The Wheel of fortune turns once more.
A BTVS/Berserk crossover.
Disclaimer.... Buffy the vampire Slayer and all characters were created by Joss Whedon and company. The manga Berserk was created by Kentarō Miura. This is a work of fanfiction inspired by BTVS and the Beserk anime produced by OLM studios. The same folks who make Pokemon episodes.
Archduke Sebassis frowned as he read the report from the commander of his best retrieval squad. “You mean to tell me we've had twelve hell-hounds vanish in the past month and no one knows how?”
“Well... we believe they were summoned sir. We put a request to have one of the diviners look into it but you know how interdepartmental paperwork takes a while, especially when asking for help from one of your other legions.” The Kennel Master told him.
“Yes, you all clamor for my favor when you're not being sent on missions. I have other things I need to attend to you know.” Archduke Sebassis said before summoning the head of the diviners to fix the problem. “We'll see where they're going. Odds are it is some mage who is screwing up the summoning and pulling them from nearby instead of from their native dimension.”
It proved to be just that. When they found out where the beasts were going... Archduke Sebassis was intrigued to say the least.
“My best hell-hounds are being used in combination with vampires to fight a.... human child?” Archduke Sebassis said as he watched a human boy walking in through the fighter's entrance of the arena, armed with only a dagger and a short sword.
“They don't want him fighting the best fighters yet.” One of his intelligence officers told him. “He was brought to the arena six weeks ago. He dispatched a vampire in his first fight and has been getting better. They started summoning the hell-hounds to make things more difficult for him and to give the audience a better show.”
“This had better be good.” Archduke Sebassis said as the announcer called for the fight to begin.
“Are you certain the child is human?” Archduke Sebassis asked his intelligence officer. “Or a child? I haven't seen a human fight like that. Ever.”
The officer nodded as he watched the human cripple a hell-hound by driving a knife into its neck before throwing the beast at a vampire to distract it before killing both. “He's human. But there is something off about him sir. The demons in the cages respect him. One is even teaching him.”
“Well... find the manager. Let him know exactly how displeased I am that my property is being used for the entertainment of these rabble without my permission.” Archduke Sebassis commanded.
“Yes sir. If he offers anything?” The officer asked.
“The boy and whoever is teaching him. They are coming with us, one way or the other.” Archduke Sebassis said with a grin before gesturing to have his drink refilled.
“As you command my Lord” The officer stated before walking off with one of the Archduke's enforcers.
“I knew it couldn't last.” Crack'lor said as the collars were removed from Alexander and himself.
Archduke Sebassis tilted his head as he stared at the red skinned demon. “Your great-grandfather is curious as to what happened to his defective descendant.”
“Cyvus Vail.” Crack'lor sneered. “He declared me unfit to be of his lineage once my horns developed. I'm a throwback only good for fighting and the only magic I'm capable of is healing.”
“Yes, he bemoans that fact every now and then. One of his descendants.... a natural healer. You vanished before he could put you to death.” Archduke Sebassis grinned. “How did you manage to do that anyways?”
“That's between me and my tattoo artist.” Crack'lor smirked. “Now then... what do you want with us?”
“The boy has eliminated a fair number of my hell-hounds. He is to be their replacement on an upcoming campaign in one of the bordering dimensions. He gets to soften up the enemy.”
“What does that mean?” Alexander asked. “Are we still slaves?”
“Not exactly.” Crack'lor told him. “We've just been drafted.”
Alexander stared at him, not knowing what that meant.
“We're going to war.” Crack'lor explained. “He's our boss now.”
“Can I keep my weapons?” Alexander asked.
Crack'lor laughed. “Sure. We'll get you some others too. If we're going to another dimension... we're going to need to be prepared.”
Some time later...
“I haven't reported your presence to Vail yet for one reason. The boy. Why have you taken a shine to him?” Archduke Sebassis asked Crack'lor.
“He's.... a brother at arms.” Crack'lor grinned. “He wants a fight and doesn't mind getting hurt either. I've had to patch him up a few times after some of his fights. He never winced once.”
“What did you use?” Archduke Sebassis asked, his curiosity getting the better of him.
