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Arcwatch: Cursed Tale of the West

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This was commissioned work, a crossover of Darkwatch and RWBY.


It was rough, living life under a father’s guidance. When he’d left the town of Moonshine, it’d been a moment of finding his place in the world, like the Scripture had said. It’d been a few years out in the wilds, and growing more familiar with how to be a ranch hand, making his way as someone who’d be able to rustle a few cows if it came down to it… until the farm burned down and the wages dried up. 

He’d also gotten a little name change. Jonathan Jebediah Jeremiah Beauford had turned into Jaune Arc. It was a lot sweeter than being named after uncle Jonathan, uncle Jeb and Jeremiah the preacher and the name of the village that they’d apparently migrated from. It wasn’t that Jaune had ever wanted to be called ‘Three Jays’, like his sisters had once done so during his earlier years, a beat-down ensuing when he’d struck his sister by his father.

He’d travelled for a few months, before he’d done his first heist. A bandanna over his face, a hat on and a coach that he’d looted after knocking the driver out with a well-aimed club to the face. He’d been better at shooting things, but he didn’t like to be a killer. He’d killed plenty of animals at the farm, with seven sisters you kind of were the one who’d do the dirty stuff like getting a cow to put a calf on the world, or getting to muck out the stables. 

It was not a job that he’d liked, and being a cowboy (or at least trying to) had been fun… and more cow dung. The whole ‘turning into a robber’ part wasn’t really part of the deal, but he’d been good at it, even at age 21. He’d left home four years ago, his trusty horse Dominic, a dark stallion that had been a lucky steal from someone’s stable. 

It had been named Dominic because it was some kind of feast day for astronomy or something, since his father was a strict man who adhered to the scripture. The fact that his sisters had never really been forced to be anything but the sweet darlings that got to go to church and bring home their suitors whilst he’d been the one that’d had to work outside with the farmhands, working on the fencing and other things. 

Dominic was his only trusty steed, and a bit temperamental when it came down to it, but they were great friends. He wasn’t much of a knight, but he could hit a flying vulture from at least a hundred yards, two-hundred if he was lucky. It’d been a trick shot skill that he’d learned during the boring hours in the stables when he’d been given the ammo, the gun and the other bits and bobs. 

A duster coat for those moments he went to the saloons in Driftwood, one of the further-flung villages out on the prairie lands, where there was still that hint of unmitigated godlessness that his father had ranted about, with the loose women and their sinful ways. There’d been a few of those, but none of them had been interested. Not a word about paid pleasure, just a ‘get out of my way, boy’. 

He couldn’t help that he had a girlish face, something that’d been unhappily the case when he’d been out on a trip to a church and he’d been asked why he wasn’t wearing a dress, to the great mirth of his sisters and dissatisfaction of his father. 

Arizona wasn’t the way that he’d thought he’d ever turn, what with the West turning out to be something more than dustbowl after rocky outcrop, with only a few natives out there daring to camp and take some blood for the great sky-teepee or something. Dad had said that most of them were dumb and lived in their reserves, and Jaune saw no reason to change that opinion.

He was a twenty-one-year-old guy now, and he’d make his own money, not-so-fair-and-square as a former son of a farmer with loose hands and a boot to kick him with, and he’d known that with this train, he’d be able to get a good load of money. It was mid-afternoon now, and he’d scouted out the surroundings, tied Dominic to a round rock that’d been carefully laid, and hoped that it would be a good way. 

“So much for getting the bounty out, eh Dom?”

The stallion didn’t respond, as Jaune pushed the brim of his hat down. It’d been a steal, from the shop, something bought with the money from the robbery. It was just luck that he’d not been recognized as the robber who’d stolen their money, some fancy woman with a German-sounding surname having been the one that’d been the one ‘hurt’ by her dear cargo being relieved of the money… 

But it’d been his money. 

This train would be carrying with it a load of gold and silver that’d set him for life, that’d make him a rich man, even if he knew that Moonshine was only twenty-nine miles up ahead. The old stomping grounds would undoubtedly be ripe with the smell of the local harvest festival, the smells of Miss Greedly making her famous apple pie from the orchard that’d been one of the fundaments of the town’s name, after the produce (though they’d admit it to whoever asked that it was about the famous moonrise between Sigismund Peak and Bludermont, though which explorers had named them, Jaune didn’t know. 

“It’s gonna get me rich. Us, really. I’m going to make sure that there’ll be only a few deaths. I swear, you’re not going to be getting a scratch. I’ll come back for you, I swear.”

There was a sniff and a snort from the horse, which seemed to agree with him. When Jaune had struck it rich, he’d buy himself a nice plot of land, find a wife and then make sure that she’d live in a house with him. He remembered the schoolteacher, Mrs Goodwitch, a woman who’d married a man who’d been conscripted for the War and died later on, having pounded the fundaments of being an adult into his head. 

‘She always shouted at me for wanting to have adventures, go native-hunting and the like…’  

She’d been… twenty-nine? Thirty? She was only a few years older than the oldest kid she’d taught, and the others that went to school had never really been able to peg her proper age, but she’d been a widow, which was shameful, and yet not shameful. The war had been over when he’d been like… 8. That’d make her… Well, counting wasn’t his best option sometimes.

‘She looked fine though.’  

It was a fine, refined beauty, someone who’d look really good with an apron. Mom had been sweet on her as a friend, and Mrs Goodwitch had been someone who’d been around the house a few times to help his older sisters with some etiquette lessons. Being a schoolteacher apparently meant that you were learned in more than one subject, but Jaune had never been a good student. 

‘Damn fine…’  

The corset, with those haughty green eyes and that hair looking so fine up in the bun that she habitually wore, that strict expression as she stood like a mature woman, even though she was younger than his oldest sister apparently.

‘Oh yeah…’  

It sucked. Jaune wasn’t super into blondes, but Glynda Goodwitch had been a great object of excitement during lonely nights. 

“I’d marry a lady like Mrs Goodwitch.”

She was probably already married. There’d be guys lining up all around the general store and the school for her, without even thinking about those suitors that’d come for visits to the ‘beauty of Moonshine’, which all had gotten a cool reception. 

‘Perhaps I’ll go visit… once I get the land.’  

He still wanted to show his family that he wasn’t a failure, after all. A nice little house, a wife that he could find somewhere when he’d finally struck it big, and maybe a few kids for his sisters to spoil. 

“You’d probably hate my sisters, Dom. You’d be like ‘damn, these women are touching my mane, I’m going to have silly girly hair.’. Bet you don’t know what it’s like to be the dress-up doll, because Mary got it in her head to dress me like a damn girl. Ma laughed at me, y’know? She was all ‘Jonathan Jebediah Jeremiah Beauford, men don’t wear dresses!’ Then dad got the rod out and was like ‘come here, son. I need to whip your ass. I’ll show him who’s got an ass to whip when I’m back, on a big coach and a whole team of strong horses leading it. I’ll be a good rich man after we score that money train, Dom.”

A wife. A wife wasn’t easily found, and his sisters likely were married already. Dad would’ve done that first thing, if he hadn’t found a time to run away from home. 

‘Not feeding the horses again, dad. You picked Marcie for the whole ‘being a good wife’ part, and I barely could keep the books. Horses don’t go for much, I know.’

Nifty creatures, they were though. The sun slowly started to descend, leaving him feeling morose. There wouldn’t be too many guards around the train, he’d heard through the grapevine (which had mostly been through talking to some nice people who’d hosted him a few weeks after he’d accidentally lost sight of his orientation during a sandstorm) that the transports tended to carry heavy metals and other such things, if the silver that they transported regularly was the real deal. Big train carts full, and that’d be a good chunk of money for a wandering wannabe outlaw.

He knew that there would be the gallows for him if he ever was caught, but the beauty in this was that it was a lightly armoured train that carried the supplies and silver, which made the heist all that better, because the late hour on which the train was carrying on through the night. Near midnight, and he knew that all he’d need to do was to bring was dynamite, a gun and ammunition. 

He grabbed his revolver and twirled it, finger holding the ring lightly, before he threw it up and then caught it with his other hand, looking at the glistening metal that had been forged by some gunsmith’s labour. The bullets were loaded and he spun the cylinder slowly. 

“I really want to get a wife, y’know? A hot one, with nice breasts and a good cooking skill. None of those women that just look pretty. Ma cooks very good stuff, you know? When we get the cash and the season is good, we’ll go to my ma and pa, show you off with some nice new horseshoes.”

The stallion gave a soft snicker, and Jaune fanned the hammer a little, a single round shot at the lizard that was at the rock up ahead, hitting it within the centre, a gory little explosion, as he blew the smoke from the barrel, like the cool guys.

Not that he’d ever been called cool, of course. A flick of his finger and his hat flew up, a fancy new bullethole put in the brim, as he cussed. 

“Molasses and bad syrup! Damn it!”

He’d never been foul-mouthed. He didn’t dare, because his mother had been very quick to tell him to ‘quit that language, Jeb’. She was the only one who called him Jeb, and that was fairly frustrating. He was already an adult! He was twenty-one, even if he missed the pies she baked. 

‘I could go for some cherry pie… the orchard always had those cherry trees, and mom would make a slew of pies for the neighborhood and us to eat.’

He wanted some of his mom’s cherry pie now. It wouldn’t be bad to go back for a little trip, after he’d buried the silver somewhere and found a seller for the bars.

“I’m lucky I have you, Dom. It’ll just be a quick blow in, and then blow out, with a lot of goods for me. Decouple a few of the carts and then have a trip back to civilisation once the loot is mine.”

There was some sort of insanity in talking to your horse, but Jaune did not find himself caring, as he put his hat on, and then got himself in a comfortable position, the saddlebag that belonged to Dominic under his head to offer some comfort, the soft hissing of the rattlesnake in the vicinity, as well as the sudden rattling of said snake, making him get up. 

‘Aww mannn…’  

The revolver fired once, and the rattlesnake’s head exploded after the bullet pierced through it, Jaune’s expression changing a little as he shifted himself a bit onto the rock, closing his eyes. A little nap wouldn’t be too bad, he reckoned, as he would wake up if he heard the train approach, probably. 

