Hunting in Obscurity

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Laggy Lagiacrus, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. “Yes, souls ARE fuel. But souls are fuel to drive humans on – not something for beasts to snack on.”
    Jonathan Edwards, the Hunter Guild’s founder
    Hadris was as it always was – overcast, miserable, grey. Sure, the shops that acted as the walls of the city gave it some sort of life, but the people are what make a place of living – these people lived to work. They got up, they went to work. They worked, they went home. They ate, they slept. Life was boring, but simple. However, this was not the case for Andrew Johnson – a socially-inept demon hunter, whose tongue was sharper than his blade. While his height was nothing considerably tall, it was still about half an inch over what was considered average. To an extent, one could say this complimented his build – an athletic one, not particularly strong, but enough to do the job effectively. His raven-black hair had been cut to a medium length, and combed to prevent his eyes being obscured – the eyes themselves were a deep shade of green, and though the appeared half-closed, this was not down to fatigue. It was merely how he looked naturally. Attire for that day consisted of a dark-grey button-up shirt, coupled with a pair of navy denim jeans. On his feet were a pair of smart black slip-ons, and though they were polished, it was evident the shoes had seen many battles. Insulating him was a mud-brown trench-coat, the front fastened, causing the tails of the coat to flutter slightly in the frigid breeze. Hidden beneath the coat, and strapped to his black cotton belt, was the scabbard to his sword. Light and nimble, the short-sword complimented his style perfectly, its wielder not strong enough to wield weapons such as war-hammers and battle-axes effectively. Currently sheathed in its silver-coloured aluminium holder, the blade had a sixty-percent Irdox content – while this made it easier to break, the sword was lighter, and each successive hit would have more effect on demons than that of a sword with lower Irdox content.
    Gah… Nothing’s a challenge any more. It’s always the same – always the mindless beasts. Why can’t I fight something good for a change?
  2. ''Three lattes, two small and a large one please''

    Life was boring, indeed. Work was boring. Irene did not mind boring tasks much. She could cope with boredom quite well. It was monotony what she couldn't stand.

    ''A cappuccino and a choc-chip muffin''

    Every day, every afternoon, the same story. Make a coffee. Take the cash. Give a ticket. Repeat.

    ''A... large moccha and... one of those pink doughnuts''

    However, every now and then, monotony would give her a rest. Some customers were not that simple.

    ''No, sorry. Can I ask you for one of those croissants?''

    A large, fat lady was having a hard time deciding. The line of customers was starting to grow behind her. Irene rolled her eyes, and pointed at the croissants with her tongs, as she gave the lady a tiresome look.

    ''No. Mmm-yes, yes. Mmm... No, I changed my mind, sorry. I'd like one of those eclairs, please''

    Irene sighed, and gave the lady the eclair. Finally, another satisfied customer.

    ''Can I swap it back for the pink doughnut?'', the lady asked, turning around once again.

    Irene pulled a face, and nodded. It would not make a difference in the price, after all. After giving the pink doughnut to the lady, she resumed her monotonous job, hastily serving the new customers. Afternoons were always so busy.

    ''There is a hair in my doughnut''

    The lady was back, and she did not seem pleased at all.

    ''Like, this. See? I can't even pull it out. This is disgusting- Where's your boss, girl? I want to speak with the supervisor. Manager. Whatever. Now''

    Tired, Irene stared at the lady for some seconds. She did not say a word. Then she turned around, went to the kitchen, and out through the back door.
    She sat at the doorsteps, beside a large garbage container and its surrounding mess. Some pigeons looked at her, and then kept pecking at the garbage bags. Irene held her head between her hands, scratching her feathery blonde hair. Blonde was not her natural color; it was grey, but she dyed it because grey was just not normal. Her yellow eyes, with vertical pupils, were not normal either, another reason why she used contact lenses. She preferred blue, and with round pupils, which were -luckily for her- easy to come by.

    Distractedly, she placed a hand in her apron's pocket, and found her cigarettes box. She stared at the box for a while.
    From outside, she could hear the angry lady, talking with the other girls at the counter.

    ''And my moccha is cold!''

