The stars did not shine that night. Thunder bounded in the distance, and rain burst from the sky. Light streamed from only a single place in the solemn village; a quaint wooden shack.
Inside, candles illuminated three faces. One was old and wrinkled, unable to stave off the ravages of time. He sat quietly, his eyes closed in meditation. A second was the smooth skin of a holy woman. Blood trickled onto her tongue as she bit her lip again in anticipation. Her anxiety only made her look sick, sweat now cascading down her brow. Beside her was the third and final occupant. A boy still not yet of age, but still very mature looking. He breathed heavily, but contently. The boy stole a glance at the priestess, only feeling worse after watching her distress.
Silence was thankfully broken. The front door flew open, water spraying inside.
"We are out of time." Came a voice who struggled to talk over the constant splashing.
The all eye's were on the hooded speaker who swiftly walked to the priestess.
"Lady Liana, the others are beginning to suspect something. They will be here well before dawn, and now,"he said heaving the boy up,"it must be done, and by your hands."
"Let him live as a marked or die as a martyr. Those are your choices, and I regret not forcing them upon you earlier."
The priestess looked to the fiery red hair of the boy. He stared back with innocence. She walked to him, reaching out in an embrace. She held it for a moment before slowly retreating with his hand in her's.
"I have released the bonds. Sigfried, remove your shirt." Said the old man.
He did so, tossing it aside.
The cloaked man reached towards the stage, grabbing a heavy stone case that had been concealed in the darkness. It ran with strange runes and pictures, two black clasps had been broken and lay drooped to the sides.
"Lady Liana, bring him here, then take the box. The rest is for you."
She guided him forward, standing him to face away. She carefully took the box from the hooded man's hands. Then, filling her lungs, she began to speak.
"Upon this day, Sigfried takes our darkest secret unto himself. As such, he accepts this bond in service of fate."
She hesitantly tugged at the lid. Tears running down her face as the box creaked open. There was a loud growl, and a flash of darkness that flickered the candles.
It struck him like a dart. It plunged into his skin, and began to take form. It was comprised of black flesh, snaking across his back, obtaining what blood it needed to proceed. Sigfried stayed silent, his mouth opened, and his eyes bulging.
"Ah. Locked in a box for so many years. At last, it feels good to have a master."
Even with the sandstorm raging around him, the executioner could smell it. Demon, this place reeked. He consulted the thirty year old map that he had dug up while researching his current mission. The abandoned oil refinery was closer than he expected. Then again, in these conditions you would touch something before you would see it. Adjusting to the left, he marched onward. As he walked, the storm began to lessen, and soon he saw the silhouette of the building and it's pipes. He made a mad dash for the entrance, swiftly pulling open the heavy iron door and stepping inside. Darkness greeted him, and a fresh demon stench.
From the left side of his coat he drew his custom sawed off grenade launcher. From the right side, his blade drew itself. What looked almost like vines were creeping from his robes. Twisting into a hilt, the bottom of which began to take shape as a beastly yellow eye. Slowly the tendrils amassed on the opposite side as well, forming a slightly tapering square blade. Tooth like spikes jetted from the leading edge, appearing one by one.
Now armed, Sigfried the Philosopher of Execution was ready to begin his hunt. And it appeared his prey was in the mood to be sent back into the inferno.
At the end of the hall, a pair of bright red eyes glowed. It had been watching Sigfried's weapon with immense interest before finally showing itself. It's form was that of a grotesque horned beast that was clad in torn armor, likely from the crusades. It's chain-mail had split in places where it's body had grown. It's helmet was stabbed over one horn like a tin can.
"What impudent being dares approach the castle of Aufval! You shall taste steel barbarian!" The demon roared.
Sigfried raised the launcher and retorted with disgust;"This is now more than a derelict ruin that holds a delusional monstrosity. Even your filthy freak king has abandoned you."
"I am faithful to Lord Abaddon, he holds me in the highest favor!"
"Pathetic. Even demons lose their minds. I didn't think you could get any more sickening."
The dark knight shrieked in rage. It barred it's two clawed hands and suddenly charged. Sigfried fired at the same time, knowing the grenade would at least blind his target. The thump and explosion were nearly simultaneous, the explosion staggering the demon and blowing off what little armor it still wore.
Sigfried twirled nightmare, then jabbed forward into the demon's left arm. Gluey black fluid shot from the wound. The executioner struck again, going for head. This strike took one of it's horns off.
"You dare take my horn! I'll skin you and drink your blood!"
"Your threats are idle. And soon, you will have no need of speech at all."
The hunter parried a fast swipe by the demon and struck the last blow, chopping inwards and carving a long cut along Aufval the Knight's throat. Nightmare had already sunk back into Sigfried's coat, and had gone back to sleep by the time Aufval disappeared into red mist.
"And now for the walk back. I wish I had Rowan's portals." Sigfried sighed, disappointed that the whole walk in the sand had only ended in a minor battle.
With that, he straightened his coat and tied a cloth across his mouth.
"Demon dealt with?" Asked the secretary Alexis as soon as he got it.
"Gone for now. I'm going back to the library."
"The company has payed for your services, however considering your plane's fuel costs and the weapon usage...."
"I figured. How much is left?"
"Enough for lunch." She giggled.
The other hunters in the room laughed and patted Sigfried on the back.
"Oh well." He shrugged snapping his neck and walking off into the order.
It was time for an infusion anyway.