Will leaned on the doorframe of the cottage, watching Sebastian talk with Anna about the vampire casualty rate. No one in the team had died, and more than forty vampires were slain last evening— but that wasn't important to Will.
Needless to say, Will was happy they'd gotten Bill back alive. But ever since the incident at the mountain, Bill had been in a state of depression, refusing to eat, move, or speak to anyone. Will glanced at him, sitting on the bed, a blanket over his head, with an expression that seemed to say 'I want to kill myself.'
Will sighed. He pushed himself off of the wall and headed out the door.
Sebastian was the first to notice his departure.
"Going somewhere, master Will?"
"A walk. Where are the others?" Will said.
"Zee is with Camille. They're trying to reach the mainland using a radio to get us a boat back. Loki said he was going to 'investigate' if there are any more vampires lurking about, though I doubt that. If I were a vampire who survived last night's massacre, I would've taken my chances and swam off of this forsaken place." Sebastian replied.
"I agree." Will muttered, turning towards the exit again. "Watch over Bill, would you?"
"Master Will, are you alright?"
Will gave him a smile, but it didn't seem to reach up to his eyes. "Yeah. It's just… all of this seems like just a bad dream."
"Well, the dream is over now." Sebastian gave him a nod. "Everything is well."
"No, not everything." Will said, his thoughts going immediately to Faust.
After watching Margaret fade away, Faust had quietly slipped away from the scene. She said she needed some time alone. That was around five hours ago. Up till now, she hadn't returned.
Will walked across the beach, hoping to find her sitting on the shoreline or something. She wasn't there. He went back to the ruined manor and no Faust there either. He was about to give up when an idea struck him.
He made his way towards the mountain, retracing his steps until he reached the cliff with a lily field. And, true enough, he saw Faust standing by the edge, watching the sun.
Will walked towards her. She didn't turn, or acknowledge his presence but Will knew she knew he was there. They stood beside each other staring at the view in silence.
"You're blaming yourself, aren't you?" Will guessed. "For Margaret's death."
Faust dropped her gaze to the ground. "A little part of me wishes I could go back to hating her—but it seems pretty inevitable now." Faust's shoulders slumped, and she put her arms around herself.
"After all these years, I finally found out her real reason for being so angry. And I hate realizing how everything I've believed about her was a web of lies. Margaret was only a victim to a horrible fate set forth by selfish ambition—and instead of trying to help her, all my days and nights were spent thinking of how she should die. I'm a horrible sister."
"You can't take all the credit for ruining her life." Will said, trying to lighten the mood but Faust remained in a state of moodiness. "There are your other family members, and plenty of other people to shoulder some of the fault."
Faust scoffed. "Probably, but mostly, I've been a bane to her existence. And when I thought I could reconcile with her—she goes and tries to stab me. I didn't mean to kill her, Will."
"Huh," Will said, in awe. "That's the first time you've ever called me Will. Usually it's all fancy and formal William with you."
Faust shook her head. "That's out of topic! I'm trying to hate myself about killing my sister here, and you're wondering why I called you by a nickname!"
"You've had five or six hours to go mope around the island. I think it's about time you stopped and moved on."
"William," Faust said in a deadly tone. "I killed my own, twin sister! I can't just build a bridge and get over that quickly!"
Will put his hand on her head, and stroked gently.
"I know it's hard at first, but you need to learn to let go. It's painful but it's better—for both of you." Will pushed her chin up using his fingers.
"But despite everything, William, I miss her. I miss her so much." Tears were streaming down her face again, but Will doubted Faust noticed.
He smiled sadly at her. "Maybe in another life, you two will be together again. And things will be right that time around. But until then, you're going to live the rest of your forever until you get sick of it."
Faust's eyes looked red and puffy but she managed to laugh.
Then Faust said suddenly, "Did you mean it?"
Faust turned to him. "What you said. That you… I mean… when you were fighting your brother, you said something. Did you mean it?"
"It isn't like you to be so indirect, Faust," Will chuckled. True, Faust was always so painfully straightforward with things, seeing her stammer like that made him quite uncomfortable.