He spent most of his afternoon in that position, before the sun setting drew a streak of light onto his face, his eyes prickling with the sun’s glare, and his eyes opening up to look at the sun that was disappearing beyond the big mountain in the distance, leaving the moon to slowly climb up. A small fire that he poked with a few sticks about an hour later, made with some of the last firewood that he’d gathered in the forest as well as a dried-out cactus, was enough to heat up the last bit of jerky in one of the small pots that he’d kept for general purpose eating, mixed with some water and bread that tasted like it’d been made with gravel and wood chippings. 

It filled his stomach, though. He could feel that the anticipation was already rising in his blood, as he could see that the heaven was slowly darkening, as the sun finally left the horizon streaked purple. 

A noble colour, apparently. Something that you could see on the rich and famous, according to Mrs Goodwitch, who’d taught him for a while, even though she was like, ten years older than him. He didn’t think he was particularly wise, but he knew that she was someone who knew a lot. 

‘Definitely should place a visit to Mrs Goodwitch if I’m near ma and pa’s place.’  

It would be polite. He was twenty-one now and she probably was married as well. 

“Time to get going, Dom. You’re going to be my escape horse, buddy.”

He’d get Dom a nice stable and all the hay he could munch on, with the sweet water from Sweetwater springs, thirty miles down south. He knew that it always tasted good, because they made some liquor from it that dad liked to drink. Sweetwater special reserve, it was called, and he was ‘too young to drink it’, according to dad. 

He was not going to do more with the money until he’d bought land, gotten a farm, some cattle to raise and maybe an orchard for himself. A nice patch of land where he’d make kids, with a beautiful wife, and he’d have love. 

‘Better focus…’

He could see the train tracks slowly fade into the distance, having followed along them to find the perfect ambush spot. With how the mountains were, he’d just have to throw the metal bars over the spot, since there was a bend ten miles down the road, one where the train would slow down a little to make it around it, and he’d be able to jump off. Since the train station at his former town wasn’t usually used by the night trains, they usually steamed on without stopping, it’d mean that there’d be nobody who’d get wind of the heist until it was too late. 

‘A bit more, there’d be a vault car in the middle… Silver bars, maybe even gold, a whole lot of it. A few guards, but that’s it.’  

He was aware that he was perhaps getting a little over-eager, as he untied Dom. Dom was a good horse, and he’d be able to trust his horse, as the stallion scraped along the ground, and Jaune felt his breath catch for a moment as the horse looked at him, as Jaune got onto the ridge overlooking the tracks. It was a moment that he’d waited for, as the train seemed to be coming, his ear laid against the tracks, hearing the vibrations and the ‘thump-thump-thump’ that came with the heavy train advancing over the tracks. He knew that he should have the pleasure of getting whatever he wanted after this score, no matter how much the sheriffs would place as his bounty, but Jaune Arc was going to make it big. 

His family was protected because he’d gotten a different surname now, and they’d be proud of him for having made money using cattle-ranching, gotten good returns on a deal, or whatever story he’d came up with when he finally came back a rich man.

“Get ready, Dom. They’re coming with our loot!”

The dynamite was tucked into one of his pockets, with the fuse long enough to give him plenty of time to spin and get out of sight. If they’d allow him, he’d make sure that it wouldn’t hurt a soul, because he preferred not to kill. 

He could, of course. Gunslinging was a good sport, and he was accurate, but he just felt bad for trying to do something like that to someone. 

‘Come on…’  

Dominic wandered a little, Jaune’s body straightening a little, as he lowered his profile a little, seeing the locomotive come towards him, struggling a little to get up the slight incline, but still racing, faster than most trains he’d ever seen. Most of them were massive metal creations, which smoked and puffed, but this one seemed to have almost a smooth polish, a cowcatcher at the front that looked like it’d been welded there by a blacksmith’s expertise, a massive skull at the front, and it was coming fast. 

“Get ready, Dom!”

The stallion wandered onto the train tracks, Jaune trying to warn the creature, but a sickening crunch was audible, as Jaune could see the dark shape of his stallion mount fly away, as he caught sight of the length of the train. 

‘Shorter than what they said… but I see the vault car.’  

He leapt from the ridge when it was the time. It was a car that he’d found himself in after the landing, the roof caving in because of his weight, and the smell of gunpowder in the air, mixed with something that was sweet, as he noticed the dust settling down, a single lantern hung on a peg illuminating the dark space. 

His revolver was aimed at the shadows, waiting for whatever guards the company had hired to protect its cargo, finding nothing but a few stacked crates and the smell of mildew and fungus, a particularly green-looking sack of mouldering grain stacked upon the top. He caught a sign with ‘Fertilizer and crop items’.

‘Aww man…’  

It was just his luck, but he hadn’t broken a thing. With Dominic being dead, that left only the slow escape route, after he’d cracked the safe with the dynamite. The silver would have to be thrown out onto the side, and he’d have to jump into the lake around the bend. It would be a rough trip, but he’d timed his jump that there’d be a bit of space between him and the locomotive at the front. A lot of bad-looking guns were stood stacked together, the transport obviously military, so it meant that he would be in trouble with the law if this continued.

Jaune’s eyes adjusted to the gloom as he stepped forwards from the pile of sacks that he’d landed on, his coat dusted off, as he got his hat back on. The bandanna around his neck he flipped up, a nice royal navy blue bandanna that he’d bought for the cheapest price, his face hidden for the majority, so as to stop the identifying marks from becoming recognized. He could hear ruckus in the car ahead, and he pushed open the door, coming face to face with a man in a longcoat, looking like he’d been unwelcomely surprised by the sudden invasion. 

The man tried to say something to him, before something pierced through the man’s chest, a long scythe-like thing, which Jaune idly recognized as some kind of sickle, before it was pulled back with a gasp. 

“Get-... ohhhhttt…”

Bones, animated by something that definitely wasn’t Christian or holy, moving with scythes, a leer on the skeletal face as it faced him, as the sickle, wet with the blood of the man, was held in its hands, the moving skeletal figure charging at him, Jaune moving his gun in the direction and firing twice. The arm bones shattered, and the sickles clattered to the ground, as both arms were removed, the skeleton looking at its missing arms and then falling over, clearly having nothing more to do, the bones turning to dust, as a hole was ripped in the wall by some kind of explosion, Jaune throwing himself to the side to avoid a burning piece of metal, which imbedded itself into the pile of sacks filled with whatever they were carrying.

Skeletal fiends were pulling themselves into the train car, and Jaune knew that he had to be quick, as he only had four bullets left, his hand grabbing the bullets from one of his pockets, as he fanned the hammer with his thumb, the skull of one of the skeletal creatures that he dubbed mentally as Reapers shattering, and flames of an emerald colour wrapping around it. 

‘So they combust when you shoot their head…’  

That was information that was useful, as he aimed, a shot hitting the left arm, shattering it, and the Reaper swung at him, Jaune trying to dodge but feeling how the leather of the coat only barely stopped the sickle from cutting his arm off, the skeleton cackling menacingly. 

“Go to hell!”

He shot point-blank, the skull shattering, the skeletal demon or whatever it was trying to hold together, but scattering after a moment, and Jaune heaved a sigh of relief at the sight that the other one had been dealt with, as half of his coat sleeve hung off, ready to be torn apart. He pulled it on a little tighter, hoping that it wouldn’t slip off. 

That’d be really annoying to deal with, and it’d blocked one of those sickle reapers already, and he knew that he wasn’t going to be able to survive it if they actually decided to make him into a roast chicken on the spit with those sharp things. 

He didn’t really see where those things remained, but they had felt sharp, as he got himself ready to deal with whatever came with them, feeling nervousness and edges of definite panic settling in. 

‘What do I do? Do I just continue?’

These things were way out of hand for someone like him. He’d been born as a man’s youngest and only son, with seven sisters that definitely were girly, but also willing to try and muscle in on their youngest sibling’s time to tease something with a sly comment. 

‘I can do this… think of the money. For a woman that’ll love me, that’ll take care of my house and the money we’ll make in our little home in the prairie.’  

He wasn’t going to give this up quickly, knowing that there was a lot of silver in the vault. He’d find the chance to do away with this. 

‘It’s all just a bad dream and a bad dream can fade away. I am just hallucinating. It must’ve been that the bread was a little mouldy, skeletons can’t walk.’  

He must definitely have been too shocked by the death of Dominic to really make sense of things. He was here for the silver, not for the dead horse. His revolver he reloaded, aware that it was now empty, six bullets ready, as he checked his revolver a little, before he shut it, continuing up, the body that laid half-stretched out over the ground with two skeletal reapers hacking into it with their sickles just not fully real, Jaune guessed. 

‘It’s a dream.’  

It’s a dream and he fired twice. The skulls exploded into powder, and Jaune continued. He found his sleeve sliding off, the sickle having cut deep into his skin, his eyes looking at the point where the sickle had cut into his skin, leaving a bleeding gash. It’d apparently been deeper than he’d thought, as he continued onward, feeling hollow inside, as his revolver clicked, another six shots put into it. The smell of gunpowder became stronger, as the gunsmoke slowly rose from the barrel of his revolver. 

‘It’s all a dream. I’m just hallucinating.’  

Men, cut into pieces, their bodies wearing the same uniform, their guns, which looked pretty badass, Jaune had to admit, laid on the ground. He took care of getting the bullets out, since he figured that they’d always fit the revolver, and he felt a little hint of pain go through him as he moved his arm a little. The wound had been a lot more straining on him, even with the roof collapsing and two of the skeletal reapers coming charging down the car at him, their scythe-like sickles at the ready to end his life. 

He turned around for a moment, shutting the door behind him as he could hear more of the skeletal reapers coming up from behind. 

‘It’s just a dream, it’s just a dream. Fire twice and crush their skulls… just a dream, just a dream.’  

It was a prayer which slipped from his lips, an honest prayer to the God that he had abandoned when he’d picked the life of a wandering cowboy, who’d needed time alone before he could blossom into the man that he always knew that he was. 

