A/N: "Welcome...to your doom!" *Coughing fit, blood included* Sorry about that, I've just always wanted to try coughing up blood. Go ahead, say it, I know I'm weird. If you're new to my ways, prepare for a baptism...by fire, blood, yelling and anything else that you may find mildly unpleasant. This is the start of my first true fanfiction, based on the Dullahan entry of the Monster Girl Encyclopedia. I came upon this idea in a poll that I had at the end of my first series, The Mamono One-Shot Collection!, where readers voted on the three one-shots that I should expand upon. For those of you are familiar with my work (and my personality), it's good that you managed to find your way here. I know I said (to myself) that I would wait until this story was finished before publishing, but I figured that you guys have more than earned a little something different for all your support. So, without further pause, I present to you the start of my tale between Man and Dullahan.
With a final sip of my drink, it's time to get to work. The bar's nearing closing time, so this is the perfect time to spread some chaos on the town. I get up from the counter and slip some money under my empty glass. I wave a hand at the dozing bartender and put my hands in my pockets, taking my time leaving the establishment. As much as I've enjoyed my evening here, duty calls. I check the time on my watch and put my free hand to the knife I keep strapped to my belt. It's midnight, so that means that my work is starting and I need to find a place where the rowdiest drunks will gather. Without any particular destination in mind, I start walking to the center of town, hoping that I'll hear some rumors by chance.
“What are your plans for...”
“...pub for a drink...”
“Soon...fear. Panic will...”
That last one gets my attention, especially the part about panic spreading. If another group is thinking about doing my job for me, then I can give myself a nice bonus as well as have an easier time with my work. I peek at the two individuals that are having the conversation. They both wear black robes with hoods so that no one can identify them, but my trained eye catches everything that happens to escape the cover of their robes. I see light brown hair, horns on one and furry ears on the other, as well as faint energy rolling off of them both. One of them hands a sheet of paper to the other and they both shuffle away at a brisk pace down an alley.
I start to pursue, curious about their intentions and the means they have to execute their plan. They rush through crowds of people like phantoms, but I'm not easily deterred. After we leave the commercial district, there is less and less that I can use for cover whenever the two figures look back for any followers. Not wanting to take risks, I make a detour into a tight alleyway between two buildings. I take a deep breath as I give myself a few precious seconds to gather my focus. In a swift burst of movement, I fling myself against the wall of a building and latch onto it. Pushing off, I leap higher and grab hold of the opposite building. Using this technique of wall-jumping, I quickly scale the buildings and climb on the roof of one just in time to see my two targets moving away. I run across the roofs, hopping over the gaps separating each building as I close in on the moving robes.
Far away from all of the noise on the outskirts of town, we stop and the shadows duck into a random building. I find an open window and swing inside, plowing through random rooms until I find stairs leading downwards. In a closet near the entrance, I find several black robes so I take one to use as a disguise. I blend in with a gathering group of followers as I descend, listening in on what I could.
“Do you know anything about tonight's meeting?”
“Apparently we've finally found a weak spot in the guards' patrol routes.”
“Finally, we can make our voice known to everyone who wronged us!”
“I hope they all get what's coming to them.”
“I heard they killed Zeke last week, without a reason other than 'questioning the church'.”
It seems that everyone here has been wronged in some way, but they've waited far too long to be redeemed. Unfortunately, I'll have to tear this cult apart once the opportunity comes. We reach an immense open chamber with a single beam of moonlight coming down through the ceiling. In the center is a raised level where I see the two mysterious people that I followed here. Everyone in the chamber hushes their individual conversations and soon all eyes focus on the two speakers before them. The two mysterious leaders uncover their heads, exposing themselves for every follower to see. Luckily, I ended up close to the front so I could see the exact details of both of them. As I suspected, this whole meeting is being led by monster girls as the two leaders are a Hellhound and a Lilim, two powerfully influential species in the monster world. The Lilim takes the initiative and steps forth first, clearing her throat.