    Irene threw the box in the garbage container. She had managed to quit smoking, for the past two weeks at least. It had been easier than she thought. She wished she could change her job just as easily. She should be able to, but for some reason, she only found opportunities at places such as this cafe. A cafe where doughnuts had hair in the glacing.
    Sighing, Irene took her apron off, left it there on the floor, and walked away. She decided she was finishing her shift earlier today.
  3. Johnson, like all hunters, lived for action. And, while action was in no short supply, the quality of it was able to be described in a most frank manner - abysmal. Granted, some beasts had the courtesy to pose some sort of threat to his well-being, possessing power that outranked the more pitiful of their species. But alas, the present was nowt more than another day on the calendar - nothing unremarkable. However, an ear-splitting roar was audible, with no warning of what was to come - at least, for the normal human.
    Judging by the volume and the sound of it, this is probably a mid-rank grunt. Should keep me occupied for the next two minutes, or something close to that mark.
    Picking himself up from leaning casually against a wall, the actual "hunter" side of Andrew reared its head once more, the right mindset being necessary - after all, his blade was sixty-percent Irdox. It could snap without warning, if employed carelessly. With nobody to stop him, running at a steady pace was no problem. Taking advantage of the narrow gap separating road from pavement, where it seemed few even bothered to set foot - let alone walk, the journey was fairly simple. The enemy, however, was not.
    "Oh, hell NO..."
    With its off-white underbelly and maroon scales, the cobra-like being devouring souls on a whim, could have easily been mistaken for a uniquely-coloured snake escaped from the zoo, had it not been for the actions it was taking (soul devouring), and the size of it. Roughly the length of a lorry and its trailer, the abomination seemed to be able to remove people from the face of the earth with haste reserved for only the ravenous. Such a thing would normally have been about as much problem as a rat with broken legs, had it not been for Andrew's fear of snakes. But, with the mindset that he was a hunter, he pushed forward - some hesitation vaguely detectable, but not so much that it crippled him. Having now turned its attention to Irene, however, the serpent-esque creature was inadvertently fleeing from its pursuer. Whom it had failed to even think was there.
  4. Irene walked in a distracted manner. Sure there were windows with nice clothings on display, and she had been looking at these, but not really paying attention. She had been pacing around, slowly, thinking about herself- what to do? Why was life so pointless? She couldn't even get a proper job, or a car, or a place of her own. She still lived with her mother in some cockroach-infested apartment near the docks. A place she should be heading back soon, before it got any darker. Not because Irene was afraid of the dark; she was not. Simply because thieves and thugs were the least one could expect to find around after the sun went down. And, even though Irene was fast, she was not precisely strong or intimidating. In fact, she was just 5'6, and quite lean; not even without her contact lenses she looked menacing at all.

    Yes, heading back home sounded like a good idea. She could take a shower and change her clothes- she felt like wearing something that wasn't black, as black was what was required for work. She could take her black tights and t-shirt off, put them on the wash, and wear something else. Even some old pajamas sounded like a great idea for her, at the moment. So, she turned around, having decided she had wandered off enough that day.

    She had just turned into an alleyway, and then she felt something odd, to say the least. Like a presence.... Irene felt weak. The floor got closer snd closer to her face before everything went black... and she fainted.
  5. Its sense of smell ((Taste? You know how snakes "taste" the air, right?)) finally homing in on an irritation it had been detecting for while now, the serpentine beast turned deliberately round, its look as venomous as its fangs. Hissing, it noticed the sword on Andrew's belt - and with it, the hunter it belonged to. Its instincts kicking in, the Irdox was linked to a threat, and the seemingly incessant hissing turned to a rough offensive. With speed surprising for a creature of its size, the snake lunched itself heedlessly towards the hunter, who deftly dodged the slithering menace. Again, it attacked, and again, it was dodged. However, it inadvertently butted its head against wall, the matador strategy working magnificently. It became increasingly enraged, and though this made it dangerous, it was evident the monster was actually just a loud low-level being. Nonetheless, it was a danger to those unable to fight it, and as such, it had to be dealt with accordingly. Neutralising the venom was impossible - not only was snapping the fangs with a sword like his extremely difficult, but it would prove impractical if the toxins seeped onto the floor anyway. This in mind, the raised part of its underbelly was cut in a flurry of strikes, unable to fight the pain or the hunter. The finishing blow was dealt - a stab upwards through its jaw - and the pest fell forwards, mouth agape, fangs heading straight for...
    "A civilian? Oh good grief, I actually have to save somebody now."
    True to his word, Johnson stepped forwards, skewering the top half of the head, so the fangs hovered inches in front of Irene's face. And even if she failed to notice the actual being, the minuscule craters appearing where poison dripped from a severed gland, would remain inexplicable.
  6. Irene opened her eyes, unsure about everything. She felt weak, somehow; she couldn't remember anything. Her first reaction was to sit up. After all, what was she doing, on the floor? Groggily, she moved her arms to support her own weight, and clumsily sat. Then she looked around. She did remember something... she was walking back home, yes. Then... something happened, and she didn't know what, but, whatever that was, it was the reason for her laying there on the floor.

