, criss-crossing between their breasts and dripping from their thighs in furrows dug into the stone. These formed a perfect circle in which the dark liquid flowed, before going into a central basin where it gradually accumulated. A crackling sound made the woman startle, fascinated by this morbid kiss. A horror thrill roamed her as she watched the creature straighten up. The woman turned forward, her gaze stuck in the survivor's eye while her paralyzed jaw remained wide open. A new flood of blood flowed through her thick broth as she tried to loosen her ties, screaming in spite of her gag.

    - There is no doubt that it is the tastiest of the three,"said the individual, chewing slowly. From the point of view of experience as well as nectar. And you, sweetheart, what do you have to offer me?

    He swallowed his victim's severed tongue by turning to the last woman still screaming. A big smile spread over his red smudged face.

    - As I wish I could read in the past, whispered the man as he contemplated the ceremony with an envious gaze. How pleasant it must be !

    - Master Scleras will soon give us his kiss, said the smiling blonde woman in a low voice.

    She still held the seal of water with which she had awakened the other brunette in her hand. Carefully tracking every move of the vampire, she leaned her head aside, calculating. How she admired the grace with which he manipulated the emotions of each of them.

    Castille herself had coated the dagger of her master with paralytic poison. She knew her effects perfectly well. The other three women were fully aware of what they were going through. Better still, she felt with increased perception every sound, every caress and every dash of pain. And yet, the substance forbade them from moving. They were no longer even able to blink eyelids to moisturize the apples in their eyes. Each had an open throat from which an irregular stream of hemoglobin came out, ejected by the painstaking beating of their hearts.

    At his side, Morisburg was fascinated. The envy was so powerful in his eyes that he could have illuminated the room. Entirely dressed in black cloth, his outfit contrasted with his neighbour's light white dress, whose bare feet were stained with clay. Where she was excited, the fabric bounced over her knees, he was totally motionless. As if he had cut himself on the dagger of Master Scleras. Dagger that drew a new scarlet line in a muffled cry.


    *​


    - You say that each of the forty-three missing were under the age of thirty-five? Leon asked Leon, observing carefully the innkeeper's expressions.

    Next to him, Dave wrote down every word on a notebook, his hand constantly moving.

    - Yup, even though the old Baster was found dead the day after his daughter disappeared, approved the man with the imposing belly.

    - Have you noticed anything out of the ordinary, a detail, an object that was not in its place, a wound, a missing jewel?

    - Well, everything was locked in their house and we didn't notice anything broken or missing, said the innkeeper, scratching his stomach and frowning. But old Baster... he had an expression...

    The man had a heart that did not escape the eye of the apprentice.

    - An expression...? he urged him to continue, Dave looking up from his notebook.

    It was as if the devil had taken his daughter away, he whispered quickly as he pressed his thumb against his forehead. I've never seen anyone with a face like that before, and yet I've seen some pretty good weirdos in twenty years in this hostel. But I'll tell you myself, he added, leaning towards a conspiratorial air. I'll tell you who killed him. It's not that hard to make wine. Old Baster... he's scared to death. Something that scared him so much that his heart gave out...

    The two boys exchanged an anxious gaze. His testimony concurred with that of a woman at the wash-house at the entrance to the city and a baker three alleyways further on, which was not reassuring...

    - I mean, Mr. Grenaille, couldn't it wait till morning? complained Simon, a local soldier. You've only been there two hours, and I'm going to...

    - Soon finish your service I know yes, cut the man with the hat, inspecting the door lock of the entrance door by the light of a torch. You'll tell the next victim's parents that.

    The man sighed. The repurgator had come to interrupt him at his post in the middle of dinner, posing a red mullet in his place. "You're from here," he argued. And he said that he was probably safer at his side than alone at the end of the bridge or in a prostitute's diaper. John came in and lifted his torch to inspect the room.

    - Did you move anything? he asked.

