It was a bright spring day. The birds were chirping. The rustling of leaves in the wind could be heard faintly. The temperature was just warm enough to reach that perfect sweet spot between hot and cold.
Days like this made Alundra Blazer glad that she was still alive…or as close to alive as she could be considered anyway.
It's days like this that made her thankful for the sacrifice that Raymond Chandler made on that fateful day three years ago.
A small smile rose up her lips as she watched Travis approach her and Jack.
So much progress had been made recently. They were truly on the road to achieving the dream that had once seemed impossible.
The dream of coexistence between hunter and vampire was on its way to becoming a reality.
"How was your meeting with the council?" Jack asked gruffly.
"It went fine," Travis shrugged. "I've tried my damnedest to make this happen but there's still some hunters against the idea. I think continuing resistance had to be expected."
"But Alice was pleased with the results so far?" Alundra inquired.
She hoped that Alice was. Alice had taken over as the de facto leader of the council and had moved swiftly to usher in a new age for the vampire. Bringing peace between the two groups was her main concern and one she was trying to achieve quickly.
"Yeah, there were some dissenting voices but Alice and Luxeria spoke up on my behalf. I shudder to think of how this would be going without their support."
"I understand why other vampires would be wary," Jack said in a melancholy tone. "They weren't there. They didn't experience what we all did. That truly changed my outlook on things. Kaizer Fontuna will have one lasting impact on the world. He's the force that united us together and made us, or at least he made me, realize how important peace between our two groups is."
"Yeah," Travis agreed before trailing off. He lowered his head slightly before jerking it back up. "So, how about you two? You've tried to build your own covenant right?"
Jack chuckled, nodding his head. "Tried is the key word there. We've gotten a couple vampires but we're definitely no Desmond or Luxeria in terms of recruiting. It sucks that they won't believe my girl here is the hero that saved the entire world!"
Alundra growled slightly. It had been a while since that term had been applied to her.
Two terms that had seemed to define her on that unforgettable day. Alundra had no idea if any of it had real meaning. She had no idea if Vaunt was an insane madman or a genius savant.
She likely never would know the truth about the events of the day. And that is why she didn't wish to waste her time on such platitudes. Her role as a hero and main character, if she ever was one to begin with, was over.
She was now just a regular vampire living in the dawn of a new era.
And that's how she liked it.
"I'm not a hero," Alundra insisted. "From now on I'm just a normal vampire, or as close to one as I can get."
"I don't know if any of us will ever be normal again," Travis said with a laugh. "But I'm glad to be alive to see the changes taking place. I just want to sit back now and watch as the winds of change continue to move."
Alundra nodded she gazed into the sky above. Blue without a cloud to be seen. It was a beautiful sight that stretched on with no end in sight.
She thought that was a good portrait of her current life.
Alundra had no idea where she was going and she had no idea when this road would end. She had all of eternity, she was a vampire after all, to chart a new course for her life.
And that was something that she was truly grateful for.
Luxeria sighed, leaning back in a chair. The blue-haired vampire glanced toward Alice and frowned. "Can I ask you a question, Alice? Why do you continue to fight so hard for this? Even I'm starting to question if the two communities will ever be able to become one."
Alice remained silent for a while before letting out a sigh of her own. "Alundra reminds me of her. She reminds me so much of Faye. You were around back then. I'm sure you remember the furor that erupted over Faye leading the charge to modernize the council."
Luxeria nodded her head. She certainly did remember the uproar over that decision. It almost split the vampire community in two and only Leonardo's leadership was able to keep things together. She had a lot of respect for Alice but Alice Lyle was no Leonardo Rizzo.
"But Faye did not believe the vampire and the hunter would ever be able to coexist. In that way she differs quite heavily from Alundra."
"Of course I know that," Alice replied. "But vampires, like humans, are rooted in the beliefs they were taught. Faye and I were from a newer generation than vampires like Leonardo and Ricardo. And that led to challenges in the beliefs that were once held as law. Alundra…she's simply the generation after us. She's the Faye of this new era."
"I think you're giving her undue importance," Luxeria said with a slight chuckle. "If Alundra ever was that hero she was proclaimed to be by Vaunt…then her story has ended. She's just a bit player now like the rest of us. If anything, Alice, you're the main character now. You're the one truly ushering in this new era."
"You're making me blush," Alice giggled. "I don't know what the future holds for us but I want to try to make this happen. I want to see the day where vampires and hunters can live in peace. It's the least I can do after all the chaos I have seen and caused."
Alundra walked out of her room, smiling as she saw Jack waiting outside. "How was your chat with Travis?"
"Good," Jack replied casually. "He left a little while ago. I'm kind of amazed at just how committed he is to making this whole thing work."
"When Travis sets his mind on something, it's hard to stop him. It's one of the most admirable things about him."
"I'm the same way," Jack purred. "And right now my mind is set on you."
"Oh please," Alundra began with a laugh. "You're disgusting when you act like this, you know?"
"I can't help it. You just get me all hot and bothered. Like a cat in heat. A cat that happens to be a vampire."
"You're ridiculous," Alundra shot back, smiling. "Is that kind of talk supposed to turn me on?"
Jack smirked, leading Alundra back into her room. The elder vampire pushed her down on the bed and began to chuckle. "You tell me."
Alundra could only giggle in response.
This was the life Alundra had always wanted. She wasn't fighting for a cause she didn't even truly believe in, she wasn't risking her life in a battle to the death and she didn't have the weight of the world on her shoulders as others called her a hero.
She was simply spending time with someone she loved. There was no looming threat or madman waiting in the distance. There was no conflict brewing. There was only an uncertain future staring back at her: a future that was entirely hers to shape.
And she would choose that over being a main character any day.
Finally, the story draws to completion. This chapter would have been done sooner but I just started a new job, with the amazing hours of working from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the morning, which has greatly hampered my time.
I want to thank everyone who stuck with Vampire Blazer to the end. The story evolved in a way I did not plan, or expect, to happen. What started as a contained story ultimately became more of an experience in world-building and metafiction. I also experimented in the later chapters, predominantly in the Allison and Raymond chapters written in first person, in ways I wouldn't have done normally. I sort of lost the focus on Alundra at points, which I regret, but I think I pulled it back toward the end.
This is a problem when I write these sort of action-based stories. I always get more involved in the world, and side characters, and sort of have my original idea go off the rails.
That is why my next story is going to be one where that's not possible. My next story, which I'm 99% sure that I'm going to title A Harem Story, will be my take on a realistic portrayal of a harem anime. No vampires, no superpowers, no maniacs trying to become God. Just some good old-fashioned school romance hijinks, but in a more realistic display than the usual. It will also be written entirely in first person, as I've grown extremely fond of it. I think that first person fits my style of writing better in general.
I want to thank everyone for reading again and look forward to my next story if you feel so inclined!