“Highly and I mean highly diluted Mohra blood on the larger wounds the first time. After that he started healing faster on his own. He still smells the same so he hasn't been tainted. He just doesn't want to stay down.” Crack'lor said.
Archduke Sebassis nodded. “How is he with the weapons he has besides those blades I saw him use?”
“See for yourself.” Crack'lor grinned. “Just don't punish him for hurting anyone you put against him. Kid doesn't hold back against anyone. Not even me.”
Archduke Sebassis raised a brow. “He tries to kill you?”
“He knows he isn't good enough. Yet.” Crack'lor laughed. “Kid doesn't trust much and he holds a grudge like you wouldn't believe.”
“We'll see about that.” Archduke Sebassis said before dismissing Crack'lor.
There was something about the child... something that worried him. Some depth to him that made him different than most humans. He had potential. He might even be the spawn of a fallen champion or something. He'd have a minion research Wolfram and Hart's department of records about the boy and see what he could learn. The boy's viciousness reminded him of something, but he didn't know what.
Two days later....
“Born of a hanged woman.” Archduke Sebassis read as he stared at the file. “Spent ten years on a winery and the majority of that doing hard labor. Traded to resolve a debt that wasn't his. Born of a hanged woman.”
That part of the report stuck with him as he watched the boy fight one of the combat instructors. The instructor managed to draw blood, leaving a small cut on the bridge of the boy's nose with his knife.
The cut caused the boy to rally his strength and actually embed his own blade into the combat instructor's spine.
If there was one thing the child had learned in the arena was to cripple without question.
That would prove useful later on, but Archduke Sebassis had to check on some of the older records. Ones not at the law firm. The other archives kept by the Circle of the Black Thorn.
“Is is possible?” Archduke Sebassis wondered as he watched the boy prep his gear for deployment. The resemblance to the sketches were close and the circumstances of the boy's birth were nearly identical. With the hellmouth involved... that decreased the improbability of the situation tenfold.
Still... for him to have been reborn.... He would be a powerful pawn... again.
The Godhand had been destroyed and their power distributed among many realms, but the Senior Partners were still active in guiding humanity toward their ultimate goal of true hell on earth. One of man's own making.
It was just a matter of time.
Unnamed Hell Dimension....
“Where are we?” Alexander asked as they landed in an open field.
Crack'lor looked around. “Hell dimension. The place is saturated with what you'd call magic. You can't feel it but for magic users it's like being on the bottom of an ocean. Normal casting can't be done here save for shit like portals.”
“Meaning?” Alexander asked.
“We fight the old fashioned way.” Crack'lor grinned. “Don't worry. You'll do just fine.”
Alexander nodded. “Who are we fighting?”
“Whoever they tell us to kid.” Crack'lor said. “We're they're weapons for the time being. At least until we're either dead or our debt is cleared. Whenever that's gonna be.”
“The Black swordsman has been reborn?” a masked figure half shouted at the meeting table.
“I said it is possible. I have my people watching him now on a campaign. We'll see how he fares. He's a child now, but there is a decent time difference between the two dimensions. He should be fully grown in say five years.” Archduke Sebassis said as he looked at his nails. “He's already capable of handling a longsword. If he starts swinging around a dragonslayer, we'll know.”
“He was supposed to be damned.” Cyvus Vail growled.
“He still is. He's in my service.” Archduke Sebassis said. “As long as he fights under my banner he'll never know a day of peace.”
“He'll seek his freedom when he's strong enough.” Cyvus Vail told him. “You weren't there when he destroyed the Godhand. A man shouldn't have been able to stop it, but he succeeded.”
“The Godhand destroyed itself. Giving humans abilities through ritual sacrifice and the blood of Old Ones was a grand experiment that collapsed under its own ambition.” The Conduit stated. “The Black Swordsman bears observation, but he could still be of use to us in the coming times. Things are in motion and the Shanshu prophecy among others are coming into play. Things that must happen in our favor.”
“They will.” The members of the Circle of the Black Thorn stated as one.
Unnamed Hell dimension.... 10 relative years later....
“Forward!” Alexander yelled as he kicked his 'horse' to lead the charge against the opposing army. It had been a rough decade for the young man but he'd risen through the ranks of the legion to lieutenant. Something unheard of for a human.
