After not updating this story for a while, I decided to go back and give it a kinda rewrite/heavy edit. Most of the original story is still intact, I only really changed it to past tense where needed or edited to reflect the changes in the story. I have become a much better writer since I started and I felt this story deserved that attention. So if your a new reader, please enjoy. If your one of the existing followers, I hope you enjoy the changes.
Curse of the Were-Rabbit: Rewrite
Zeus sighed as he observed the sleeping boy in the darkness. Tonight it should happen, the moment of the first full moon since Bell's fourteenth birthday. For fourteen years Zeus had diligently watched over the boy, trained him, cared for him. The boy's life would be hard, Zeus knew that, so he had spent Bell's childhood preparing him for the harsh reality of the world. He had trained him to defend himself, taught him how to survive in the wild, healing and first aid, how to hunt, how to cook. He taught him how to survive. He knew Bell would need those skills once the change had occurred. He wouldn't be allowed to stay in the village once the people knew. The rumours and legends of his race would mean he would be ostracised and rejected. Monster attacks may have been rare in the remote village, but the people were wary enough. Bell couldn't stay and Zeus knew that.
The only thing left to do now, was confirm the change. There was a chance, Zeus thought to himself that Bell might have gotten lucky and not inherited the characteristics of his mothers race. Zeus prayed silently to himself for a moment, wishing the boy good fortune, but deep down in his heart he knew the truth.
Bell was a Were-Rabbit.
He glanced at the moon shining through the bedroom window, silently cursing the effect he knew it would have on Bell. He was hopeful though, Bell was such a kind and gentle soul, it was hard to imagine him hurting anyone intentionally. However, Were-Rabbits were hunted to extinction for a reason. When under the influence of the full moon they suffered from terrible blood lust, their rage could become uncontrollable. Zeus could only wonder what it might be like for Bell, still only a child really, to be dumped into the adult world after such a change though.
But Zeus couldn't stay any longer and he knew it, he'd stretched his time out with Bell as much as he possibly could, but he had to leave. The one eyed black dragon was recovering from it's wounds from fifteen years ago and would awaken soon. The boy had the potential, he knew that, the potential to become the greatest hero of the age and defeat the flying menace. But he needed time, he needed to train in the dungeon and achieve greatness. Zeus had to leave, to suppress the dragon with prayer, just like his friend and fellow god Ouranos did for the dungeon.
He wanted to stay, he wanted to be there for Bell, but he had already pushed the limit on the amount of time he had, it might even be too late already. He just wanted to confirm Bell's status as a Were-Rabbit before he left. He had already packed that evening and was ready to leave the moment he could.
And then, it happened. There was a shift in the clouds for a moment and the bedroom went dark for a second or two as their shadow excluded the moonlight. The moonlight returned illuminating the room once again and shining down on the sleeping boy.
Zeus let out a quiet sigh as the change occurred in front of his eyes. Black smoke enveloped Bell's body for a second before fading away and revealing his true form.
"Farewell Bell, I wish you luck." Zeus said quietly, not wanting to disturb the boys sleep with his parting words. He took one last look at the boy and with a tear in his eye, gently closed the bedroom door.
Bell woke up. He was slightly groggy which was unusual for him, he was normally a morning person. Yawning widely, he got out of bed. Or tried to, the moment he went to stand up, he fell flat on his face.
"Ow" He moaned to himself, as he pushed up into a sitting position on the floor. Everything felt so weird. He grabbed the side of the bed and tried to stand up. His leg's felt very very strange, almost backwards as he tried to move. Something was very wrong. As his vision cleared, he caught sight of his own hand.
It was covered in white fur and long claws stuck out where his finger nails should be.
"What the?" he muttered to himself shaking his head as if he were half asleep still and seeing things, then "GRANDPA!". He shouted to get his grandfathers attention. Looking down at himself things were very different from the day before. Any part of his body that showed outside of his nightshirt was covered in white hair, no fur. A layer of fur all over him. His toenails had also changed into claws.
Freaking out quite a bit, he tried to stand again, only to find his knees now bent backwards instead of forwards. The joint in his knee had totally reversed.
"GRANDPA!" he called out again, trying to find his balance.
He grabbed a mirror from the bedside table to see his face.
What he saw utterly shocked him. His ears were gone, replaced with rabbit ears on his head. His hair was longer, but not by much. But his face. His face was radically different.
Again, covered in white fur, his mouth had extended forward like an animals muzzle. Two large sabre fangs came out of his mouth all the way down to the bottom of his jaw. He even had whiskers, which he found to be rather sensitive when he brushed them with his... hands? Paws? He wasn't sure.
"Am I a monster?" he asked himself looking at his reflection.
"GRANDPA!" he called again, wondering where the old man had got to.
