Vaunt chuckled to himself, shifting his eyes between Desmond and Luxeria. "Do you two remember that day? The last time the three of us were all assembled. Do you remember it?"

Desmond growled, bad memories flushing through his head. Luxeria scowled, the same memories filling her own head.

"I can tell that you do," Vaunt continued, not waiting for either vampire to answer. "I'm sure that you both remember ten years ago. The forces of The Holy Order and the forces of the Vampire Coalition that you had formed…we clashed in combat on that day. It was truly a memorable day for us all. It was also a victorious one for us hunters. You would agree with that, right?"

"Yes," Desmond answered, refusing to let Vaunt get to him. "I remember. Our coalition was annihilated…mostly by you."

"That's right. And I distinctly remember you, and Luxeria, turning tail and running after seeing how hopeless the situation was. You were scared, frightened of me. What has changed since then? What gives you two such false confidence?"

"We got cocky," Luxeria admitted, lowering her eyes. "We had lived highly for years on end and neglected our training. We should truly thank you for opening our eyes. We trained for ten long years Vaunt. We've been awaiting the day we could do what we should have done all that time ago: defeat you."

Vaunt snorted, rolling his eyes. "Such arrogance. No matter how much you two have trained, you are still beneath me. Plus, I can see how injured you two are. Your right shoulder is destroyed, Desmond. And you look like a complete mess, Luxeria. Don't try to act big in front of me, you two. I can clearly see that neither of you are in condition to fight. Let alone in condition to fight me."

"Shut the hell up," Luxeria roared, shaking a fist at Vaunt. "You call us arrogant and spew such bullshit? I promise you this Vaunt…we are going to KICK YOUR ASS!"

Vaunt sighed, shaking his head in annoyance. "I grow tired of this. I need to hurry up and defeat you two before the main character grows any stronger. It's been fun reminiscing, but the time for that is up. I'm going to kill you now!"

Desmond narrowed his eyes, watching as Vaunt vanished from sight. The vampire quickly evaded an attack from Vaunt's cutlass, leaping out of the way. Vaunt growled, delivering a vicious kick to Desmond's sternum. Desmond grunted in pain, skidding backward. Luxeria punched at Vaunt, but the hunter caught her fist with ease. A wide grin rose up Vaunt's face as he shoved his cutlass toward the female vampire. Luxeria twisted her body immediately, barely managing to avoid the weapon. Vaunt laughed, proceeding to head-butt Luxeria. Luxeria screamed out, as the blood on her face stuck to Vaunt's. Vaunt let go of her fist, kicking her into a wall.

"You guys are really to weak for this," Vaunt exclaimed cockily. "You're not even providing me with enjoyment right now. Why aren't you using your power, Desmond? Don't tell me you're too weak for that!"

Desmond grunted, not answering Vaunt's question. He hated to admit it but Vaunt was right. His body most likely couldn't handle shapeshifting right now. He was extremely weak currently and Vaunt knew it. He glanced toward Luxeria, growling as he watched her struggle to get off the floor. He didn't know how they could possibly win this. This would be a tough, if not impossible, fight normally. In their current conditions, he and Luxeria were horribly handicapped.

Vaunt laughed madly, pointing his cutlass directly at Desmond. "You're beginning to realize it aren't you, Desmond? You know how futile this struggle is. Come on! Show me some despair! Release all the inner fear you're feeling right now. I want to drink in your terror before I kill you. I've waited ten long years for this so let me enjoy it a little!"

"You're not killing Desmond," Jack said as he slowly got to his feet. Blood was still dripping from his chest.

"Jack!" Desmond yelled. He knew that Jack in was in no condition to fight just by looking at him.

"Don't worry about us," Eric muttered as he also began to stand up. "This is our fight too. It's all of us fight!"

"How cute," Vaunt remarked as he observed the scene. "I never would have thought scum like you two could stand after my attacks. It matters not, though. I'll simply cut you down again. You're all just cockroaches to me. Sadly it seems the saying is true. Cockroaches really don't die easily!"

"You're so annoyingly arrogant," Luxeria barked, finally getting back to her feet. "You are stronger than any of us individually, Vaunt. But you're not beating all four of us at once."

The elite hunter burst into laughter once more, treating Luxeria's statement as a joke. "All I see in front of me are four half-dead vampires who need to be reminded of their place. You can all come at me together. I don't care. In the face of my power that means nothing. It just means more flies will be buzzing around my head. However, I'm losing my patience with you insects. I'd say it's about time that I begin to show my true power."

"You can't mean that you're about to use that ability?" Desmond asked, sweat beginning to drip down his forehead.

"Of course I do! How long has it been since I've felt compelled to use this? It's truly been too long. Hopefully she's not too rusty. Otherwise, this might be messier than it has to be."

"What the hell is his ability? What does he mean by she?" Eric asked Desmond hurriedly.

"His ability…it's beyond explanation. You'll know what I mean soon, Eric."

Vaunt shoved his cutlass into the ground, grinning madly the entire time. "It's really not beyond explanation. You two saw earlier that my cutlass can heal my wounds, but that's not because my cutlass is ingrained with the power of healing. It's because I was the most blessed of all hunters. The genetic ability within my sword is the power of life itself. You see, my cutlass is a sentient being. A sentient being that can take the form of a human! Now come out and play, Tsuba!"

xxxxxx

The cutlass began to glow and soon was replaced by a teenage girl. She had black hair that was short in the front and long, fashioned in a ponytail, in the back. She wore a purple kimono that went well with her magenta colored eyes. But the most noticeable thing about her was the bright smile on her face.

"You really kept me waiting far too long," she said toward Vaunt playfully. "I've been waiting patiently for the day that I would get to cause havoc once more. Are you telling me it's finally come?"

