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High Stakes

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Usually, Guido Mista wasn’t the type of person to mind anything. If he did, he would only enable himself to irrational actions caused by rage or frustration. He usually “went with the flow” to avoid troubling himself as much as possible. The moment he lost his cool, he would tell himself, was the moment his opponent gained the advantage. He knew this well, often carefully picking words himself to infuriate his opposer. Anger shut off rationality, he believed.

A stoic, Mista was often referred to by his colleagues. Retaining his calm, easy nature wasn’t an easy feat, even when he was face to face with one of the most demonic, feral creatures on the planet, vampires.

If one thing could break Mista’s stone face, it was those things. Irritation prickled at the mere thought of a vampire. They looked so sickly, yet they were so dangerous. They may be humanoid, but they were far from it. The eerie shade of white that made up their skin resembled a ghost better than it did a person. Unnatural, terrifying hues of their eyes elicited fear throughout the hearts of mortals. Their slightly pointed incisors, which were more pearly than a man could ever manage, were just the most frightening parts of these monsters. One wrong step from anyone and those swift creatures would strike, ripping through the skin on their neck like a mad dog. They were more bloodthirsty than any other animal after man could ever be. They were the most horrid creatures on the planet. No beast could ever rival the disgusting essence of a vampire.

To save humanity, Mista murdered these things. By no means, he would say, did these brutes deserve to linger after death in an otherwise beautiful world. They were devils, easily tearing apart families and starving off children just for their own amusement or “survival.” They were purely pests, something that should be eradicated for the greater good.

Dusk was beginning to settle in. The sun lowered off in the horizon, followed by transforming shades of yellow, orange, red, and blue. Stars awakened in the growing night sky. A gentle breeze rolled by, rustling the leaves of the trees and the grass to create one of the most soothing songs nature could offer. This landscape was only a passing beauty to the reality of Mista’s end destination.

One of the more infamous vampires had been spotted in a sleepy neighborhood just inside of Napoli. He was, if Mista could remember his name correctly, Giorno Giovanna, more notorious as being DIO’s son than actually being deadly. DIO was one of the most wretched beings known to ever walk. He’s taken countless lives, whether they be from the innocent or from hunters that attempted to pursue him.

Mista looked down when the surface under his feet became more firm and uneven. He was walking along some cobblestone road now. Looking up, he was able to confirm to himself that his was the location he was meant to be.

With the night settled in, most of the windows present from all the brick, stone, and wooden homes were dark, besides the occasional light glowing from afar. There wasn’t an ounce of noise coming from any of these homes, unlike the rest of Napoli, which was quite alive at every hour with chatter, busy movement, and flashing lights. The quiet atmosphere of this place was perfect to listen for a nocturnal predator, or any evidence of their murders.

Mista’s pace slowed down to a slow talk, padding along the stone roads, even diverting off of the road and onto the grass to further limit the sound of his soft, leather boots tapping against the ground. The most troubling thing about staying quiet were the various tools strapped over his shoulder and on his waist. Everything shook with Mista’s movement, even if it was attached as tightly as Mista could manage. He could at least save one thing, a silver crucifix on a chain, which he shoved under his attire.

A chilly wind brushed by, though Mista hardly felt it. He had several layers of clothing, covering up every inch of skin besides his face. His shirts, sweaters, and coat were darker in color to blend in with the night, though that seemed useless, as vampires could see in the night. Though his outfit also matched the color of his eyes and hair, which were either black of a very pigmented brown.

Mista continued to slink around the town, though nothing was happening. His heart drummed against his chest harder with each passing second. Sweat rolled down his skin and all over his clothes as his legs felt lighter with every pace forward. His breathing was forcefully steadied. That vampire could be anywhere. With nothing going on, the anticipation prickling at Mista’s being was awfully strong.

Before the silence grew too pressing, a high-pitched, blood curdling scream ripped through the air. Mista shot his head up as he practically leaped toward the sound. His hand threw part of his coat aside to rest carefully on a revolver that was strapped to his waist. It was a beautiful revolver, for its metallic sheen was unrivaled to anything else out there. While bullets could not kill a vampire, they could slow one down enough to be slain.

Blood splashed in front of Mista’s feet, He scanned his area as quickly and carefully as possible. More crimson stains were appearing, to Mista’s slight disgust. Vampires were cruel; they indulge upon the struggles of their victims like a sadist. Nonetheless, Mista followed the traces of his slaughtered brethren. His eyes narrowed as he drew his revolver out of his belt. He finger already slid over the trigger, ready to shoot.

A sudden blur in the shadow behind a building, and Mista’s arm shot up with lightning speeds, pulling down on the trigger as well. No time was wasted to investigate if he hit anything or not, though to his relief, a very pained hiss echoed off of the walls and directly into his ears. He sprinted forward, turning the corner of the home, though nothing was there. All that remained was a very dark shade of blood, the deep red color of a vampire, though he wasn’t sure if it was is intended target.

There was no time to celebrate, or to wonder how nobody woke up. The vampire was shot, but any hesitation was just extra time for those hellspawn to recover. More hisses traveled through the air, just above Mista. He looked up.

Staring right back down of him were the unmistakable scarlet eyes of a vampire. He could only process those cat-like eyes narrowed into slits before the shape disappeared again. Mista cursed under his breath. “That bastard still got onto the roofs.”