He left his bedroom to go and find the old man, finding walking was very strange and he had to steady himself on the wall to get anywhere at first. But the old man was no where to be found. He wasn't in the main room of the house, nor was he in his bedroom.
In fact, his bedroom was bare. Only a few possessions were left, all the clothes and his spare weapons were gone. It was as if he packed and left.
Starting to panic a bit, Bell returned to the main room of the house. Their little cottage was tiny. A small bathroom, two bedrooms and a living area which was kitchen and dining room combined, with a sofa to relax on, in front of the fire place.
At that moment, Bell noticed what was on the table. A pile of light armour, two daggers, a book and an envelope.
He walked over to the table to find the envelope was addressed to him.
"Bell" was all it said on the front.
The back had been sealed with melted wax and had a symbol stamped onto it.
It was the same symbol that was on the cover of the book. A lightning bolt.
Bell cracked the wax apart and opened the letter.
I'm sorry I had to leave you like this. There is a serious matter I must attend to and I will not be able to see you again for many years. I am deeply sorry for not being there to explain what has happened to you. But this morning, you will have found out what you really are.
You are the last of the Were-Rabbits.
During the full moon, you are, like all Were-Rabbits, cursed to be in rabbit form. At all other times, you can change at will and will be human by default.
Be proud! Were-Rabbits were one of the strongest races. You, physically are far stronger than any human being but beware your strength. During the full moon, you will experience bloodlust if you smell or taste blood. Be careful, a Were-Rabbit under bloodlust is a dangerous creature, depending on your level of self control, you may find you need to avoid people during the full moon. Be careful, Were-Rabbits are extremely irritable and can descend into their anger quickly. Learn to control yours, lest it destroy who you are. You are a sweet and kind boy Bell, please don't lose that in a Were-Rabbits anger. Learn to control it, to use it when needed. Become a force for good Bell, teach the world that a Were-Rabbit need not be feared.
You must leave the village, they will not accept you now. Do not treat them harshly, they are ignorant of the greater world and your existence will frighten them.
Travel to Orario. There are many other races in the city including other Were-Creatures, you will be accepted there.
Find a pretty goddess, become the hero you have always wished to be, train yourself in the dungeon, hone your skills.
When you are ready, I will return, the final quest of the great three must be completed.
The book contains information about who your parents were. The guild records should be able to tell you more including the reason for their deaths.
Avoid Freya, Apollo, Soma and Ishtar. Do not join their Familia's.
Good luck Bell. Know that I love you, despite my absence.
Your grandfather, your god. Zeus.
P.s. Your claws are retractable."
"ZEUS?" Bell shouted out loud.
"He was Zeus all along?"
Bell felt a bit overwhelmed. Not only had he woken up in a new body this morning, he just found out that the man who had looked after him was a god! A god all this time! A pervert god, but still a god!
Another thought hit him. "My parents!", he tried to grab the book, but his claws got in the way. "Oh yeah." Holding his hand up, he looked at his claws wondering how they worked exactly. He didn't know how to retract them, so he tried imagining it. Surprisingly, that worked. His claws disappeared into his fingers. Wait, that didn't make sense! How would they fit in there? Flexing his fingers with curiosity, he didn't understand. Magic perhaps?
He picked up the book and looked at it. It looked expensive. Bound in black leather, which had been stamped with the title and a symbol. The stamps had been filled in with gold leaf and the edges of the pages had been coated in something looking like gold. With the book closed, the edge of the pages were not white, they were gold.
The title was "The chronicles of the Zeus Familia" and the symbol was the same lightning bolt from the wax seal.
He opened and read the contents page. Skipping past the history he found the section he was looking for. "Familia members and members family." Skipping to the page listed, he found another list. This was an index of the Familia's members names, with a page number next to them. He skimmed down the entries until he found the two he was looking for.
Vincent Cranel: Page 266
Anastasia Cranel: Page 268
Cranel Family: Page 270
He skipped to the first entry, his father.
There he was! There was a picture of him. He couldn't tell his height from the picture, but what he saw was a slim young man with black hair, the same shaggy style as Bell himself and piercing blue eyes. He was dressed in full plate armour and carried a massive clay-more.
He read the text next to the picture. "Vincent Cranel. Human. Level six vanguard fighter. Age thirty three. Place of birth: Orario. Height: 5'11"
"Wow dad was level six?"
He flipped the page and for the first time in his life, he saw his mother.
Tears ran down his face as he looked at her picture. Bell had never remembered his parents at all, he'd only known his grandfather his entire life.
She was so beautiful. Long snow white hair, just like his but straight all the way down to her hips, the same burning red eyes. She was dressed like a mage in an elegant battle dress, holding a staff. Her face reminded Bell of himself, from this moment on, whenever he looked into a mirror, he would see her face.
"Anastasia Cranel. Were-rabbit. Level five Mage. Age twenty eight. Place of birth: Unknown. Height 5'6."