It had been five years since Crack'lor had abandoned him here, using him as a leverage piece to go somewhere... quieter.
Alexander couldn't begrudge him that. Crack'lor may have liked to fight, but his main use here was as a medic. Even demons can get tired of bloodshed when they aren't the ones causing it.
His time in this dimension had caused him to learn a great deal on and off the battlefield. After he'd broken his first sword, they'd taught him to forge a new one out of the remains. Each new blade had been larger and heavier than the last.
When he was wearing full armor, he needed a demonic 'horse' to carry himself and his weapons into battle.
He'd been through three in the last year alone.
Alexander swung his blade and it cleaved through both his oncoming enemy and its horse.
He wasn't just a heavy hitter, he was here to demoralize the opposition in the this seemingly endless war.
It was working.
“They... want him what?” Archduke Sebassis asked with amusement.
“For the lack of a better term, the other side wants him benched.” The General of the legion Alexander belonged to reported. “The war isn't going well for them and they're calling... foul.”
“Blasted sports metaphors.” Archduke Sebassis commented.
The General shrugged. “They work. We've won more ground since the human hit puberty than in the last five decades. We're embarrassing them to the point where they're about to protest to their masters.”
“The Powers? If they learn a human has been fighting on the other side in that dimension...” Archduke Sebassis trailed off. “Then...”
“Go directly to jail, do not collect two hundred dollars.” The General offered.
Archduke Sebassis glared at his General who shrugged.
“Board games are a hobby. Monopoly is a nice break from playing a real game of Risk.” The General shrugged.
“Where is the nearest available dimension we have a foothold in that isn't Earth?” Archduke Sebassis asked.
“Pylea.” The General offered. “But he'd stir up trouble there being what he is.”
“More than having the Powers intervene in the war?” Archduke Sebassis asked.
The General didn't say anything for a few minutes. “We were winning sir.” He finally said softly.
“I know.” Archduke Sebassis grinned. “Send him away. He'll make his own way from Pylea. That much I'm certain of. But not before the Priests get a hold of him. He'll do something and they'll brand him.”
“You mean?” the General asked. He'd been informed of who Alexander was and what he'd been in his last life.
“Full circle. With the mark... things will become much more interesting for him. I want to see how he'll grow when he's marked as.... food.” Archduke Sebassis grinned.
The General nodded. “It will be done my lord.”
“Good.” Archduke Sebassis said. “Now get out of my sight.” He commanded.
The General did.
“Alexander...” Archduke Sebassis grinned. “You truly are an impressive human.”
Unnamed Hell dimension.....
“I'm being discarded like some sort of toy?” Alexander growled. “I have fought alongside you for half of my life and you would throw me away because we're winning? Pathetic!”
The General managed not to flinch at the young human's accusations. “We have our orders.” He said flatly. “You're no longer in service to Archduke Sebassis. Your debt is cleared. You're on your own once you step through the portal.”
“I won't forget this!” Alexander yelled at them. “One day I will find your precious leader and slaughter him in his sleep! The next time we meet on the field of battle, it will be me against all of you! Remember that!” He shouted before stepping through the portal.
“That's not good is it?” One of Alexander's former subordinates asked aloud.
“No. It isn't. I'll relay the warning to the Archduke.” The General said. “That certainly could have gone better.”
Alexander growled as he was spat out of the portal. At least they let him keep his armor and weapons. He'd miss his 'horse' though.
“I need a drink.” Alexander muttered as he started walking through the unfamiliar woods. The air here was... lighter and didn't reek of death and blood. He was either on a different continent or a different dimension.
He was betting on dimension.
Elsewhere in Pylea....
“He has arrived.” One of the priests of the Covenant of Trombli said as he looked up from his scrying mirror.
“Send the messengers. Alert the Deathwok Clan and send for the Groosalugg. Approach him with caution. The Swordsman is dangerous to anyone who gets close to him.” The second priest said.
The third priest nodded before heading out of the ritual room to attend to his tasks. He was the youngest of them after all.
Alexander cupped his hands and drank from the river he'd come across in his journey through the strange woods. Hopefully the water was clean. He'd find out soon enough. He continued drinking and filled his canteen before finding a shallow spot to cross the river.
