The Hunter Chronicles - Honor Bound

by Talon God Child

Chapter Four - Confrontation



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Moresenth shrieked and regained his hold on his blade as he saw a being that seemed to be made completely made of shadows. He swung at it once, but his blade passed right through it. The shadow darted backwards, then solidified into a dark-cloaked figure -

- The hunter!

Samael snarled angrily and swung at the vampire, snapping the rapier's thin blade easily. He swung again, but Moresenth dodged quickly and retreated towards one of the passages. Samael was about to give chase when Daniel uttered an angry growl and rose as well. Samael wheeled and slammed the youth back to the ground.

"Sit your ass down!" Samael snarled, glaring at the kid. "You already were more trouble than you're worth! Now sit there and wait for me!"

With that, the hunter took off running after Moresenth, leaving the youth to realize he suddenly felt more alive than he'd ever felt before.




The two opposing warriors met in combat once more, Moresenth armed with a stronger broadsword this time. They locked swords once more, each of them glaring daggers of hatred at one another.

"End of the line, Dominais!" Moresenth hissed, baring his fangs viciously.

"End of the line for you!" Samael shot back, tightening his grip on his sword. The vampire was startled when the hunter began to force him back, pushing against the blade of the broadsword. Moresenth tightened his grip as well and began to try forcing the hunter back. Samael stood his ground.

"You... Bastard! Go down already!" Moresenth shrieked, forcing the hunter to fall back with a vicious kick. Though the reaction wasn't as extreme as he'd hoped.

The hunter didn't shirk at pain, and the counter that came after that opened a slash across Moresenth's chest, the silver of the blade burning like a fire. The vampire howled and retreated once more down the passages.

Samael turned and ran towards a shadowed corner, disappearing from view.


Moresenth ran down the halls and halted in another room, this one the remains of a crude preparation hall, where the dead were formerly given the last rites. He whirled to face the hunter, but heard nothing from the halls, and turned to run once more. But he cried out in surprise at what he saw before him.

The hunter was ahead of him, walking out of the shadows on a wall. The shadows rippled as though they were water, and a few shreds clung to the hunter's body as he emerged, sword drawn and eyes focused. His cloak whipped free of the shadows, which seemed to exude gusts of wind as they reached out for the hunter once more, as though to reclaim him.

"Nowhere to run," The hunter said softly, his cloak moving in the wind. "And nowhere to hide. It ends here, Moresenth."

"Like hell it does!" the vampire howled, lunging to attack the hunter. "I'll rule these cattle yet!"

"Like hell you will!" The hunter lost his composure and lunged forward, attacking as well.

The two men crossed swords and began attacking each other recklessly, their swords sparking occasionally from the force of the strikes. But neither made a scratch on the other, save for Samael's earlier strike against Moresenth.

The vampire howled and stabbed wildly then heard a satisfying cry from the hunter, whose shoulder had been pierced by the blade. Moresenth continued the lunge, driving the hunter against the wall and making certain to drive the blade into the stone, trapping the hunter there.

Samael nearly dropped his sword as he cried out in pain, wishing he didn't have to use both hands for his sword. His pain-filled eyes tracked Moresenth as the vampire moved to take an easy victory. Fangs lengthened and were moved in close, prepared to sink into the hunter's unprotected throat.

Samael gasped sharply when the fangs penetrated his flesh, his every muscle tensing as a fire filled his veins, the venom of a vampire's bite. But the agony in his eyes soon turned to a sadistic look of triumph as Moresenth's expression turned from sweet victory to agonized terror.

Moresenth lurched backwards, black blood trickling down his chin as he gagged out the foul substance. Samael could tell the black blood burned the vampire's throat and mouth, due to the choking and whimpering noises the vampire made.

"Hope you liked that," Samael chuckled wearily, lowering his head and smiling beneath his mask. "Then again, you'd hate the blood of my kind."

"Yu... augh..." Moresenth gagged on the substance again; he seemed unable to get it out of his throat and mouth.

"You see, it has quite a reaction. Blood of the dead and the blood of... of one who was never born to light." Samael gave a low growl and sank into the shadows once more, returning to light a few feet away, and thus freeing his shoulder from the blade. Blood indistinguishable from the cloth of his cloak streamed from the wound.

"Y... you're a - " Moresenth never had time to finish his sentence, as the hunter suddenly lunged at him, hooked his injured arm around the vampire's neck, and buried a dagger in his heart. Moresenth screamed and the hunter forced the blade in further, to the hilt, and at Moresenth's final scream, he buried his clawed hand into the vampire's heart.

Backing away, Samael watched Moresenth reach for him, as though seeking salvation or forgiveness. Samael's gaze softened... this was the part of being a hunter he hated.

The gaze in Moresenth's eyes became human and frightened, filled with tears that burned his flesh even as he staggered forward a step. He reached for the hunter like a child seeking the hand of his mother for comfort. Samael shuddered, but couldn't turn away.

"...Forgive me," Samael whispered, closing his eyes sadly due to the tears that brimmed in them. "Please forgive me..." Moresenth staggered forward another step, close to Samael and the hunter sadly took his hand.