    - We pushed the table and a few chairs to get the body out of the old Baster, he says. Nothing good...

    - How many people came in ? cut John off.

    - Boarf, no more than ten.

    He kept quiet by quickly sweeping the room. There was nothing left to get out of this place.

    - You all went up to Baster and his daughter's rooms, I guess.

    - Uh, uh....

    - I see.

    They went upstairs. Just as in the lobby, he did not dwell on the beds or chests of drawers that too many people had obviously moved. On the other hand, he inspected the doors at length.

    - But what exactly are you looking for ? the soldier was surprised.

    - Did you tell me that Baster was found lying dead on his daughter's bedroom door? Ignorah John turned to the window of the room in question.

    - Yeah.

    - Has anyone touched that window?

    - Uh, not that I know of, why?

    - Look at this.

    Simon leaned forward and examined the glass that John had pointed to him. There was a wedge on the ledge so that the window did not open violently during draughts and could break. He gazed at his reflection in the torchlight for a few seconds before turning to the repellent.

    - Yes and?

    John sighed and pointed his index finger at a specific point on the tile.

    - Look at this much.

    He gave him a few seconds to examine it more closely. The soldier finally noticed that a more translucent circle was visible on the glass.

    - Somebody rubbed the dust? So what?

    - So here's the subtlety.

    John wiped the window with his sleeve.

    - I really don't see what...

    He stopped when the repellent removed his arm. The circle was still visible. Simon frowned. John carefully opened the window. The door opened inwards, and then jammed at an angle close to 45° with the wall, blocked by the wedge. He remained impassive and had to stretch out his arm to be able to touch the dirt on the glass at the same level as the clean circle.

    - Someone wiped this window from the outside, John said with an insured tone. Moreover, there are no shutters.

    - Impossible, look at the height and texture of the wall, protested the soldier.

    Performing, John leaned over. They were almost four metres high and the wall was virgin plaster.

    - Brother Brandit, over here! He calls in the night.

    - Did any of you pass under that window? The repurgator questioned, showing the opening to the garden, while Simon shook his head negatively.

    A torch appeared beneath them. Its brightness was reflected on the priest's smooth skull and the head of his heavy hammer, hanging on his back.

    - See if there's any ladder marks, we're going down.

    They quickly joined him, the priest inspecting the grass arriving at half calves.

    - What's up?

    - No trace, Brandit commented with a hard look. On the other hand, I found this in the grass.

    He raised his free hand and showed them his find. The soldier blurred as John's eyelids were strangled. These were three human phalanges.


    *​


    On the eastward bank four silhouettes stood up, observing from afar the gleams of the sleepy city. Three of them had thick armour with dull reflections under the moon. The fourth one had him only a leather cuirasse. Sheaths hung from the belts of each of them. The glowing light of their eyes pierced the semi-darkness.

    - Can you smell the web ? asked the first one, the others nodding in silence. We are not alone in the region.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  4. Count Vashra

    Count Vashra Lord of Shadows True Blood

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2013
    Messages:
    1,521
    I enjoyed this one too. Looking forward to the next one.
     
  5. vg11k

    vg11k Zombie

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Thank you.

    Here goes the chapter 2.



    Fire and Blood
    Chapter 2​


    - These bones are hollow. Hollow and old, John said, making the hundred steps in the modest room. Hollow but not drained of their marrow. Just too old to have any more.

    Watching his merry-go-round while thinking aloud, Brother Brandit remained impassive. His hammer was placed on the bed, within easy reach. The hat of the repurgator hung at the foot of the bed, but he had kept his coat. The latter slammed at every turn of his owner.

    - The kind of bones found only in ancient tombs, he continued in a monotonous tone.

    He turned suddenly towards the sigmarite, which nodded his head with a grave air, declaring:

    - We're dealing with a necromancer.

    - You don't have to scare the others by firing on the comet right now. But... I'm afraid so...