"Wow, mum was a mage!"
Tears still flowing, he turns to the final entry.
"Cranel family. Patriarch: Vincent Cranel. Matriarch: Anastasia Cranel. Children: Bell Cranel, Male, Age 3 months."
Bell just sat and stared for a few moments, before flicking back the pages and looking at the images of his parents once again. A sob caught in his throat. All his life, he had no idea. No idea who they were, what they looked like.
He knew they were dead, he'd known his entire life, but to be confronted with the reality of the life he could have had, the parents he could have know, it was overwhelming.
He decided to leave right away. He could read the book as he travelled to Orario, it would take about two weeks to get there so he had plenty of time.
Standing up, he stretched and tried to get used to walking with his knees being backwards. He was a little unsteady at first, it was a very odd sensation to try and walk like this, but he got used to it quickly.
After a moment, he thought about it. His legs compressed down like springs when he crouched. He tried jumping.
That was a mistake, he flew right into the ceiling and hit himself on the head, falling back down face first.
"Ow" he muttered to himself as he got up off of the floor.
Grabbing the light armour on the table, he dressed in the underclothes it came with. Black shirt and leather trousers, simple garb for an adventurer. The light armour consisted of a leather vest with a small breast plate to go over it, shoulder guards and shin guards. Pulling on his boots, he found his claws on his toes made it rather difficult and in fact, he couldn't fit his foot in them any more, the claws were too big. Although he could retract them, they would be useful with kicks. Grabbing one of the daggers, he removed the toe part of his boots, allowing his feet to fit and his claws to be extended if needed.
Slipping his boots on, he dressed the rest of himself and went to look in the mirror
What an odd site looked back at him. He looked like a giant rabbit dressed in armour. "Well, I guess I AM a giant rabbit dressed in armour." He thought as he looked at himself.
He strapped the two daggers to his waist and started to pack a backpack for the journey.
The only personal item Bell had was a copy of the Dungeon Ortoria, which he put in his backpack along with the 'Chronicles of the Zeus Familia' book his grandfather had left for him. Packing as much food as he could, he filled his water canteen and prepared to leave the house for the final time.
As he travelled, he learnt rapidly the changes his new body had brought to him. He was far stronger than he was in his human form, his movements, shaky and difficult at first quite quickly became natural as he got used to the differences. His ability to run and jump were uncanny, his legs built like springs were rather powerful.
The biggest change he noticed was his sense of smell, the world was almost a completely different place with his enhanced smell. He could detect the most subtle of scent, making scavenging for herbs and mushrooms much easier, he felt like he didn't even need to try, he could smell his objective long before he could see it. Sense of smell Bell thought to himself would be very useful. He was beginning to wonder how it might work with people. Would he be able to sense changes in peoples moods from their body scent alone? Perhaps know if someone were lying to him just through scent? Bell was curious to find out.
It was his sense of smell that saved him that first day. He had slipped out of the village unnoticed and taken the forest path to the main road. The village was very remote, so it would be at least two days travel until he hit the main road.
He'd been quite enjoying the walk that morning, until he smelt another person as the wind shifted slightly.
Someone was on the path up ahead, not wanting to expose himself while he was still in his rabbit form, he slipped into some bushes a few meters away and waited quietly.
The scent grew stronger as whoever it was began approaching along the path.
"Are you really sure about this? You know the chief don't like having his time wasted!"
Bell heard a males voice call out to someone.
"Ya Boss, I'm sure. Giant fucking rabbit walking along in clothes. I caught site of him as he entered the forest. Wadda ya think? Never seen a free xeno's on the surface before. Think it escaped?"
"Whatcha asking me for? You'd have to ask da boss. Still, if we capture it alive Ikelos Familia will pay us a fortune!"
"Shit." Bell thought to himself. "It's not even been half a day. How did I get spotted?"
"Hey look, Rabbit tracks. He was coming this way… then… he went into the bush's."
They many have been low life bandits, but they didn't survive out here in the wild without having some decent skills. That included tracking.
"Think he heard us coming?"
"Yeah, probably. Can't have got far though."
Bell panicked for a moment. Should run? Fight? He didn't know what to do. Grandfather… No Zeus, he recalled now, had taught him to fight and he was sure with his new strength, he wouldn't have any problems. These guy's wouldn't be adventurer's, just normal human beings without a Falna. He hoped.
If they were adventurer's he was probably screwed, running would just be a waste of energy.
He decided to confront them, but in his own way.
He stepped back a few pace's until he came across a suitable tree, then climbed up into the canopy, waiting in ambush.
"Tracks go this way… He stopped for a moment, probably listening to us…"
The voices were getting closer.
"The tracks end here, at this tree."
"Think he climbed it?"
Bell didn't give them a chance to think on the matter any more, extending his claws, he jumped from the branch he was standing on and dropped straight onto the larger of the two men, his claws swiping down across the man's face and chest.