He fired again, until his gun clicked, and he reloaded. He was too slow, and his revolver was batted out of his hand and Jaune floundered for a moment to get it, feeling a slash across his chest, blood welling up from the cut as the skeleton seemed to cackle, and he grabbed the gun that’d belonged to one of the guards, firing three shots into the ribcage and then being freed, though the pain jolted him out of his delusion that this was all a dream. 

‘Shit, shit… I’m hurt, but they’ll kill me like those guys.’  

Another shot, and he discovered that there was something that seemed to allow the gun to fire faster, a brutal-looking grip visible, as he hammered it against the skeleton, breaking through the ribcage with minimal effort, panting, his coat torn up by the attack he’d suffered.

‘I’ve got to bind my wound.’  

He grabbed a strip of clean-looking cloth from the murdered guard, tying it over his arm, the colour red soaking through the clean cloth, showing that the wound was indeed a little deep. If these animated skeletons could smell blood, he was in deep shit, but he luckily had a little moment to himself, without creepy skeletons appearing in his sight. 

He entered a car that looked like it contained frozen meat, the chilled blocks of ice on the sides barely doing enough to keep things cool, even though the frozen cold made him wake up. A large chunk of cow hung in the way, and Jaune dodged one of the sickles as it came swinging at him, the cow swinging back, the sickle cutting through one of the frozen carcasses, Jaune firing twice at the skeleton, one bullet blowing through one of the hung carcasses, whilst the other shattered the skeleton’s skull. 

He whipped the pistol forward, shattering one of the reaper’s skulls, kicking another in the chest, sending it going back, adrenaline making him move faster than he had before, knowing that if he died here, he’d never get that damn house for himself. 

‘Get the silver, then get out of this bedlam train!’  

He was going to get the silver and make himself get out of this place with no issue, because he was Jaune Arc, no matter what his pa and ma had said. He wasn’t going to live under their yoke, even with their faithfulness to the scripture. 

‘I’ll live my life, no matter what people say.’  

He had seen a preacher once, who spoke of hell and damnation, when the dark started to crawl with the creatures of satan, a winged demon who would claw at the souls of the wholesome and pure, foul corruption in their eyes with the vices of the devil to take care of their spiritual corruption. 

Jaune didn’t put too much stock in wild stories, but he would be swinging by a church soon after this entire thing was done with, because he would be feeling the need to confess about what he’d seen. 

This type of unholy stuff looked like the end of days, and Jaune Arc (formerly Beauford) was not going to go to hell with skeletal goonies chopping him to pieces. He’d been prepared for the hangman’s noose, but skeletons with severe calcium deficiency? Not his thing!

A prayer that’d long since been unuttered from his lips emerged, as he looked at the carcasses of the cows that hung there on the rack, ready for the slaughterhouses to cut them into pieces, food for the people who the train would find at the end of its journey or before, feeling how it was all sinking in. 

‘I’m just hallucinating. That’s what too much sun does to you. I’m here on the train, Dominic will be waiting for me at some point outside, he knows how to find me, hopefully, and we’ll be able to buy a plot of land and some stuff to make a house with.’  

He clung to those thoughts and spoke those words of prayer, praying to the Lord above for saving, his voice a little choked due to the cold from the freezing car, the temperature frigid, but he continued with the lord’s prayer anyway, getting up, the revolver in his hand heavier than his own, as he continued onward. 

‘The silver, throw it out of the vault and then make my getaway. We should be close to the bend. I’m going to be rich, I’m going to be rich.’  

There was nothing more on his mind, or so he told himself, as the nagging doubts within his mind continued to tell him that there was something wrong with all of this, something that told him that there was something foul happening, with the world around this train. 

He pushed open one of the heavy reinforced doors, finding the next car hardly touched, save for the skeletal reapers that walked there, their sickles ready to cleave through flesh. He counted his bullets, as the train continued on the tracks, crunching through the dust and the grime, his ammunition growing fewer with every shot that he took, two shots to the skeletal creatures’ skulls, turning them to dust, reloading once he was with the peace and quiet of nothing but the sound of the car on the tracks, his peace awkward, as he could feel the lure of something touch his mind. 

“Don’t you want silver? Take it, from the Vault.”

He wanted silver, indeed. He’d come here to rob a train, make off with the silver and live a rich life. An image of golden streets and silver carts, of women that looked like they’d belong in the picture-books of a lewder slant with them bath-towel toga things on, dancing through the world, as he could feel his desire for the silver rise. 

‘Everything’s a dream… I’m just trying to pretend that there’s demon spawn out there, ready to take on a good and trained outlaw.’  

He hadn’t been alone for a while now, as one of the skeletal creatures erupted from the door, sickles slashing at him, Jaune’s fingers shifting the grip on the gun, slamming the sharp hook-like blade into the skeleton and shattering the neck, the skull bouncing away, as he plucked a few bullets out of the pouch on one of the corpses’ side. They were etched with silver, and he’d probably get a good bit of money from it, if he cracked them open. They were worth a few dollars each, at the very least. Silver was silver. 

“Don’t you want women? You know that you can be the wealthiest man within the entirety of this country, don’t you? Just seize the silver…”

Images of women dressed very scandalously, whispering at him that they’d want to do unwholesome things with him, flooded his mind. He got an erection because of that, not just because he’d seen an image of a blonde woman showing her impressive chest, the clothing looking like it belonged in the middle ages, something real-old, with the same symbol on it, and a blazing pike in her hands. 

‘Funny, I don't remember seeing that in the history books.’

Pain shot through him as he felt the wounds ache a little, his erection dying down because of it. Hot women looking like they’d kick butt for a bottle of whiskey or rum or whatever the adult people drank to get their buzz on, wasn’t really something to fantasize about until after he’d gotten the silver. 

He’d come here for the silver, he’d come here for the loot and he’d open the Vault. 

Jaune felt a little woozy, as he looked around, his coat feeling like it’d been a little shredded by the strange skeleton demons or whatever they were, his arm tugging off one of the sleeves, his bare skin looking a little browner with the blood that’d been leaking from the bandaged wound. 

“The silver is in the vault. You will need to go there to open the vault.”

He wanted the silver, and wounds weren’t fully going to stop him. He’d bandage them later, the blood wasn’t very much, just leaking from one of the cuts. He licked over his lips, aware of how it felt to have the silver in sight, just in the next car or so. 

The weapon in his hand felt heavy, as he entered the next car, another long car with those skeleton reapers trying to carve their way through a pair of men with the same coats, one of them scoring a hit, before an explosion rocked the side of the train car, a hole in the wall where several reapers pulled in, ambushing the men and chopping them apart with their sickles. 

‘They can’t get deader than that… so it’s time for action.’  

He hadn’t seen such carnage before, but he could feel that he should move now, lest the train’s vault would be disconnected. It was just up ahead, and the train was going faster than he’d expected, the feeling of something burning in his stomach, pain going through his whole body as he felt his body move, gunsmoke from the barrel as he laid down a hail of bullets on the skeletal reapers, their reactions to him faster than he’d expected, but he’d been able to pick off a buzzard at a distance, his shots accurate. The silver bullets went into the gun and he loaded again, finishing off the next skeletal goon, before he blew the smoke off the heavier gun, spinning it a few times before he put it at his holster, and he dropped it because it was a bad fit. 

He pushed open the door, feeling the coolness of the air, a frosted-over metal container vault of sorts standing there, several crates already busy, as he grabbed a hold of the dynamite, before setting it up. Seven sticks of dynamite, primed enough to punch through the heavy metal vault.

The fuse was a little shorter than he’d like, as he pulled a match out and struck it, lighting the fuse, feeling something press against his back, and hearing someone audibly clear their throat. A woman, Jaune supposed, his hand still on the gun. 

“Hold it right there, crook. Pyrrha, keep him there.”

He could see the face of a blonde woman with short hair, a severe expression on her face, as he noticed her step into view, and he found that his hat was lifted off him, as he rocked a little. 

‘Dizzy …’

A shudder went through him as he tried to fight to keep upright. 

“You’ve been causing a lot of problems, outlaw, pulling this heist. You’ve had to pick today to rob the train, didn’t you?”

The blonde was aggressive, as Jaune felt his consciousness swim in and out, the hiss of the fuse loud, as something seemed to happen and he could see one of the skeletons appear, his revolver shooting twice, the skeleton disintegrating. 

“Don’t think that being quick on the trigger does a damn thing. Get him up, Pyrrha. He’s going to-”

It might be the lighting or something, but the hissing of the fuse was loud, and they didn’t seem to notice it. 

“How easy it is to beguile them… their senses, their mind. They think not about the powers of someone who has been alive for a millennium…”

That sounded creepy. He’d better warn them that the dynamite was going to blow, or else they’d be caught up in the blast.

“Listen, we need to get away from the vault. There’s-”

The woman backhanded him, as he began to feel the sting shoot through him, catching sight of a redheaded woman, or rather a girl, a bit younger than he was, looking at him with surprised eyes. He was certain that it would be a good day if he’d met her out in the wilds, just travelling along, the hat on her head looking mighty fine on her. 

“Well hey there, pretty lady. I’m-”

A boot kicked his head, as the woman that’d spoken seemed to be fine with interrogating him a little. It was still better than the hangman’s noose, Jaune figured, as he got up slowly, his body not held down, but there was a gun trained at him. 

“Shut up. You’re-”

The explosion sent him to the ground again, the redheaded girl slamming against the wall from the blast, with her fellow murder-babe friend slamming against him, the blonde woman crunching against his own, as he could smell sweat and gunpowder, as he got up, seeing how the metal of the vault was warping, and something that could only be of the devil was pulling itself out of the vault. 

“Sweet mercy, what did you do?!”

The blonde woman said, as Jaune got up, the redhead out cold, apparently, her face looking a little weary, as the demon seemed to look around, a face that only a mother could love looking at them. 

“A little bit of hypnosis, for my freedom… Oh, what scrumptious a meal I see before me.”

The demon or whatever it was seemed to take a moment to enjoy the response that came from the women, the redhead still knocked down and out, as it leapt at the blonde woman. 

Jaune grabbed the gun, aimed at the demon creature and pounded the trigger so hard it made him tremble, as he loosed six full rounds into the demon’s chest, the demon or whatever it was rocking a little due to the hits, the silver bullets melting, before Jaune noticed that it was going to charge, if the sudden flash of awareness that it was getting ready to pounce, and Jaune could feel adrenaline surge. 