    *​


    The vampire remained long to fix his creation with a vague gaze. He had failed again. However, this failure was not in vain.

    - We will try again next night, he told his two acolytes, who immediately approved.

    Both of them were hiding their disappointment. Nevertheless, he guessed that it was their thirst for power that forbade any rebellion or desertion. Only he could grant immortality to the two necromancers.

    - Morisburg, find me four women before dark.

    Nodding his head, the man dressed in black slipped into one of the many corridors. When the vampire was certain that he had left the premises, he turned to the girl.

    - How many bodies are left in Sladcrust's mausoleum? He asked questions.

    - I think there are still about forty to be found, she smiled adorably.

    The undead smiles in turn, revealing his yellowish fangs.

    - I want them all to be by midday.

    She bowed when he fired her with a wave of his hand. She disappeared into the darkness, her discreet steps already inaudible even for the sharp ears of the vampire. Without wasting a moment, he took the direction of his apartments. In doing so, he crossed its underground complex, alternating paved ground, sticky earth and viscous puddles. Many conduits crossed his path, the echo of some dubious creatures reaching him. He quickly reached his goal. In a careless gesture, he disarmed his magical protections, the chiselled wooden door opening itself. He entered while a humming buzzing in his back, the only witness that magic had reactivated.

    He swiftly wandered through the place with a fast eye, his scarlet pupils needing no torches. Nevertheless, undoubtedly an ultimate vestige of his supposedly bygone humanity, he lit a torch of thought. He waited for a moment for his sensitive eyes to regain their radiance. A moment later he looked at his chaotic workbench, where remnants of rodents rubbed shoulders with vials full of turbid substances and scrolls covered with stones and esoteric formulae. With a sigh of resignation, he took hold of a specific leaf, lifting it up at eye level. It was a sketch, which represented scaly skin.

    A high-pitched whistle turned him to another room. With his tired face, he rested the scroll and watched the apparition finish materializing. A teenager took shape in front of him, staring at him with his ethereal gaze. His translucent body made the thinness of his naked body even more obvious. But he didn't give a damn about that kind of anecdotes.

    - Master Scleras, he bowed to him.

    The master always found it as amusing to see the spectres bending as their toes floated above the ground.

    - Foreigners arrived in Grissenwald during the afternoon, he said in a neutral tone. Soldiers from Nuln for the most part.
    - How does this kind of information require you to interrupt the calm of this place? he replied with a tired tone.

    - A priest is among them.

    A spark shone in the vampire's eyes, nodding his head to continue the report.

    - Together with several other men, they searched the houses of people who had served your... experiences, he hesitated for a moment.

    - How many of them?

    - Twenty-one Master.

    - Let me see it.

    As the undead frowned, digesting this information, a fog from nowhere materialized in the room. It condensed and became more precise forms as the boy dissipated himself. The covered wagon and its occupants appeared there, along with the column of soldiers that followed. As the details became clearer, he recognized the clothing of one of the humans, decorated with flames.

    - This scene took place shortly before they entered Grissenwald, echoed the boy's voice, coming from several directions at once.

    Scleras ignored this remark, contenting himself with studying individuals. Next to the magician were several soldiers, as well as a Sigmarite priest of great stature, holding a massive hammer engraved with many symbols in one hand. The vampire stared at him from top to bottom. He was going to ask the specter to make this scene disappear from his sanctuary, when an individual attracted his attention, descending from the cart as he stretched out. He exchanged a few silent words with the rest of the group, tilting and sweeping a non-existent herb from his ethereal hat. His coat falling down to his ankles opened for a moment, but it was enough for the vampire to see what he was hiding there. Several guns hung from his belt. He continued to observe him from head to toe, his gait, his outfit... He nodded his head. These individuals were not there by pure coincidence.

    - You will pass on to Castille and Morisburg that the game has changed. Repurgators are in town. Make sure they don't get noticed.

    - Right master.

