This Old Man

by Karashi

Disclaimers: All the characters in this fic is copyright of Karashi, if there are any similarities between my characters and actual characters, it is purely coincidental. The game Ragnarok Online and anything related to it belongs to the Creators of Ragnarok.

Chapter One

In the midst of a decaying forest, a creature struggled to survive in the dead of night. Unmindful of the briar patches that clawed at its skin, heedless of the pain in its bloody feet, it ran as if possessed. Adrenaline surged in every vein and only one thing was on its mind… escape.
Yes, it had to escape them. Them, the group that chased it, those who hungered for the taste of virginal flesh. It sped through the dark woods, unconcerned of the wild beasts that roamed the forest. Right then, the idea of being torn apart by a monster was much more appealing.
The creature was gradually tiring, its vision grew hazy, its lungs burned like wild fire, and to its horror, it was slowing down. A gauntleted hand grabbed it by the shoulder and yanked it to the ground. The wind was knocked out of it, rendering the creature momentarily stunned. It blinked away the spots in its eyes and saw five figures overhead.
Calloused hands gripped the creature's luxurious mane, as their hot breath scalded its smooth, pale skin. They grunted to each other in tones that sent waves of dread down its spine. Its whimper for mercy was muffled by the shriek of ripping fabric.
Harsh, maniacal laughter rang throughout the dark, rotting woods. They found delight in its suffering, and they sought to extract as much pain as possible. Sharp, deadly blades glistened in the moonlight and reflected the malice and lust in their eyes. Without warning, the faceless shadows descended.
And the creature screamed.

The five got to their feet as they sheathed their swords and buckled their belts. None gave the pitiful thing that lay discarded on the blood-drenched earth a second glance. All that mattered was their hunt-turned-tryst had been a most enjoyable one. They were laughing triumphantly, taking only a few steps away from the dying creature.
"Lively one we had tonight, eh?" the scrawny one sniggered to his companions.
"Aye, that be a mighty fine prey." The arrogant one nodded.
"We should have paced ourselves, you know? Saved some for tomorrow." The burly one rubbed his chin.
"Does it really matter? We can find some fiesty harlot back in Geffen." The lithe one licked his lips in anticipation.
"Still not satisfied?" the bawdy one snickered.
"It's not that I just…" he trailed off.
"What is it?" the scrawny man asked.
"Can you not hear it?"
"Hear what?"
"Typical, a man who's as deaf as he is brawny." The arrogant man rolled his eyes. "Hooves, you dolt."
"So a knight decides to travel by moonlight on his Peco-Peco, I've heard of stranger tales."
"It's not a Peco-Peco." The lithe one hissed. "It's a Nightmare."
"Are you serious?!"
Before anyone could reply, a large shadow loomed before them. Their jaws dropped open in shock, for the demonic horse was drawing a coach. The driver wore a cowled robe, covering his face. But the clothing could not hide the glistening slivers imbedded in his arms and legs. Wordlessly, the driver released the reigns binding the Nightmare to the coach. And with a flurry of hellfire, the Nightmare attacked the five men.
The burly one barely had enough time to draw his sword as the demonic horse bit down into his jugular. Razor teeth ripped away flesh, and a fountain of blood spewed from the man's throat. The other four stood in horror as the Nightmare took a mouthful of their companion's crotch.
A terrified scream caused the fiery monster to look up as the arrogant one sliced down. The steel harmlessly passed through the Nightmare, apparently he forgot this monster could only be harmed by the elements. He paid for his mistake by having his skull crushed beneath the demonic horse's hooves.
The lithe one tried to run, but the driver dismounted from his seat and drove his slivers into the man's face. Unintelligible words flowed from the man's mouth, and in annoyance, he dragged the shards downards until he reached the stomach. The hooded figure twisted his arms and yanked his limbs away, tearing up his victim's internal organs in the process.
Foolishly, the remaining two tried to attack the driver. Their swords were prepared to slice away, but the Nightmare tackled them. With unimaginable strength, the demonic horse pinned them to the ground with its hooves. It brought its fiery eyes close to their faces, the sulfuric gas that filtered from its mouth suffocating them. Before either man could fall unconscious from the stench, they had their faces torn off and their sternums splintered.
The demonic steed gave a triumphant neigh before it began to greedily devour the men. The driver cleaned himself off with the lithe one's garments before he approached the eating animal. Gentle pats and praises were enough to calm the beast, but then its nostrils flared once more. The Nightmare smelled something else and it tugged at the driver until it spied the dying creature.
"What is going on Schyll?" a voice from the coach demanded, "Are you losing control of Cupcake?"
"No master, but she seems to have found another body." The driver answered. "Shall I feed it to her?"
"You know as well as I that my sweet darling refuses to eat anything that she didn't kill."
"What are we to do with it then, master?"
"Bring it to me and I'll decide what to do."
Schyll picked up the broken creature, his slivers dug into its flesh, and its body stiffened in pain. Cupcake trotted behind him amiably, nibbling on the dying thing's fingers, not quite caring that her saliva could burn flesh.
The master took one look at what the driver held in his arms, "We bring it with us back home. I believe it can be of some use to me."
"As you wish."

This old man, he played one
He played Knick-Knack on my thumb