The man didn't even get a chance to scream, Bell's left hand hit his face, the claws tearing it apart, destroying the eyes and ripping the nose and most of the flesh from the skull. His right hand hit the man's shoulder and swept down through his body like a hot knife through butter, slicing though bone and flesh ripping apart the man from collarbone, all down through his ribs, tearing into the lung.
He wasn't dead yet, it would take a few minutes before he bled out, but so horrifically injured, he was out of the fight.
Bell spun to face the other man, blood flying from his claws as he span.
The smell of blood hit his nose at that moment and Bell's mouth began to water, it smelt wonderful, he was overtaken with a primal urge to taste blood, suddenly it became the most important thing in the world as his humanity vanished and the primal beast that was a were-rabbit took over.
The second man just stood there with his mouth open, so shocked at the sudden appearance of Bell and the brutal manner in which he had just taken out his friend, that he couldn't react and just stood there staring.
Bell roared at him, the man was paralysed with fear and just stood there unable to react, the horror of what he saw overwhelming him.
But Bell had smelt blood now, his eye's took on a glazed focus and saliva started dribbling from his mouth making him look like a rabid dog.
He leapt at the man, his hand's landing on his shoulders, forcing him to the ground. Bell rolled him onto his front side, grabbed him by the hair and lifted him, exposing his neck.
He plunged the sabre fangs into the man's jugular and began to drink deeply.
Bell closed his eyes and shuddered in pleasure as the hot blood filled his mouth for the first time, a deep sense of satisfaction came with each swallow.
Bell drank and drank until the man's heart failed and the blood flowed no more.
Birds flew from the trees in shock as Bell's howl of victory echoed around the forest.
The full moon would last three days, it had been the first day of the phase when Bell had encountered the bandits. After descending into his blood lust, he had hunted.
A total of twenty bandits in the forest fell to his claws and teeth over those three days, at no point had Bell's humanity been restored. He had rampaged through the forest, silently stalking them at first, picking them off one by one. He may have lost his human rationality, but Were-rabbits didn't become mindless beasts in their bloodlust, far from it. He was still in control of himself, able to make tactical decisions, spy on their camps before he went in for the kill, but once the bloodlust had been awakened, he couldn't stop himself nor holdback. He needed to kill, he needed to drink the blood of those who had dared to hunt him. He wouldn't stop until the end of the full moon, when he would finally turn back into a human.
Waking on the fourth day, it had taken a few moments for him to remember what had happened.
He'd crawled from his tent feeling rather thirsty, to find he had camped next to a stream. As he leant down to drink, he caught his reflection for the first time.
He saw his human face again, but he also saw he was covered in dried blood from head to toe, no part of him left unstained from his killing spree.
The memories came rushing back and he dropped to his knees and threw up at the sheer horror of what he had done.
When he had finally stopped dry heaving his empty stomach, he sat back and pondered to himself.
"Zeus was right. I couldn't control myself… Should I even be around people? If… If this is what I might do… I could hurt innocents. I know they were bandits and hunting me… But if I loose control like that again… But… But… I was fine until I smelled blood… As… As long as I stay in the dungeon when I'm like that, I won't be a threat to anyone right? Grandpa did say to go to Orario, that I would be accepted…"
Full of self doubt, he cleaned himself off and scrubbed his clothes in the stream. He couldn't enter Orario covered in blood after all.
Hestia took Bell's hand and led him upstairs into a room that smelled like old wood. The room was lined with shelves full of books from corner to corner. There were even books piled up on the floor in front of the shelves. Hestia didn't have the money to buy books herself, so she got on the good side of this store's owner and often came here to indulge in some literature.
"Okay, take your clothes off and sit here."
"Ah, just your shirt is fine. I'm going to engrave my blessing into you now."
Hestia couldn't hide her giddiness as she set to work, pricking her finger with a sewing needle.
The smell of divine blood filled the air and hit Bell's nose.
His eyes went wide. Even in human form, he still had the same sense of smell that he did as a Were-Rabbit, it was just as sharp.
He began salivating. It smelt… it smelt divine, far superior to human blood, instantly he craved it. It came as a shock, when he was in human form and not under the full moon, Bell had no desire for blood at all, but the smell of divine blood was something else. His desire for it, even in human form was overwhelming.
It took all his willpower, not to turn, grab Hestia's hand and lick the blood that was dripping from her thumb.
His temptation, however strong, only lasted a split second before his back absorbed the fallen drop of blood and the smell vanished from the room.
He decided not to mention this to Hestia, but he knew immediately, during the full moon, he would have to stay away from her and all other gods. The dungeon was the only safe place for him while he was under the effects of the curse of the full moon.
He heard her muttering to herself as she progressed, but it was too incoherent for him to make out what she was saying.
Suddenly she shouted "BELL!"