    Scleras was going to fire the teenager when the fog expanded and remodelled, quickly taking the form of four silhouettes looking in the same direction.

    - What's this about...? he asks intrigued.

    - Four other people crossed the Grissenwald lands, said the disembodied voice. However, they disappeared from my gaze shortly after I contemplated this scene.

    The vampire frowned while the outlines of the armour and the faces of the strangers became clearer. They were straight, impassive. Only one of them did not wear thick armor, but all wore a sword at the hip. He approached one of them, his gaze planted in front of the double of mist. This one reminded him of something. The growth of his hairs on the front of his skull, the square of his chin and the shape of his nose... Straight from memory of his Father in death and his father's father, the answer was obvious. He caterwauled with a blazing anger, as a hate inherited from his vampiric ancestor, the great W' Soran himself, burst into his mind. He swept away the intangible imitation of a brutal gesture. But the glance was spared, continuing to observe it with intensity before being erased.

    - Manesh' k! spit him out.



    *​


    - Forty-seven disappeared now, Dave said in a gloomy voice. The guard told us that four girls aged 19 to 27 had not given signs of life for more than 24 hours.

    - So perhaps they are still alive, Rechald said.

    - Or perhaps the kidnapper started hitting our beard again this very morning, John said in a gloomy tone.

    The soldier was worried about this idea. All six of them were gathered in the room rented by the repurgator. He was sitting on the floor with his back to the bed where Leon and the magician were sitting. Soldier Rechald was leaning against the wall not far from the door, preventing anyone trying to interrupt them. Dave was sitting in the only chair while Brother Brandit stood with his back to the window.

    - However, new victims or not, we must do everything we can to determine what happens to these disappeared, said John, bowing his head and hiding his gaze from his companions.

    - Three hypotheses, Leon said that his mentor encouraged him to use a discreet sign. Either the disappeared left Grissenwald illegally, or they are held somewhere in the city, or they have all been dead for a long time.

    - In the latter case, he has to get rid of the bodies, right? the sorcerer wondered frowning his brush brows.

    Brother Brandit looked restlessly at the repurgator, who did not lift his head up, attentive to the debate.

    - Who knows where he could hide them, Dave said. The forest around Grissenwald is thick, and in the river the bodies would quickly disappear.

    - And in the city? asked Rechald. Valent, one of the officers from Grissenwald, told me that no patrols were taking place in the sewers, despite some recent research. Infructuous of course.

    - John?

    The repurgator lifted up the head, concealed by his hat. He assimilated every theory. The Sigmarite watched him with a brilliant eye, patiently waiting for John Grenaille to prove his genius to them again.

    - Rechald, take five men with you and go check the sewers. Always stay together and look for clues rather than people.

    - As in Nuln, he said.

    - Exactly.

    It was by working together that they finally found the skavens from under the city. A gallery dug by the mutants had been discovered beneath the poorest neighborhoods and yet among the most frequented by thieves and robbers. Only their flight in front of two enemies had allowed to signal this presence, allowing a massive return of the guard to the scene. Rechald wouldn't play heroes in the dark underground.

    - Continue patrolling on the surface and note or even question anything suspicious. Tristofan and Dave, go round the area. Maybe our kidnapper isn't to be found in town. Brother Brandit, Leon and I will take over tonight.

    - Just the three of you? Osprey Rechald.

    - There's no need to be more. So many patrols won't do any good if Valent's patrols don't work. Our target is too clever for that.



    *​


    - I would do as such, declared the human being, firing the apparition.

