Azure Sins (Pure ver.)
A few hours later...
Hours later into the night. The large celebration hall was filled with voices, audible to any villager outside of the building's walls to others celebrating in other parts of the village. To the back of the building was an elevated stage, where the chief sat along with a guest of his. From the stage's base floor, stretching to the entrance many danced, conversed, and lofted around in their drunken stupor. It was then the chief rose from his seat, clapping his hands to applaud everyone's fun but simultaneously gain the attention of his people, slowly calming the crowd down and earning the attention of the room for him to openly begin his speech.
"It is truly a day of celebration for us all! In our celebration of life, you all may indulge in your desires as we enjoy such simple yet enjoyable activities together. Through the efforts of everyone, we are able to be here with one another again this year. But I won't stall you all with the same speech again this year; instead, I stand before you all with great joy, for today we have an additional reason to be joyous. Allow me to introduce you all to our esteemed guest."
The chief made a gesture with his hand to his side, prompting his guest to wave and smile at the people.
"I am joyous to introduce the man standing next to me, Vaughn. It has been long since the world has seen one, but Lord Vaughn arrived here just yesterday morning and has been resting at my own home in preparation for tonight. He is an actual demon hunter who will, over the next few days cut down demons in the forest close to the village. Once he is finished we will once again have a majority of the forest free for our use once again."
Without hesitation, the crowd shifted from silence to breaking into a collection of applause and cheer. The chief chuckled along with his guest to see the joy in everyone's faces, the drunken villagers banding together in large embraces.
"Now now everyone! If I may finish." The chief called out, attempting to continue with what he was announcing. The crowd steadily calmed down eager to let their chief finish what he had to say.
"Tonight sir demon hunter shall eliminate as many demons as he can before creating a sacred shrine to the west of the village. This shrine will remain in our forest to ward off demon-kind long after our guest here departs on his long journey once again. We will be able to chop lumber, raise animals, and much more once again. Tonight one person along with myself will remember the shrine's location and further learn from Sir hunter how to keep the demons away using the shrine from this night onward."
The demon hunter could be seen swinging a large two-handed sword, cutting down several small demons in a single-wide swing. The chief, his grandson Leo, and Eileen hid among the nearby brush. Coming from hiding once the hunter gave them the signal the area was clear for now in order to continue their journey through the forest. Although a helmet covered the hunter's head, they could hear his voice clearly from within the piece of protection.
"The amount of demons around your village is dangerously high, I don't think I've personally seen this many at once much less living in the same area. To be honest, it's a unique situation. I hope it's fine if I stay in your village for a few days longer. I would like to investigate a bit more after tonight."
"Our village is open to you for as long as you desire, we can never hope to repay such a great debt to you for your services."
The chief responded. exchanged smiles with the demon hunter, the group continuing on their way through the forest.
Leo: "Aren't demons usually everywhere though? What makes this so odd?"
Demon Hunter: "In my experiences, you would never see so many demons this docile over as close to your village as they are. The biggest oddity is so many demons are around yet your village still stands undamaged."
Village Chief: "In honesty, we elders have pondered on that oddity as well for the last six or so years since our tragedy."
Leo: "Speaking of, how exactly will a shrine fend off demons?"
Village Chief: "Young Leo, there are many things long lost to the world that have been passed down each generation of mankind. Myths say centuries ago Angels would walk the lands, resisting against demon-kind. The legend says demons were spawned at such a rate, an angel took it upon herself to teach humans special methods to ward off demons. When I was a young man was the last time a demon hunter came through our village. Before he departed, he left behind a crystal."
Leo: "Wait, like the one you keep at our home?"
Village Chief: "The very same. These years I assumed it would be worth something if our village's situation ever fell to that point. But upon our guest's arrival, he's shared it's actually a catalyst for a ward. Having an old inscription on the crystal for what I thought was to inspire our village. I am far too old to physically help much so I brought you Leo, and according to our humble guest, these crystals of legend can only be activated by a maiden with an innocent heart. I simply think Eileen is one of the kindest of hearts and brave people we have. Remaining kind and surviving alongside Miyaura."