“You go first, then.”

The feeling of being rammed against the wall by something that looked like the bible’s version of the devil and the antichrist was something that Jaune didn’t want to experience again, as he felt sharp teeth invade his neck, a burning sensation that turned into icy coolness, as he felt lips that were ragged and crude press against his neck.

He blacked out from the pain as something seemed to strongly pull at his neck, and his eyes rolled back, his body dropping to the ground as another few shots were taken. 

“Come on, wake up, darn it.”

The woman’s voice was like a thundering hammer, as Jaune felt someone shake him, his eyes opening to find the woman standing over him, her blonde hair visible, as the redhead seemed to be getting up. 

“What the hell happened?”

His neck. He felt his neck and noticed the marks there, as he took a deep breath and was about to ask what the hell that demon was. 

“A blood-sucker, called Lazarus Malkoth, something that should never have been released, you crook. Now, what’s your name? If you think you can get away with this, you’re wrong, partner.”

The groaning of the redhead was loud in the silence which fell, Jaune’s eyes catching sight of green eyes looking at him, and then questioning him, as she spoke up. 

“Miss Sharp, please… He’s not like us. Allow me, okay?”

The blonde woman nodded, and Jaune got up. His eyes weren’t fully focused, as the blonde grabbed her weapon and then checked the rounds. Jaune wanted one of those cool revolvers, or whatever they were, they looked kick-ass to him. 

“Alright, eh, my name’s Pyrrha Nikos. You might’ve heard that name, eh, my partner said it a few times, I think. We’re with an organisation that slays undead and the like, in the name of Jesus. I noticed that you wore a small cross around your neck.”

A gift from his oldest sister, something to remember them by. It wasn’t something that he’d ever taken off, and he felt awkward even discussing it. 

“Yeah, my sister gave it to me before I left home. Eh, my name’s Jaune Arc. I’m- Okay, what do you want me to do?”

He would be reasonable about this, even if his whole body hurt. He felt still pretty alive, even if the red reminded him a lot about blood. The woman, girl- whatever she was, looked good, and her neck looked delicious. 

“Jaune, then. We need to hunt down Lazarus. My superior and partner, Cassidy, will make sure that we’re going to get what we want, when we get to the Darkwatch outpost, after which we can go to inform the general of the orders.”

The girl was really pretty, Jaune thought. Her neck looked so nice and plump, and he was sure that he could just take a little kiss. Her red hair was loose, and he felt like he was burning up, his eyes narrowing. 

“Jaune? Okay, let me put this in the best terms possible, you’re-”

He moved, his mouth opening as he approached, and he felt his feet being swept away from him, and a gun barrel pointed at his face. 

“He’s not in control! We never accounted for this, Miss Sharp!”

The blonde woman narrowed her eyes, as Pyrrha’s lightly accented voice spoke, the dialect of whatever part of the country she came from definitely not being from the Western part, more urban to the east coast, the blonde giving him a look. 

“Yer a vampire, crook. Turning into one, I'll say. You’ll be a bloodsucking fiend, once it finally settles in, and you aren’t going to-”

The bullet grazed his cheek as she fired at him, the redhead pushing the weapon away. 

“He’s innocent, miss Sharp! He hasn’t turned into a full vampire yet! He’s- Are you a virgin?”

He most certainly was! He wouldn’t acknowledge it openly though, as the blonde woman’s eyes flashed. 

“I’ve done the sex many times! Why wouldn’t I have done the sex. It’s so great, so why shouldn’t I?”

He’d never had a girl in bed with him, save for when his sisters pulled him into the bed during a night out camping, because he was ‘going to get eaten by a coyote’ or something, mom finding it unmanly, but his sisters had very tight grips on him that whole night. 

“Virgin, then. Good on ya, it’s harder for the pure to be corrupted by the curse of a vampire lord. The one you just freed through your moronic actions, crook? That’s the worst of em all. A genuine wicked son of a gun, responsible for a lot of death and pain.”

That made sense, as he could barely look away from Pyrrha’s neck. The blonde woman, Cassidy, was saying something, but Pyrrha’s neck looked so delicious, as she took a few steps back. 

“Alright, now-”

Jaune saw the reaper before they saw it, his hand throwing one of the guns at it, which hit it right in its skull-pan, the skull shattering. Pyrrha took aim and then shot the creature twice. 

“We shouldn’t halt here. We’ve got to hunt down Lazarus and imprison him again. We trained for this, Pyrrha. You were the best recruit we had, so we’re going to do this right now.”

They got up, Jaune feeling something enter him, a cloud of some kind of red energy, wet and sticky to his skin, but empowering him. 

“That’s a cloud of blood, miasma or something-else, it’ll strengthen you a little and make the thirst for blood abate, for just a bit. We’re not your personal blood bags.”

The two women moved, Jaune watching them from behind, Pyrrha’s head turning, giving him a small smile and a little thumbs-up, as Jaune saw their asses sway, taking a gulp, as he watched the two women get up on top of the car that’d contained the vault. 

“Jaune?! Get up here, we need your help. Enemies around!”

The skeletons came out in force, apparently, Jaune reloading his revolver, his fingers easily pushing the cartridge in, before he spun the revolver a little, firing several rounds. 

‘Hey, the magazines load easily… I wonder if-’  

The sudden barrage of gunfire that came as he fanned the hammer a few times, a rapid-fire shot, the recoil barely phasing him where it would’ve been his wrist shattering if it’d been done without the proper preparation, the skeleton reapers shattering, as he reloaded. 

“Careful with the ammo, crook! That burns through ammunition like crazy, and we don’t have enough ammo to spare between the three of us. Pyrrha! Get your melee out, try to deal with them up close!”

The woman shot several of the reapers, as the redhead moved in, a long spear in her grip, the tip glowing a little with some kind of strange light that hurt his eyes, the pain that shot through him at the sight annoying, as he closed his eyes, hearing the skeletons shatter and crash with the redhead’s powerful strikes.

The demon seemed to be returning, standing there at the head of the train, the locomotive and a single car between them, a long stretch of stacked barrels there. 

“We have guests to the feast, it seems… How does it feel, boy?”

He was getting addressed by the demon freak vampire, and Jaune looked at the man, taking aim. 

“I’m still me, and I don’t believe in a demon like you !”

He’d been raised a devout man of God, even though he’d lapsed in his worship over the years he’d been free, taking the shot, the vampire lord hit, the grin unveiling a lot of very sharp teeth. 

“Amuse me, boy. The women are weak.”

It was stuff like that that made him think back to the story about brave knights that his ma used to tell him, and he shot again, as Miss Sharp and Pyrrha were unloading their weapons at the creature, which turned into a puff of smoke, and he felt something behind him, coming face-to-face with the demon itself.

A claw-like hand grabbed his duster coat, and he was raised up, fangs boring into his neck again. 

“I do not miss meals, Mister Beauford .”

The name of his father and mother made him punch the demon, which released him, Jaune thankfully remaining standing, as Miss Sharp unloaded on the demon, whilst Pyrrha went in for a strike with her spear. The demon disappeared, Jaune dodging the spear by a hair’s breadth, and giving a soft gasp, as Pyrrha’s serious expression seemed to slowly fade, as Jaune noticed their surroundings. It was getting familiar, and he could see the faint glow of some of the lamps of his former home, the town where his parents lived. 

‘Isn’t the bend around here?’  

They weren’t slowing down, and he caught sight of a glistening glow, as he felt the hunger increase, the wound at his neck aching. The bloodthirst inside him was growing, as he could feel the throbbing of their pulse, their bodies lit up with heat, as he felt the wind blow through his hair, the hat no longer on his head, his face feeling very cool, as he caught sight of the bend, and he’d definitely misjudged the distance.  

“Brace yourself! We’re going to derail!”

It was definitely going to happen, knowing the speed at which the train was travelling, the locomotive either not stopped by the machinist or the machinist being dead. 

‘Dad once said that engines were often puttering out without someone to feed it coal and water to make the steam, but that was something that he’d only mentioned in the passing.”

The click-clack of something, and then a thunderous crash, as they lost the ability to remain standing, Jaune noticing that the ground was coming at him hard, as he skidded over it, feeling the impact jar him a little, as he felt something soft hit him right between the legs, something else smashing into his own with a thunderous sound coming from all around him.

“Damn it.”

He could hear the woman called Sharp groan, as someone grabbed his legs and then pushed them against the rock that they’d not-so-gently collided with, and his vision could see a very warm something in his sight, as he felt how he was being used to get up, the two women righting themselves, as Jaune groaned. 

It had hurt a little, but not as much as it had before, as he looked at the mess of the train, the blood that he could taste in his mouth not tasting very great, as he saw the vampire stand on the wreckage of the train’s locomotive, the demonic features looking like they held triumph in their expression. 

“Mortals cannot understand the darkness that they are taught to hate… Oh, this will be glorious. Ah-ha-ha.”

Booming, wicked laughter from the vampire lord was enough, a wave of energy shooting out from the man. Jaune caught sight of the far-off lights of the town that he’d lived in, and a deep dark feeling emerged in the pit of his stomach, as the vampire seemed to grow wings, his mouth opening and closing in a triumphant sound, before the winged demon vampire creature made for the town, Jaune watching while the two women looked at him, clearly finding that there was enough for them to make a decision on. 

“We’re with the Darkwatch, preventing evil people like that from getting away. How about you join us, Crook? Otherwise, it’s a bullet to the skull.”

‘I don’t want that.’  

The redheaded member of the Darkwatch looked at her senior, sighing softly. 

“We’re not going to press you into service, but we would like your help. The people in that village are going to be massacred if you do nothing. With the curse of Lazarus running through your veins, you will be indispensable to assist us.”

The offer was exciting, it was thrilling and it was something that he might be able to use later on. He felt hungry though, like he hadn’t eaten in a month or so. He’d had to eat bootsole once and that wasn’t the best meal for the day. 

“Eh, if you’ll have me?”

She was warm to the touch, as she shook his hand, her eyes looking like green emeralds, her jugular looking like a warm, pulsating little soup-bowl, as he licked his lips. 

