Read Vampire Hunter D Online

Authors: Hideyuki Kikuchi

Tags: #Fantasy, #Fiction

Vampire Hunter D

BOOK: Vampire Hunter D
5.61Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
Vampire Hunter D
Vampire Hunter D [1]
Hideyuki Kikuchi
Dark Horse Manga (2012)
Tags:
Fantasy, Fiction

12,090 A.D. It is a dark time for the world. Humanity is just crawling out from under three hundred years of domination by the race of vampires known as the Nobility. The war against the vampires has taken its toll; cities lie in ruin, the countryside is fragmented into small villages and fiefdoms that still struggle against nightly raids by the fallen vampires-and the remnants of their genetically manufactured demons and werewolves. Every village wants a Hunter-one of the warriors who have pledged their laser guns and their swords to the eradication of the Nobility. But some Hunters are better than others, and some bring their own kind of danger with them.

VAMPIRE HUNTER D

© Hideyuki Kikuchi, 1983. Originally published in Japan in 1983 by ASAHI SONORAMA CO. LTD. English translation copyright © 2005 by DH Press and Digital Manga Publishing.

No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the express written permission of the copyright holders. Names, characters, places, and incidents featured in this publication are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons (living or dead), events, institutions, or locales, without satiric intent, is coincidental. DH PressTM is a trademark of Dark Horse Comics, Inc. Dark Horse Comics® is a trademark of Dark Horse Comics, Inc., registered in various categories and countries. All rights reserved.

Cover Illustration by Yoshitaka Amano

English Translation by Kevin Leahy

Book Design by Heidi Fainza

Published by

DH Press

a division of Dark Horse Comics

10956 SE Main Street

Milwaukie, OR 97222

dhpressbooks.com

Digital Manga Publishing

1123 Dominguez Street, unit K

Carson, CA 90746

dmpbooks.com

.

.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

.

Kikuchi, Hideyuki, 1949-

[Kyuketsūki hanta “D.” English]

Vampire hunter D / Hideyuki Kikuchi ; illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano ;

translation by Kevin Leahy.

v. cm.

Translated from Japanese.

ISBN 1-59582-012-4 (v.1)

I. Amano, Yoshitaka. II. Leahy, Kevin. III. Title.

PL832.I37K9813 2005

895.6’36--dc22

2005004035

.

ISBN: 1-59582-012-4

ePub ISBN: 978-1-62115-487-7

.

First DH Press Edition: May 2005

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Printed in the United States of America

Distributed by Publishers Group West

FOR

Terence Fisher, Jimmy Sangster, Bernard Robinson, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and the entire cast and crew of
House of Dracula
.

.

.

.

FOR

Osamu Kishimoto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACCURSED BRIDE
CHAPTER 1

.

The setting sun was staining the far reaches of the plain, its hue closer to blood than vermilion. The wind snarled like a beast across the barren sky. On the narrow road that cut through a sea of grass, high enough to hide all below the man’s ankles, the lone horse and rider ceased their advance as if forestalled by the wall of wind gusting straight at them.

The road rose a bit some sixty feet ahead. Once they’d surmounted the rise they would be able to survey the rows of houses and greenbelts of farmland that comprised Ransylva, just another hamlet in this Frontier sector.

At the foot of that gentle slope stood a girl.

The horse had likely been startled by her appearance and stopped. She was a beautiful young woman, with large eyes that seemed alight. Somewhat tanned, she had her black tresses tied back. An untamed aura, unique to all things living in the wild, emanated from every inch of her. Any man who laid eyes on her, with those gorgeous features like sunlight in summer, would undoubtedly draw his attention to the curves of her physique. Yet below the threadbare blue scarf swathing her neck she was concealed to the ankles by the ash-gray material of a waterproof cape. Except perhaps for her snug leather sandals and what seemed to be a coiled black whip in her right hand, she wore no necklaces or torques, or any other accouterments that would have lent her a feminine feel.

An old-fashioned cyborg horse lingered at the girl’s side. Until a few minutes earlier, the girl had been lying at its feet. Woman of the wild or not, the fact that she noticed a horse and rider, not running but approaching silently amidst the kind of howling wind that would leave others covering their ears, and that she stood her ground meant the girl probably wasn’t some farmer’s wife or the daughter of a pioneer.

