The Fall (D)

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The Fall (D)
Date of Cutscene: 12 September 2014
Location: Castlevania - Underground Garden
Synopsis: D rises from his grave and reflects on the events which played out in Purgatorio. A significant decision is made.
Cast of Characters: 232

Somewhere deep inside Castlevania's extradimensional labyrinth, a courageous explorer can find a bizarre underground garden populated by enormous flytraps and grosteque trees sporting human faces in their trunks. Everything looks out of the ordinary, especially the roaming skeletal guards and weird gargoyles, so it would be easy to overlook a slightly raised patch of fresh earth dug up between two of the human-faced trees. Maybe that's why D's been buried here.

The soil covering D from his neck down to his toes had been wet and heavy, and almost more like clay than pure, clean earth. It sticks to him in clumps as he digs his way out from his own prepared grave, leaving his ragged clothing further ruined by stains, and his hair in lank ropes. He looks a far cry from his usual composed self.

It's only to be expected. Last night's mission had ended in disaster for the dhampir. His chest had been blown apart in an attack which should have permanently ended his life. No dhampir could have survived the havoc wreaked by Setsuko Kaminagi's fist. His heart had been pierced, his ribs shattered, and his lungs reduced to meaty shreds. Death's cold grasp had closed around him.

So, what happened? The breath in his lungs and the gleam in his eyes would confirm for any onlooker that he's a living being, but just because he's alive now doesn't mean D hadn't been killed in action less than twenty four hours earlier. Had his little nap in the dirt restored him? Not a mark is left on the white skin shining through the many holes in his garments. Judging by the frown wrinkling D's forehead, the phenomenon of his total recovery must be remarkable even for the likes of him.

His left palm falls to the ground. Spreading his fingers out like a fan, D sinks his hand back into the wet soil. The sound like someone munching and slurping on a delicious meal with gluttonous vigor rises from the very place his hand rests.

"You helped me," D mutters. He addresses the hand still feasting on the churned-up soil. "You've been quiet for awhile. What changed?"

A salacious belch reverberates through the still air, and a grouchy voice responds to D's inquiry with equal rudeness. "I didn't do it alone, or because I wanted to. Given my choice, you'd be dead as a doornail."

D doesn't rise to the bait; his tone remains disaffected and cool. "You had help in healing me?"

"You could call it that. The weird fellow in the tin suit wound time backwards like you would on a wrist watch. Managed to undo the worst of what ailed you; I had to do the heavy lifting from there, but there wasn't much left to fix. Once your heart was convinced to start beating again, your own body pieced itself back together the rest of the way. Took a lot outta me, let me tell you." The hoarse words fly at D drenched in acid. "Would've left you to rot, you know, if that girl hadn't begged me to save you, so help me -- you're not yourself."

The accusation should be striking, but it doesn't seem to perturb D in the least. After the dhampir fails to respond, his conversation partner looses an exasperated sigh before lapsing into total silence. Judging by the sudden lack of tension in the garden, it's likely the unseen speaker has gone away, perhaps to resume whatever hibernation D's near-death had interrupted.

In the calm that follows, D gathers himself. He stands up from his grave, reassures himself his sword is still in reach, and looks around for the rest of his belongings. The surrounding garden shivers in fear of him wherever he walks. His search turns up nothing. He supposes his belongings must not have been brought to him, and decides he should consult with Miss Gorgon as to where they had been taken. She must have been the one to bury him; she alone seems to have any interest in his care.

As he contemplates his recovery, his thoughts advance naturally to the matter of his other needs. His hunger is no longer something he can control. Realizing this would have alarmed him in the past, but he finds himself unable to feel any concern. It's like his principles have been wrapped up and put away into some dark corner out of reach. Nothing touches his heart or moves him toward regret.

What he remembers most vividly of the incident is how satisfying it had felt to finally feed. The rush of it is potent enough even now to awaken his desire for more. He yearns desperately to put aside the burden of his self-imposed torment, and to once again relieve his hunger.

So...why doesn't he? It's not as if the blood tablets were doing anything significant for his hunger anymore. If he carries on like this for much longer, he might starve, and become weak or worse. His hand tightens around the hilt of his sword as he comes to a sudden standstill in the garden's entryway. The agony he'd ignored in his rest claws up inside him all at once as if enflamed by the course of his thoughts. He is nearly pulled down to his knees.

No; he can live like this no longer. It becomes clear to him that his principles must at least be bent if he is to survive. Feeding on Setsuko was only the beginning. If he surrenders now, he will be liberated from his suffering before it overwhelms him. What use is he if he is unable to think or feel anything beyond his hunger? Surely, he must do something.

He knew he would someday fall. What he never knew before this moment was that he would be so eager to step over the brink.

Exiting the garden, he already thinks on how his new hunt will begin. Several names leap into his mind -- Setsuko Kaminagi, whose power and spirit had flayed him; Ainsley, whose passionate pleas had confused him; Beli Klum, whose presence had stayed his sword -- but if he ignores the threat those represent, and hunts just to satisfy his unbearable craving for blood, one name rises above the rest.

Yuuki Kuran.