"Yes?" He responded politely.
"You're not human!" She shouted, freaking out a little.
"Ahh, sorry. Didn't think to mention it." He replied honestly, it had slipped his mind. He hadn't been in Were-rabbit form for over two weeks now.
"I thought your race was extinct!" She shouted hysterically at him.
"They are, I'm the only one. I think."
"I'm not sure. The letter Zeus left me didn't really explain much, he more implied I could find the answers I seek by coming to Orario and joining a Familia."
"Wait? What? Zeus? How do you know Zeus?" Hestia screams again.
"He raised me goddess. He left when I first changed into a Were-rabbit saying it was time I walked my own path. I still have the letter and the book he left me if you want to see."
"I do want to see, but lets get your status done first." Hestia replies as she puts a piece of paper onto Bells back to copy his status.
"Bell.. your status is... well, see for yourself."
Hestia got off of Bells back and allowed him to sit up before handing him a sheet of paper.
Name: Bell Cranel
Strength: I 0
Endurance: I 0
Dexterity: I 0
Agility: I 0
Magic: I 0
Magic: None (3 slots available)
Liaris Freese: Fast growth as long as feelings last. The strength of the effects correspond with the level of the user's feelings. As a side effect it makes the user immune to charms. Current motivation: Heroic Desire, Vengeance.
Were-Rabbit: Can change between human form and Were-Rabbit form at will, unless under the influence of the full moon.
Blood-lust: When in rabbit form, humanity is reduced. If angered, a berserk state may be entered.
Curse of the Were-Rabbit: The Were-Rabbit cannot be in human form during a full moon. Exposure to the moon is irrelevant.
Bell looked at the paper in his hands.
"Liaris Freese?" He asked, looking at Hestia.
She just shrugged as if she didn't know what it meant. "Don't ask me, your the one with the skill. Something drives you Bell, more so than other children. It shows as your skill."
Then she smiled at him.
"Show me show me!" she grinned.
"Show you what?" Asked our classically ignorant hero.
"Your rabbit form silly!"
Bell sighed and pouted.
"Please!" Hestia begged him. "Pretty please!"
"Goddess… Please… I…"
His voice cracked as he spoke.
She could see the look of concern on Bells face that childish smile he had when he met her just a few moments before was gone, he seemed very nervous, almost guilty about something.
Despite her excitement, she could see the whole matter very much upset the young man sitting in front of her.
"It's OK Bell, if this is really a sensitive topic I can wait until your ready."
He shook his head.
"It's not that Kamisama, I'm dangerous when I'm like that. Very dangerous… When I travelled here… I was attack by bandits… the full moon was out… I couldn't control myself…"
He looked her straight in the eye, tears forming in his, a sob caught in his throat, he was overwhelmed with guilt for what he had done.
"I killed twenty people goddess…"
Hestia gasped in shock, stepping back from the boy without meaning too.
"Please… Please don't hate me… I didn't want to kill them, I couldn't stop myself.."
She reached her arm's forwards and pulled the crying boy's head into her bosom.
"You said they were bandits Bell?"
He nodded into her breasts.
"They… were hunting me." He said between his sobs.
"Then you acted in self defence Bell, nothing to be ashamed of there. If anything, you did a good thing. Twenty less bandits out there now."
"But… I couldn't control myself goddess, I…."
"Shhhh." Hestia stroked his hair gently. "Poor child." She thought to herself. "So much pain for one so young."
"When your ready Bell, I'm happy to wait."
Shaking his head, he gave in to his goddesses demand.
"OK, but... like it says on the sheet, I have blood-lust in that form, so please be careful. I don't want to hurt you by mistake."
Hestia nodded with a serious face. "I understand Bell, Ill be careful."
Bell sighed again. Then, he closed his eyes and flipped the switch in his mind. It had taken him a while when travelling to figure it out and he couldn't even try during the first three days. But it was the same as retracting his claws. All he had to do is imagine himself in the other form and it just happened.
He felt the change and opened his eyes. He immediately adjusted his legs, which were now rather uncomfortable in the human sitting position on the sofa. So, he sat with his feet up on the sofa instead. Wearing only his trousers, he looked exactly like a sitting rabbit. Nose and whiskers twitching in the air.
Hestia squealed with joy at seeing the giant rabbit. "KAWAII!" she shouted at the top of her voice.
She moved to pet Bell on the head, but he started growling.
"Grrrrrrrr" a low growl rumbled from Bells throat and he looked at Hestia in anger.
Hestia shrank back in fear, pulling her hand away.
"Sorry goddess." Bell said in a much deeper voice. "I'm very irritable when I'm like this, please don't touch me."
"But your so adorably cute!" Hestia called out from behind the pillow she was hiding behind.
Bell flipped the switch and changed himself back.
