Dice Throne: The Heart Thief (Part 3)

Be sure to read Part 1 & 2 before reading this!

Dice Throne: The Heart Thief

Dice Throne: The Heart Thief (Part 2)

Art by Manny Trembley

Guinevere, known in her parts as the Gunslinger, quietly observed the drinking competition from a booth in the corner of the pub. This bounty hunter had quite a few contracts built up with a good few to cash in as well. She decided to reward her crew by paying their entries into the drinking competition. Her second in command, Taggart the Tactician, joined her in the booth to discuss different options for scoring their next bounties. The duo, Guin and Tag, had quickly gained a reputation for being fast and furious in regards to bounties. Most people knew better than to trifle with this rough gang. However, Guin noticed about half way through the contest that a few members from her crew were missing. This was quite odd because her boys were always boasting about who could out drink the other. She patiently waited until there was an intermission before she began to hunt down these missing men. She noticed a crowd outside the men's bathroom that was growing in number as she stood there. Taggart had blindly followed Guin, and as she turned around to head outside she caught him in her peripheral view and yanked him in her direction. Once they were outside, they both started to scout out the area with a stealth like manner. They heard voices coming from a dark alley on the East side of the pub and began to creep in that direction. Once they reached the corner of the building, they found two people who were hard to distinguish. They decided the best tactic would be to sit and listen to the voices since their vision was slightly impaired to make out who these people were. Time passed with Guin and Tag hearing the entire segment from the Shadow Thief were he professed his love and desire for the Vampire. Guin had been peering into the dark alley for some time which allowed her eyes to start adjusting to their surroundings. Guin observed the silhouettes of the two figures closely as they became more and more distinguishable. With the moonlight hitting the person closest to them, she was pretty sure she recognized the mystery person. Adrenaline intensified in Guin's body, as she excitedly whispered loudly over to Tag, "That is our Vampire Lord bounty that we have been hunting after for months!" Tag was unable to tell what was in the alley and was about to request a quick council of the two to discuss their plan of action. However, as soon as Tag opened his mouth, two shots rang through the air as he stood there with his hand clutched against his forehead with dismay. Guin dashed forward as her shot had made contact with the forearm of the Vampire Lord. She shouted as she ran, "Oh baby! This is gonna be a huge pay day! Let's go!"

Art by Manny Trembley

The Vampire Lord quickly assessed the situation at hand as the small wound on her forearm started to mend itself. The Shadow Thief grabbed Valencia's hand and directed her into the darkness. Steven knew the layout of this town better than anyone, especially within the shadows. Guin's enthusiasm may have landed her a quick blow, but the home field advantage was in the favor of Vampire Lord and Shadow Thief. Taggart, being the tactical mind he is known for, first ran into the pub to gather his mostly inebriated men in order to gain a strategic approach. Tag and the rest of the gang split up into smaller parties to search for the two love birds in order to flank them. The men were hobbling and running into objects due to the darkness and their current state of mind. Steven and Valencia watched from above in a nearby bell tower where they discussed their next plan of action. Guin, unable to track the two, regrouped with Tag and the crew. However, some of the men were missing yet again! Tag decided it was time for some counter measures as he ordered most of his men to retreat to the nearby hill South of the Town. Tag and Guin then proceeded to search for their next bounty with much haste and finally came upon them. The Shadow Thief and Vampire Lord were waiting for Guin And Tag on the opposite end of a Garden that was about to become a makeshift battleground. Not much chatter was needed as it was quite obvious that this would be a fight death no matter the discussion. Steven shouted, "Leave us be, and we let you leave with your lives!" Guin sneered as she instead began firing not too long before the words had even left Steven's mouth.