Will raised a brow at her. "What is it you want to ask exactly?"
"Did you mean it when you implied that you loved me?"
Will's eyes widened and his heart temporarily stopped.
"When did I say I loved you?"
"You implied it when you said I was important to you." Faust said lividly, crossing her arms across her chest as if insulted by his words. "Are you trying to deny that, William?"
"Nah, I was just checking if you remembered." Will chuckled, ruffling her hair again. "Yeah, I love you. What are you going to do about it?"
Faust laughed and Will couldn't help but think it was the prettiest sight he'd ever seen.
"When will you stop teasing me like I'm some sort of little kid?" Faust complained, but she looked happy. Really happy.
"When you stop acting like one." Will explained, and with a wide grin on his face, he welcomed Faust into his arms.
"Come on," he said, his mouth on her hair. It smelled like strawberries. "Let's go home."
"Yes," Faust agreed. "Let's."
They were walking back down the mountain when Will's phone vibrated in his pocket. Will pulled it out, momentarily wondering why he had it in the first place.
"Hello?" he said into the mouthpiece.
"Master William! I'm here with Loki somewhere in the base of the mountain. You've got to see this. It's something like a secret tunnel, of some sort." It was Sebastian's voice.
"Alright, we're on our way." Will and Faust exchanged looks.
"What's wrong?" Faust asked.
"I don't know, but we'd better go check out what Loki found." said Will.
They set off towards the location, running into Zee and Camille along the way.
"Sebastian called me up too." Zee explained. "It seemed suspicious so we came over immediately."
Will shook his head. "No, go back to the cottage. It's too dangerous. Take Camille with you."
"But…" Camille started.
"Go," Will told her, urging her to follow Zee, who was making her way back to the base.
Camille gave Will and Faust a disapproving look. Will noticed she looked quite distraught and even a little anxious.
"We'll be fine." he assured her. "It's probably an abandoned passage. After this, we'll go home, alright?"
Camille stared at him for a while, then her lips slowly curved into a small smile.
"Ok." She nodded her head, and slowly walked away from them.
Will and Faust went to where Sebastian had described and were quite awed when they'd seen the mysterious cavern.
Will and Faust cautiously entered. It seemed like a long hall with many doors adjacent to each other. Each door had a different color. Will eyed one and noticed there were numbers etched on the face of it. As they kept on walking, they called for Sebastian.
After a while, they heard a response.
"In here!" Will and Faust followed the voice over to a hidden corner where they found Loki and Sebastian crouched over a bunch of papers on a desk.
"What's that?" Faust asked, walking towards them.
"Files," Sebastian said, his eyes scanning the words on print. "And you'll never believe what it's about."
Loki walked over to a wall and pointed on a poster pasted there.
"The Belcamps have been breeding, or rather, rediscovering, a new serum for immortality. All these files are test subject profiles. My guess is that they're trying to reinvent the Vampiric Effect cure that was used on them." Loki exclaimed.
"That's impossi... oh no, I understand now," Faust shook her head, disbelieving it all. "The cure they took was a fake so they're trying to recreate it. Trying to fix it so they can fix themselves."
Faust took a step backward. She looked like she just woke up from a horrible dream.
"That's some scary shit," Loki cursed, watching the poster again. It was a diagram of a human body. Beside it was a small note with pencil sketches of a sort of mutation.
A loud thud sounded, and all eyes turned to Sebastian. He had opened a large box with a huge book inside. He flipped it open and they saw more disturbing illustrations of what could be inferred as the different side effects of their makeshift cure.
And scrawled on top of every page was the text 'Cure: Code Lycan'
Sebastian set the book down, a contemplative look as he stared at it.
"We need to investigate on this." Sebastian said, eyeing Faust specifically.
Faust nodded. "We should inform the others."
"To hell with that!" Loki said, moving towards the door. "We should check this place out more! There should be more clues somewhere in here."
"It's dangerous." Sebastian reasoned and groaned when Loki went out and explored anyway.
"Don't be an idiot, idiot!" Sebastian yelled, going after him.
