Marianna † Guildless † D-Rank
As strange as this whole situation was, the place felt quite homely to Marianna who was now able to remove the heavy leather coat from her body. She was a vampire, ancient one at that. And as stereotypical as it was, she did always enjoy the special atmosphere you could find on graveyards or in the tombs. The smell of death itself, seeping into every fiber of one's being mercilessly. The deafening silence only interrupted by the occasional cracking from flames illuminating the way. Vampires were also often afraid of flames, though that was a trait which could be extended to many different species as well. Flames were the tool of destruction and as much as the girl disliked heat flames produced, she would be willing to grasp their power and use it for her own good any day. Though she thankfully did not have to even wield a torch in this place. After all, her vision, along with other senses, were nearly perfect. Any movement or sound in this place would be caught by her in an instant.
And so far, the only sounds were those of small critters and bugs moving around, as the silence of this place made this a perfect home for such creatures. She too would not mind living here, if only t'was more tidy than this. Vampire or anything else, the cobwebs and dust were not exactly adding to the decor value in her eyes. Speaking of which, those golden orbs were moving from wall to wall in curious and analyzing manner, examining every little detail present in here. Soon, she was able to comfortable say that this must have been a burial ground for someone of great status. Several themes were consistent through all of the wall carvings and paintings, mainly symbols of gold and the sea. So unless a mythical creature was buried here, it was probably safe to assume that she managed to enter a tomb of a dreaded pirate who eventually met his end. But here below the Ace of Spades? Well, humans did a lot of questionable things, so it was perhaps for the best to not question it much.
As the girl continued walking forward, several new sounds finally started reaching her, as they echoed through the wide and long corridors. Something that sounded like dogs barking, mixed with cursing of an adult male voice. Well, well! It would appear that Marianna was not down here alone and she would soon meet some manner of company. At least that explained all the lit torches that were still bathing the interior in their orange and golden light. Unknowest to the possible dangers ahead, the girl would take a great care in masking her presence, both by making her steps as silent as possible, and snuffing out her magical energy. While there was not much of it, it was still something that could be senses by another, if they were skilled enough in the art of reading magical signatures. And while that option appeared to her highly unlikely, one was best to prepare themselves for all possibilities.
Turning around the corner, she finally spotted it. A large metal grading with a gate firmly locked. At it, bright red colored canines barking rather loud and trying to tear the barrier apart with their rather sharp teeth and claws. They were definitely quite far away from being something ordinary too, and not simply by the color of their fur. For along with that, they were adorned by dancing flames seemingly attached to their bodies, giving off heat that could be felt even this far away. This would be quite troublesome to deal with, but surely not impossible. But why exactly were they acting this way? One simple look further beyond the metal bars revealed answer to that question. A covering man sat by an altar of some kind, a large pole arm by his side. An adventurer that managed to find this place too, overcome by the greed and wish to take the treasures that it hid?
But in the process of doing so, he clearly managed to trap himself when encountering the beasts, who were most likely guardians of this tomb. And now, the only way out lead right through them. Well, it appeared that he was quite fortunate on this day, as Marianna did intend to silence the dogs for good. The noise was already getting to her quite a bit, such annoyance indeed. Walking into the center of the corridor they were in, she firmly placed her hand on the sword that rested by her side. And as she drew it, attention of the beasts shifted from the man behind bars to the vampire who was perfectly accessible. Changing their barks for aggressive growls, they would start carefully approaching the female, their eyes flaming with hatred and malice. But by the end of it all, they were nothing more than mindless servants of whoever was buried here."Pitiful beasts. Your blood won't even satiate me. The dance in which we will clash shall be a swift one."
As she said those words, a whirl of dark magical energy started forming by her side. What exactly was most effective against an opponent like this? Why, another beast of course. Soon, the dark portal spat out a half-decomposed hound, it's skin and fur dark, radiating unpleasant stench and energy which would make others shiver. But despite it's somewhat fragile appearance, the crimson glow in it's eyes suggested that even a being like this was a dangerous foe. A creature already special in it's own right, bought back to this world via the art of necromancy. A vile act for a vile creature. And through their mental link, it's summoner would give the command.
The hound quickly moved from it's original spot, attacking one of the other hell hounds with it's teeth, going straight for the other one's neck. This drew attention of the other beast as well, a fatal mistake. For the moment it moved it's gaze, the vampire's body transformed into a mist of darkness which was capable of moving faster than human's eye could even see. And her blade drew close, in an instant, piercing the red skin fully. Her blade penetrating inner organs with ease, it's end poking through the other side of the creature's body, drenched in it's blood and gore. The girl's strike was true, killing the opponent in a singular motion. That was the art of swordsmanship. There was no reason for fancy and complicated attacks, not every battle was a war between two minds. Sometimes, the simplest of strikes could bring out power of greatest impact.
