“Need some help?” The voice seems to come from nowhere, and I feel someone pressed against me. Back to back.
“And who might you be?” I am not amused.
“Most call me Demon Hunter. But you can call me Michael. You must be Angel.” He is being too chummy.
“No. I am Cris.” I correct his misconception. “The suck heads call me the Angel of Death. And rightly so.”
“So who is Angel?” He seems confused.
I smile despite myself. “He is one of my allies. And I do not know where he is at the moment, but he is to meet me once I am done with this stop in my mission.”
“This battle with these demons?” He is confused.
“No. I am head for The House of Morani. I am searching for Jason Kalkolides and the Sabbath Stones. These demons are trying to stop me from fulfilling my mission.” I frown. Maybe I gave him too much information. “Are you alone?”
“Nope.” He is assertive. “I lead a band of hunters known as the peacemakers. Care if we join you for a while?”
“Not at all. Just stay out of my way when I do my thing.” I glance at him from over my shoulder. He is young. Like me. But I am older.
I determine that he must be a chosen one as well. “You a chosen?”
“yes and no.” He shrugs.
“What does that mean?” Suddenly, I am pensive.
“It means that I am only one of a few chosen to battle demons. I can see them, but I am not allowed to hunt vampires or the other undead. Just demons. You?” He has eased my mind.
“I am chosen to restore balance. Erase the world we know and return the one that was…or will be. I am Grigori and Alpha.” I pause. “And have seen these vile things since before I was turned.”
“Turned?” He is suddenly alarmed. “You mean that you are a vampire?”
“Yes and no. I am but I do not drink blood. At least not human blood. You have nothing to worry about.” I remain focused on the battle.
“That’s good to know.” He isn’t sure I am being truthful. “Any more surprises?”
“Not really.” I smile to myself. Always good to keep strangers on their toes. “Except worry less abut me and more about defending yourself. And your men.”
It seems that the more demons we kill, the more appear out of nowhere. This place is just crawling with the nasties. Has Morani gone into a partnership with demons? Not an impossibility. But not likely either. Demons don’t care if you are vampire, undead, or human. They hold no allegiance. They give no quarter.
“Seems we’ve run into an unusually large pocket of them. Usually isn’t this many of them at any one place.” He is now concerned. “Are you generally prone to drawing this many?”
“No, not usually. But they may sense what I am doing and want to stop me. Even though it will mean the complete destruction of the universe if they succeed. Then they will have no world to wander through.” I am getting bored with the battle. “But apparently, they do not care.”
Suddenly, they all vanish. We look around cautiously. No more demons. We relax.
I turn to him. “Thank you for your help. If you are going to accompany me, be sure to do as I tell you. Stray one way or the other, and it could cost you your lives. I find out that you are being paid to betray me, and I will personally send your heads to Kalkolides. On a platter.”
We reach the hill overlooking the House Morani. There is a stretch of valley to either side of the castle-fortress. I camp out at the crest of the hill. Too dangerous to move against the monster in the daytime.
“Why are we stopping?” One of Demon Hunter’s allies ask.
“You apparently have no clue about fighting vampires, do you?” I am not surprised, though a little annoyed.
“They should be asleep. They always sleep during the day.” Another opts.
“Wrong.” I end the speculation. “Vampires do not need sleep. And the daylight has no effect on them. Think of it as a disease, not a curse from God. Being dead, they do not need rest. The only thing they do not do in the daylight is hunt. But most of these freaks don’t need to hunt. They own their own breeding pens where they breed humans to feed upon. The waste, they feed to the zombies and ghouls in and around their lands. Or make into one of their vile Capos.”
“How long have you been doing this?” It is the woman of the group. I look at her.
“Twenty years.” I keep her attention. “I started when I was twenty. Up to that point, I was being trained. By one of the best.”
“Would you be willing to teach someone else?”
“Yes. But only if they are serious.”
“You heard her, boys. We wait here.” Demon Hunter’s voice breaks in.
“Boss, we have never stayed put on a woman’s say-so. I don’t care if she is a chosen. She is still a woman. And I am spoiling for a fight.” One of the boys’ club is as belligerent as they get. And the majority of them chime in on it agreeing.
I look over at their leader. “If you want to go against my orders, then you have a problem. I trust her judgment. If she says attacking is best done at night, then I am going to listen.”
“We have never known you to take orders from a woman.” Another is being accusatory. “Are ya sure you ain’t goin’ yella?”
“I am not taking orders from her. And I am not going yellow or soft. You questioning my judgment is telling me that the Peacemakers is through. You do not have the good sense God gave a gnat. Go. Fight your little battle. But without me.” Demon Hunter stands firm.
The woman of the group stands firm with his decision. “I stand with D.H. on this.”
“You would.” a fourth is being outright snide.
The four stubborn fools turn and walk down the hill. I take out my field glasses and watch their approach to the manse. Just as I suspected. Traps have been set. I watch them set off a chain reaction as they hit the first trip wire. It doesn’t take long for the vampire guards to finish them off. The massacre is just too brutal.