    Her eyes travelled around; she placed one hand on her head, which was starting to feel painful since she hit the ground as she fell.
    Then she noticed a pair of black, polished shoes.
    Someone wearing a trenchcoat was standing in front of her.
    And something was causing holes on the ground, something she couldn't see.

    Irene made an effort and stood up. She felt slightly dizzy.

    A sword?!! Is this guy holding up a sword!??

    ''What the f- What is this? Back off, creep! Come any closer and I'll yell so loud like you wouldn't imagine!'' she said, angry, but scared at the same time. She did'nt know what had happened, and, as far as she could tell, there was a strange man holding a sword too close to her. Really, who uses swords these days?
  7. Sheathing his weapon, Andrew put on the worst imitation of puppy dog eyes possible, even going so far as to pout a little. Unbecoming of somebody who had just slain a beast as large as a bus, and with poison that could corrode solid concrete, but social norms were an alien concept to him. Nevertheless, there was little he could do in the face of someone he was supposed to protect, so he simply affixed her with an apathetic - condescending, almost - look, and sat down in front of her without so much as an inaudible grunt. Meanwhile, the cadaver flopped feebly to one side, yet another piece for the clean-up squad to handle. They had the most activity at that point in time - after all, they had to deal with wht remained of all hunters' kills combined. Despite this, the job itself was monotonous, tedious and thoroughly banal.
    "You know, that's no way to talk to somebody who just saved your sorry existence. I'm astounded - quite offended, actually."
    His tone did not reflect this.
    "But anyway, I'm actually surprised you can see me in the first place."
    As if in mocking illustration of his point, a passing pedestrian heedlessly threw an empty can at him, while not showing even the slightest sign of having noticed Andrew. This also applied when it bounced off the back of his skull. Though the poison was being produced at a vastly slower rate, there was still the matter of the numerous holes in the ground - though he suspected nobody would pay it much mind, it still bothered the hunter, to some minuscule extent, causing his eyes to flit towards the corpse on occasion.
  8. Irene calmed down a little, surprised at the young man's reaction. She stepped backwards, still holding her head.

    ''What? Save me? From what? What are you talking about.... of course I can see you! You're not made out of glass, you know!'', she said, frowning in confusion as she saw how the passerby hurled a can towards him. That was odd.

    ''HEY!-'' she yelled at the stranger that had just thrown the can.

    The man kept walking, and replied, without turning back, ''OOH, shhut up!...''

    Irene was feeling quite aggressive at the moment; she started walking towards the stranger. Excuse ME, she was about to say. But as soon as she made three steps, she felt something... rare against her leg. She stopped, and looked down. There was nothing there. Still, walking past was difficult. Irene looked once again at the smokey holes on the ground, which kept increasing its size, slowly. She felt confused. Frowning again, she looked down at her feet for the second time; and just for the fraction of a second, she saw it, she saw the giant snake laying dead in front of her.

    Irene let out a short scream. She couldn't see the snake anymore.
    Then, she looked back at Andrew.

    ''...What- what is this?'', she asked, unsure about everything. She was starting to feel afraid again.
  9. The time for joking about what was happening had passed - there would be no point in hiding the truth from her, John knew that much. She would see things, feel things, and if they didn't go explained, the guild would make him do some. Even the highly lenient officials had there regulations, and while most were not kept in check, they were getting bored. So, Andrew stood up, and put on the most serious face he could muster, which may have been a touch too serious. Nonetheless, it sufficed, and he began to divulge what he knew.
    "That, right there, is a demon. A low-level serpent, if I'm not mistaken. It's venom's highly acidic, however, don't touch it if you're not prepared to lose fingers. Our world is brimming with these beasts, and they come in a variety of different forms. And, I suppose you're wondering about other things, like why people can't see me and all that. Well, let me put it this way. Ordinary people can't see me - or any of my fellow hunters. Ordinary people can't see demons, only hunters can, and other demons. And you look nothing like either to me. Tell me, did you see what's lying on the ground? Do you understand why I'm carrying this sword?"
    An eyebrow cocked, Andrew affixed Irene with look that could have revealed nothing - and maybe a hint of blankness. It was not a lecture Andrew gave often, but when he did, he found it tedious.
  10. Is it possible... that he's telling me the truth?