Art by Manny Trembley

Tag dashed forward with his saber to confront whoever his blade was able to reach first. Steven and Valencia split off in opposite directions both dashing between bushes and sculptures. Guin showered the two with almost constant fire as she reloaded with what seemed an infinite amount of bullets. Tag was unable to keep up with either of his opponents so he signaled to his men sitting atop the nearby hill. "Carpet Bomb time," Tag sneered as he ducked behind a stone half wall. The hilltop men started to shoot small explosives into the garden with the best precision they could in order not to cause any friendly fire. The bombs not only disoriented Steven and Valencia, but they also lit up the garden with fire which took away a key advantage for hiding in the shadows! Taggart took this time to dash forward and struck with his saber, inflicting a large gash on the Vampire Lord's back. Valencia swiftly turned around and placed one hand on Tag's chest and another grasping his hand that held his saber. Slowly and dramatically, Valencia's claws grew into Tag's chest as he howled in agony. Her claws continued to grow even as Guin rolled forward and directed her bullets into the back of the exposed Vampire Lord. The life slowly depleted inside Tag, and Valencia dropped him to the ground to swivel towards her next opponent. However, the bombardment of bullets that traveled into her body had taken a toll on the Vampire Lord. Steven shouted over to Valencia to rest while he challenged the Gunslinger to one on one battle. Valencia unwantingly agreed and healed herself by feasting on the Tactician's body gaining power from his blood.

Art by Manny Trembley

Guin had taken cover behind two barrels and was started reloading both her weapons. Steven took this opportunity to flank the Gunslinger to perform a sneak attack! However, he was not fast enough as Guin quickly shot in his direction, or what she thought was his direction. Before she started to shoot, the Shadow Thief had already began dancing in and out of cover. The fires had slightly dwindled by now, allowing a few shadows to creep back into the garden. Out of the one of the shadows, two blades spun towards Guin who was able to dodge the first blade. However, the second blade hit its mark which sliced a moderate sized gash into Guin's left shoulder. The Gunslinger again took cover to take a gather herself and created a tourniquet from her blue sash around her neck as she could feel the burn that only accompanied some type of poison. Guin positioned herself near a statue, being sure to find the Shadow Thief this time before firing. Steven slung two more blades towards Guin, but this time she dodged both rolling into a position which allowed her to fill the Shadow Thief with lead. Steven could not dodge this attack sadly, even being within the shadows. Not realizing he could be struck within the shadows, he fell to the ground with the CP he had brought scattering all across the singed grass.

Art by Manny Trembley

Valencia had just finished her snack to mend her wounds when she turned to witness this brutal scene. Losing a potential partner that she had longed for released the beast within the Vampire Lord as her blood boiled in anger. Valencia dashed so fast towards Guin she was practically gliding through the air. Guin had no time to even notice the Vampire Lord as she was heading over to the Shadow Thief to make sure he was dead. Valencia lifted the Gunslinger up in the air like a ragdoll and swiftly sliced through Guin's throat to exsanguinate her blood into a massive pool before the Vampire Lord. Filled with so much rage, Valencia did not even care to feast on the blood pooled before her, but instead continued to rip apart the Gunslinger. Guin was dismembered beyond recognition, and the men spectating on the hill fled after seeing this occur. Valencia's rage slowly decreased as she walked over to Steven, who was surprisingly still alive but critically injured. Valencia, unsure what to do, decided to try to convert Steven into one of her kind by biting him. She plunged her teeth into his neck and gently sucked only a small portion of his blood as this process was purely a myth to her and was not sure if it truly worked. Tears mixed with the blood as Valencia stared at Steven whose demeanor grew dim by the moment. Minutes felt like hours, and nothing happened. Valencia angrily plunged over and over and over into his neck until no more blood seeped through his bite marks. Valencia exploded into a rage like no other. She dashed towards the direction of the bounty hunters crew to find them all already scurried away. Then she ran towards Taggart's body to examine his corpse, and in his pocket lied a piece of paper with a crude drawing of the Vampire Lord. At the bottom of the page under the bounty price, was a signature of the decree created by The Mad King. Valencia knew who her next target would be and she would do whatever was needed in order to destroy this King as she disappeared into the pitch black night.

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