A/N: Thrice-blessed is this story now! I'm really starting to enjoy this. Then again, I've always liked writing fiction. This chapter will now introduce some of the lighter elements to the story as well as a bit of development. I don't really know what I was doing with the first two chapters, but I got back into my usual style with this one; you'll see. What else do I have today...ah! There may be a bit of slow in one-shots coming out due to another lapse of writers' laziness. To remedy that, I'm watching a bunch of anime like always, so there shouldn't be too much of a delay. Enough about my problems, let's jump into this new chapter!
“Yawn, I woke up way too early today.” I stretch out my tired limbs in my bed, still exhausted from my previous job.
I smile happily when I look to my nightstand, eloquently decorated with the head of Lazarus. It's been almost a month since I killed him, but the job didn't end there. The day after the battle, Vera and Andrea contacted me via letter expressing their thanks for helping them resolve the town's problems. With Lazarus killed, the Order took a sharp blow to morale and soon enough, the rebellion movement was reformed. However, the riot that my job required didn't happen. The rebels were getting bold, but not enough to openly attack the guards. To remedy the situation and finally finish the job, I orchestrated a large-scale prison riot and freed several convicted agitators resulting in a city-wide free-for-all that had both the guards and rebels in a panic. I left town afterwards, satisfied with the job finally being finished.
-Knock knock knock-
The sound echoes through my otherwise quiet home, shaking me out of my thoughts. I quickly get out of bed and head to the front door, passing through my messy kitchen in the process. I make a mental note to take more time cleaning it when I return home again. Not wanting to neglect my empty stomach, I fill a cup with clean water and go to the door with my drink in hand. I take a long sip and pull open the door, not even bothering to look at my guest. In the middle of finishing my drink, I lazily cast my eyes to the visitor and nearly collapse on the spot with a heart attack.
Standing there on my doorstep is a suit of armor covered in dirt. I almost didn't recognize it as armor due to the sheer volume of debris. The armor just stands motionless as I lean in closer to find any clues to identify the owner. However as soon as I lean over it to peer inside, I spit out the water in my mouth at the sight. Instead of a black void inside, I see the cross-section of someone who was just decapitated. The water I spit into it was absorbed right away, which frightens me even more. Before things get any weirder, I slam the door and shut out the apparition, hoping that it will take the hint and go away.
With my morning officially ruined now, I trudge back to my room hoping that all of it is a bad dream. I literally fall into my bed without another word and shut out all of the sunlight that dares to enter my room. I don't care about anything except sleep at the moment, even if that body starts to knock again. As I lay in my bed with my head against the pillow, I look over at Lazarus' head once again and poke at it.
“My morning is ruined thanks to you. Your body is just about the creepiest that's ever graced my doorstep; nearly gave me a heart attack.”, I pick up the head with one hand and hold it closer, “If you are pissed at me for killing you, then just say so. You don't need to have your body come here to-”
“I'm not angry at you in the slightest, and my body is moving of its own will.” A voice fills my ears and Lazarus' head shakes at the same time.
“...” I take a moment to process what just happened.
“...” The voice is quiet now, but it felt too real to put off as a trick.
“Hello there.” The voice responds as the head shakes again, almost as if it was speaking to me.
“...!!!” My vision dims and my head pulses as I am so overwhelmed that I can't even scream.
I start falling back into my bed, stunned by the very real possibility that a head is talking to me and the body is at my door. My senses are getting clouded and a loss of balance is taking hold of my head as I continue to hold the head against my chest, silently wishing that this is all just a dream. I shut my eyes slowly and wait for sleep to overtake me, or anything that will get me out of this nightmare. For a long while, everything is quiet and it feels even more heavenly than usual. I'm really starting to appreciate my home more than ever if I can lazily spend every day like this. But, like most things in life, it doesn't last long before reality comes knocking.
-Knock knock knock-
Please no, please no...anyone but the one I'm thinking about...
My thoughts send a nervous prayer to whatever god will listen as I get up and walk to the front door. I'm still clutching the head in my arms, but no matter how tightly I hug it, I can't shake off this feeling of unease. Swimming in fear, I gingerly turn the doorknob before carefully pulling open the door. As expected, Lazarus' body is there except now something seems different: just as the body 'sees' its head in my arms, it holds out a sack of money. I'm confused by this motion, but it does serve to considerably lessen the shock of a headless body appearing at my house. I can't think of anything else to do, so I take the money bag and hand the head to the body. Something like a squishing sound comes from the body, but thankfully I don't know what it was exactly since I turned my back to check the money bag. In a stunning move, I turn back to see Lazarus remove his helmet, revealing the fact that Lazarus is not a man at all, but a rather cute silver-haired woman! I'm at a loss for words, but I am able to gesture for her to come in, which she gladly does.
“So...what are you exactly?” I ask her as we sit down at my kitchen table.
“I am a member of the Demon Lord's elite guard. Surely you've heard stories about the Dullahan knights?” She smirks with pride as I hand her a cup of coffee.
“Nope, never even heard the name until now. I thought you would have figured that out based on my reactions to your body and head.” I sip some of my own coffee, but cringe once I realize that I forgot to add milk and sugar.
“Indeed, your response to my certainly was...interesting.”
“I almost died, twice. So what was a Dullahan doing by leading troops in the Order?”
“I was ordered by her Lordship to infiltrate our enemies and possibly recruit soldiers for our army.” She takes another sip of coffee, which looks normal enough despite the way her head works.
“So, Lazarus-” I try to keep a straight face and not focus too much on the strangeness of her body.
“Isn't that your name?” I finish off my coffee.
“No, my name is Lilith.” She holds up her cup, now empty.
“Then why were people calling you 'Lazarus' and why were dressed like a guy?” I grab the coffee pot and refill both of our cups.
“I wasn't even aware of my nickname. As for your other question, my armor is just a bit bulky. I asked my Lord to give me a slimmer fit, but they ran out of materials after this was made.” She pats her old armor, spreading dust and dirt all over the table.
“Why is your armor so dirty, anyway? A month can't really get it that filthy...”
“After you 'killed me' and took my head with you, my body was buried in a funeral service. It had to dig through 6 feet of dirt to get back here.” She pats her body again in pride, adding yet more dirt to the table.
While I don't mind talking to Lilith now that I've heard her story, the dirt on her armor is bothering me. I finish my second cup of coffee and put the empty cup in the sink, leaving the room afterwards. A few minutes later, I return with a towel and throw it to Lilith, who catches it and looks at me with curious eyes.
“Shower's out back. I'll set some clothes aside for you by the time you're finished. Please leave your armor outside.”
A/N: You know when they say 'Look at the face, not the body'? I think I finally understand what they meant by that. Hell, if I was in Gabriel's spot when he answered the door, I would've probably punched Lilith's body while screaming. If only my mornings were as peaceful as Gabriel's...most of mine involve anime, videogames, and writing one-shots. Oh well, it's not a 'normal' life, but it's 'productive and happy' for me which is the most important thing. Next chapter will be out tomorrow as always, so be sure to check back!