‘Oh, they said I was cursed as a vampire…’  

Bloodsuckers, and he didn’t really fancy the thought of hurting people all that much. It was more to see the look on people’s faces, as he let his eyes slide over them, their tight clothes looking very revealing. The jugulars pulsed, and he knew he should look away. An erection was sadly present, but he groaned a little, the concern in the green eyes visible, as she swallowed a little water, looking at the distant village, where the demon vampire or whatever had gone towards.

“Are you okay?”

The inquiry wasn’t something he’d been expecting, and he felt embarrassed by the question, knowing that she was just trying to help him out. 

“Eh, yeah, aside from the whole ‘I’m turning into a bloodsucking monster’. That’s not super-great.”

He felt hungrier, even with his nose detecting the smell of blood, fresh blood, spotting one of the bodies of one of those men from the Darkwatch, the urge to take a sip or a bite or whatever rising. He swallowed heavily, as his eyes looked at Pyrrha’s face, the blonde woman cursing loudly. 

“We’ll have to make our way on foot. The people of that poor town are going to be caught unaware!”

Jaune let go of Pyrrha’s hand, as he grabbed one of the funny-looking revolvers, looking at the town that he’d left, all those years ago. 

‘Yee-haw, dad… it seems I’m coming to you.’  

The man was due for a beating. He felt stronger now, faster, agile and fit. 

“Let’s go then, ladies.I guess you’re on team Jaune now.”

The blonde humphed and continued, whilst Pyrrha smiled an adorable smile. 

“You’re a good person. Even when cursed like this, you have a noble soul.”

He had a noble soul, perhaps, but the thought of this redheaded waif, her body clad in the same skintight leather suit with her hair pulled back with some kind of silver-golden diadem… was definitely something that came with several very unwholesome images. 

‘She’d look great on her back, her neck exposed, my fangs digging in, corrupting her with my blood.’  

An image of pale flesh, red hair pressed against his skin, the smell of her blood in the air, as he dug in, taking her blood and filling the hunger inside her, sharing with her heat, as she seemed to tremble with every thrust he made, shuddering under the strong thrusts he made, like a stallion that was in need of a mare in heat. 

‘Oh yeah, you look gorgeous. Damn, that ass looks like you’d bounce a silver dollar off and then get it right back.’  

Jaune’s eyes locked with her own as he thought that, The redhead went crimson-faced, coughing embarrassedly. 

“Th-thank you for the compliment?”

He blushed red, as Ms Sharp turned around. 

“What’re you yammering about? We got people to save, Crook! Pyrrha! You apologize too much! He didn’t say a damn word.”

It was not a damn word that he’d said, but one that he’d thought, Pyrrha turning bright red. She pushed her hair back behind one of her ears, and he tried to think really hard at her. 

‘I think you’re very pretty. Nod once if you heard that.’  

She nodded once, before her cheeks turned even redder. 

‘Are you trying to communicate with me?’  

She nodded twice, and Jaune guessed that it was a one-way transfer thing. It was a bit like the whole telegram thing. Dad had once sent one to the neighboring village for an order of thirty saddles. 

‘It doesn’t seem to work. Eh, is she usually this serious?’

Another nod, as they continued towards his former town, the sound of gunfire already coming from the town, where there were more nefarious creatures coming up from the ground, undoubtedly to destroy a lot of the people that were there. 

‘I can’t let that happen to my family. Dad may be a genuine asshole, but my sisters don’t deserve that!’  

He let his thoughts of how good-looking Pyrrha’s body was fall to the wayside. He was hungry as hell, hungry enough to eat a whole damn horse or something, but he was not going to give up on innocent people.

He had better things to do. Like saving his family. 

That was a start.

Pyrrha and Ms Sharp’s butts kept giving him an erection though. The thought of those very fine rumps moving in interesting ways kept him focused on thoughts that were definitely unchristian. 

“Here’s a few magazines, for your gun. Let’s… let’s fight together, Jaune.”

She had a very pretty smile. 

‘I’d love to marry a girl like you.’  

His eyes locked with hers and she turned red, shyly smiling at him. She felt like she was some kind of super woman, but he knew a pretty woman when he saw her. 

“Let’s have some time kicking ass and making innocents stay innocent.”

‘Damn, I think I need to rearrange myself a bit. Having an erection is more troublesome than I’d ever thought it could be.’  

Pyrrha pointedly stared at his groin, and he felt a little embarrassed. 

‘Sorry. Just thinking.’  

She never quite did turn the blush off, which meant that he was probably embarrassing her with such naked thoughts. 

‘Better not think of Ms Sharp like that. There’s no telling what kind of thing she’d do to me.’  

That was wise advice, at any rate.

He was aware of how it felt to know the sting of someone who was no-nonsense in her dealings, and being called ‘Crook’ was definitely somewhat better than being called ‘outlaw’ or something. 

“He’s not working well without being fed, Ms Sharp.”

The thought of something like that stopping him from fighting and rescuing the people of his former town was not a pleasant one, but the blonde turned, a severe look on her features that passed for a moment. 

“You’re not feedin’ on the bodies of the living, Bloodsucker.”

That was what he was now, with this grim curse running through his blood vessels. It wasn’t going to be the easy road that he’d travel with Dominic, but rather the road that was dyed in blood-red and foul corruption, like the preacher had always said.

“No, I’m not- I’m hungry, but I’m not going to be killing people!”

There was that line that he’d try not to cross. He felt sick at the thought of killing, but there was also that definite feeling that he’d need to. Pyrrha glanced at him, and he was once more captivated by how beautiful she was. Red hair with no sign of Irish ancestry, a body that was sexy and firm, contrasting Ms Sharp’s severe attitude, warm and friendly. A girl that he might’ve married, with that farm that he’d have bought from the silver that he’d have stolen.

“You will. You’re tainted by the curse of Lazarus, and he’s out there, terrorizing the countryside. I don’t know what you did to blow that vault up, but it’s your fault and you’re going to help.”

Jaune could tell that he wouldn’t be getting much rest with the woman driving them, Pyrrha’s attention turning up ahead, as the skeletal reapers emerged from the ground, their sickle-weapons glistening in the air. There was a hum of something in the air, like a loud town bell being rang, but none seemed to be able to hear it, his finger on the trigger, firing twice, the heads of the reapers blasted apart with a single bullet, knowing that he could do it. A moving target was easy for him, and he felt much stronger in the way he handled his weapon. 

Recoil was minimal, as he felt his vision blur, the outlines of the creatures blinking into view with the light of the moon dimming, as he pressed down the trigger once more, and the revolver shot another bullet, crunching through the skull with a thunderous crack. 

“Good shooting. Did you do this before?”

Pyrrha was talking to him, as Jaune spun the revolver a little in a party trick, a gunslinger’s old hand, or so it’d been called when Old Mushroom (a strange name, even for a guy who smelled of fungus) had shown him, doing an interesting flip method that made Jaune gasp in awe. He’d been twelve at the time, though. 

Old Mushroom had been a man who’d lived at the edge of town and tended to have tales about the Civil War to tell, though Jaune wasn’t very sure about whether they were accurate. That was a few years ago, what with the president having been assassinated by that Boot fellow.

‘Things ain’t good if the president’s getting assassinated.’  

The next few presidents weren’t super either, Jaune guessed, but he’d never really put much thought into it. Taxes were taxes, or so it was said by dad, and he’d figure things out if he ever owned a farmstead or something.

Another few shots that crushed the skulls of the skeleton reapers were loosed, and he could see Pyrrha looking back at him with surprise. 

“Just trying to help. I did hold up a coach once. That paid for my food for a year.”

It was about done, so the silver had been the next heist that he’d take. It was for survival purposes, since none would really hire a cowboy without a resume. The dollars weren’t good enough for paying for lodgings, or so the saying went. 

“I see. Well, I remember when my family was killed. My mother was split open by this huge demonic creature, and the Darkwatch assisted in freeing me from the tree in which I hid, some kind of vampire outbreak, or so it was said. There are others, who share our creed to kill every dark creature out there.”

Pyrrha’s voice sounded almost like she were in some trance, Jaune’s eyes shifting back to normal vision after noticing how delicious she looked, as his teeth seemed to be ready to bite down into her, if she’d move just a little bit faster. The skeletons were approaching still, but there seemed to be more creatures ready to strike. 

It was something that he didn’t delay for one moment, as he followed after Cassidy, who fired steadily at the targets that came up to them, her revolver clicking once before she slotted in another magazine of bullets. Jaune was managing his own bullet clips, knowing that ammunition didn’t come out of the monsters themselves. He was pretty aware of that, since they didn’t seem to be carrying any bandoliers of ammunition. 

“Careful, when there’s one animated one, there’ll be more. There’ll be gunslingers out there, turned by the power of Lazarus! Get ready to-”

A bullet whizzed past Jaune’s ear, blocking out all sounds for a brief instant, as he caught sight of a figure standing there, rotting skin already telling him that it was someone who’d been dead for a while. 

‘Yeah, let’s see how you’d-’

Old Mushroom was taking aim. He knew that man, who was looking at him with empty soulless eyes from such a distance, the man who’d taught him a few tricks with a gun that’d always come in handy. 

“He’s an old man, I’m-”

The bushy beard, the eyes that’d been a dark green, as the flag of the Confederacy had been draped over one of the walls, the mushroom patch that he’d grown on his own little hill. It was the man who’d taught him tricks, who’d told him that with some training, it’d all be good. It was the man’s skill at gunslinging that’d made him a hero in his eyes, the bushy beard stained with blood, a man’s skill with his weapon still visible. The revolver that the man used was something like what Jaune’d used before the whole train heist went sour, lost since he’d picked the weapon up. 

“Shoot him! You’re more accurate at such a range! He’s out of my range, Crook!”

The order came and he looked at the undead gunslinger, the beard shifting a little, as another bullet shot at him, hitting him, a shield in front of him activating, flickering with the light, as he smelled the blood in the veins of the two Darkwatch agents, knowing that if he didn’t replenish it, he’d be defenseless, for some reason. 

It would be so easy to take a sip, to make that blood push from his fangs and then down his throat, to fill him up with that energy to make him able to work the powers of a creature of the night, to dominate the wills of those who weren’t as steadfast. 