As the beast's motionless frame fell to the ground, freeing Marianna's sword, her gaze would shift to the scene of her minion battling the other hound. From the first look, it was apparent that the revived vampiric beast would be victorious, it's vicious fangs buried deep in it's opponent's neck. But unlike the fight that just ended, the enemy was still conscious in this case. And the hell hound had one last trick up it's sleeve, one meant for it's own death simply so that it could drag the opponent down into the Abyssal depths with it. It's body bulging and bloating with searing spots, heat in the corridor suddenly rising. But that was fine. Even if a command would be given, there was no way the dark minion would escape it now. And so, the explosion occurred, vaporizing both canines in one big sweep.
Something like this was fine. After all, her minion was nothing more than revive lump of flesh with no mind of it's own. A creature that she could bring back infinite amount of times. And so, the girl's golden gaze would redirect from the scene just as quickly as it turned to it, her feet carrying her to the cage, and the man inside of it. He was clearly still in the state of mild panic, as he rested his hand in his hands, not really paying attention to anything that was going on. Only a deaf man could miss the battle that just took place, so either he was just that, or so deep in his own thoughts that the outside world simple ceased to exist for him. But now that the threat was actually gone, there was a good chance she could get to him. There was still some time before she could form her body back into the mist after all, so the physical barrier in front of her did pose a little bit of a problem."Wake. I have dealt with the guardians of this crypt. They shan't hurt you no more, so open the doors for me and let me in."
And truly, he did react to those words. Grabbing the weapon with him, he slowly approached the iron bars with a smile, slotting in a rather old looking key and turning it. With a loud click and thud, the metal door would slide to a side and path forward opened for the vampire. With a nod, she would walk past the man, who said not a single word, and looked around. In front of her, a hollow altar with mummified corpse inside. That must have been the pirate that owned these tunnels. To the girl's surprise, however, the was no gold in there with him. It seemed like a norm for such individuals to be buried with their wealth, but the only items she could see were a ragged coat and a stone tablet. Though before she could examine any of these, a sharp blade pierced her chest from behind."Aaah... thanks for the aid, miss. I was starting to really think that I would never leave here alive. But here we are, ey? Real shame you're this strong though... if you were weak enough, I'd try to capture you instead, have some fun with ya later. But even I'm smart enough to know that risk like that ain't worth it, not after the show you've put on. And I'm not exactly into enjoying cold bodies, if ya know what I mean. Sweet dreams, lassy~"
With that, he pulled the weapon out, letting Marianna stumble forward with a giant gushing wound where her heart was. So he was watching it all in the end. How cunning indeed. But even if he tried to get the upper hand, him not knowing just who exactly this girl was bough forth his demise. For even with a body damaged so badly, the girl did not die. In fact, she did not even feel pain from such strike. Her black blood would flow out, slowly taking on it's shape. She could hear how the man turned his back to her, clearly convinced that she would not survive. But she was not letting him. Gripping that black sword of hers tightly, she would perform a quickly strike, meant to cut into his neck.
Despite his appearance, he was actually quite quick. Parrying the attack, he jumped back in surprise, but quickly moved in for another attack. This time using the non-bladed end of his weapon, he managed to strike his opponent straight in the stomach, sending the girl crashing into the altar. Her blood splattered all over the ground, her body resting motionlessly. With few heavy breaths, the bandit tried to calm down and this time approach her body, seemingly dead on spot. He probably realized that if nothing else, her weapon could be sold for some extra profit, or mayhaps even the armor she was wearing.
But vampire's visage was one of a dead human at all times. While she appeared gone, she truly wasn't. And once the brute got close enough, the blood that soiled ground beneath them started to move. Countless spikes would rise up, piercing him all over his body and rising him into the air. Credit had to be given where it was due, for even after such attack, he was still actually breathing. Hopeless and unable to even move, as his body, impaled on the black blood, remained completely still. Marianna would get back into a standing position, the would he caused on her chest already closing. Aiming her sword at his own body, her eyes looked straight into his for just a moment."Shame that you are nothing but degenerated mortal. If you were of higher standing, I'm sure you would have been able to attain greater power."
And just like that, the black blood surrounded her sword, extending it's blade and piercing the man's heart, just like he did hers. In that single instant, he was killed. And all the blood could retract back into the girl's body, as if had never left, closing the wound as the last drop filled her again. With all life that was once present in this place gone, she was free to properly see just what the coat and stone tablet were about. While the cloth didn't seem to be of much use, it surely could have been sold to some enthusiast. And in regards to the tablet... well, the girl had really no idea. Perhaps she would find a use for it eventually. For now, she took both and headed back towards the cave-in, perhaps the rain had stopped by now.
Word Count: 2516 / 1500 (WC achieved)