"Cute perhaps. But very dangerous. The blood-lust of my race is very real. Please be careful around me when I'm like that Goddess. Ill try and stay in the dungeon as much as I can when it's full moon."
Bell span around in alarm. Someone was looking at him, he felt the eyes of a killer on his back, something had seen him.
Everyone of his Were-Rabbit sense's were screaming at him, someone or something was hunting him. His fight or flight reflexes were kicking in hard.
But looking around, Bell saw nothing. No one was looking at him. The street he was standing in was busy, but no one was paying him any attention at all. His heart pounded in his ears, he knew there was definitely something around here…
And as quickly as it came, the feeling of being watched stopped.
"Ummm, excuse me…"
Bell spun around with his fist's raised to defend himself, his nerves on edge after feeling the gaze with a predatory intent.
A human girl was standing in front of him. Grey hair and eyes, Bell's initial thought that she was quite pretty, even if her waitress uniform wasn't that flattering.
Something was wrong though. This girl appeared human, but Bell was sure that she wasn't. She didn't smell human… If anything, she smelt more like Hestia than anyone else he had met so far.
Lowering his fists, he tilted his head in curiosity as he observed the girl.
"Oh, I'm sorry for startling you…" The girl said as Bell stared at her.
"What…" Bell began to say, intended to ask this girl what exactly she was, but decided against it. This girl was hiding something, he wasn't sure what, but he didn't feel the divine presence he did with Hestia. Every god gave off that kind of feeling, their inherent nature as a divine being exuded out of the presence. While the girl in front of him smelt like a goddess, she didn't feel like one.
Bell was rather confused, his sense of smell was never wrong.
"Um, can I help you?" He asked after a moment.
"Yes, you dropped this." The girl was holding a magic stone.
Aiz ran. She was chasing a Minotaur that had escaped them and was now on the lower floors. Dreadfully afraid it would be her Familia's fault if any low level adventures got killed, she ran as fast as she could chasing the beast that had run away.
She could hear the Minotaur roar up ahead of her. That was bad, it meant that it was attacking someone.
"AWAKEN TEMPEST" she shouted and enveloped herself in her wind to increase her speed.
Chunks of rock flew behind her as she cracked the floor with every footstep, small whirlwinds sucked up the dust and splintered rock as they trailed behind her. Vortex's that had been created by the sheer speed of her as she ran.
She heard the roar again and began to panic. If only she could get there in time...
When she arrived, she stopped. Shocked at the image in front of her.
A giant humanoid rabbit was fighting the Minotaur. It didn't look like a dungeon monster, it certainly wasn't an Almiraj or a needle rabbit and it was also wearing armour and clothes. However, it was a giant humanoid rabbit and it was shredding apart the Minotaur with it's claws. In fact, it wasn't fighting the Minotaur at all. It was more like a cat playing with a mouse it had caught.
She stood there stunned, not quite understand what she saw exactly. Her mind struggled to process what she was seeing.
The rabbit seemed to get bored with its prey and went for the kill. It feinted around the Minotaur and leapt onto its back.
Grabbing one of it's horns to hold onto the rabbit reached its head down under the Minotaur's chin and ripped it's throat out with two massive fangs she saw in it's mouth. The rabbit howled with joy at the kill and sunk it's fangs into the jugular vein of the Minotaur.
The Minotaur just stood there, trying to scream through it's ripped out throat.
The rabbit, with blood-lust in its eyes gulped down the blood from the throat of it's victim with relish. For a second, before spitting out the blood as if it were the most disgusting thing it had ever tasted. Bell certainly regretted even trying it at that moment. Monster blood was horrible. It didn't bring the satisfaction that humanoid blood did. Bell had discovered while hunting the bandits that it didn't matter what race they were, cat people, chienthrope's, humans, prum's, all of their blood tasted the same to him and he craved it. He was very disappointed to find out that monster blood tasted just so awful. No satisfaction would be found in the dungeon.
Finally the Minotaur died and vanish in a puff of black ash.
The rabbit dropped to the floor and sat on it's.. hind legs? The knees were backwards for sure, Aiz could understand that. Sitting there it howled it's victory again, then it's eyes snapped to Aiz and it stared at her.
Aiz was frozen. Was this a monster? Was it some beast kind in a berserk rage?
She was standing there with her sword drawn, but didn't move. She just watched.
The rabbit started to growl at her.
Aiz frowned and decided to go for the kill, whatever this was, it was very dangerous and couldn't be left in a state of blood-lust like this.
As she went to strike, she heard Bete shout out.
Bete grabbed her arm to stop the blow, quickly he ran in between the two.
"AIZ. STOP!" he shouted again and turned to block her.
"Bete. What are you doing? It's a monster!"
Bete shook his head. "He's not a monster. He's like me, I can smell it."
"What?" Aiz asks, rather confused.
"Just put your sword away, he should calm down if your not a threat."