‘That’s a bad train of thought.’  

He was having a lot of trains, and not too much thought. He’d never control someone like that, to make them a puppet. A dark voice in the back of his mind told him that it’d be easy to give in, but he would not make that sacrifice right now, since they had asked for his help, and he was about to face down the people he knew.

“Watch out!”

Pyrrha shouted, as another bullet smashed against the shield, one that seemed fueled by blood, as he took aim and fired. 

Old Mushroom’s face was gone with one bullet, the kick of the revolver minimized, as he grinned at the redhead. 

“Got it, I was just trying to adjust my aim a little.”

Old Mushroom better be resting in the embrace of God and Jesus and whatever angels there were to spare, because he’d just fired a bullet through his face. He ran a little faster, the boots that he wore already heavy on his feet, as he felt the tremor shoot through his body at the roughness of having the thirst hit him. 

His eyes grew cloudy, blue replaced for a moment with crimson as he took a deep breath, his teeth turning to fangs, ready to bite down on a neck, but Pyrrha turned to him, looking worried. 

“When they turn, they aren’t human anymore. It might’ve been an old man, but he wasn’t an old man anymore.”

The man had been a mentor in the art of gunslinging, a veteran from the war, Ms Sharp, whose name he’d definitely not caught, running past, with a steady pace which made his own feel like just a regular jog. It was a thing that he could not push away, as he looked at Old Mushroom, digging through a pocket and pulling out something. A medal, or something that looked like it’d been cast in metal, a small little plaque that’d been wrapped with some kind of dark fabric that’d looked blue in the strange sight that came from his eyes, turning it around to read the inscription by the moon’s light. 

Private Marshall D Jackson

‘Well then, Old Mushroom… rest in peace.’  

He gave a salute to the man, who’d done his best to teach a blonde kid on how to wield a gun like a gunslinger, who’d been the inspiration for learning how to shoot a gun, or a rifle. He’d been better at revolvers than at rifles, thankfully, with rifles taking proper time to aim, his former teacher not enough. 

“Rest in peace, old Mushroom. Or I guess, Private Marshall D. Jackson. Never knew your real name, but we called you old Mushroom anyways. Let’s hope you’re in a better place than I am.”

He was going to hell for being afflicted with the vampire curse, undoubtedly, but he’d make certain that those he cared for were at least able to get out of this affair with a vampire demon lord of whatever kind of thing, Leprechaun or something, and he’d do what God intended.

He tried to do the whole thing with the blessing, stopping midway during the small prayer, a searing pain shooting through his body at the feeling of something wrong happening, the pain enough to silence him with a grunt.

“You knew him?”

Pyrrha asked, and the Darkwatch agent seemed to pause, as Ms Sharp turned around. 

“Don’t just stand there, Pyrrha! Back me up! Crook, get your ass moving! You can stare at bodies all day long, we’ve got work to do!”

 He started to move, the feeling of unease at the failed prayer enough to rattle him a little, aware of how it felt to have no power to actively change the side of things, as he spoke. 

“I lived in this town until I wanted to make my fortune. That man taught me how to wield a revolver.”

He didn’t lie, because he didn’t need to. His steps were hurried, as he fired another bullet at one of the skeletal horrors, his bullet making the leg of the skeleton blow right off, making it fall to the ground. It was clear that it would scarcely be a threat, as he caught up with Ms Sharp, and the Reaper skeleton tried to get up, as the village came ever closer. The church looked like it was in need of repair, a fire starting to blaze in the tailor shop, as he could see the hellspawn coming for the civilians. 

Cries were ringing out, a large cow skull that hung over the gunsmith’s shop having lost one of its horns, undoubtedly from a stray bullet, as the skeletons were supported by reanimated dead that wielded guns. Jaune didn’t recognize them, but the decay and rot that made them look like the dark horrors that they were told him that they’d been dead for a while, buried with their guns, so it seemed. 

‘That tradition should’ve ended ages ago…’  

It’d been the second amendment or something, and people got buried with their rifle or gun in the coffin, if they got buried at all. Jaune blew three shots through the skulls of the revived gunmen, advancing into the town. With the arid landscape of crags, a lot of sand and the whole green patch around the spring that’d given them the opportunity to live in this place (as well as feed water to the orchards for the production of their finest local product, or so his father had said), it’d be a hellscape to go and navigate without the support of at least a local, with the hiding crags in the hills being a place where you’d be able to just shelter away, the mineshafts taking up a whole mountain, or that’s what he’d heard. 

“On your right!”

He turned to his right and then saw one of the gunslingers take aim at him. A man who looked like he’d gotten the half-rotted away treatment at the doctor’s place, down the trail, and a mean-looking rifle in his hands. He shot once, only to hear the loud click of an empty cartridge, with not a bullet to spare. 

The rifle flashed, and he was thrown back by the impact, feeling how whatever it was that protected him, was gone in a flash. It was a feeling of being naked, vulnerable and without anything to protect him, as he charged forward, bouncing almost with powerful steps, and slamming the butt of the gun with its wicked little scythe down. 

It cut through flesh easily, and Jaune felt the euphoria of something shooting right into his veins, a cloud of blood or something erupting from the body, wrapping around him and making him feel the power accumulate, heat and the hunger slowly abating forming a core in his stomach, before radiating outward through his whole body. 

He was ready to fight again, and he could see the glimmer of bullets in his sight, plucking them from the body, as he saw the gun slowly disintegrate within the time that the corpse laid there still after he’d destroyed whatever had animated it. 

People were still screaming, and he turned his head to the church, where the door had been bolted shut. It was a harrowing thought to go there, but there were still people left inside, and he knew that he’d have to make sure that they were safe, the bullets chambered in the revolver, even though they felt a little like they were too large for the weapon that he was wielding. 

“Don’t load rifle bullets in a revolver! Here, get another magazine.”

Ms Sharp shouted, and he caught the bullets, shaking the gun and then pulling the bullets out, tucking them in his back pocket. There were more bodies scattered around, familiar faces that had been still in death, but boisterous in life. 

He recognized the baker and the manager of the storefront of said baker, a set of brothers that’d never married. A woman laid face-down in a puddle of her own blood, her dress having been patched up, but he remembered how she’d celebrated feast-days with a dance and a merry little jig, the blood making his stomach rumble at the thought of it, slowly growing cold and drying up.

“Don’t you feel the hunger? The need within you to feed, the thirst that always tickles at the back of your mind? They are signs of what you have become, Jaune. You were always the youngest, always the weakest and the one who wouldn’t amount to much… Be a farmer, your father said, and he was wrong. Your path led you to me, and my freedom. Are you not thankful?”

The voice belonged to the vampire lord, undoubtedly. It was a voice that spoke of honey and sweetness, mixed with the sting of something that could only be the betrayal that would follow without fail, since a demon could not be trusted. He looked around, the magazine pushed into place, the bullets clicking there, as the gun clattered a little with the cycling of the magazine, and he took aim. 

The heavy thunder of his revolver and seeing Ms Sharp move her body to evade one of the charging reapers by leaping over a fallen cart and then firing three rounds into the body of the skeleton and letting it collapse, was exhilarating. He fired, even with the screams becoming more intense. 

A feeling of something watching him was a reality now, as he could see a massive shadow fall over the town, a hellish green glow starting to emanate from the church, as the ground quivered and skeletal reapers emerged from the ground, cackling like they were intent on murdering everyone here. 

He fought as hard as he could, his body thrusting forward with his weapon, using the melee blade for the effort of sparing bullets, as he grabbed one of the scythe-like sickles and then cut through one of the bony bastards, a loud ‘haaahhh!’ coming from his mouth, like a war crime of old, as he caught sight of the guy called Leprechaun, Lazarene or whatever it was, standing atop the church, the screams silenced after a moment. 

“You should hurry up, Jonathan Jebediah Jeremiah Beauford… I have left you a little morsel for your hunger. Would you not partake of that which I have left you?”

There was a beat of those wings, as the creature rose to the skies, and made way for the direction where Jaune knew where his parents’ house was, as the church burst into flames, the vampire out of sight, as more of the bony horrors came charging at him. 

‘My family! He knows my name, he knows the name I was born with! How did I not think about that?!’  

He felt fear, as he thrashed his way through the skeletons. His body was hit, but whatever essence they leaked seemed to revitalize him, as he felt the rage building within his chest, within his heart. It was a burning rage, as he fought his way. 

“Crook! Darn it, you bastard! Pay attention!”

The voice of the woman disturbed his thoughts immediately, as he let his mind shift to his current surroundings, down the street from the church, which was blazing with the heat that came with the fire that the vampire lord had ignited within. 

It made him angry and mad, aware that his hometown was being burned and killed. 

“Listen, Lazarus has managed to kill most of the town, and down that way there’s only-”

He didn’t care anymore, as the blood pulsing in Ms Sharp’s veins was such an alluring sight that he was biologized by the pulsing throb, feeling so hungry that he was salivating. He could see that jugular pulse with the drink that he craved, feeling how he was drawn to the woman despite her abrasive nature, to bring the blood out and to drink it like it was the finest drink he’d ever had. 

“I don’t care! That way there’s- There’s the school! If it’s not the church, the school’s the safest building there is!”

He could feel the pulse in that jugular carry more blood up to her head and down to her heart again. It was an intoxicating pump-pump-pump, as he took a deep breath. 

 “Fuck Lazarus for now, he’s-”

His house was the other way, his mind told him. There was nothing he really could do for the people, but something seemed to pull him away from his own house. 

A ghastly image of someone looking at the front door to his parents’ house came to his mind, as he could feel the throbbing ache in his stomach increase, making him even more aware of how it felt to be so hungry that the woman looked like a nice and tasty snack. 

‘I want to eat, I want to- I’m-’  

He turned around, and he decided to do what he thought was best, to go to the school. Mrs Goodwitch had been teaching there for nearly a decade or so, if she hadn’t gotten married, and he was aware that the woman likely would be at her house next to the school, but something compelled him to move there. It was loud to hear the collapse of a building and the clattering of bones, but there was a certain beat to things that made him feel awkward, as he took a deep breath, the crisp air in the space outside filling his lungs. 