    Irene's eyes widened; she felt like a hot rush running through her body, followed by her own cold sweating. No, this was just a mad man, someone who was just talking nonsense... Still, she felt he wasn't lying. She felt that what he said made sense; despite sounding unbelievable, it made sense somewhere in Irene's mind.
    Without noticing, she wrapped her arms around herself, as if she had suddenly gone cold. She wasn't, in fact; she couldn't even tell how she was feeling. The closest thing to this she had ever experienced had been fever. Revelations, sometimes, hit even worse.
    So she started to step backwards, as he spoke, always looking at him in the eye. She listened, and her mouth opened a little; she wanted to talk, but she did not know what to say. Irene simply nodded at his questions. She had seen it, she was certain; but as she glanced at the floor once again, she saw nothing. Nothing but the holes.

    There was a pause.
    She looked at him, narrowing her eyes.
    He was just so calm and casual about it all.

    ''Prove it,'' she said, almost challenging him.
  11. Thinking for a minute, Andrew pondered how best to prove that few people could acknowledge his existence, and to prove that demons were real. A metaphorical light bulb suddenly brightened above his head, and his sword was drawn.
    "I guarantee you, if I go out there, waving my sword around and shouting incoherent nonsense, ten people or less will even notice I'm there. Actually, scratch that, three. Within the next hour. I'm practically invisible to the world, so watch this."
    Unsheathing his blade, the hunter remained true to his word, waving his sword like a baton in a particularly intense piece, the words spewing out of his mouth making as little sense as humanly possible. Yet, nobody seemed to notice him. They all walked on, oblivious to the fact someone with a deadly weapon was acting like a man possessed. Anyone who did look in his general direction was always looking at something else, whether it be Irene or Andrew. This was kept up for around half a minute, until harsh coughing and hacking came from the demonstrator. "Fine, fine, I'll admit that I'll never keep this up for an hour. But you get the picture. If you like, I could even take you on my next hunt - even if you can't see someone's soul, if it's a decently-powered demon, the damage to it surroundings will be undeniably odd. You know how it's always blamed on faulty gas mains or engineers screwing up? It's a crock of bull's. Now, if you were to try the same stunt as I... The results would be quite different, I wager. Go on try it. I dare you."
  12. Irene followed behind him, keeping some distance at all times. She leaned against a streetlight, and watched, first in disbelief, but soon in amazement. Folding her arms across her chest, she stared, and smiled. There was something in this guy that she was starting to like. He was... strange. She also was strange as well, in her own way, but she put her best effort not to make that something obvious. Of course, the thought of him- and the snake vision- being all a product of her imagination crossed her mind more than once. It was a possibility. Irene let out a single laugh, and shook her head, glancing nervously at the people around- because she knew she was still visible, after all. She wouldn't like people think she was one weird girl laughing at something nonexistent in the middle of the street.

    Even if it was all in her mind, she was finding it very interesting.

    Irene laughed again, as Andrew started with the coughing. ''Hah! Than-'' she suddenly lowered her voice, feeling self-conscious about someone hearing her talking as if she was alone, ''...kyou, but I'd rather... not do that,'' she said, smiling. Of course she was not going to start yelling nonsense right there and then.
    Did he just said something about a hunt?

    ''But you got me for the... hunt, then. When is that going to be?''

    All of a sudden, her day was starting to turn interesting. Going out for a demon hunt, for just about any kind of hunt really, even if the guy was a product of her imagination, was way better than work. In fact, it was probably the best invitation she had had from someone these days. Lately, the best she could get was some cheap drinks at a pub. Or a coffee, just to add some variety to her life.
  13. "It's not a matter of when, it's a matter of where. They come out more in the evening, when prey is easier to get a hold of. Everyone's going home, everyone's tired from work and can't be bothered to rush, they're ripe for the picking. I'd wager, that if we get to some big establishment when everyone's leaving, we'll get at least a generic canine of some sort. Wolf the size of a horse, that sort of thing."
    Andrew seemed so nonchalant about the subject, it was slightly perturbing to most - he simply talked of the possibility of huge canine, as if he was playing a carnival game and hoping vaguely to hit a certain target. His dismissive hand motion, performed with the one not storing his weapon, indicated that this sort of event was nothing more than occurrence he deemed too common to be concerned about. "Come on, time waits for no man! Or woman!"
    With that, he started pacing out, not paying heed to whether Irene was following him or not. Without anyone to notice him doing so, talking to himself was something Andrew would often do, mostly just thinking aloud. However, now that someone was actually paying attention to him, he was attempting to sound rather more interesting.
    "I don't suppose you can use sword, can you? There's nobody in this dreary place that can do much, anyway. The most I've seen is the fencing club just up the road from here, and they're about as competent in swordplay as a bowl of mashed potatoes. No, I'm certain you can't use a sword like I can. Not that I have a spare blade, and if I did, I hate to say it, but I wouldn't trust you with it. Come on, supermarket or office block?"
  14. It took Irene some seconds to react and realize he was already walking away. She trotted, and caught up with him.