Aiz did as she was told and sheathed her sword.
Bell had been growling this whole time, but it was a low slow growl. "Keep back." It said.
Bete nudged Aiz to get her to back away and gave the rabbit some distance.
"You rational enough to talk tomato faced rabbit boy?" He shouted at Bell, once they were about twenty feet away.
Bell stopped growling and nodded.
In a blink of an eye, he shifted back into a human. His ears and fur disappeared in a puff of black smoke.
Aiz blinked. There stood a young man, about fifteen years old. He had white hair, red eyes and was dressed for the dungeon. He was just an adventurer.
"Tomato faced?" He asked, looking confused.
"Your covered in blood." Bete and Aiz spoke at the same time.
Bell looked down at himself. "Ahhh, yeah. Sorry."
Bete gave him a look up and down. "So your a were creature like I am. What are you exactly?"
Bell looked back at Bete, seeing the ears and tail as well as the scent.
"I'm a Were-rabbit." Bell replied. "I guess your a Werewolf then?"
Bete just nodded.
"What level are you kid?"
"One" Bell answers
"Hah! Nice work kid, you ain't a weakling are you?"
Aiz was shocked. She'd never heard Bete give a compliment before.
Bete slapped his knee and laughed. "Level one and took down a Minotaur! How long you been at this?"
"Two weeks." Bell answered again.
Bete laughed even harder and slapped his knee.
"Two weeks? Two weeks? Man, I almost wanna fight you, but I'm level six. It wouldn't be fair."
"What's your name kid?"
"Bell Cranel. Hestia Familia"
"I'm Bete, this is Aiz. Loki Familia" He nodded in Aiz's direction.
"What... is a were-rabbit?" Aiz asked.
"He's like me Aiz, but I can only change under the full moon. Were-rabbits could all change whenever they wanted, until they were wiped out." Bete answered for Bell.
"Wiped...out?" The ever quiet Aiz asked slowly.
Bell nodded with a grim face. "I don't know much about it, but apparently my race was hunted to extinction due to our blood-lust."
Aiz nodded, having just witnessed such blood-lust.
"Well, we gotta get back to our Familia Bell. See you around."
Bete turned his back without waving and started walking away.
Bell was a bit shocked at the sudden change, but accepted it.
"Goodbye Bete. It was nice to meet you Aiz." He smiled at Aiz.
She blushed a little, then simply said "Yes." before turning and walking away.
As they got out of Bells hearing range, Aiz asked Bete a question.
"Bete... Did you just make a friend?"
Bete just laughed.
That evening at the Hostess of Fertility, Bell was there for the first time. That morning was the day he met Syr and she manipulated him into coming.
He didn't mind though. Syr was pretty and nice to talk to, the food was good and he had earned a lot of money from killing the Minotaur that day, although he hadn't shared that story with Syr. He was however very curious about the girl. As well as fulfilling his promise from that morning, he really wanted to know what she was. He would only find that out by spending time with her. He knew he had a lot to learn in a new city like Orario and to him Syr stuck out like a sore thumb. He kept thinking that she just shouldn't be, but apart from her smell, he couldn't find anything else about her that raised suspicion. He was trying to keep a low profile as it was for now. He knew that in about a weeks time he'd be stuck in the Were-rabbit body for three days, so he was trying as much as he could to be normal for a while.
His heart had sunk a little when Loki Familia walked in. The moment he saw Aiz and Bete step through the door, he ducked down to make sure they couldn't see him.
Syr noticed this odd behaviour, but decided to leave him alone. Something seemed up, Bell didn't want Loki Familia to know he was there for some reason and she didn't want to make trouble for him.
After about half an hour, Bete had gotten rather drunk.
"Aiz!" He called out. "Tell em about the tomato rabbit we met today!"
"Tomato rabbit?" She asked, confused.
"Yeah, that guy we met today, the Were-Rabbit. Bell Cranel!"
Syr looked at Bell sharply and saw him trying to hide even more, pulling his collar up to hide his face.
Aiz just nodded. "Scary." she said.
Bete slapped his knee and laughed.
"Ah-ha-ha-ha, he growled at you!"
Finn looked up at this. Aiz found something scary?
"Tell us about this guy Bete, sounds interesting."
"Well, we met a genuine Were-rabbit today. I thought they were all extinct! Only level one! Been in the dungeon two weeks and the guy brutally murdered a Minotaur right in front of us! He ripped it to pieces! Scary thing too, he can change at will like all Were-rabbits could! He actually was a giant killer rabbit! Never seen anything like it!"
Bell risked a peek at Syr to see how she was reacting to this. She was looking at him in slight horror. He cringed down into his coat even more, utterly mortified.
Bete told the story with great enthusiasm. The Familia were shocked they have never seen him be impressed by anyone ever.
"That kids gonna go far I tell ya!"
