The Hunter Chronicles - Honor Bound

by Talon God Child

Chapter Three - Training Begins



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He walked into the cool air of the night, and halted, eyes scanning the moonlit area. There was a distinct calm to the night, and that distinct calm was definitely what alerted him to something being wrong. But he had heard something else, something like... something like a soft snarl...

"...Come on..." Samael whispered, hand sliding into his cloak to come away with a long bladed dagger. "Come on, I know you're out here."

"Samael - "

He whirled at the sound of the boy's voice, and it was at that moment that he heard rushing footsteps behind him.

"Go back inside!" the hunter shouted as he thoughtlessly dove to the side, and felt something rush by; tangling his cloak about his shoulders and arms. Samael swore as he began struggling to get untangled.

He managed to untangle himself a moment later, to see the creature, a large, furred humanoid figure, charging towards the boy. The hunter narrowed his eyes -

Daniel had only just managed a scream when the creature suddenly gurgled and fell, a gout of blood spraying from its throat. Daniel's eyes were wide with fear, and he barely noticed the fine mist of blood that had settled onto his face.

Samael stood there, behind the fallen beast, shaking the residue of blood from the blade. The hunter's eyes were shadowed, unreadable, as Daniel stared in near-shock.

"...I thought I'd told you before, don't follow me unless asked," was all the hunter said before he shoved past the boy and back into the house.


Daniel was awoken late that night as he felt someone kneeling beside his bed. He turned over to see Samael kneeling there, sans mask and hood. He noticed the hunter's eyes were closed in concentration, and his hands were held over Daniel's injured shoulder. He watched Samael's lips moving, uttering words Daniel couldn't hear well or place, but caused small orbs of blue light to form around the hunter's fingers, swirling around the wound. Daniel uttered a gasp of amazement as his healing was grossly accelerated, his flesh healed over the wound, and there was no trace it had ever been there.

"Sleep now," Samael whispered as he rose to leave.

"How did you...?"

"All in good time, Daniel," Samael whispered, reaching out as though to stroke the youth's forehead. But his hand hesitated a few inches before contact, and the hunter drew back tensely as he turned away. "Sleep for now." The hunter made a hasty exit, and it wasn't long before Daniel went back to sleep.


The next few days brought nothing to Daniel but an extreme hatred for Samael. Each day was the same, practice for hours under Samael's uncaring manners of teaching and cruel manners of punishment. No compliments were ever given, nor any indication as to whether or not Daniel was improving at all. In fact, the only comments Samael ever gave on the boy's performance were either condescending or just plain rude.

"Am I done YET!" Daniel blurted on the fourth day, seeing it was late in the evening. "It's getting dark and I'm hungry!" He dropped the practice sword he'd been using to spar with Samael in exasperation.

"You certainly are a demanding one," Samael sniggered. "One more time."

"It's not fair! I'm sick of all this!" Daniel protested. "Don't you have a vampire to be hunting!"

"After one attack, you wait a few days, they're expecting you to be overeager to kill," Samael remarked, cold anger present in both voice and body language. "Now pick up the sword and let's continue."

"No, I've been out here since five a.m.! And I want to get it over with!" Daniel stood his ground as Samael strode directly in front of him and glared down at him furiously. "I don't care about this training, I hope you know that! I'm tired and I'm sore and I want to get something to eat! After that, I'll come back out!"

Samael whirled away angrily, motioning the boy to go with an angry sweep of the arm.

"Then get going, you little weakling! Go on!" Samael picked up the practice sword and stared at it a moment. "But get your tail back out here as soon as you're finished or there'll be hell to pay!"

"I said I would, didn't I?" Daniel responded coldly, slamming back into the house.

"...He's learning." Samael smiled beneath his mask. "Slowly and rather painfully, but he's most certainly learning."

I may just make a hunter out of you yet, child.


Laura Daining walked towards home, her nose buried in a book, planning the next day's lesson.