“Tonight, we will take this city in a storm of vengeance! The Order believes that they hold us under their thumb, but we will show them that war is the last thing to ask for against the monster race! I'm aware that our rules forbid us from committing acts of violence, but if what other language will the Order understand? I'm glad we could be joined by so many Human supporters as the months passed, and now is the time for action. Vera will now explain our plans.”
The Hellhound takes her spot as the Lilim backs away. Unlike the elegance and charming charisma that the Lilim emanates, the Hellhound radiates an aura of pure recklessness and volatile instinct which is quite scary when adding the fact that she isn't even trying to hide her power.
“Thanks for the pep talk, Andrea; you sure know how hold a crowd! Anyways, in a few more days we're going to launch our biggest, baddest, and most powerful plan yet! In a few days, the Order will be so caught off-guard that they'll fall over in their chairs when we kick'em off our streets! Listen up and listen good: recently, I was able to make the acquaintance of a senior officer in the Order and he agreed to give me some information about their future activities. There's a small armory on the far side of town that can get us ready for our target. Currently, the leader in town is a man called 'Sir Lazarus'. They say he's immortal, but I aim to prove them wrong. He's the reason for the Order being here, so I say we storm the Order's base and kill him. Then, everyone will follow our lead and we'll finally get the freedom we deserve instead of the taxes and executions given by the Order!” Vera thrusts a fist into the air and howls while everyone else cheers their approvals in thundering unison.
Hmm...for a bunch of ragtag rebels, they're not too bad at raising morale. However, they'll need more than just spirit and cheering to win a war on the same day it starts. I like the plan they've got, though; it's always smart to attack the leadership. Something about this whole movement interests me greatly, but I'm still on the job and I can't have some third party take away my payment.
I unsheathe my knife from my belt and throw off my cloak as I leap into the air. Using the heads of the rebels as stepping stones, I propel myself towards the center stage with clear purpose. The rebellion leaders look at me with surprise and fear painted on their faces as I gradually gain more momentum from each head I kick off of. Within minutes, I'm standing in front of the leaders who have given me a wide berth, yet stand their ground. Andrea stares at me with false courage as her legs shake, but Vera starts taking a few cautious steps towards me.
“You must be either brave or stupid if you think you can take us down!” She proclaims.
“It's nothing personal. I'm just doing this as part of my job; you must understand.” I explain in a monotone voice.
“T-There does not need to be any violence here. W-We can just talk about this, s-so please put the knife away-” Andrea tries to defuse the situation.
“No deal. I've already taken the job and I plan to see it though.” I glare at them both as I raise my knife in preparation.
“You can't hope to win here! Join us, and we'll make sure you're well compensated.” Vera's fear is evident by now, but it doesn't faze me in the slightest.
“Bargaining with me? I thought you had more pride than that...”
I sprint forward with my knife ready, faster than anyone else could react. Instantly, I sidestep Vera and quickly jab her lower back with the weapon. She grunts in pain as she collapses onto the floor. I don't stop my stride as I approach Andrea, delivering a quick tackle when I get close enough. Spinning the knife, I stab hard into her stomach which makes her fold over in pain before becoming motionless. The rebellion members all stand too shocked to do anything to retaliate, and everyone is deathly silent as I cast a cold gaze over them. I put my knife back into its sheathe and take a deep exaggerated breath.
“This rebellion...is over.”
At my command, all of the followers rush out of the chamber in a frenzied panic. After the last one leaves, I turn back to Vera and Andrea who lie still on the floor and sit down to plan my next move for this job.
A/N: A bit of a somber and violent start, but hear me out first. This is just a prologue to get us introduced to the hero of our story. Granted, he seems like a bloodthirsty mercenary at this point, but keep your minds open about him. 'There's two sides to every coin' or something like that as the saying goes. If any of you have read up on monster girls in general, you'll know exactly why I want you to keep clear heads. Anyways, that was a pretty entertaining first chapter for this story and I hope I see you all again in the next one! Please leave a review and tell me your thoughts so far, or send me a message for more 'explicit' comments on my work. I'll happily accept any suggestions you have for me, so don't hold back for my sake!