Bambrielle scooped her hair up into high bunches and pulled a black vest top over her head. She glanced in the mirror, making sure she looked acceptable. Seeing her now, it was hard to believe that she was the girl in the hunter garb the day before; she looked like a completely different person. Skinny jeans, rows of bracelets, hunting boots… Hastily, she grabbed her bag, fastened her swords to her belt (there were four in all, not counting the knives she had strapped to her ankles) and bounded out the door of her apartment. Gabriel had given her the address of the headquarters early that morning, and she had spent the entire day packing. She had two bags, one for clothes and other personal possessions, and one full of weapons. She had bows and arrows, broadswords, katanas, samurai swords; the lot. The many bags and weapons bashed heavily against her body, but she didn’t stop running. The vampires watched her warily from the dark back alleys as she passed. Vampires detested the hunters. Not too long ago, in the year 564, vampires had only just been given magical being status, rather than beast. This was part of the Unity of Magical Beings Act, otherwise known as the UMBA. Before this declaration made by an angel named Rome Fijitson, hunters had killed vampires for sport. The vampires protested for seven years until they were finally treated as equals. However, vampire hunting was carried out illegally on a regular basis, but those hunters faced the death sentence if caught. But hunters are very hard to catch… At last she reached the gate of an elegant mansion. The gate was high and as black as Lucas’ eyes. She reached up and gripped the bars, her arms not even reaching half way when she stretched on tip-toe. She hoisted her body up further until she was high enough to jump over. She landed with a thud on the sand coloured gravel and dusted herself off, resuming her sprint to the front door. She shook the handle. Nothing. Was it locked? She hadn’t been given any keys whatsoever. Closing her eyes, she leant her ear against the dark wooden door. Nothing. Clearly, a spell had been put on the house so that it would appear empty, for she knew that she was late. She jumped down the steps to the door and looked for another way in. After much trial and error, she realized the windows were all locked too. Why would they lock her out? Then she noticed it. Buried deep within the ivy climbing up the southern facing wall, was a glint of something metallic. It was only small, probably only able to be noticed by someone with hunter blood. She pushed away the leaves to reveal a door. A small one mind, but a door none the less. And it was unlocked. The ivy re-covered the door once she closed it behind her, she could hear its vines shifting. Now, Bambrielle found herself in a long, thin and dark hallway. There was no source of light but, being the born hunter she was, she could make out enough to know where to tread. The corridor was filled with crates and steps, probably to make any intruders trip. Would she have to come in and out this way every time? At last she reached the end and burst through the door. After the total darkness of the corridor, the light of this room was blinding and she had to blink a few times. Pastel green wallpaper covered the room and soft coloured furniture was everywhere. There were white end tables adorned with gold, and pink loveseats, and a bright blue flame roared in the fireplace. That much was Onyx’s doing. Bambrielle hadn’t even noticed the others in the room. “Bambrielle!” Cried Astrid softly, taking her hand and leading her to the fire, “We feared you had lost your way.” Astrid always spoke like this, like a true elf. It certainly made a change to the human slang most people used. Onyx brushed some dust from the hunter Halfling’s hair and gave her a quick hug in greeting. “I tried to tell her you don’t get lost.” He smiled at her. Lucas was sprawled across one of the sofas, looking surprisingly sober. He was still dressed rather sloppily, but he looked much better when he was free of the toxic substances he took in every day. “Well, should we get started?” Onyx stretched as he took Bambrielle’s bags to the corner with the others.