It had been nearly a week since the Xavier boy had stopped coming to school, and she was honestly worried about his safety. She'd heard the rumors, of course, that the boy would be Darius' way of paying the hunter. But she couldn't believe them; wouldn't believe Darius was that kind of person!

And almost as an afterthought, she turned and began heading towards the center of the city, towards Darius' offices. It was high time she figured out whether or not this boy, this bright, aspiring boy, was going to have a future, or die early.

She hurried on, unaware of the footsteps behind her, sounding in the twilight.


Darius sat at his desk late that evening, wondering how his son was faring under the tutelage of the hunter. Probably as bad as before.

"Mayor Xavier?" He heard a hesitant voice at the door and recognized it as one of Daniel's schoolteachers. "How is Daniel? He hasn't been to school for days, and I was wondering how - "

"He's no longer attending, Miss Daining," Darius said bitterly, and he related the tale of the hunter's payment to the woman, as she stood thoughtfully.

"So... You pay him with your son." The woman backed away suddenly, and Darius noticed the cruel smile that had spread over her lips.

The visage of the woman began to fade, to lengthen and grow in height. When the strange metamorphosis was complete, Moresenth stood there victoriously.

"So, you continue to defy me?" the vampire said conversationally. "I don't take kindly to that you know, in fact, I haven't taken kindly to any of the residents of Branbury since I was born hereŠsixty years ago. Born to darkness.

"You see, the lord who formerly ruled here sired me to the darkness." Moresenth's tone bore no emotion. "And I've returned to take my rightful claim after your ancestor hired a hunter and killed my sire."

"Your sire was a sadistic man who deserved to be killed!" Darius rose and stood his ground, one hand searching under his desk for something, anything, to use as a weapon. He came upon a blade held under the desk by something sticky. Obviously, the hunter was trickier and smarter than Darius had first thought. He kept his hand on that and continued the conversation. "He killed innocent women and children, babies and men alike! Just for saying a single word against him!"

"I advise you to watch your tongue." Moresenth's tone strained with anger. "After all, I am going to kill you painlessly."

"Bring it then!"


"Bring the attack quickly and don't waver in your concentration," Samael instructed tersely as he and Daniel went round and round, attacking with the practice swords. "There should be no thinking, no hesitation. It's all the simple matter of whose going to be killed first."

"And if the hunter is slower he dies." Daniel finished the lecture.

"And if the hunter shows emotion?" The question was posed with an amount of hope.

"He dies," Daniel said, blocking another attack quickly.

"And thus, how is a hunter to act in battle?"

"...Emotionless and solely focused on the task at hand?" Daniel's voice was hopeful.

"Is that a question or an answer?"

"Umm... answer." Daniel blocked another strike.

"Good!" Samael laughed as he swept the youth's legs out from under him. "But not quite good enough."

"Owwww!" Daniel yelped as he landed on his rear. "Okay, that was not - "

"Say it's not fair and I'll smack you upside the head, child." Samael helped the boy up. "I'm really tired of hearing that phrase."

"Humph." Daniel prepared to rise and swing at Samael, when he saw the man freeze and drop his weapon.

"Samael?" Daniel began, then cut off. Why should he care about this man, this cruel, cold, rude, heartless man? Samael uttered a breathless cry and fell to one knee, his body shaking uncontrollably. His eyes were closed and his breathing drawn as one whom was crying. But when he rose to his feet, there were no tears in his eyes.

"Darius..." Samael muttered softly, before waving Daniel to follow him as he began running towards town. "No! I won't let it happen!"

"Samael! What about my father!" Daniel shouted, unconsciously running alongside the hunter, matching his pace for every step, every movement, and every action.


Samael slammed open the doors of the city hall, then charged up the stairs with Daniel hot on his heels. The two drew weapons in unison, Samael his long sword, Daniel a dagger Samael had let him keep. The two ran side-by-side, eyes narrowed in anger and fear.

The two burst into Darius' office, unprepared for the scene awaiting them.

The mayor lay across his desk, a rapier through his breast so far that it was digging into the wood beneath him. His chest barely rose and fell with breath, and the amount of blood streaming from numerous wounds on his body told Samael that he'd put up a good fight.

