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Mysterious Guide

Seras stared at the ceiling of her coffin, sighing for the hundredth time in less than an hour and turning over. She had been unable to sleep for the last few days, possibly from the hunger she felt in her stomach, and this day was no different. Besides, becoming accustomed to such a dramatic shift in sleeping patterns was harder than she realized.

Seras rose from her bed and slowly padded across the cool floor, wearing nothing more than a woolen nightshirt Walter had managed to find for her; the uniform they had assigned to her was tight enough without wrinkles creasing her short skirt. Tentatively opening the door to her room, the young vampire peeked out into the hallway. She breathed a sigh of relief as not a sound was heard, apparently all within the mansion either resting or on patrol outside. Taking a few steps out she quietly closed the door behind her and looked down the hall opposite where the stairs lay, the darkness surrounding the deeper depths rousing her curiosity. She didn’t wish to soil her one uniform with her exploring, not wanting to cause more work for the retainer, and decided with the lack of people she would be safe with her nightshirt.

Padding along into the darkness, barely feeling the cold stones beneath her feet, Seras looked at the few doors lining the hall. Each one looked alike, neither varying in wood nor age, and she soon found herself losing track of where she was going. She hardly noticed when she came upon several burnt out lights above her, each fixture growing steadily weaker and further apart from the last. A faint mist of glowing mold and torches began lighting her way the deeper she went, creating eerie shadows around her. Suddenly coming along two passageways and unconsciously turning into the one on her left, she nearly ran into a dead end. With a soft huff she swirled around and walked back from where she had come, halting suddenly as she looked at the corridor.

There were no longer any doors along the hallway and the electric lights had long since vanished, leaving only a few flickers of torches absently placed along the moist walls. Seras shivered in slight fear and crossed her arms over her chest, looking from side to side as she began her march back. However, she soon came upon two halls she couldn’t recall having come from and stopped in her progression.

Taking a deep breath and hoping the basement was not as vast as it appeared, Seras walked into the corridor on her left and steadily headed down the hall. She could feel a slight decline in the floor but paid no heed, assuming the cobbles beneath to be somewhat sloping from poor laying. However, she soon learned the slope was not from bad construction but because she had led herself deeper into the bowels of the manor.

Apparently the dungeons were much larger than she could have ever imagined.

With a strangled cry and a quick rein on her rising panic, Seras swiftly turned around and began climbing the slight incline back to the corridor. The lighting in the hall she was currently in was almost nonexistent and the young vampire did not notice as she took an early corner, still heading upward for several hundred yards until the slope began another decline. She stopped at the edge of the torch lights, complete and utter darkness greeting her if she went further. With a resigned shrug and a rising sense of bravery she pressed onward, intent on finding her way out.

Seras’ solid footing began to stumble as she proceeded further, the ground growing unsteady and her hands feeling along the wall. Suddenly her front foot felt nothing beneath her skin and she realized too late the ground beneath had given way, looking down with sharpened vision and her eyes widening as they fell upon silver spikes. With one last shriek she fell into the stake-filled pit, her arms flailing wildly for something to catch onto without success.

Suddenly Seras felt herself pulled upward in mid-drop and dumped along the ground surrounding the pit, her hand covering her mouth as her wide eyes stared at the pointed spikes below in horror. Apparently fear of an underground attack by vampires had been very real during construction and precautionary measures had been taken to ensure their demise before they reached the upper levels. She scrambled to her feet and took a few hearty breaths, giving one last glance toward the round darkness and wondering how she had come out of the situation alive. Within a reasonable distance from the hole she slumped against the nearest wall, her head in her hands as unheeded tears began to fall.

Then did Seras notice a comfortable breeze in the air, as if someone had opened a window and let in some of the night. She turned her head to her left and right, her eyes blinking uncertainly as she tried to decipher where the motion was coming from. Realizing the air came from where she had entered, she stood to her feet with a small cry of joy and set off in the direction. Her hands eagerly felt along the damp walls as the torches came back into her view, most appearing to give off a brighter light than she remembered and some actually looking to be new.

Following the pleasant breeze for some distance led Seras to a very well lit corridor, the walls still damp but the dusty feeling of abandonment lacking. She quickly stopped as the feeling suddenly vanished, her face dropping into a frown as she looked around herself. The hall was still lacking the familiar doors and the way was open both behind and in front of her; but she had the distinct sensation of being watched by someone.

With a sharp yelp Seras drew her hand back from the wall, having felt something slide over her palm. She watched with wide eyes as the shadows seemed to shift into words, her curiosity getting the better of her as she took a step closer. “This...way” the young vampire slowly read aloud, peering as a design was drawn below the short phrase.

An...arrow?

For a moment Seras was too stunned to move, wondering how on earth she was to trust a strange shadow in her boss’ basement. The shadows seemed to tap on the wall, showing their impatience for her to move and growing slightly agitated by her stillness. Then the tendrils reached out and wrapped around her body, turning her in the direction it had pointed and giving her a prodding shove.

