You know, I have a funny story. One of hundreds or, maybe, thousands. Therefore, I do not want to tell it — you have already known always! You know what’s going on here! And no more pretending, that we are not monsters.
I am as much a monster hunter as the others here; as а living person. I am only a part of the swamps… viscous, where darkness also hides.
However, you also know that. You know that I killed monsters without mercy and absorbed the ashes; you know the dark power of fire and the cold-enveloping fear. The knife is the only weapon against all of them… almost. I deliberately leave under this message a piece of dried scorched, crimson flesh. Immolate, burning bones — this is your clue. I had to find three of them to realize where my target is. From here I can hear his terrible laughter… and the whistle of bone blades that pierce into the dead bodies of my opponents — the same hunters; the same people.
Maybe the Assassin was human too. But now he… he… however, you have already known that. It hurts me even to think about it. I saw the rotting, already dead flesh crumbling. Men, women with open chests, who screeched loudly, prolongedly, which would have shocked the imagination of any surgeon, wild, mad animals and something, that is scary to remember about. They are no longer human… that is why my hands are in their blood. So why don’t I go to the Assassin, who kills the living with wild, inhuman laughter? Why, if he is also something else; something dead?
The fact is that the way was blocked by… a living man. A monster hunter as me. The main thing for all of us here: is not to become monsters…
If you are reading this, you know what this place is: a breach in the wall of an old chapel. I turn around on its charred black walls that were once white; on a long rotted cross, flaunting on the tower… Hello, God. Greet the damned. But the answer is silence.
God won’t come! And you are damned, no one will save you: not a prayer, not a murder! Those who lived here before you, were prayed… now they are damned too. Just look. Watch around if you’re here… is it Hell? What seemed to someone like Heaven. The demon has distorted this place. It was so religious… but even God turned his back on humanity. There is no salvation! But you know about this: I am not the first or the last who will say these words.
There was a crunching sound somewhere behind. He distracted my attention… but there is nothing. Nothing alive.
All these monsters are empty shells with something terrible… something dead inside their souls. I don’t know how to call it. Darkness perhaps, demon? As you say. At the end of my life, I am turning back to the chapel, and understanding: Believing in any nonsense – that’s not for me, even though I have seen a lot. Some shout that the creatures that came to the swamps are a heavenly punishment, others — that it is an illness… but I don’t know. And I don’t care. Damnation is also only words. I just came here myself… for money? Maybe.
Malmgren, the bastard who accused me in gun smuggling, if you suddenly read this… go to fuck! Although, since you are here, then… [scratched text breaks off]
The deads are not sickness, and they are not from God. But what’s the difference? After all, now my road is barred by the living…
There he is, sneaking through the swamp in a wet white shirt, mud is on his shoulders and some leaves. This is the same hunter… I see how he slowly gets out of the water and, pushing the tall blades of grass with his hands, plunges into the thickets of dark green reeds. Or it has different name? That doesn’t matter…
This is also a living person. In general, what is a person? Is this the first thing you don’t know?
Someone’s creation, which, in spite of everything, received a mind and, perhaps, a soul. For all animals, people are superior, because they have technology, art, faith. Instincts no longer hold us. We fight for each other, love and feel, unlike animals, consciously. Someone will say that we are the highest creatures. Is it so? I do not know. For me that’s meaningless to exalt ourselves.
But what happens if you destroy a person? A terrible creature laughing far away has already shown us everything. The Assassin has ceased to be a human, he became a possessed monster, whose goal is to kill; he became evil. That is, destroying the monsters that roamed here, I fought with those, who deserved… their transformation. I am sure the reward will be worthy. Although, do I need money?
You know, yes, I’m right. Now thoughts take on a sober character. Here, a few minutes ago there were sins, curse and God, faith, darkness. Now there is nothing.
I was afraid of death, murder, a lot of things, in general… but that’s the end. The coldness of fear receded, the fire of feelings too. Only ash remains; just an empty shell; only I am — a hunter, who has forgotten about his reward. They say that if you peer into the darkness for a long time, the darkness will begin to peer into you. You know these words too, right?
I see a man’s black hat… I do not know his name, who he is… from afar there are terrible screams, laughter and firing.
After all, this wall is already covered with writing… but the answer to my message is also silence. There is no salvation! Everyone, who enters here, should remember this. You know for sure, I’m sure… you are human. But now the battle is underway. Living, dead, what’s the real difference? Berries from bush… all cruel hunters ready to tear each other to pieces. That’s the whole point of what’s going on here, you know, right? Those who call themselves damned will soon fall. But not to Hell, no… they will become food for worms and larvae. Dead, alive… I decided everything for myself. Over there, in the bushes, you can see the hat of a hunter as me.
But I’m the only honest person. And I don’t need any money, no reward, no salvation.
Now the gun continues my hand. This is the first time I’ve written about this… oh, yes. The hunter’s black hat still flickers through the bushes.
I fire a shot… there is a loud scream. He breaks off, replaced by a dull groan.
I have murdered an alive hunter…