He trekked through the woods for a few more hours before he found a slight trail. He ran parallel to it for an hour before he found a small farm. He watched from the safety of the woods as a trio of green skinned demons were kicked out of the main building by a large....demoness? They had red horns and eyes but he didn't recognize the species. Two of them were wearing leather armor and carried swords while the third looked reluctant.
“Hnn.” Alexander grunted as he watched the lead demon wave his hands around before looking directly at him. “Tracker.” He muttered. “Fuck. I don't even know the protocol here.” He said as he reached for his sword.
Krevlornswath stopped his cousin and brother from moving forward. “Look closer. If we go into the woods,we die.”
Both of his family members looked at him before divining the truth on their own.
“Good job cousin. He truly is a dangerous foe.” Landokmar said with a nod. “We'll have to just wait for the Groosalugg to arrive. He will deal with this threat to our realm.”
Alexander shook his head. Someone had warned them about him. He hadn't been here a day and the natives were afraid of him. Great.
Exile was working so well for him.
Well at least one of those demons had some sense.
“Why haven't you defeated him yet?” A booming voice called from the house. “You shame our clan! Numfar, do the dance of shame!”
The third demon started dancing as one bowed his head in shame while the one who had warned them sighed in exasperation over the situation.
Alexander removed his hand from the hilt of his sword and walked out of the woods. He held his hands up slightly as he walked towards the demons. “I mean you no harm.”
“You are certain death to all you come across.” One of the demons said. “Even an untrained warrior like Krevlornswath here sees it.” He said as he gestured at the reasonable demon.
“I kill those that seek to harm me and those in my way. I was exiled to this place earlier today and already you know of me. How?” Alexander asked.
“We received word from the Covenant of Trombli.” The vocal demon said. “I am Landokmar of the Deathwok clan. We are champions of this realm.”
“I am Alexander. Former lieutenant of the 37th legion of Archduke Sebassis.” Alexander said. “I was stripped of my rank and exiled to this.... place.”
“It's called Pylea.” The demon known as Krevlornswath supplied. “What do you call that thing on your back?”
“I don't call it anything but a sword.” Alexander told him. “Others have called it a dragonslayer.”
“Truly you must be a powerful foe.” Landokmar said as Numfar finished the Dance of Shame. “While I would enjoy engaging you in battle, we will have to wait for the Groosalugg to come and dispatch you himself.”
“Who?” Alexander asked.
“He's our world's best fighter. He survived the scum pits of Ur if that helps.” Krevlornswath supplied.
“I didn't come here to fight.” Alexander growled. “I will if I have to.”
“You and me both.” Krevlornswath muttered.
“Krevlornswath, you shame us all.” Landokmar all but shouted.
“I don't like fighting Landok. You know that. I just left the house to get away from.... her.” Krevlornswath countered.
“Do any of you know how to leave this place? How to open a portal?” Alexander asked. “One sent me here, another can take me away.”
“Only the Priests of the Covenant possess the sacred texts needed to open one.” Krevlornswath said as he stared at Alexander. He was seeing something. A possibility of freedom? Something about this... creature's aura was triggering his latent abilities. It was a dark aura, one of blood and pain and.... determination?
“Krevlornswath!” Landokmar said as he pulled his sword and turned it on his cousin, only to have his upper torso be separated from the rest of him courtesy of a single swing of Alexander's sword.
Numfar ran off into the main hut as Krevlornswath stared at his cousin who had raised a weapon against him.
“The Priests are in the city. I can show you the way.” Krevlornswath said, his mind made up.
“Are there any... horses here?” Alexander asked.
“A few in the barn with the hell-hounds. I don't think the horses are strong enough to carry you and your sword.
“We'll see.” Alexander said. “Let's go.”
“I won't forget this!” Landokmar said from the ground.
Alexander looked at Krevlornswath.
“You missed his heart. Unless you shred the body parts, he can pull himself together. It takes time though.”
Alexander nodded. “Sturdy race. Admirable. Though.. where is the heart?”
Krevlornswath paused before telling him.
Alexander couldn't help but chuckle as he remembered a punishment he'd witnessed during his
childhood. “Krevlornswath... let me tell you about something called... spankings.”
Elsewhere in Pylea....