The gaze in Moresenth's eyes relaxed imediately as he lost the strength to stand and tumbled towards the hunter, his body ceasing to be even as Samael opened his arms to catch him. The hunter's eyes held a mix of sadness and self-hatred as the few ashes that were left tumbled to the floor.

And with that, he sagged against the wall a moment, then turned to walk away.


Hours later, Daniel hauled himself onto the edge of the canal, filthy, bloody, and wet to the bone. He blinked sharply at the light of the sunset, smiling tiredly. He brushed himself off before kneeling on the edge and helping Samael out of the canal.

The two said nothing, their minds on how sore their bodies were. Samael's shoulder still bled profusely, and Daniel had used his formerly white shirt as a bandage for his stomach. The two began the trudge back home for the evening, each drawn into their own thoughts.

"So..." Daniel began when the two stood on the lawn. "You've completed your mission."


"And I'm to go with you?"


"...No matter what anyone says, I'm your apprentice, Samael." Daniel threw his arms around the hunter's waist.

"Ah, leave off kid!" Samael growled, detracting the boy's arms from his waist. "You'd think I'd saved your life or something!"

"Well, you did, you dumb hunter!" Daniel teased back. "And I'm grateful for it." He hugged the hunter again, and was detached in the same manner.

"Sheesh, what does it take to get it through your head! I don't like that!" Samael growled again, turning to walk away.

Yeah, sure. Daniel smiled as Samael limped inside. No matter how cold-hearted you act, you're a very nice guy on the inside.

"And I'm honored to be your apprentice..." Daniel whispered.


"So... where are we going?" Daniel asked the next morning, as they sat at the table for breakfast. Samael's arm was bound in a sling, and he leaned back in his chair casually while he waited for food. For everything, he looked lazy.


"Is that all yo - "



"Oh, hush." Samael grinned, his unmasked face softening for once. "We've got a lot of traveling to do, and you're going to have to get in better shape."

"Where are we - "

"Hush." Samael grinned, as their food was set before them. "First, we have to get out of here, as your sheriff doesn't want you leaving with me. A fate worse than death, isn't it." The hunter chuckled cruelly as he began eating.

"Well, I want to go." Daniel startled the hunter into spitting out his food.

"This, coming from the boy who ran out crying when he found out he was to be given to a hunter?" Samael's tone was incredulous.

"Yes, I know I did." Daniel sighed. "But I realize... I've never felt so alive as I did down there, fighting Moresenth. It was amazing."

"It usually is the first time." Samael swallowed a mouthful. "Eat now, talk later."


Samael made his way to the center of the city that afternoon, Daniel following humbly at his heels, left and behind the hunter, the position of servitude. Several people turned to watch the warrior, who walked with pride and bearing, and the boy, who followed with devotion.

Samael leapt atop the base of a statue, glancing out over the people.

"Hey, listen up!" Samael called out, sweeping his cloak out behind him as he spoke to catch their attention.

"Your vampire is dead, and this time it's for good. They dislike coming to an area where two have already died.

"Now, many of you dislike me, and many despise me. But I cannot help my classification as a hunter any more than a clerk can help his or an artist can help his." Samael's tone was calm and commanded attention. "They choose their jobs because that is where their talents and abilities lie. I chose mine because that's where my talents and abilities lie.

"Some of you here have wished to deny my pay, which I claimed Hunter's Law over when I first was hired. And I still claim it." The crowd broke into mutterings and exclamations. "I felt the death of your mayor, and I wish I could do something to remedy it, yet I cannot. But a deal is a deal, and Hunter's Law makes it more so of one."

"We're not letting you take Daniel!" someone shouted, and the crowd broke into angry shouting. Samael tensed when the crowd broke into milling shouts and threats, and ducked when something was thrown at him.

"Stop it!" Daniel shouted suddenly, moving in front of the hunter. "You're acting like morons!"

"We won't let you take Daniel!" they continued, oblivious to the youth's words.

"SILENCE!" Daniel finally raised his voice loud enough to get their attention. "Thank you! Now, quit acting like selfish children!" Daniel ordered. "My father promised me to the hunter as his payment, his apprentice! When he died, the hunter made a vow to care for me, with his honor. Father wanted him to care for me, because he trusted him!

"I want to go with Samael, to become a hunter. I... I've lost a lot to the nobility, and I'm not going to live as your mayor knowing that people are dying and their lives are being ruined. I can't do that... and I won't." Daniel's eyes shone with resolve. "So I'm going with him, and if you try to keep me from going, it won't work. I'll find a way to escape."

"Daniel! What are you thinking!" Joshua shoved through the crowds and made it over to the youth, seizing him by the shoulder and dragging him away from the hunter. "They may have saved us, but they're not to be trusted!"

"Shut your mouth." Daniel twisted away and returned to Samael.

"As you can see, his choice has been made," Samael interjected. "Will you challenge the wishes of both him and his father? I think not."

And thus, the crowd fell silent once more, parting before the two as they began walking away. No one tried to stop them, and no one said a word. Samael smiled behind his mask.

Victory was sweet.


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The Hunter Chronicles ©2003 by Talon God Child

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