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Chapter 486: The Hunt for the Vampire

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Author: The Sole Survivor Original Source: SFACG
Translator: CatatoPatch English Source: Re:Library

It was around two in the morning that Regine and Reyage came back from scouting. With them came the information we sought about the Vampire’s nest.

The Vampire Umbra’s nest was located in a cave roughly fifteen kilometers from the village. It was a cave they had dug out themselves in the fashion of a secret lair. In order not to raise any suspicions, Reyage and Regine chose not to explore too far in. Instead, once they had confirmed that this was the lair of the Vampire, they promptly retreated.

Normally, such risks wouldn’t have been necessary. In the earlier battle, Reyage and Nicole had intended to leave a couple of Blood Ghouls alive. Unfortunately, all of the Vampire’s servants had been cursed with a spell that was activated soon upon their capture by the Vampire. Our two captives immediately died on the spot.

Such triggered curses were a common tactic of the Vampires, being that they ensured their Blood Ghouls were extremely obedient. However, there was also a weakness to this curse. Should the distance between the spellcaster and the victim grow too large, there was a very high chance of the curse failing.

Thankfully, Reyage and Regine’s tracking efforts had been very successful. The fleeing Vampire and his Blood Ghouls were never the wiser about the two trackers on their tails. Now, that was the hard part taken care of. What remained was a lot simpler in comparison: just raid that Vampire’s lair in the day, burn the coffin he slept in, and that’s one under-siege village sorted.

For the most part, the rest of us weren’t in the mood to sleep after the battle had ended. Even Jill, who was one of the last to be notified of the battle, came to accompany us while we waited for Reyage and Regine’s return. With both of their safe returns, everyone got together for a quick meeting where we decided to make the fateful strike the next morning. In the meantime, the plan was to get whatever little rest we could before the main event at six in the morning sharp.

When morning came, our entire entourage, including Jezsere, all got on our horses and neatly rode out of the village. Knowing that we were all out to vanquish the Vampire, the villagers of Lyon all came out of their houses to get a glimpse of us from the streets. Perhaps it was because they had witnessed such a scene multiple times already, there was none of the fanfare you would expect. They merely saw us off quietly, eyes more conflicted than the other.

If there was ever something more frightening than despair, it would be gaining a glimmer of hope, only to be thrown back into the darkness right after. The villagers had already seen off three expeditions in the past, with them went their hopes as well. They could no longer suffer a forth.

Some stared at us with eyes that were barely alive, while others held a tiny spark of hope amidst a swirling vortex of terror. Either way, there was no changing the plan now. We could only forge ahead with our full might and slay that Vampire!

As always, I was hugging onto Jezsere as I rode on Mo Ning. Regine was ahead on horseback, leading us to the nest she scouted. Because Vampires couldn’t act in the sunlight, their Blood Ghouls had to guard them during these vulnerable hours. That was why we weren’t worried about the village getting attacked even if no one was left behind to guard them.

Our party steadily progressed forward, reaching the entrance of that Vampire in slightly over an hour.

Reyage was the first to enter, checking the surroundings of the lair for any potential dangers. Having barely taken a few steps into the cave, the sounds of fighting suddenly erupted from within. However, the fighting only took a couple of seconds, at which point Reyage came striding out, hand beckoning for us to enter.

Nicole led us into the cave. By the side, we could see the aftermath of Reyage having taken apart both physical and magical traps. We quickly came upon the corpse of a human dressed in black leather laid lifelessly against the cave wall. In the center of his chest was an obvious stab wound that pierced through his heart.

The deceased was a middle-aged Human. Burly, buzzcut, and ordinary in terms of looks.

Reyage reached out to grab the deceased’s neck, and with a twist of his wrist, laid the neck bare for us to see. And there it was… the signature twin puncture wounds of a Blood Ghoul.

Furthermore, these puncture wounds were clearly fresh. Meaning he had suffered these wounds recently. To be exact, just last night…

Seeing as there was a Blood Ghoul guarding this entrance, there was no doubt that this was the lair we were looking for.

“My apologies, Master… Our infiltration has failed.” Upon letting us confirm its Blood Ghoul status, Reyage lowered his head in apology. “I had underestimated him; I never expected him to be a Lycan…”

Reyage was a Six-star Assassin. Under normal circumstances, it was impossible for an ordinary Human to notice him. Yet these weren’t normal circumstances. The entrance of a lair was bound to be riddled with traps and alarms. Given that this was day, there would also be a guard stationed at the entrance. It would be hard for Reyage to function at full strength given these conditions. Not to mention the fact that Lycans could transform at will, and even when they were in their human forms, they would still retain some of the traits of their Werewolf form.

For example, a keen sense of smell and hearing…

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“Don’t mind it too much, we never planned on making a stealthy entrance anyway.”

Whenever a Vampire planned to sleep, it would enter its coffin. During such a time, it was difficult to wake up said Vampire, especially when the Vampire was severely injured. Under such circumstances, it was nearly impossible for the Vampire to suddenly get up and run. Unless, of course, someone picked up the coffin and absconded with it. That was why we had to act swiftly and kill him here and now.

