You killed me, Slayer.

Despite all prophecy, despite all lore and ritual that demanded that your blood be spilt on the night of my rising, you still triumphed. You bested me in single combat, destroyed me so that all that would be left were my bones. I lived a life so long it would boggle your mind to think of it, Slayer, the Master of all creatures of the night. I drank of the heart's blood of countless Slayers, yours included. And yet, in a space of five minutes, my long-desired freedom lasting barely twice that, you killed me.

You have my regards and my blessings.

I lied not, Slayer, at that time in the graveyard when the realization of your nightmares set me free, when I told you that you were prettier than the Slayer I met last. You were. You were, in many ways, also the finest. Many of my kind desire the blood of Slayers, claiming it a noble prize of combat, a symbol of strength and authority. Myself? After so many, it becomes simply a chore. A mere annoyance, a challenge unworthy of my skills. The Watchers Council have sealed their power and authority with their charges well - but to their own disadvantage. The Slayers I fought were little more than puppets of their Watchers, easily broken and destroyed, crushed like balsa wood in my hands. And the Blood of Slayers, that most sweetest of wines, became so much as vinegar - I tasted it too often, it became bland and unappetizing.

That was, until I found myself sealed into the Hellmouth.

Until I met you.

At first, I saw you as merely another annoyance, a mere fly buzzing around my head, and that one good swat would deal with you in due course. But then, something surprising happened.

You stayed alive.

You resisted my challenges, battled my minions, survived every battle and encounter that should have seen you dead and to dust like so many of the Slayers before you. I hired assassins to kill you - you eluded them. I sent servants to crush you. You destroyed them. Perhaps too long had passed since I had tasted a Slayer. Perhaps you had a power the others before you had not. Perhaps your relative independence from that beloved Council of yours, the friendships and loves you held so dear, some how protected you. I know not. I merely know that the desire for your blood, the urge for your death, became so powerful that it was soon to consume my being. You became that most rare of creatures - a Slayer deserving of the title my 'Nemesis'.

Ah! How I rejoiced when I found the prophecy declaring your death! How I waited in hungry anticipation for the Anointed One to lead you into my parlour (as the spider did the fly). How I delighted in battling you, wearing you down until you were in my power, in my possession. My puppet.

How sweet your blood tasted. Like the finest wine.

I should have known, then, that an adversary such as you would not have rested in solitude, that you would return once more to challenge me. How my most deserving opponent would be my last. I tell you Slayer, the frustration I suffered when you ended my life on that wooden spike...

Perhaps I should be furious, then, as I write this, to know that I have failed, that the creature once known as the Master will spend eternity trapped within a world filled with lower minions. Part of me is. But I have the satisfaction of knowing that my life was ended at the hands of one who deserved to end it. And that is why you will receive this note, the final remnants of my being that will survive now that my skeleton has been ground to dust.

Farewell then, Slayer. You truly were a most worthy adversary. Until we meet again.

And we will.


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