Eileen: "Thank you chief but I'm far from brave, Miyaura's the tough one and keeps me safe. I just work but she does all the hard stuff for us."
The hunter opened his mouth to respond but quickly silenced himself. Stopping in his tracks and using a hand to gesture a hand towards the others, prompting them to stop and quiet themselves as well. Suddenly an ominous feeling crept into each of them, almost instantly growing into a heavy downward pressure, the weight pressing down onto their bodies. Panic formed in their hearts as they began to look around at their surroundings. A grim silence filled the area around them.
Back in the village...
Everyone celebrated as they had been. Generally more intoxicated and spilling drinks while others intimately paired off in corners and on walls. One couple was pressed against a wall. Their lips locked, hands feeling across and gripping each other's bodies. Miyaura watched it all with an uncomfortable smile as she leaned against a wall near the doorway, it being the only area with a decent amount of open space. Seeing their hands move about each others bodies made her blush slightly. She resumed observing them with a yearning gleam in her eyes., her knees slightly buckling under her.
(I-it'll be all worth it once I find him again, he'll be so entranced with me he'll never get enough. That is if anything grows anymore. *Sigh*)
Turning away from the intimate pair having a mug in hand, she quickly raised it to her lips. Instantly all signs of life left her eyes, hollowed. The ominous feeling fell on her shoulders, her nose twitched.
(It's the same smell as that day...)
Her eyes creepily shifted from one side of the room to the other. Seeing everyone non-bothered and continuing in their festivities.
(Just like before...they don't notice!)
Miyaura would have a memory flash, her young self looking over a cliff's edge as a young girl. followed by the demon attack on the village. The signs of life returned to her eyes as tears began forming in them. These flash of memories and emotions immediately prompting her to dash through the double door leading outside. On the village streets, she immediately raised her nose to the air and began sniffing. Catching a scent and darting off to the side of the village.
In The Forest...
The demon hunter's broadsword swiped across the air cutting what was before him, evident by the blood splatter. It appeared he only cut the hand of a demon. As suggested by its hand size, a large muscular demon charged in with its other hand to attack the hunter, who blocked the creature's oncoming fist with his large sword.
"RUN TO THE CLIFFSIDE AND MOUNT THE CRYSTAL! Chief you'll have to prepare the ritual, I will meet you three there and we must begin quickly!"
"W-wha? demons can be that big?!" Leo blurted out in shock of the demon before them.
"Now! We have less time than I thought, there's something powerful that's been sleeping in this forest!"
The large demon pushed against the hunter's blade. The hunter parried the hand to the side and rolled in its opposite direction. Recovering to his feet and attacking the demon once again to keep its attention. The chief grabbed the sleeves of his young villagers and pulled them away from the battle, getting them to join in the escape and head towards their destination.
The three of them hastily broke out from the tree-line of the forest, leading onto a grassy area. At the side opposite of the forest were a few old small broken homes, their back to the cliff which overlooked a massive span of land. Following the elderly chief behind the homes to the Cliff. Leo and Eileen's eyes widened from the view as the chief held a nostalgic smile on his face being caught up in his memories at the sight while resting his hands on his knees in an attempt to catch his breath. His elderly age visibly working against his body compared to the younger two.
"Come now we must hurry, preparations must be ready so once the hunter regroups with us. He must immediately begin."
The two of them nodded and moved towards the elder. Within a couple of minutes, they had made a rock formation that held the crystal upright. The elder looked somber as he turned to look into the forest, seeing no sign of the hunter yet. Leo and Eileen saw his expression and looked to the forest themselves.
"Eileen. I think it would be well to let you know, where we stand is where you're friend Miyaura was raised. The damage here comes from the horde that attacked the village years ago. Her parents were just trying to escape the cruelty of people and sought safety in our village only to be caught up in our misfortune. I'm truly sorry to this day."
"This far away? That means-"
"Yes, when it happened, no one could help since our village was being attacked. After watching her family and neighbors fall to demons, that girl on willpower and fear somehow made it through the forest to our village. How a little girl crossed through a forest of bloodthirsty demons is beyond me to this day as well."