“Let’s go in first. I’m sure that fighting just now has alerted some of the guards. I’m afraid we can only fight our way in at this point.” Said Nicole.

Having entered her Demon Hunter state of mind, she was even colder than usual. Previously, Jill had told us that Nicole had a reputation as an ice queen in Azure City’s Demon Hunter Branch. In all likelihood, this was what they had in mind.

Closely following behind, Neneth came striding in with an oversized blade the size of a door and completely at odds with the cute girl image she gave off. The power loli. Speaking of which… power and loli is really a great combination, isn’t it?

Behind her, I marched with Jezsere closely by my side, hand pressed against her own. Then came Regine, Jill, Zurnalin and Reyage. As for Mo Ning… I gestured in her direction, reminding her of her current disguise as a normal horse.

The insides of the Vampire’s lair was pitch black. The Dark Elves and I clearly had the ability to see in the dark, but so did Regine as well. Being a Demoness, she had inherited some abilities from my patronage, and Darkvision was one such ability.

Unlike us, Nicole and Neneth were both ordinary Humans. Their eyes could not see much in such an environment. That was why both of them reached for their pockets soon after entering the cave and fished out a pair of sunglasses-looking objects to wear. These were probably tools to allow them to fight at night, imparting some degree of vision in darkness for normal Humans.

“Eh? Sister Mo Na, don’t you need to put on your Darkvision Goggles?” Asked Neneth, having turned around to look at us after putting on her own goggles. “You might bang into the wall if you don’t put them on.”

“It’s alright. Our martial arts is a little peculiar, it gives some degree of Darkvision.” I smiled at Neneth before continuing, “quickly now. We can’t be sure if those Blood Ghouls are busy evacuating the Vampire’s coffin right this instant.”

“Mhm. Neneth and Sister Nicole will lead the charge!”

Our following journey deeper into the Vampire’s lair proceeded smoothly from that point on, unusually so even. While there might have been a few Lycans ambushing us along the way, they were swiftly taken out by our forces. Unlike the village battle, our whole might was brought to bear upon this lair. With Zurnalin, an Eight-star expert, holding down the proverbial fort, there was no way a bunch of Five-stars and Six-stars could ever hope to win.

Just like that, we advanced easily until we came upon the Vampire’s black coffin. It was located in a separate secret room. Around it were four transformed Lycans trying to move away said coffin. Unfortunately for them, moving the coffin wasn’t an easy task. There was a grisly-looking red magical array carved into the ground beneath that was constantly supplying the coffin with mana. It was meant to aid in the Vampire’s healing, but that also meant that the coffin was now rooted to the ground, unmovable even with the combined efforts of four transformed Lycans.

I guess that’s what it means to smash one’s foot while trying to pick up a rock.

Upon noticing our arrival, the four Lycans immediately howled into the air before charging fearlessly right at us. Ever since they had become Blood Ghouls, their lives had become bound to the Vampire as well. Should the Vampire they serve die, the curse placed on them would kill them as well. That was why they had no choice but to defend like their lives depended on it.

Nicole swiftly lowered her body and took up a quickdraw stance with her sword. An instant later, her sword flashed out of its scabbard, sending forth a glaring wave of energy that tore apart the darkness of the lair. In no time at all, a Lycan laid dead on the floor, split along its waist! Neneth hoisted up her gigantic blade at the same time and began swinging it about in a dance. And just like that, one of the charging Lycans was sent flying backwards like a baseball…

Reyage had taken the opportunity to strike as well. Before that poor Lycan even knew what had happened, Reyage appeared next to the flying Lycan and perforated its forehead with his left dagger. With his right, he held out another razor-sharp dagger that easily sliced through another Lycan that was still in the midst of leaping towards Neneth. A second later, the Lycan had finally reached his target. Unfortunately, he couldn’t do anything as the upper half of his head was now missing…

Yet Zurnalin had to have been the most violent of the lot here. By focusing her mana into a shield, this disguised Dark Elf beauty slammed her mana shield into an oncoming Lycan. Then with a powerful thrust of her sword, she nailed the flying Lycan onto the wall.

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Now that the Lycans were taken care of, Nicole walked up to the coffin and took up position. Having found the right spot, she gripped down hard on her sword then sent it thrusting down into the black material.

The Epic-grade weapon that it was easily penetrated the coffin, following which a horrific wail filled the room… so there was a person inside it… I mean, Vampire.

The abruptness of the wail sent Jezsere jumping into my arms both out of surprise and terror. Our resident timid girl immediately pressed herself against my body in a bid to seek out some measure of comfort while I patted her head like I would a puppy. “Don’t be scared, your master is here.”

“Mhm. Master’s here, Jezsere isn’t scared.”

“Hmph. Taking advantage of the situation like that just because she’s timid…” Seeing no avenue to step in between us, Zurnalin couldn’t help but pout at that point while muttering to herself, “when will Master ever accept me…”

“Hmph.” Regine coldly harrumphed at her then.

At the side, Jill could barely stifle a laughter as she watched my mini-harem duke it out. “Seems like my dear employer has set up a rather large harem. But I wonder how long before the pruning starts…”

“…” Reyage silently stood watching. I won’t say anything, but I will watch.