Having stopped briefly, the horse soon began walking forward. Perhaps realizing the girl wasn’t going to get out of the road, it stopped once again about three feet shy of her.

For a while there was nothing but the sound of the wind racing along the ground. In due time the girl opened her mouth to speak. “I take it you’re a drifter. You a Hunter?” Her tone was defiant and full of daring, and yet also a touch worn.

The rider sat on his horse but made no answer. She couldn’t see his face very well because he had a wide-brimmed traveler’s hat low over his eyes and was covered from the nose down by a scarf. Judging from his powerful frame and the combat utility belt, half revealed from his faded black long coat, it was safe to say he was no seasonal laborer or merchant dealing with scattered villages. A blue pendant hanging just below his scarf reflected the girl’s pensive expression. Her large eyes fixed on the longsword strapped to his back. Limning an elegant arc quite different from the straight blades cherished by so many other Hunters, it spoke of the vast expanses of time and space its owner had traveled. Disconcerted, perhaps, by the lack of response, the girl shouted, “That sword purely for show? If so, I’ll take it off you to sell down at the next open market. Set ’er down!”

As if to say that if that didn’t get an answer out of him then the time for talking is done
, the girl took one step back with her right leg and crouched in preparation. The hand with the whip slowly rose to her side.

The rider responded for the first time. “What do you want?”

The girl’s expression was one of amazement. Though the voice of her opponent was low, and she could barely pick it out over the snarling of the wind, it sounded like the voice of a seventeen- or eighteen-year-old youth.

“What the hell—you’re just a kid! Well, I’m still not gonna show you any mercy. Show me what you’ve got.”

“So, you’re a bandit then? You’re awfully forthcoming for one.”

“You dolt! If I was looking for money, you think I’d go after a lousy drifter like you? I wanna see how good you are!” The wind shot with a sharp snap. The girl cracked her whip. It didn’t look like she was doing any more than playing it out lightly with her wrist, but the whip twisted time and again like an ominous black serpent in the light of the setting sun. “Here I come! If you fancy some good eatin’ in the village of Ransylva, you’ll have to go through me first.”

The youth remained motionless atop his mount. He didn’t reach for his sword or for his combat belt. What’s more, when the girl saw how nonchalant he remained when challenged to battle by a good-looking young lady who gave no reasons but showered him with a murderous gaze, a tinge of consternation rushed into her expression. Letting out a rasp of breath, the girl struck with her whip. The weapon was made from intertwined werewolf bristles painstakingly tanned over three long months with applications of animal fat. A direct hit from it would sunder flesh.

“What the?…”

The girl leapt back, her expression changed. Her whip was supposed to strike the youth’s left shoulder but for some reason, just at the instant she saw it hit him, the whip changed direction and shot instead for her own left shoulder. The youth had reversed the vectors of the whip without the slightest injury to himself and turned the attack back upon its source. To grasp the speed and angle of that black snake striking so fast it escaped the naked eye, and have the reflexes to do something about it, was something that defied description.

“Damn it! You’re good!”

Worked by her right hand, the whip did not strike her shoulder but danced back through thin air, yet the girl stood rooted to the spot and made no attempt at a second attack. She realized his fighting skills were as high above hers as the heavens were over the earth.

“Out of my way, please,” the youth said, as if nothing whatsoever had transpired.

The girl complied.

The youth and his horse passed by her side, but when they’d gone a few steps more, the girl once again stepped into the road and shouted, “Hey, look at me!”

The instant the youth turned around, the girl grabbed her cape with her left hand and whipped it off in a single motion.

BOOK: Vampire Hunter D
5.61Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Brighter Tomorrows by Beverly Wells
The Mysterious Code by Kenny, Kathryn
Best Buds by Catherine R. Daly
Take a Thief by Mercedes Lackey
Once Upon a Wicked Night by Jennifer Haymore
The Good Boy by Schwegel, Theresa
Slay Belles by Nancy Martin
Wish by Kelly Hunter