He thrust open the door that led to the insides of the school, the desks remaining as they were, including the lectern, though the door that led towards the insides of the teacher’s house, which’d been built next to the school, a connecting hallway having been constructed, the door looking a little ragged and worn, as he pushed it open. 

“Mrs Goodwitch? Eh… Miss Goodwitch?”

He called out, just to be sure. He didn’t care what the Darkwatch agents thought of him, his teacher hadn’t been present in the bodies that he’d seen on the streets. She was a statuesque woman, someone who’d be instantly recognizable. A gagging sound from deeper into the house, and he could see that the door had half-collapsed, and he pushed himself into the room, coming to the sight of a blonde woman laid slumped against the wall, her neck a mess of blood, gasping and choking on it. 

‘Just like me.’  

It was a corrupting bite, as his vision switched to that strange vision and he could see small black lines spreading out from the bite-mark, infecting her as he had been infected with the same signs of corruption. Her eyes were red and opened wide, bloodshot and pained, as her face seemed to twist in agony. 

“Kill her and gain power, ‘Jaune’. Kill her and put her out of her misery, or face the competition. You cannot stop the thirst, you can only sate it. If she lasts another three minutes, she will become like you, or different… She is pure.” 

That sounded like a threat, but it also told him that the woman was still trying to resist, grabbing at him as he knelt, as he felt the urge rising through his body. He could feel the burning in his heart at the sight of his former teacher, his pretty, young former teacher, laying there. The skin was slowly starting to heal up, and those formerly-green eyes were looking at him, as she seemed to recover a little. 

‘Perhaps he’s lying?’  

She looked at him and then screamed, her mouth opening entirely too wide and showing a set of fangs, as the sonic blast knocked him off his feet and sent him back into the school, crashing on one of the desks. 

He was aware of her coming at him, her eyes burning with green energy, hissing and screaming at him, the sonic waves making his ears hurt, as well as the air tremble, as he blocked her first strike through raising his arms, and she bit at him, her eyes devoid of colour now, as she snarled like some wild animal, trying to bite at his neck. 

“Oh no… You’ve got competition. What will you do, ‘Jonathan’? Will you refuse to strike her and damn yourself to a quick death? Will you drink her blood until she is dry, before discarding her? Hurry up, ‘Jaune’. Tick tock… Tick tock… Tick tock goes the clock and… Hmmm…”

His sister’s bare neck, exposed, and fangs sinking into it, a sign that his sisters were endangered by the Vampire lord at this moment, and he could see Glynda Goodwitch’s eyes blaze with barely restrained frustration and rage, as she tried to take a chunk out of his neck. 

He forced her off, onto the ground. A dark conservative blouse, with a white shirt below it, and a long skirt that was usually worn by women in mourning, was what she wore, and he looked down at her as she thrashed and screamed. 

‘Will I sate the bloodthirst?’  

He didn’t want to kill her, but she was changing, she was starting to turn into something unholy. The warm blood within her body was pulsing, yet it was corrupted, tainted with something that made his body feel the heat of whatever flame of purgatory that burned within him, as her body thrashed below him. 

‘Not a way that I’d like to go out… With Mrs Goodwitch, but not really in a state where I’d be like ‘wanted’ by her.’

“Another moment, ‘Jaune’. Are you going to refuse the hunger inside your soul? She is innocent, resisting… Set her free by sucking the blood from her, or damn her by tearing her throat out and consuming all. It is the choice you make… Surrender to the urges, ‘Jaune’. Surrender, my child, and make her a corpse, rather than a contender.”

The voice was so seductive in his ear, as he lowered his head to her neck, as she thrashed and shook, her eyes wide and almost mindless, as he bit down on her neck, at that pulsing jugular that stood there. Blood gushed into his mouth like a geyser, and the very human moan that she gave for that touch to her neck was entrancing, as his lips pressed against her neck, his suckling on that wound making the blood fill him. 

It felt like power was accumulating inside him, as he could feel her struggle, feel how she seemed to burn up with that strange power that had been infused inside him as well, as his whole body started to grow more powerful, the blood shield or whatever it was feeling stronger, as his erection seemed to harden like steel. 

“I give you one moment ta make peace with your maker, Crook, and-”

He pulled away, before a sonic blast deafened his ears. In no way was he done yet, he still hadn’t fully drank the blood, but the woman was getting up to her full (arguably imposing, for a teenager who’d had to suffer under her teachings) height, her arms grabbing a hold of the blouse she wore, pulling it loose with a massive tearing sound. He could see the woman’s impressive bust for a moment, before something felt off, and he saw how she stretched, as his eyes were captivated by the round nipples that were exposed

‘Holy moly.’  

The bat-like wings that grew out of her back were new though. They definitely looked like something that’d belong on some kind of demon, and Jaune was pretty sure that this counted as a demon encounter.

“Demon!”

Mrs Goodwitch definitely was looking like one, as her hair was loose now and she batted Ms Sharp out of the school with a single smack, as Jaune felt the amusement of the vampire lord through this connection. 

“Too late, ‘Jonathan’. Are you going to disappoint me even more? You could have had the power to dominate… Ahh, a demonic possession, so easy to induce… All you had to do was to sip the rich blood from her, before the transformation. She is my servant now… And you must kill her, or be killed. Such resistance, child… such devotion. I had not expected a woman her age to still be unspoiled and unsoiled.” 

The woman’s mouth opened and a banshee-like shriek came from her mouth, as her chest seemed to swell up and the sonic blast rocked him. 

“I’m sorry Miss Goodwitch! This wasn’t how I expected to go back to school!’

He engaged her within melee range, his body slamming against her and knocking her over onto the wooden planks, the pain that crashed through his system as he felt her try to punch and kick, her eyes looking weird and soulless, but his will not faltering in the least. He knew that he’d have to fight her, the voice of that vampire having said that he could’ve sucked the blood out of her. 

‘I’m hungry, but-’  

The demon-possessed former schoolteacher was snapping her very sharp and pointy-looking teeth at him and he didn’t like that one bit, as he was blasted off her.

“I’m sorry, miss Goodwitch!”

The woman’s chest seemed to swell up again for another blast, as he could see her body burst with the vitality, the blood inside her forming a spiderweb of power, as he weathered the blast. His hands grabbed a hold of her neck and he wrung it, unsure whether it’d stop, the woman’s expression looking like it was savage, unable to discern friend from foe, and corrupt, as he pushed her head down, the wings coming down, talon-like spikes stabbing into him.

The woman warbled something from him wringing her neck, as he could feel the pain shoot through him as the wings pulled out, coming back to slam into him again, as he let go of her neck, and he let the hunger take over. 

Fangs flashed, as he dug into her neck, tasting the rich red blood, the taint of whatever demonic creature was within her slipping into his own mouth as the power flowed into him, as he tried to purge the corrupting influence from his former school teacher, the woman who’d been bereaved from a husband and had taught them how to do stuff with math’s. 

The rich taste of the power made his head a little dizzy, as he felt the blood drain out of her, as her struggles slowly ceased, her gasps and groans almost erotic to his ears, as he noticed that the glow seemed to slowly stop. 

Jaune pulled away, the woman’s eyes open wide, pale orbs slowly bleeding to green. Her chest swelled with breath, as her green eyes tried to find him, as she gasped loudly.

“I’m- I’m doing the best I can, Ms Goodwitch.”

He felt the blood drip down from his fangs, as he could feel her fading. The wound on her neck was slowly starting to leak blood, uncorrupted as she gasped again, her hand touching his chest. 

The touch was soft, weak and fading. 

“So you have killed ‘Jonathan’. Does that not feel like an accomplishment? A maiden’s blood, pure and unsoiled, to watch the dregs of life fade from her eyes. A soul, gained. Revel within the power, as I thirst for the blood.”

An image of his youngest sister, screaming at the vampire, as Jaune looked down at the woman, the situation of her modesty being gone something that was hardly important, as she tried to say something, her voice like a raspy gurgle, as he looked at her. 

‘Can I save her?’  

The question arose in his mind, as he could see the wings slowly turning to nothingness, the blonde woman’s green eyes human now, as he heard the sound of the other Darkwatch agent coming to assist her superior. 

“Hlllppph.”

A gurgle from her lips, and jaune felt the need to save her increase, with every moment that passed. He bit down on his wrist, collecting the blood there and then pushing it against his lips.

‘If this works in a fairytale, then it can work here too!’  

He sucked a mouthful of his own blood, easier than he’d thought it’d be, as he looked at the woman, pressing his mouth against hers and kissing her, the blonde hair of the woman tainted with the crimson of blood, as she laid there, and he pushed his tongue into her mouth. 

It was a gift of blood, one that he could feel slipping from his body, as he forced it into her throat through some kind of blood control, as he willed it to fill her with his power. It made her gasp, as the wound on her throat stopped bleeding, her skin pale, her eyes looking at him with clarity, the fear slowly fading from her eyes, as he had given her his blood. 

A link between her and him was established, as he could feel a presence that was a little different from the demonic vampire that’d been the one to taint him with this curse take root, his eyes locked with hers, as he pulled away, breathing heavily.

The power that he’d felt within him, something that was like a deep corrupting influence, seemed to slowly fade away, bringing him a feeling of peace, as he closed his mouth, the woman’s expression looking up at him, as she touched her lips. 

“Jonathan Jebediah Jeremiah Beauford!”

‘Oww, the full trinity!’  

The woman’s voice was still as loud as it had been, as he got up, and he offered her a hand up, the stern-faced woman giving him a stern look, with the wings shrinking still, as her skin was as pale as snow, her eyes having a green colour which looked more vibrant than before, her eyes glinting with that hint of something fierce, untamed. 

“How dare you kiss me?!”

He winced, as her volume hadn’t changed one bit. He could feel an odd emotion of gratitude, as he heard the wicked laughter in the back of his mind. 

“Turning the gift that I had left you… Truly, you are learning, ‘Jaune’. Oh… I would hurry if I were you. These women had such rich blood…”

His sisters were in danger! His mother was in danger, and the woman was gesturing at him, Jaune noticing Pyrrha enter the school. 