    ''Uh- um... I guess, office block?'' she answered, smiling meekly. She had no idea about what was she going to experience, so, for her, it was pretty much the same thing. ''No, I don't reckon I can use a sword. A knife, yes. In the kitchen'' she said, glancing at the people that walked past them. She felt awkward, talking and knowing that she was the only one able to see and hear him.

    Irene gave him a strange look, through squinting eyes.

    ''So... who are you, after all?'' she asked, as she kept walking beside him, making an effort to keep up her pace.
  15. "Who am I? Good question. Been a while since I answered that. A number of years, in fact. I, am Andrew Johnson, a mid-rank demon hunter. I use a short-sword, I'm relatively well-versed in hand-to-hand combat, and my ideal Saturday evening is spent with an Italian dish of some sort and a good film. I'm a hunter, so as you can guess, I seek the dangerous and render them... Well, not very dangerous. Unless you're allergic to corpses. In which case, steer clear of me, the guild, and morgues."
    Andrew's pace was brisk - not one that was impossible to keep up with, or catch up to, but sent a message that could not be mistaken by anyone who had two brain cells to rub together.
    Hurry up, or stay behind.
    His trench coat flowing in the wind, Andrew looked towards the building a few blocks ahead of him, seemingly pricking up his ears, stopping abruptly in the street. A small number of winged beasts were fleeing the office block, with one quadruped galloping hurriedly by, not even stopping for a snack. "Oh ho ho, this is brilliant! Absolutely FANTASTIC! There's not much that can cause so many demons to flee at once, and I've been itching for a good fight for ages. The game, my dear - the game, is on!"
    With that, he continued his brisk advancement, the monster's blurry shape coming into focus as he did so, its snarls and grunts not perturbing him in the slightest.
    "So, tell me bout yourself. I need to take some mental notes about his characteristics, we have a few minutes. Yes, I know that's a he, no female has horns that impressive."
  16. Irene followed, making an effort to listen at him at the same time she avoided colliding against people and keep up with his pace. She walked past him two steps once he stopped so suddenly; she walked backwards, and stood beside him, trying to look at whatever he was looking at.

    Despite his cries, Irene saw just a building. A normal, boring office building.
    ''Demons?'' she said, with a low voice. She frowned, and looked back at him- but he seemed to be delighted with the view.

    Irene stared forwards once again, and focused. She knew she could see ghosts every now and then, if she was under the proper state of mind. It wasn't something she practised too often, partly because she was never really sure if the ghosts were real or all in her mind, but also because even if she was in conditions to see one, that did not mean there were always spirits around for her to simply stare at.

    So she took a deep breath, and tried to relax. She knew the best mind state to see such things was that, in which the brain gets ready to sleep, or wake up. The transition state. She also had to stay open, not denying any presence consciously, actually welcoming the idea of finding them. Which explained why she had seen the snake before; she was just returning to her senses after fainting, and she saw it only once she got distracted enough not to deny its presence.

    But, there he went again, moving forwards. She followed.
    ''Me?'' she asked, looking around. Seriously? She was just about to start talking out loud about herself, during rush hour, showing her face to all that people... She felt self-conscious about it. She even doubted Andrew was going to listen at her, since he was paying attention at whatever that was that he could see, that she did not. But, anyway, Irene sighed, and started talking. ''I'm, I'm Irene. I work at a café not too far away... from... where you find me. Uh, I... don't know'' she ended, in a lame way. She could have told him, she had seen ghosts before, but she didn't feel like it was a good moment to start talking about that all of a sudden. She could also have told him that she sometimes had strange dreams. That her eyes were unusual, under her contact lenses. That her hair grew with a unique shade of gray.