“This Vampire’s bloodlines should be very pure. It would be best if we bring the coffin out to the sun to bake for a while.” Not at all affected by our little display, Nicole took this opportunity to stow her sword, only to be stumped soon after by the sheer weight of the coffin.

“Neneth can push the coffin to the outside, but Neneth can’t destroy the magical array.”

“Leave that to me.” Nicole stepped forth with her Epic-grade weapon drawn, then sliced apart the array on the ground. Without its magical bindings to hold it down, the coffin was now nothing but an ordinary coffin. With that done, she suddenly had the mind to stab the coffin again…

“ARRGHHH!” The Vampire wailed once more. Unlike the previous time however, Nicole did not draw out her sword but left it stabbed into the coffin as if she was trying to nail him down.

“Now it’s Neneth’s turn!” With all the preparations taken care of, Neneth first kept her gigantic blade behind her then stepped up to the coffin to begin pushing. As expected, even the coffin’s heavy structure couldn’t stand up to the power loli that she was, though it protested to ear-piercing effect…

“Are you sure Neneth will be alright by herself? Should we help her?” While I knew of her power, that coffin had to be at least a few hundred kilograms. Her slender arms weren’t exactly a very reassuring show of confidence.

“It’s fine! Neneth is a capable girl!” She said with a big grin then stuck her tongue out at me. Having done that, she devoted her entire attention back to the coffin. “Neneth MK I, activate!”

Like an asian aunty during a flash supermarket sale, the shopping cart that was the coffin sped ahead as if it was on oil…

Finally, thanks to the hard work of Neneth, the coffin was brought outside of the cave.

Nicole took out the sword she drove into the coffin, but not before giving it one last twist, causing another wail from within.

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Having done that, she took up defensive positions in case the Vampire decided to launch a last, desperate strike. “Open it.” She calmly said to Neneth.

“Kay!!~~”

Neneth answered with a heave as her milky white hand shoved the lid of the coffin off, sending it tumbling away.

The time was now nine in the morning; it was the warmest time before afternoon. But to the Vampire lying within, even the gentleness of the morning sun was a deadly poison. Without the shelter of his coffin, the Vampire was now fully exposed.

White smoke immediately billowed from his body. The Vampire’s face had immediately begun to corrode like it had acid thrown on it. Right before our very eyes, flesh was falling off his face, but not before letting forth a sickening goopy sound. Gone was his pale but dashing appearance of last night, replaced with a visage that was even more horrific than monster’s.

“AHHHH… I curse you all… I curse you all to an everlasting life in darkness… the Apocalypse will come soon… and all Humans will bath in its fiery brimstones… Hahaha… I might be gone now… but I’ll be waiting for you all in Hell… waiting for the end of this world… and coming of the Devil God’s wrath…”

Faced with the Vampire’s pain-induced insanity and ravings, our resident timid girl was once again scared out of her wits.

By now, the Vampire had been completely reduced to ashes. Nicole took out a bottle of holy water from her backpack and poured it over the ashes… is this the Vampire version of having your corpse flogged even after death?

I’m guessing we won’t be seeing Umbra rise from the dead again at this point. With the purification powers in that water, I doubt a creature of darkness can still revive itself from such a state. Good riddance.

Still… it feels kind of strange to have a bunch of people staring at an empty coffin.

In the spirit of thematic aptness, I decided to set the coffin alight with my flames. To which the coffin happily cooperated with by slowly being consumed. Now that the job was done, I happily clapped my hands and nodded my head. “Job’s done.”

Nicole tossed her empty bottle of holy water into the coffin pyre then swept her eyes over me. A second later, she turned around, with cape-swishing-in-the-air levels of dashingness, and said, “Let’s go.”

As if set on wings, news of victory quickly spread throughout the village. In no time at all, the silence of the village was broken as crying villagers rushed out of their houses to greet us with cheers and smiles. They exchanged hugs with each other, not at all like the jaded statues they were before…

Joyful cries of children filled the village once more as everyone revelled in the afterglow of having escaped sure death.

“Tonight, we will have a celebration!” Formerly the bandit leader and now the interim village chief, Leeder, threw down those words then led a bunch of the village’s youth away on a no-holds-barred shopping spree for food.

(TL: That name wasn’t planned. I don’t remember his name being mentioned previously as well…)

Nicole had initially tried to reject the offer as she had to rush back to report to the Demon Hunter’s Guild. But the gratitude the villagers held towards us right now couldn’t simply be described by words, nor could be it dispersed by words either. Faced with the insistent pleas of the village’s elderly, even the ice queen that she now was couldn’t help but cave in to the idea of a three-day long celebration.

In fact, there was talk of having this day memorialised as a day of salvation where our deeds would be committed to the annals of their history for their descendants to learn from.

(This chapter is provided to you by Re:Library)

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Now… I might be the paragon of humbleness and all, but if you guys really insist on treating me like an idol, I guess I will just have to oblige.

In that case, let’s have some fun, everyone(minna)!

(TL: Had to google that…)



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