The view of the setting sun burned the seemingly endless horizon with a hue reminiscent of the leaves that falls into the autumn breeze. Black spots of an incoming night sky foreshadow ones senses of something that would never truly come. The call of cicadas' echoes into the boundless hall of a dusk lit grassland, making said plains even more glummer.
"Pant* pant*.. So this is the place huh? It really is as depressing as they say." A voice, barely a mutter flowed through the pre-evening air as the surroundings continues to be hallowed by the natures cries.
"What is it about this place that made the bastard thought that it was a good idea to hide here in the first place?" A couple of dry coughs followed these words after it was said.
Following this unanswered question from a distinctly male voice. A pair of tired cobalt brown eyes fixed its gaze into the grassland which seems to expand to infinity. Jet-black hair slightly fills his vision as a stray bang of hair stations itself between his eyes.
Cracks of broken leaves followed a trail of prints as a pair of booted feet treks into the orange lighted grassland.
"At this rate, that God damn psycho could just lay down anywhere here, and no one would see a skin. With all this tall grasses and what not."
Minutes of walking turned into an hour before the faint sounds of steel and dirt was heard. Clearly the first signs of life in these desolated Grasslands. "Guess I'll try asking the locals here— if anyone is coherent enough to talk that is." a wry grin crosses his features as soon as the words left his lips. His feet coming to a sudden halt. Examining the old wooden fence in front of his exhausted sight.
[Willowshire – the orchard of the lost]
Steel hitting soils. Shrubbery tunes of freshly culled crops dropping into dirt. Grunts of strains coming from the individuals managing a vast expanse of farmlands are the first things that invaded his hearing once he took in the scenery that one would most certainly see on an old western farm. Thick ten meter bails of straws seems to serve as a makeshift wall that divides the earlier grassland from this humongous farm. All of this, together with the still overpowering sounds of cicadas would've painted the view in front of this person as nothing but the beautiful countryside life. His only problem was..
"This place stinks, no wonder nobody wanted to come here."
The smells of decay... the scent of rotten flesh that hit his being once he stepped foot into this melancholic place. "Ahem, excuse me! May I have you rotten lots attention, PLEASE?"
"I guess not huh?" the sounds of groaning continued as dozens of silhouettes started to appear in every direction. Caved in heads, empty eye sockets, missing limbs, holes punctured on different parts of their clearly decaying bodies. Bodies, that were covered in grime, dust and most importantly... Blood.
It was clear that their bodies were in a state which no living person could have and still live to move about. a man with a scythe for a hand, a little girl no older than six, a tall woman wearing an office suit, a teenage girl missing both of her eyeballs with a weird hair color which seemed to imitate the color of the dusk sky.
"You dead weights can call me Uru. a private investigator of sorts." a clicking sound came, as he raise his right hand from inside his tattered orange coat, a long black barrel of steel now being pointed at the nearest decaying head at his right side.
"Well then, let's play the usual gig. where I—"
"Sorry about that bro, learn about personal space next time. now, where were we? Oh, right"—another flick of the trigger, while cranning his neck to the left had the head of a clearly female body popping like a balloon—
"the usual gig. Where I bust as many heads as I can until someone talks."
The silence that ensues after his actions was clearly something unexpected, if the raising of his left eyebrow was any indication.
"Oi, at least do something other than groaning. You lot are making me feel like an idiot here..."
As if on cue, the crowd of bodies suddenly started dispersing into different directions. A couple of them stopping a few meters to his right looking like they were contemplating about something. Looking at the spot where they stopped. He saw some dug up soil and fertilizers, with a few tools lying abandoned.
"O-Oi, don't tell me—"
Nothing could have ever prepared him to the comical sight that he was seeing with his own two eyes right now. Even with his years of experience in his current line of work.
"T-They're farming... farming zombies? are you fucking serious here?" He muttered in a resigned dry tone. Sure he'd seen a bunch of brutal, disgusting and downright depraved stuffs in his life. However, there are just some things in life that would never fail to surprise ones mind even if one has a life times' worth of experience with the weird.
"Shouldn't they be afraid of plants now that they're zombies? guess it's never too late to touch some grass then" a huge sigh left his mouth after muttering those nonsense. Using his free left hand to scratch his head.
"What the hell am I even saying right now?
Anyway, what I have to do is still the same. normal undead, vegetarian undead. It doesn't change anything. It's not like that stupid Zodiac Killer would turn himself in."
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Multiple resounding impacts flowed through the surrounding area following Ururas' words. As limbs, rotten organs, and grey matter splatter around the farm grounds.
"Well... I hate to interrupt you guys while you're working diligently. But even I have a some work to do too. things to investigate, people to find—"
"—A serial killer to f*cking murder."
What followed next was a rinse and repeat cycle of shoot first, ask questions later routine. It would continue on like this for a couple of hours more as the fields of wheat and crops were wafted with the strong scent of gunpowder and ash.
(a couple of hours later.)
"Ughh... that took a lot of work. and I still haven't made any progress whatsoever so far."
"Another one huh? guess I'll try again one last time before looking for a place to rest" a sigh escapes Ururas' mouth as he went closer to the said figure tending the farmland. cocking his semi-automatic shotgun in preparation.
"Oi, your that weird haired zombie earlier. you sure went out of your way just to farm here huh?"
The familiar head of a girl which seemed to imitate the dusk sky greeted his person with its back turned into his direction.