The Covenant of Trombli were concerned as they continued observing the Black Swordsman who called himself Alexander. Even though they knew he was a cow... he was dangerous. He represented the true danger that the cows could become given the appropriate circumstances. He needed to be eliminated as soon as possible. The Groosalugg was catching up but the entire realm had to know that this.... cow was an enemy to their very way of life.
“The Brand.” One of the priests said as he pulled the appropriate tome, guided by his connection with the Ram. “It would find him wherever he is in this realm. It would mark him as unclean and as food for any he comes across.”
“That hasn't been used in.....” Another of the priests trailed off. “A very long time.” He finished with a grin. “It would take all three of us to cast such a spell. We would be unable to assist for a short while.”
“The Groosalugg draws closer and the brand would hinder the cow” The third priest said. “Let us mark him as food for all who come from the Abyss.”
“Something is coming.” Krevlornswath warned as he looked around. “Something bad.”
“We are being tracked by someone very skilled and he is catching up.” Alexander said as they continued to ride towards where Krevlornswath had said the Priests were.
“No. I can't tell where its coming from, but its coming.” Krevlornswath said.
“It?” Alexander asked. “Can the people here use magic?”
“Some.” Krevlornswath said.
“Shit.” Alexander swore as he slowed his horse. He got off his horse and drew his sword, looking all around.
Faster than he could track, a burst of red light coming from the location of the Priests hit him in the back of his neck.
“Damn.” Alexander swore as he stumbled. “What was...”
“Bad. It was Bad.” Krevlornswath said as he saw how whatever it was changed Alexander's aura. He looked like... food?
“Shit that burns.” Alexander muttered as he regained his bearings. Both of them looked up as they heard the coming hoofbeats. “That the Groosalugg?”
“Yes.” Krevlornswath said. “He's the strongest fighter in the realm. You may not win against him.”
“We'll see.” Alexander said as he gripped his sword.
Both man and demon turned as the felt an odd disturbance behind them. A portal had formed behind them.
“Finally, something that makes sense.” Alexander muttered. “This might lead somewhere worse, you going?”
“I'd go anywhere to get away from... her.” Krevlornswath said.
Nodding to each other, both demon and man jumped into the portal trusting in some guiding hand that it would be better than here.
A moment later a young human woman wearing glasses landed in the same clearing, the portal closing up behind her. She dazedly looked around and saw the two horses standing nearby. She began walking up to the horses when a third horse, this one bearing a rider, showed up.
The rider stared at the young cow and frowned. “Tell me, are you the one they call the Black Swordsman? You carry no sword and I see no black on you.”
“No. My name is Fred.” The girl said.
“You have a name? You are a strange cow.” The man on horseback said.
“I am no cow!” Fred yelled. “Who are you to call me that?”
“I am the Groosalugg. Champion of the realm.” The handsome by human standards hybrid said.
“Champion of the what now?” Fred asked as one of the horses nuzzled her hair. “Where are we?”
“You don't know of Pylea?” The Groosalugg asked. “It is a realm of might and magic, dungeons and....”
“Don't. Just don't.” Fred said. “What's with your eyes?”
And so the Groosalugg met a graduate student named Winifred Burkle, but that is a tale for another time....
“Where are we?” Krevlornswath asked as he looked around.
“Cement type floor, bricks. Human or humanoid dimension at least past the industrial revolution.” Alexander said as he looked around. “I think. My human history is more than a little rusty.”
“My head.” Krevlornswath said as his he felt an odd vibration in his horns. “What is that noise?” He said as he heard... something. “It sounds.... nice.”
“I'm not hearing anything.” Alexander said as Krevlornswath started humming. “Though it sounds like music.”
“What's music?” Krevlornswath asked.
“I need to confirm a few things first. If we're on Earth.... There's a lot we need to go over.” Alexander said as he rubbed his neck. “What the hell hit me?”
“You've got a wound on your neck. I don't recognize the mark.” Krevlornswath told him. “It came from where the Priests were. It changed your aura. You.... stand out even more now.”
“Stand out how?” Alexander asked.
“It's like... target practice?” Krevlornswath ventured. “You're the target. Or food. Maybe both."
“Fuck.” Alexander swore. “This had better be a human dominated dimension or I'm never going to get any rest.”