"Father!" Daniel screamed, dropping his weapon even as a dark shape sped in front of them both and smashed through the window. Samael ran to the window and was about to follow when a cry of hopelessness sounded behind him, taking him back to darker days...

- A pool of blood...

No, this isn't time, he thought angrily.

- The bodies of four people...

Damnit, why now!

"Father, we have to get help! Get help Samael!" Daniel was frantic; tears streaming down his face. Samael looked into Darius' eyes, a realization coming to him. The man knew it was over, his death at hand.

"Shhh, Daniel..." Darius breathed slowly. "...There's nothing to be done..."

"Father..." Daniel's tone was softer as well, his tears choking his voice. "No..."

"Hunter..." The man reached up a hand weakly, then clasped Samael's cloak tightly. "Take care... of my son..." Samael remained stoic, only nodding. "Promise me...!"

"...You have my honor," Samael said emotionlessly. And at that, Darius' hand fell away from the cloak, and he gazed at his son lovingly. Samael watched those eyes cloud over in death, never wavering from their gaze upon Daniel.

"Father..." Daniel whispered. "Father! NO!" He felt Samael's strong arms pull him away. "FATHER!"

"He's gone, Daniel!" Samael hissed, wincing visibly as the youth pulled away and struck at him viciously.

"This is all your fault!" Daniel screamed, striking out at the hunter futilely. "You could have saved him! You could have saved him!"

Samael caught hold of the boy's wrists and held him at arm's length until he vented his rage and began sobbing hopelessly and fell to the floor.

Samael watched the sobbing youth stoically, eyes devoid of sympathy.

- A cry of hopeless rage and a vow of vengeance... against the ones who had done this... who had made him what he was and still is...

Daniel suddenly felt a hesitant hand on his shoulder, a hand that shook slightly. He looked up to see Samael's uncertain eyes, and flung his arms around the hunter, sobbing uncontrollably.

Samael was startled by the embrace, but controlled himself from retreating back. He clasped the youth lightly, unsure of his every action.

"ShhhŠ" Samael managed, in a voice that held a minor measure of sympathy.

Damnit, why does he have to cry! Samael thought angrily. Why am I doing this!

"Samael... why..." Daniel gasped, burying his face into Samael's chest. "Why..."

"...Sometimes..." Samael forced his words out. "Sometimes bad things happen to good people. We... have no control over it..."

"But why him...!" Daniel clung to him tighter.

Damn, stop it, please! Samael felt a strange feeling rise in his throat. Please stop crying!

"Daniel... please..." Samael began, then cut off, his gaze softening. He held the youth closer, eyes closed as though it hurt him to see the boy.

...Just this once, he thought to himself. It... can't hurt anything... just this once.


The funeral for Darius took place two days later, with Daniel in attendance. He hadn't seen Samael since then; the hunter had secluded himself in his room and would not leave for anything.

"...May he rest in peace," the priest intoned, bringing Daniel to tears once more. And as the coffin was slowly lowered into the Earth, Daniel felt a hesitant hand, the fingers covered with silver claws, clasp his shoulder to provide comfort, and he looked back to see Samael. Several of the attending mourners glared at the hunter, who was oblivious to the glares.

Samael strode forward and, to Daniel's amazement, removed a small pendant from around his neck. Daniel saw the crucifix, so simple and small. He watched Samael tug down his mask and kiss the crucifix, then lowered it onto the lid of the coffin.

"...As it guided my soul through this world..." Samael rose swiftly, and Daniel noticed his hands were shaking. "...May it guide yours in the next."

"..." The crowds were silent, watching the hunter.

"Sohtou, Zionus demo nagashite torou nabi." Samael traced something onto the ground with one long, silverine claw. And with that, he turned to leave.

"Please... don't go..." Daniel whispered, and somehow, Samael heard him, for he came to the youth's side once more.

"...I won't," he whispered in return.


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The Hunter Chronicles ©2003 by Talon God Child

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