Bete stopped to drink, but as he drew the glass up to his face he paused.
"I smell him." he muttered.
"Bell your in here! I'm sure of it!" He shouted out and started looking around.
"Shit." Bell muttered to himself. Swearing out loud for the first time in his life.
Sighing he stood up.
"Good evening Bete." He said and started walking over to the Loki Familia's table.
"Hey! Come join us!" shouted Bete, shocking the Familia once again, who all glanced at him in surprise.
"Good evening Aiz." He nodded at the girl, who nodded back.
"Good evening Loki Familia. I'm Bell Cranel, Hestia Familia."
Finn stood up and offered his hand to Bell. "Hello Bell, I'm Finn Deimne, captain of Loki Familia. I must say, you seem to have impressed Bete, which is something I've never seen before. I'm very curious to know about you."
Bell shook his hand, and gave a deep bow.
"I'm honoured to shake the hand of the captain of Loki Familia."
Finn laughed, then Bell found himself suddenly hugged from behind.
"Ahh" he jumped as Loki tried to grope his rear end.
"And that's Loki herself..." Finn said with a sigh.
"A..P p pleasure to meet you Lady Loki" Bell said totally embarrassed.
"Hmmm manners too. I like you kid, sit down with us for a bit, have a drink on me."
"Thanks.." Bell stuttered out, then took the only spare seat, between Aiz and Bete.
Bete slapped him on the back as he sat down.
"Good to see you again kid. Show em all your trick!"
"EH!" Bell gasped in shock.
"You want me to change, here? Right now?"
"Yeah, you'll be fine." Bete encouraged him.
"But... it's dangerous." Bell had a worried look on his face.
Bete face had a serious expression for a moment, he put his hand on Bells shoulder. "No kid. Your good. You know friend from foe, even under blood-lust. That's why you just growled at Aiz to warn her. If you were not in control, you would have attacked her. It's that simple. Finn and the Amazons will tell you the same."
Tiona, Tione and Finn all nod. They all have the berserk trait, they know what Bell is afraid of.
Finn spoke up. "Go ahead Bell. We'd all like to see it. And we know what going berserk is like, so we will be careful not to set you off."
Bell nodded, although he was still reluctant.
"I guess… It's not full moon right now, so I can control it… It's just… Well, I only became like this a few weeks ago. I have not had much practice. I… I'm fine… as long as I don't smell blood… But…" He trailed off for a second, not wanting to speak.
"Before I show you. If you see me like this and it's full moon, please keep away from me… the first full moon, I was travelling here to Orario… I…"
He paused again, his face wracked with guilt.
"I was attacked by bandits… they were hunting me… I couldn't control myself…"
Bete put his hand on Bell's shoulder.
"It's OK Bell."
Bell nodded, looking down at his lap. He knew it was self defence. Well, the first two kills were, but the others… He knew full well that he had hunted them at that point, that his bloodlust had overwhelmed him. He didn't have to kill those other eighteen, he wanted to and that scared him.
Syr and Ryu have both moved to get a good look at this. Everyone in the bar was quiet and watching, making Bell even more nervous.
He closed his eyes for a moment, then changed.
A collective gasp came from the room as Bell became a humanoid rabbit, ears, muzzle, whiskers, fur and everything.
Bell opened his eyes and the new perspective of the Were-rabbit kicked in. In his mind, he was surrounded by hostiles that are staring at him. Staring is a threat, it means he's being hunted.
He started growling, quite loudly while glancing around at everyone.
"Stop staring all of you and he will calm down!" Bete shouted causing Bells head to snap in his direction and growl even louder at Bete.
Bell hugged his knees and tried to keep the blood-lust under control.
Everyone looked away and he felt the pressure being taken off. He started to calm and his growl quieted down.
He tried to look at the floor, as he would as a human, but his instincts are too sharp and won't let him, he kept an eye for threats.
Aiz was fascinated by him.
Syr almost fainted at the change, so shocking it was.
"Sorry everyone." Bell said in his much deeper voice. "I'm rather... primal...when I'm like this."
He closed his eyes and changed back.
"I'm stuck like that for three days each month, so I guess it's best you all see it now."
"I suppose that's the price you pay for being able to change at will." Bete commented.
Bell just nodded. "I don't really know much about it, or my race at all. I only found out about a month ago."
They spent the rest of the evening chatting away. No one knew anything else about Bells race, so the topic of the dungeon comes up instead and stories were told.
As Bell went to leave, he went to pay his bill to Syr.
She walked over to him with a smile as he stood at the bar and waved.
"Ummm... I hope your not afraid of me Syr..." Bell asked nervously.
She gave him a smile and shook her head. "No Bell I'm not. I'm just rather surprised. Your far more interesting than I expected."
She smiled at him again.
Bell bid her goodnight and walked home. Oh well, his secrets out, but it would have been soon enough anyway.