A crashing sound suddenly caught their attention back to the forest. The trio seeing the demon hunter sprinting out from the forest with the demon he had been fighting chasing close behind him. On inspection of the hunter, many pieces of his armor were broken off and blood-covered parts of the remaining armor. Eileen's eyes noticed the hunter's left arm was limp in the wind as he ran.
"His arm is broken..."
The demon grew closer, taking a lunging swipe at the hunter. In that opportunity the hunter planted his stepping foot, immediately forcing his body toward the demons. The strain on his ankle from the sudden forceful pivot caused it to fracture as he dove into the demon's torso. Driving his sword through its chest. He let out a desperate war cry as he pushed his body beyond its limits. Carving his blade out from the center of the demon and through its side, ripping through its torso to exit its body. The brutalized demon fell onto his back from the wound. The demon hunter leaped off of his able ankle and brought his blade down into the demon's head. He took a second of rest on the demon, panting yet his sword still in his grip. Soon rolling off onto the ground landing on his back next to the demon. The force from landing on the ground caused the hunter to let out a short gasp of pain.
Leo and Eileen nervously watched as the hunter lied on his back, coughing up some blood that fell back down onto his armor. Seeing him begin struggling to sit up, Leo took the lead running over to assist the hunter. Hesitant at first, Eileen soon quickly followed. The hunter's eyes were held tightly shut as he attempted to struggle through the pain to at the least sit himself up. One eye opened slightly to see the two village teens running to his aid.
"Stay away! This monster is just one wanderer; the real threat is an apparition!"
Eileen slowed her pace, however, Leo continued to race over in full sprint reaching the hunter before he collapsed onto his back once again. Suddenly the slain demon's hand began to twitch, soon moving on its own and quickly gripped onto Leo's ankle. Almost immediately after coming into contact with the demon, Leo's skin gradually turned black spreading from his ankle up to his leg. Leo screamed in agonizing pain while trying to free himself from the deceased demon's grip, screaming from an agonizing pain caused by the demon.
Eileen & Chief: "Leonel!"
The village chief impulsively threw down his cane to attempt a full sprint towards his grandson. Unfortunately, he was unable to make it far before fumbling to the ground, his hand reaching out for his grandson. Eileen made a full dash towards Leo, making it closer to him before the demon hunter could be seen have made his way to resting on his knees. Hunter Vaughn brought a secondary, average-sized sword down onto the arm, severing it from the corpse and freeing the young man and the arm from the beast. Leo fell to the ground and was met by Eileen kneeling beside him to aid. Eileen's eyes glanced over to the demon hunter who rested on all fours, panting and blood dripping through the gaps in his armor. The detached demon arm may have been severed but for a second its hand still gripped around Leo's ankle before falling off.
Eileen who held Leo on the ground looked up after hearing the command of the demon hunter. Witnessing a dark demonic apparition removing itself from the body of the large demon. Exiting from its mouth and eyes to moving through the air heading towards Eileen. The hunter raised his head seeing the most like demon spirit race towards Eileen and Leo. But the weight of the great demonic pressure they felt once before in the forest pressed down on everyone's shoulders, it forcing the hunter back onto the ground during his weakened state.
The black marking on Leo's leg sent pain through his body, causing him to scream in agony once again with the pressure of the demon's presence. The weight on Eileen paralyzed her as she saw the apparition speeding towards her. Just when it moved in close, suddenly Eileen's vision would be blocked by another body diving in front of her, seeing the demon's mist-like form envelope and disappear into the person's body. Eileen's eyes were wider than before, not for the surprise of the person's body saving her but even the person's back she easily recognized.
When Miyaura was hit, her body continued to move in the direction she had leaped. Her body slid and tumbled along the surface of the ground. Miyaura lied there motionless before the dark aura visibly surrounded her body, causing her to begin screaming in pain just as Leo had been. The black marking originated on her back and slowly began to spread across her body.
"Miyaura!!!!" She screamed at the top of her lungs, seeing her friend's body begin convulsing on the ground near her.