Will and Faust followed suit, just in case Loki did something stupid.
They trailed Loki as he went back the halls and began twisting a few door handles. All of them were locked.
He cussed and pushed harder. The handle eventually broke and as the door swung open, a sort of beast pounced at him, causing him to fall flat on his butt.
"Ahh!" Loki screamed, the monster right on top of him.
"Loki!" Will, Sebastian and Faust exclaimed.
Sebastian brought out his pistol and began shooting at the beast, but sensing the attack, the monster pushed itself off of Loki.
The monster let out a low growl and Will felt the hairs at the back of his head rise. The light had caught at the monster's features and it was scary. It seemed like an animal, but it hand hinges like that of a human, and it's stance was disturbingly similar to that of one's. It had a snout, long and sharp teeth, and fur everywhere.
No better word to describe it came in Will's mind other than "werewolf."
"So this is the cure they were working on," Sebastian said, his voice full of dry humor. "Cure: Code Lycan is named after lycanthrope. I must say, Miss Faust, your family idolizes the oddest sort of things… from vampires, to werewolves—I wouldn't be surprised if a fairy popped out from one of these rooms." Sebastian said to Faust, a smirk in his face.
Faust huffed out a laugh, bringing out her own gun. "They amaze even me, butler. But no matter. This monstrosity was spawned in this spot, and I swear, it shall die here, as well."
Faust loaded the weapon and shot directly at the monster. It roared and dodged the bullet easily. Faust tried to shoot it again, but the monster had come towards Will, and taking him by the neck, pushed him to the ground. It was made of metal, apparently. Will felt his head go numb.
"William!" Faust cried. To the monster, she said, "Do not touch him!"
The monster stared at Will, an angry expression on its face, and in one fast movement, swiped at his chest. Will felt a searing pain and then he saw blood. He screamed.
Faust had dropped her gun and had begun clawing at the monster with her bare hands. She grabbed tufts of his fur and flung him off of Will. The monster fell a few meters away, but nevertheless, unharmed.
Faust bent over Will and said, "William, are you…" Then she gasped and put a hand over her mouth.
Will, despite feeling queasy due to the injury, sat up and asked her, "What's wrong?"
Faust moved away from him as if he'd caught a disease.
"What's wrong, Faust?" Will asked again.
"Your friend Erya was right," Faust said, her voice full of agony. "Your blood does smell good."
Will's eyes widened. This was the first time he'd seen Faust so hungry. And she was hungry for him. His blood, more specifically.
Will didn't know how to feel about that but before he could evaluate further, a movement from behind Faust caught his eye. The monster was about to strike at her.
"Faust! Watch out!" Will cried, but it was too late. By the time Faust would probably turn around, the monster would've already delivered its blow on her.
Will couldn't bear to see Faust in shreds but just before her demise could be certain, the monster was attacked by another monster which seemingly came from out of nowhere.
Will and Faust sat there, shocked by the entrance of a new character in the scene.
This monster was just like the first, but its fur was a dark sort of auburn. In the light, it seemed red. It growled at the other monster and then moved to bite its neck. The two wrestled for a while until a loud crack sound was heard and the other monster fell to the ground, twitching. The auburn "lycanthrope" bent over it and after howling, bit the latter's neck. The twitching stopped. It was dead.
Will was dumbstruck. As he looked at his companions, he realized they too were in the same boat he was. The monster turned towards him, its eyes boring into his own. And then as it advanced towards him, he felt fear. But then as the light brought its head into focus, Will felt a sense of familiarity overcome him.
The monster's eyes were warm and kind. The color of it: green, like his own.
Faust moved to defend him, but he put a hand out to her, signaling her to stand down. They watched as the beast got closer, and closer.
And while it walked slowly towards them, its features changed into something more human. It began decreasing in size, specifically from the height of a big hound dog; it now took on the form of a small female child. Its body was no longer covered with red fur, but with skin.
And as the light graced her features Will recognized her immediately. The auburn red hair, the shy smile, and the green eyes were all too familiar.
"It's over now." she said solemnly. "Let's go home."
It was Camille.