"Hey there, such a nice day isn't it?" he moves in and place his left hand to its shoulder to get it to turn around; his right hand aimed at its head.
"I'd hate to interrupt you miss, but I have some questions for yo—"
Hey Uru... Can I ask you something?
I want you to please be more careful
I don't have much time left.
Can you please promise me?
THAT YOU'LL FIND MY CHILD?
"Y-YOU! you're her..." a stricken expression marred his visage before switching to a tired one. A huge sigh of resignation going out of his mouth before taking the girls' hand into his own.
"Why are you here, so far away from home anyway? Of all places that I could find you..." he whispered. Returning the gun inside its holster under his coat.
He took something else out instead and a metallic clang signaled something being placed in his left wrist, which was still holding the girls own.
"Well, now that I've found you. you won't be leaving my sight any time soon" glinting within the dusk light is a single pair of handcuffs connecting his left wrist to the other figures own right. The obviously dead girls eyes now looking curiously at the offending metal trinket.
"Weren't you missing them earlier?" was the first thought that left his lips as he finally noticed the reason as to why he wasn't able to recognize her figure earlier.
"Anyway, I should find a place to rest soon so it seems like you'll be coming with me—"
THUNK!! …THUNK!! …THUNK!!
A deafening resounding gong followed by the loud sound of an old wood creaking from strain bellowed throughout the area.
"W-What is it this time?" a deep sense of foreboding washed into Urura, as the figure in front of him stiffened once the sound came.
A quiet strained sound came out of the girl as she suddenly started trashing around as if wanting to do something than to remain standing in place.
"Oi! what's the big deal?! what's happening right now?!" unfortunately, she doesn't seem to care nor want to listen to his questions as she started to sprint into action with a surprisingly huge amount of strength, getting Urura dragged on by her wrist.
A huge shadow was abruptly casted upon the farmlands when the faint sound of rumbling echoed out. Causing him to look up and see for himself what is currently happening within the place.
What his eyes saw, cause him to almost freeze in place. A faint outline swiftly became visible throughout the horizon as a colossal figure started making its appearance. The creaking sounds begun to get loader with each passing moment.
The silhouette of a tower stretching into the burning skies came into view blanketing the entire land with its shadow. What managed to get his interest was where the creaking sound seemed to come from. Titanic fan-like structure that spans into the sky protrudes out in from of the tower spinning slowly with strain. As an image slightly similar to it came into the forefront of his head.
"A Windmill house?"
Any thoughts of inspecting it flew out of Urura as what happens in the next instant causes him to try and keep up with the offender a certain zombie girl cuffed-in-his-arms, as she suddenly bolted running.
The slight movement caught in his peripheral made him look back where the rumbling sound still pervades. As hundreds no— thousands of undead running into their direction was what greeted him.
Running faster than he had ever done in his life. Soon, after some minutes of trekking down the farmlands he, and the undead girl reached a hilly landscape where their next obstacle presented itself.
Various sized fissures of earth unfortunately begun appearing one after another. Cracks and dirt grime bursting out everywhere, causing both of them to stumble or nearly fell through from time to time with some hoards of undead falling into the fissures.
A different kind of creaking noise reverberated followed by a baleful clicking sound similar to that of a clock came while the scent of dew slowly pervades around them.
"W-What?" was the only word which its way out at the abrupt change in the surrounds.
The almost fire painted pasture of dusk was replaced by the Darkest shade of blue which gets lighter from afar. The pre-nightfall humidity of warm sunset was replaced by a chilly moisture air. Cold breeze suddenly engulfing the just a moment ago windless hill.
"D-Damn! pant* this doesn't look good" but the most worrying matter was the thick, dense fog that was beginning to invade around. He has no idea what lurks inside those fogs and he most definitely doesn't want to know.
Slowly a door that one of those bunkers have caught his eyes as the girl who was running non-stop went straight towards its direction.
Loud croaks that seemed to come from nowhere came. It was comparable to the sound of when someone tried to speak with a raspy dried throat. Then—
In reflex, he shot something that caught his peripherals, which was likened to be an eye of some sorts. Thick, long roots of pale white and deep black sprouted from the ground without any warning. Spearing and eviscerating various limbs. Large chunks of earth falling apart as something seemed to rise out from within the hill.
Dodging some of the pitch-black roots. Something about its structure caught his interest. Said pitch black roots seems to give a small bit of shine.
"It's made of... hair?"
Their steps suddenly halted as a metallic groan made him shift eyes to his front. The bunker door clanked open as the girl cuffed with him threw herself inside the dark space. Causing himself to stumble in, as the door closes on his back.
From the little space visible through the door. Urura strained his eyes as fog blankets the hill in its entirety.Whatever he managed to get a glimpse off froze him in place.
Standing through its four limbs was an aberation of the famous slenderman and a certain woman who crawls her way out from a deepwell. Its eyes seemed to stare into his soul as he abruptly moved out of the door.
Panting from exhaustion. He glanced at his side to the zombie girl who seemed to be sleeping. Collecting his thoughts. All he was able to gather was one thing. This job won't be a walk in a park.
"Enforcer second class codename: URU. marking the end of my first day in this place called Willowshire.
Two days after the mission debrief to exterminate the knowned serial killer.
The 'ZODIAC KILLER'.
Mission coordinates: Fields of remorse.
the southern most quadrant of Hell.