    He straightened up and climbed up the stairs until he came out into a dark cellar. Blindly, he replaced the empty crate that concealed the entrance and climbed up to the ground floor. He clawed as he opened the shutters. By spending time underground, her eyes were less and less able to withstand daylight. Nevertheless, he illuminated every room with empty furniture. The vampire had bought the building, like another one belonging to Castille, for the sole purpose of giving the two acolytes discreet ways to reach the sewers. He traded his dark clothes so discrete underground for simple clothes, both banal and common in the city. Turning to a mirror, he observed his reflection. He saw only one man in the prime of his life, but a three-day beard and huge dark circles contrasted with his pale skin. He pleated his eyes. Slowly, the curves of his reflection wavered. His cheeks were raised, his hair rose up on his forehead, his eyebrows became thicker, his lips thinner... Even his eyes went from black to dark brown. Satisfied, he allowed himself a smile.

    Four women. Apparently, they didn't have to be virgins this time. Deeply inspiring, Morisburg had a moment of vertigo. He felt a warmth running through him that owed nothing to the sun's rays.

    Taking upon himself, he closed his eyes, his jaw tightened. Deploying all his will, he suppressed this sensation, repelling the appealing call. When the crisis finally passed, he allowed himself to reopen his eyes, stretching his tired shoulders. As he would have liked to let himself go, to spin in infinity, to hold the power in the palm of his hand and to soak up, again and again, this exhilarating sensation...

    He shook his head. It wasn't by dreaming about he could make his wishes come true. Morisburg went out in the streets of Grissenwald, already thinking about where he could start his hunt. He repressed the fatigue of his sleepless night like promises too soft to be innocent, on the other side of the veil. Four girls. Then he could go to sleep in the house assigned to him by Scleras.

    Very quickly, he understood that satisfying his master would be more complicated than the day before. He came across several soldiers he had never seen before, wearing the blue and white colours of Nuln, observing the alleyways with too much attention to be benign. These foreigners took their work seriously. But the master was less selective about his prey of the day. It was a perfect timing.

    He went to a brothel across town as the sun was already ascending. Checking the driveway to make sure no one was following him, he approached and hit the building identical to his neighbors. Nobody paid any attention to him. A large woman, her opulent chest hardly contained in a purple corset, opened with her tired eye after several minutes of perseverance.

    - We don't open until noon, she told him in a dry tone of voice and gauging him.

    - It's a shame, he says. My master would appreciate the company of two charming ladies for his lunch.

    - Sorry, sweetheart, but you'll be back at noon. And my daughters don't practice outside.

    She began to close the door, but Morisburg intervened by blocking the door with her foot. He put his hand on her shoulder.

    - What...

    - My master knows how to be very persuasive, he insisted with a sweet tone.

    The woman spluttered, a veil falling on her eyes. She babbled for a second before nodding.

    - Don't move, I can tell exactly what your master needs, she chuckled as he let her walk away while closing the front door behind him.

    He examined the living room, which was nothing more than a profusion of veils and velvet, hiding the many corridors and stairs from his gaze. Carefully, he slipped his hand into his pocket, smiling. She came back, always jumping gaily, two girls on her heels.

    - But Martha, it's not even noon yet, yawned the first one who looked down on Morisburg.

    - And why outside? protested the second most skeptical one who held a long travel cape against her. Will the honoraria be...

    - The gentleman will explain all this better than me girls, clucked the mistress of the house, planting them facing Morisburg before leaving again.

    - Ladies, he said bowing to the two dubious prostitutes. It's a pleasure to meet you. My master will be pleased to meet you.

    In doing so, he extended both hands, inviting the women to lodge their own. They looked at each other with reluctance.

    - I'm warning you, if....

    She interrupted herself the moment Morisburg's fine fingers closed on her wrist. Her gaze was suddenly veiled as her partner was already waving her lips in the void.

    - Yes, my master will be delighted to meet you, he repeated with a brilliant look.

    The two women smiled at him and put on their capes. They came out of the brothel after him and he took them by the hand.

    - I am really looking forward to meeting your Master, said the first one, while the second one was laughing like a little girl.

    He could only repress his own smile. It was so easy...
     
  6. Count Vashra

    Count Vashra Lord of Shadows True Blood

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2013
    Messages:
    1,521
    I like to see the villain's point of view as well. Good choice.
     

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