Vaunt nodded, pointing at Desmond. "I'm sure you remember that face. That was the last time I used you, wasn't it? When we fought against the coalition he assembled. That was a good day. We slaughtered so many vampires in unison."

Tsuba's smile became even bigger as she looked at Desmond. She licked her lips and rubbed her hands together gleefully. "I do remember him. He saw our slaughter and ran away like a scared child. It was quite pathetic. I've longed to destroy him ever since."

Luxeria scowled, staring at Tsuba. "You're just as vile as when we first met, Tsuba. You really do suit Vaunt."

Tsuba's eyes grew as big as saucers as she looked at Luxeria. "I remember you, too! The pretty blue-haired vampire that joined that coward in running. You saw my power and knew you stood no chance, but, really, who can blame you? I would have destroyed you then, just like I will now."

"Tsuba," Vaunt began. "The main character of the current story is near. It's critical that we finish this quick. I don't have a problem with you playing around a bit, but don't get too caught up in your fun. We could run into problems otherwise."

"This main character…do you fear her potential that much? It's unlike you to get caught up in the narrative like that, Lord Vaunt."

"Yes, I truly am worried about how far her powers might stretch. That's why we need to hurry up and finish. Raymond and Allison can worry about dealing with the main character."

Tsuba put her hands together, giggling to herself. "After we finish this can I see Raymond? It's been so long since I've seen him!"

"Sure," Vaunt answered. "If he's still alive that is."

"Don't be such a pessimist! Raymond-sama won't die so easily and neither will we. Let's kill these four, Lord Vaunt!"

Tsuba began levitating off the ground as fire began to surround her body. She grinned wickedly, swirling her fire covered hands around in the air. "It's been so long since I've used these powers. I hope you don't mind if I let loose a little, Lord Vaunt."

"I don't mind. I know it's been a while. If you need to get used to using your powers again, it's understandable."

"What…is this?" Eric asked, jaw dropping at the sight in front of him.

"You've read comics before, right?" Luxeria asked, biting her lip. "Imagine a magician or sorcerer character like Doctor Strange in the real world. That is the power of Tsuba. It's a power that has no equal."

"That is why Vaunt is listed as a special situation by The Vampire Council," Desmond added grimly. "There are only five hunters given such special priority. Bartholomew Benedict, Rory Fullbuster, Carla Fitzgerald, Alistar Vayner and Lord Vaunt de Romania are all hunters you are ordered to retreat from at sight. They all have been deemed threats that no one but the council themselves can deal with. I think you'll notice a certain someone is missing from that list."

"I presume you speak of Raymond," Vaunt said in amusement. "Don't compare a whelp like him to me. I'm stronger than him normally, but when in tandem with Tsuba I possess the power of a God!"

"I'm tired of all this talk, Lord Vaunt," Tsuba whined, beginning to draw a circle in the air. "I'M GOING TO BURN THEM ALL INTO ITTY, WITTY, BITTY ASHES!"

The four vampires could only look on in horror as the drawn circle began to shine bright. The next thing they knew an avalanche of fire was descending upon them, as Tsuba laughed psychotically.

Luxeria gritted her teeth, shoving her right hand upward. An enormous mass of vines sprung up from the ground, rising up toward the descending fire. The two forces collided and blew up in a boisterous explosion. Luxeria breathed heavily, relieved to see that she had stopped the fire.

"The power of nature," Tsuba remarked, starting to draw multiple circles in the air. "I forgot you possessed such a tremendous ability. But…you look pretty worn out already. Can you really continue to counter me in that condition? I guess I'll have to see just how resilient you are."

The three circles Tsuba had drawn began to glow and shine bright. Out of one shot an enormous mass of fire, out of one shot a tremendous amount of icicles and out of one shot numerous blasts of lightning.

Jack could only look on at the sight, unable to move. "This power…it truly is the power of a God. We can't win…"

"Did you forget what we're here for," Luxeria snarled, shoving both her hands toward the incoming attacks. "We're here to protect Alundra. Are you so small a man that you will let this hinder you? I THOUGHT BETTER OF YOU!"

The ground began to shake tremendously, causing even Vaunt to look down in shock. Enormous trees began to rise from the ground, ripping parts of the room apart. The trees rose up quickly, colliding with the various attacks. Tsuba looked on in surprise as the trees took the entire brunt of her attacks. In the aftermath neither Tsuba's elements nor Luxeria's trees remained.

"That is what a man would do," Luxeria said, stumbling forward. She was struggling to maintain consciousness. Using her power this much was extremely dangerous. She would probably die if she used it to shield another big attack like that.

Tsuba frowned slightly, floating back down to the ravaged ground. "You look like you're about to die, but I've grown tired of spamming elemental attacks. Lord Vaunt, I think we should fight them in tandem for real now."

A cutlass, resembling how Tsuba looked as the weapon, appeared in her right hand. She tossed it to Vaunt and then materialized a flaming sword in her left hand. She swung the sword, smiling as flames traveled through the air.

"How about we show these vampires how good we are at teamwork, Lord Vaunt? I'm sure it will be like second nature to us, even with the ten years of rust."

"Sounds good to me," Vaunt replied, swishing his cutlass through the air. "This fight is simply extending on-and-on. Let's finish this, Tsuba."

Tsuba smirked, staring directly into Luxeria's eyes. "Gladly. I'M GOING TO BE DINING ON VAMPIRE SHISHKEBAB TONIGHT!"

Luxeria couldn't even blink before Tsuba was right in her face. Luxeria's eyes went wide, Tsuba's flaming sword coming straight at her. She closed her eyes; those twisting flames the last thing she saw.