    But she couldn't have told Andrew that she had some demon blood in her veins, simply because she didn't know about it. She ignored that her biological father, whom she had never met, was actually possessed by a demon when he left her mother pregnant. Not even her mother knew it. For Irene, she was just some freak, hiding her abnormalities the best way she could.

    ''Holy shit'' she muttered. Although she could not see the demon in front of her, she was starting to feel its presence.
    And she didn't like it. Irene slowly started to walk backwards.
  17. "Come on, what're you afraid of? You aren't going to get another chance like this, not by a long shot!"
    Andrew Turned to Irene, a mischievous glint in his eyes, one that showed he was not going to let Irene go without a fight - it was clearly evident that his tastes in fun were vastly different than most people. But, it was his job, and he needed to do it. If he could drag someone along with him, all the better. "Let me put it this way. I'm trained to protect people, and you work in a coffee shop. I live a life of hunting and excitement, and you... Eh, not so much. I'm practically serving you a ticket out of boredom, if only for a few minutes. This is your chance, and while I won't force you to take it, it'd be nice if you did."
    Giving a somewhat warm - though largely confident - smile, the hunter grabbed Irene's arm with due haste, preventing her from moving without freeing herself first. His hold was not any stronger than that of a child, as it was merely one used to catch her attention. His sword drawn, Andrew placed his palm upon the flat of the blade, having released his acquaintance, looked her directly in the eyes. "If you should decide to come on this hunt, I'll protect you. It is, after all, my job to save people's souls, in the most literal sense possible. I will swear it upon my sword."
  18. She looked at him in the eye, and she knew it- the guy just had to be out of his mind.

    ''Bu- b-'' she was about to complain, as he grabbed her arm. Her heart started to beat faster. She could still feel the demon's presence, which was unnerving; on top of that, she was now being held up... Irene listened at Andrew, still as a statue, her face clearly showing her dread about the situation. Only her eyes moved, following his hands, to his sword; and then back at his eyes.

    Paralyzed, she listened as he swore to protect her.
    She stayed like that for two seconds, trying to make sense out of it all.

    ''You... you are one sick person,'' she said, horrorized, as she took one step backwards. ''Sick. You want... ME, to join, YOU, on this? You like to watch girls scream in horror, do you? Or do you just want to show off, now that you know someone can see you?'' She took another step back, shaking her head slowly. ''Hah, no. You're out of your mind. No,'' she kept going, as she walked, ''enjoy yourself. I'm out!''

    And, with that, she turned around and started trotting away. She crossed the street, and stopped. She was curious, after all. Irene turned around and stared back, unable to keep going without knowing what was he going to do.
  19. "Now this... Is a NICE weapon..."
    Seemingly unperturbed by Irene 's display, Andrew had shrugged the moment she left. Loneliness was not something he was unfamiliar with, and rejection seemed like nothing particularly special. He couldn't help but feel, however, that his tact was lacking. Not surprising, taking into account how long he went without even speaking to guild members. Thus, with the mindset that his job was the most important thing he could be doing right at that point - a true statement - he had charged forward, grinning like a killer. In front of him, scooping people's souls from their bodies, stood a bipedal being around eight feet in height, easily towering over its soon-to-be adversary. It seemed to be little more than an anthropomorphic lion, boasting rippling muscles and sleek, gleaming fur. However, the being was largely black or grey, the exception being its eyes - an eerie purple, glowing with hatred unmatched. The short-sword would, most likely, be a fool's option for blocking - evasion would work wonders, however, considering how slow and deliberate its attacks seemed, even if they could puncture sheet metal. Andrew proceeded to move seamlessly - as if he was dancing - around his quarry, thrusting and slicing on occasion. The beast roared, and followed this up with a guttural snarl. It was being annoyed, not destroyed.
  20. With her eyes wide open, she watched him charge, still recluctant to believe it all. Perhaps she had been a little harsh with him, she thought. But she couldn't help feeling afraid of it, afraid of that presence.

    His moves were so swift that Irene forgot she was about to leave. She just had to stay and watch what was going on.
    She thought then, that if she focused... now that she was not as close to the demon, and she felt safer, she could manage to see it. Irene sighed, and again tried to relax herself, ignoring the people that walked around...

    She closed her eyes; she slowly opened them back again. And the she saw it, the huge black beast. It was blurry, though, and hard to see, but it was there. Irene placed a hand on her mouth. She wasn't going anywhere.