“You were dying, I’m-”

She smacked him, her cheeks probably red if she had the blood to flush them. 

“You do not kiss a lady on the lips like some ruffian cowboy!”

He nodded. 

“Yes, Mrs Goodwitch. I’ll remember that.”

The woman crossed her arms under her generous breasts, and then looked down, giving him that look which had always been so ominous with those glasses that she had worn. 

“Whilst I am not ungrateful for the assistance, I will be fetching something to wear. You and your… friend can linger here for a while, whilst I appear in more fitting attire. Whatever demon that was, it was… hm. I will not be held back by this. I am a woman that believes in the Lord our Saviour.”

The fact that his former teacher was a believer in Jesus made sense, as she walked to her room, clearly having stalled him. 

“Jonathan Jebediah Jeremiah?”

He winced. 

“Jaune is much better. I hated it when she used my full names.”

He had never really paid too much thought about the consequences, as Pyrrha made a sympathetic sound. 

“Why was she half-naked, though?”

Ms Sharp got up from the rubble, groaning. 

“Did ya get that demon spawn?”

The sound of frustration came from the woman’s direction, as she pushed her hair to the side. Jaune felt a tinge of hunger go through him, as he shook his head. 

“I purged her of the taint. I… Well, I drank her blood.”

He’d leave the other bits aside. Like kissing her, or taking whatever demonic magic she had. Pyrrha coughed a little. 

“She’s changing. It wasn’t a very pleasant sight, and we could use anyone who’s able to fight, right? Desperate times, desperate measures?”

It had been something of an alliance done through compassion, the feeling of being less hungry, less burdened with the thirst. He could briefly glimpse an image of his former schoolteacher going through her dresser, grabbing one of her corsets, one that he’d never seen before, something purple, covering her upper body.

It was sexy to see something like that and he could feel his body react to it. An erection again, pushing against his pants, knowing that the woman was bound to him. He could feel warmth, flowing through his veins. Her blood, the blessing that he’d taken from her flesh without even thinking about it, pulsed through his veins, burning with that rightful flame that made him tremble.

It was a dark desire that had him trembling a little in his deepest depths, something that was not like how he’d been before, as he could imagine the woman’s sensual form tangling with his own. He could compel her, probably. It felt like a possibility, and his former schoolteacher would be like putty in his hands. 

‘That’s wrong.’  

It felt so right to do though, but the woman looked at the cross on the wall and Jaune and Glynda winced as pain shot through them, the link broken for an instant. 

“Anyone who’s on our side is good, but you’d better not doublecross us, Crook. You and the Screamer are going to be watched, even if we can catch up to Lazarus.”

He was aware of that, as Glynda emerged, wearing the conservative purple dress, her corset laced up, a set of glasses, ones that he didn’t think she’d ever need again, on her nose. 

“It seems that we are now a little changed, Jonathan.”

‘That name, ugh.’  

He didn’t like being called Jonathan by anyone. 

“I go by Jaune Arc now, Miss Goodwitch. I’m sorry for-”

The woman crossed her arms under her breasts, fixing him with a look that brooked zero complaints. He swallowed heavily at the sight of his former teacher putting the fully weight of her stare on him.

“You saved my life. Well, what was left of it. It seems god has given that which has been appointed by him with his friend.”

He groaned a little at her explanation, knowing that it was exactly how his name had been explained by his mother. It was already bad enough that he was the only boy, but to be given three very biblical names. Mark wasn’t a bad name, he could’ve been called Mark! 

‘But Jaune means something in French, so- well…’  

He coughed. 

“I’m not- I mean, you were bitten by a vampire. I’m- I’m kind of one too, but I tried to- well, keep you alive. That demonic possession cleared up, hasn’t it?”

He hoped it had, as Glynda’s head turned to the two Darkwatch agents. 

“Greetings, my name is Glynda Goodwitch, this young man’s former teacher. May I have the pleasure of knowing the names of those who accompany him, fool though he is?”

‘Oww, she’s not sparing me.’  

The blonde Darkwatch agent called Ms Sharp by Pyrrha straightened, her weapons never having strayed from Glynda’s chest. 

“Cassidy Sharp, Darkwatch agent. That’s my protege and partner, Pyrrha. Your former student’s managed to unleash a vampire lord on the west, and it’s our job to alert the Darkwatch outpost to the danger. Ma’am, you’re going to have to come and work with- with-”

Glynda’s body seemed to glow for a moment with some dark power, as she took a deep breath. 

“Won’t you stay for a little while, Miss Sharp?”

The voice that Glynda Goodwitch used was like a honeyed purr that made Jaune’s cock buck in his pants, pure eroticism hanging around the woman, as her corset bulged, and the blonde woman took a few steps back, the woman’s expression turning gloomy, before she coughed, and Cassidy’s revolver was aimed right at her. 

“Whatever witchcraft you did, I’d like it if ya didn’t do that again.”

Glynda turned to him, her expression looking conflicted. 

“I seem to have turned into some kind of monster as well, Jonathan.”

He grimaced. The name wasn’t something that he liked, but she was his former teacher so he’d have to give her some due. Women you always had to respect, mom had said so when she’d taught him the rules.

“Yes, Miss Goodwitch. Why… Why did you not- like, turn? I’m- I tried my best.”

She should’ve been alive, not this kind of creature that made him feel the thrills of lust. Her breasts were at least a size bigger than they had been before, and he could feel a weird sensation of something in her presence, clinging to her. 

There was a certain charm around her, something sensual and yet decadent, as her tongue licked over her lips, his cock growing even harder at the sight, as she stared at him. 

“I never got to consummate my marriage, Jonathan. I am… unspoiled. My faith in the Lord almighty may have saved my soul from further damnation, but…”

She approached, her steps womanly, finger touching over his collarbone, as she looked at him, her imperious and sultry expression making him tremble a little with every little throb of his cock, as she pressed the finger up, against his cheek. She did not mean ill, as she licked her lips. 

“You are much like me, Jonathan. Hmm, I do remember, young man.”

The strict teacher that taught him how to properly write and how to properly read, something which made him more educated than most, a charity affair or something, as his sisters weren’t required to do much of that, spoiled by mom and dad. 

‘I should save them.’  

The dark laughter of the vampire lord bounced in his mind, as he turned his head in the direction that Lazarus seemed to be in. 

“Lazarus, he’s in the direction of the big farmhouse near the orchard! My family lives there, he’s-”

An image of his sister gasping, as the creature feasted on her blood. He could feel faint pulses in the back of his mind, tainted energy that made his body pulse and race, as he chanced a look at Glynda, who seemed to be calming herself, her body turned and she brushed her rear against him, like a seductive woman would, riding against his hard cock with that fine rump of hers, obviously unintentional, with the flush that she gave. 

“A succubus, then. A demoness who lays with men, a corruptor of their morals… It seems the transformation stopped half-way, leaving you with your soul and our little blood-chomper here with enough of his that he’s not a full-on monster yet. You know how to fire a gun?”

Glynda nodded, as she looked at the school around the four of them, the damage done to the building by their clash, the furniture ruined thanks to the sonic blasts that she’d fired, her fingers touching her hair, her eyes looking at the Darkwatch agents, Pyrrha fiddling around with her revolver, but Glynda shook her head. 

“I have my late husband’s carbine. He perished in the war, so I was the one to inherit the weapon. Jonathan, wait here. I will fetch it, before we can leave.”

He felt the tingling in his heart at the feeling of having her around, her blood flowing in his veins as a bounty of power. He knew instinctively that he had gotten a power that was called ‘Charm’ from her, one which would beguile the senses of someone, with the price of blood paid for it. 

He could wield it through merely a glance, or a finger, or so his intuition told him. What had transferred to her was the essence of that gift, making her a succubus with her human mind. He could feel that belief within her mind, that faith in the Lord Almighty, buffering her against the corruption that burned inside her with the same fierce flame as within him. 

It was a sad moment to realize that he had essentially made his former schoolteacher into a similar monster to himself, only to rationalize it as saving her life. It felt more like a service to the woman that she had been in his life than a disservice to her as a person.

‘You are telling yourself that it was okay to do because you are tempted.’  

He was tempted, indeed. Pyrrha was sexy, in a girly way, and Miss Sharp was definitely someone that looked like she’d be great as a wife, but a bit too strict really for his tastes, but someone with spunk. Miss Goodwitch though… there was a prize of a woman, who looked like she’d be a good wife. Older than him, sure, but someone who’d look really good as a wife. 

It was a dark thought that surfaced, but he understood very well that the woman was now tied to him, as he was tied to the Darkwatch through its two agents, the woman who bossed him around and the redhead with the kind, warm attitude. It felt welcoming, strange and awkward at the same time. 

“I am now armed.”

The carbine looked like a Winchester model, Jaune had heard of them being produced for the War or something, a model that looked a little older but no less useful. It seemed like it had been made for fighting, and the woman looked kind of sexy with it on her shoulder, a small leather bag that had been stitched with an elegant ‘ammunition’ on it, obviously by the woman during the time between classes, or perhaps as a project during the moment when class was not given. With how much time the woman spent with her teaching, it made for an awkward look, but it was something that made him smile. 

“Glynda Goodwitch enters the field, armed and ready. Let’s go and deliver justice to the evil vampire lord!”

He was in decidedly better spirits than the leader of their little warband, Miss Sharp giving him a look, whilst Pyrrha pumped her fist. 

“That’s the spirit!”

He knew that she was trying to cheer him up, and it worked well for him. 

“Let’s hunt that monster down, Pyrrha.”

His blonde teacher raised an eyebrow, as he turned to her. 

“And you too, Ms Goodwitch.”

She pouted, in an infuriatingly sexy way. 

“Call me Glynda. You are the man I am stuck with, for my unlife, it seems… I can feel a connection between the two of us, so personal names will be perfect, Jonathan.”

‘I’m not Jonathan! Jaune! Jaune Arc!’  

He kept his thoughts to himself though, as he readied himself for the next bout of fighting, because the evil creatures summoned by the vampire would be storming down the school soon. 

The door splintered into woods, as one of the bony reapers clawed its way through it, hacking through it.

‘I hate when I’m right.’  


This was commissioned work.