Mista could hear each slam the nimble vampire made up against the rooved of the homes. It was obvious that he wasn’t very graceful, to to an injury from the gun. Mista rushed to follow the sound, grabbing onto a delicate glass bottle with a cross engraved on it. The glass was meant to be broken so its contents, a clear liquid dubbed ‘Holy Water’, would spill out. However, it was difficult to track the vampire when he was constantly moving. There wasn’t any particular pattern the creature was going in, just whatever roof was closer. His blood spilt off of the roofs, staining the shingles with an ugly red.

The vampire’s eyes softly glowed. That’s when Mista learned where his next move would be. Those fierce eyes darted around, locking in on one place before leaping. Mista followed the vampire’s gaze before he threw the vial onto the vampire’s next roof as he was into the air.

The vampire couldn’t change his direction, he fell right onto the damp spot on the roof, growling violently as he scrambled off. Mist rose up from his body as the purity of the water was likely eating away his corrupt being. He fell down on his side, the moonlight beaming down on him. From then, Mista could see who he really was.

Only a glimpse at the fallen form and Mista knew it was Giorno Giovanna. Not many vampires had blonde hair, though DIO and his offspring were recognized for it. There were a few things on the vampire Mista would’ve never guessed he had, such as the brilliant red ladybug brooches on his black suit. Why would a creature of death and despair sport an emblem of life? Mista asked himself, not being able to answer his own question.

He then aimed his gun once again at Giorno, but before he could pull the trigger, Giorno jumped away. The spot of blood left wasn’t as defined as the spots on the roof.

He’s healing. Mista growled out loud in frustration. He could faintly hear the fizzle of the Holy Water burning away at Giorno’s skin. As stealthy as an owl, Mista tracked the noise.

Mista ended up circling around a house before he met up with Giorno right where he started. The vampire’s eyes were narrowed, now more resembling a snake than a cat. He bared his fangs and drew his lip back in a low snarl. To Mista, this meant that Giorno was done trying to run. Likely, only of of them was going to walk out alive.

And it’s going to be. Mista could feel the kindling flame of determination in his gut as his revolver was secured back into its original place. Giorno was going to be much closer now. There was no need for a ranged weapon. He instead flipped out a wooden stake, but by no means was it just a filmy piece of wood. The tip was carefully sharpened, four sides of it leading up to one point. Its hilt was engraved with the cross on all of its sides. The dark wood was concealed by the night, though Giorno’s enhanced vision likely enabled him to see it.

The vampire wearily looked down at Mista’s hand, though the hesitation was only for a split moment before he hopped forward, slamming his weight into Mista.

There was no way that the hunter could resist the strength of a vampire, even with one as small as Giorno. Mista rolled on the floor, clenching onto a fistful of Giorno’s black and red cape before twisting his arm around to impale the vampire with the stake.

Giorno was no longer in his grasp. Only a cape was left in his previous spot. Mista could barely comprehend what happened, but he assumed that Giorno unbuttoned the cloth before disappearing out of sight.

Where’d he go? Where’d he go?! Mista was frantic. He needed to find Giorno before the vampire pulled some unexpected maneuver and murdered him. Mista was a champion. He had never not killed a vampire he spotted. Some little brat of DIO wasn’t going to break that record. Mista threw the cape to the side, clenching his teeth together in a mix of fear and exasperation. He was gradually realizing that now Giorno had left, he had the advantage. Mista was blind to the whereabouts of the vampire while the monster could track his every step.

So damn elusive. Sometimes, these vermin act like they’re rarer than Bigfoot. Mista scowled, digging around on his tool belt for his second, but not final, vial of Holy Water. Wherever he saw movement or those savage red eyes, Mista was going to chuck the damn bottle as though it were on fire.

Scarlet eyes flashed at Mista from the shadows and the bottle was hurled. The shatter of glass was identified, but there were no pained growls or hissing.

Mista still waited. The air around him as silent, almost too silent. The beating of his adrenaline-rushed heart was the loudest thing in his ears. Second was his slightly labored breathing from chasing Giorno around the houses. Nothing was moving, after that. Terror rose in Mista in a steady stream. After what felt like a few hours, the fear crashed down like a wave, no longer present.

He lowered his arm, retiring the stake before turning around to find some sort of resting place within the tired town. Giorno had to have left. He wouldn’t wait that long to strike, at least not to what Mista knew of him.

All he ever heard of Giorno was something along the lines of “impatient, cocky brat, like his dad”. Mista never doubted these claims, but he never fully trusted them either. He sighed, dragging his heavy feet along the floor.

He was still very much wary. He never caught a day’s rest of relaxation, not even during the broad daylight. Vampires were, though Mista hated to admit it, cunning. They could shove themselves in a variety of situations just to slay someone.

Though Mista was dejected. He had just promised himself for, in his entire career, to never miss a vampire while hunting. In attempts to cheer himself up, he told himself, “I’ll get him next time” or “It doesn’t have to take just one day...right?”

In all honesty, Mista really couldn’t be sure. Giorno was far more attentive than the average vampire. Those crimson eyes, Mista noticed, were always locked on him. They were truly like a feline’s, narrowed, dangerous, hungry, and always observant.

All Mista wanted was a moment of sleep. He adapted himself to a very nocturnal lifestyle, but dawn was breaking soon. With Giorno of his sight and with him free from injury, the best thing Mista could think of doing at the moment was rest.