“All right, all right, I get the hint” she muttered, grudgingly beginning to walk down the hall. Strolling through the hallway for several hundred yards found her at another intersection, turning her head from left to right in indecision. Then the shadows came to her rescue, sliding along the wall to her right and gliding into the passageway. With a small smile she followed the curious tendrils, their actions beginning to portray a playful manner as they glided to and fro before her in graceful arches.

Seras’ eyes widened the further they traveled, a strange sensation of completeness enveloping her as though she were wrapped in a warm blanket. She didn’t feel the amount of malice and contempt she sensed in the brief moments of Alucard’s presence. There was also lacking the imperious temper of the Hellsing leader and the gentle yet underlying ruthlessness with the retainer. She came upon a turn, the shadows sliding ahead of her and out of sight, and slowly inched herself around the corner. However, she abruptly halted, her eyes widening as she noticed a small form before her.

A coal black dog with three pairs of glowing red eyes sat in the center of the hall, its body stiff and unmoving. Seras shivered as all the eyes lay upon her form, taking a step back when she heard a threatening rumble from the beast.

“A...dog?” she hesitantly asked, flinching back when the said canine suddenly barked.

Seras’ eyes had shut at the sharp sound and she quivered slightly, knowing well she had nothing to defend herself with. However, when she looked again to where the canine had sat she saw he was gone, the space he had occupied earlier empty and the beast nowhere in sight. With a yelp she felt something cold nudge the back of her bare legs, jumping forward and turning in midair. To her surprise she found herself once more staring at the dark canine not more than a yard from her, its tongue out as the face appeared to be wearing a very pleased grin.

Seras placed her hands on her hips and scowled at the amused beast, angered for the scare she had been given. The dog seemed unaffected, merely cocking his head to the side and blinking his eyes slowly. The effect on the young vampire’s mind was almost instantaneous, her ire disappearing as a slow grin spread across her lips at the adorable sight. She kneeled to the ground before the dog, it’s tail beginning to wag energetically as she smiled. Tentatively reaching out, she petted the canine’s head affectionately, being urged on by a nudge of its nose. With a light laugh she crawled closer and began scratching the back of the dog’s ear, watching in growing amusement as a back leg began kicking at the ground in satisfaction.

“You are so cute” she spoke, giving the dog one last pat before standing to her feet. “Except for those creepy eyes” she added, watching as they all once more slowly blinked at her. The young vampire laughed as a sudden thought came to her. “Are you going to show me around? I think I might be lost.”

The dog barked softly at her words, causing Seras to raise an eyebrow in curiosity. The canine seemed to understand her speech, turning from her and walking down the hall. He looked back over his shoulder when she did not follow, woofing softly at her and nudging his head for her to come. The young vampire smiled and nodded her head, allowing the canine to lead her down the lit hallway.

Soon Seras noticed a steep incline and felt the air grow slightly warmer as they came closer to the surface, though doors were still missing from the walls on either side. She caught up to the dog as the candles seemed to dim the further they walked, petting its head for comfort. When they came upon a single corridor without a torch nor electric light, she grabbed the collar around the dog’s neck and gave a hearty yank to stop him. He yelped at the sudden pull and ended up on his back, his paws curled in the air and his tongue out panting from the unexpected jerk to his throat.

Seras covered her mouth to hide the giggle but soon recovered, staring seriously at the canine at her feet still laying on his back.

“Dog, did you just get me more lost?” she asked suspiciously, giving the canine a close look. She swore she saw the many eyes twinkle in amusement but brushed off the thought as panic induced, the fear from her previous explorations returning.

The dog barked in answer, jumping to its feet and trotting down the hall.

“Hey!” Seras yelled, running after the canine as she sensed the hall’s end coming close.

Suddenly the young vampire lost sight of the beast in the pitch dark, slamming into a wall with enough force to knock her on her arse. With a grumble and a rub to her bruised backside she squinted ahead of her, noticing a faint outline of a large door. Climbing to her feet, Seras touched the wooden portal and searched for a knob, finally finding a large handle and gripping her hand on the metal.

Before Seras could move, however, the door suddenly swung open, causing her to fall headfirst into the room. Her crash was halted as she knocked into a solid surface, her face swallowed in silk as arms wrapped around her body. Then a scent hit her nose, causing her to stiffen in the strong grip.

“Master?” she squeaked, her voice still muffled by the cloth of his undershirt.

“Yes, Police Girl?” his silky voice asked, the amusement nearly visible in her mind. He chuckled when her eyes lifted from his shirt, the orbs wide and clearly showing shock.

“Am I still lost?” she questioned, her voice barely above a whisper.

“Not any more” he answered with a smile, pulling her close and closing the door behind them.