When a man torn by conflict is thrown blind into a situation beyond his control, what is to be expected of him? No man can ever say. So if a vampire, bloodthirsty and confused, suddenly finds himself outnumbered and attacked, the worst is bound to occur, and the price will be paid in the blood of the innocent. Is that the curse of blood?
Chapter 4 : The Blood of Innocence
"For what profit is it to a man if he gains the world and looses his own soul."
Matthew : The Bible
The scent of mortals strangely stops Alucard in his tracks as he approaches the small town. It has been so long since he last visited this place and as a result is momentarily taken back. Not wanting to draw any unnecessary attention, Alucard remove his black and gray cape and folds it neatly under his arm. As he closes in on the village, the scent becomes stronger and far more noticeable. What was it he smelt? Something was different since the last time he visited a place like this. True, he was never at ease but there was something else. The smell of something....tasty.
Blood. I see. Ever since I stole Maria's life away, the craving has continued to swell up within me. I should turn back at once, else I would risk these mortals lives too.
But Alucard does not turn back. This village is strangely beckoning him and he is helpless to resist. As he sets foot on the town soil, he quickly heads for the nearest tavern. The mob of villagers that stand in the distance would be best avoided. But Alucard senses something about them, anger. It fills their bodies.
Strange? They should be celebrating now, surely. The death of my father means that they they can once again live in peace. Why do they still hold such resentment?
But what he does not know is that the resentment is channeled at an unknown person. The person who has just set foot in this usually quiet Transylvanian town. Suddenly, the storm begins once again and the rain drops start to pour down. The dampile has already reached shelter and slowly he opens the tavern door.
The smell that hits him is an unfamiliar one. Smoke and drink fill the small, musky room and a few villagers sit and talk around a large, well polished, oak table. As he enters, the villagers stop and focus their attention upon the stranger who heads for the bar, well aware of silence that just filled the room.
The barman examines the vampire from head to foot, although Alucard avoids eye contact at all times.His thin eyebrows lift slightly, signifying that he is aware of the barman's fixed expression. He taps his ghostly, pale fingers upon the shiny, marble table forcing the barman to speak first.
"A drink sir?" asks the barman in a low and foreboding tone.
"Please...." replies Alucard in an even deeper voice but still faithful to his noble upbringing.
"I see, a nobleman. It's been quite some time since we had one of those here. The last once in fact was over a hundred years ago, if you'll believe it. My grandfather said he was a strange looking man, dressed completely in black, in a rather similar fashion to what your wearing now. Funny that." Alucard grins slightly.
The villagers had barley set foot out of the town when Lorien stops dead in his tracks. The rain was now so bad that Lorien could feel his boots fill up as he stood still. His clothes were wet and soggy and the damp went right through to his skin. He shivers slightly before turning towards the people behind him, his face so serious, he could have just returned from a funeral.
"I must apologies but I have left my weapon in the tavern. A foolish thing to do, I know, but my head isn't in the right place today." He exclaims rather quickly. The villagers were surprised slightly as Lorien does not normally have to explain himself.
"So what else is new?" cries a voice from the crowd. Lorien smiles broadly as the whole mob begins to chuckle.
"I shall not be a moment." Quickly, Lorien walks back towards the tavern and strides in through the thick, wooden doors. He wipes the raindrops from his head and beard, and makes his way towards the bar. The barman stops talking to the stranger and turns towards Lorien. His yellow teeth seem to gleam in a most peculiar way as the barman smiles.
"Forgot your sword again. Getting a bit clumsy in your old age, eh?" Lorien exchanges glances with the stranger at his side and turns back to the barman who passes over an overlong weapon. It's obviously old but still shines like it was made yesterday. It's golden handle is covered in ancient gems and diamonds which gleam with untold power.
"I've got time for just one more." sighs Lorien. The barman pours him a drink from a blue vase shaped bottle and then turns back to Alucard.
"Are you going to have another?" he asks, shaking the bottle in his hand.
"No, thank you. I'd best be on my way." The barman looks at Alucard in curious way, as if expecting something. Quickly Alucard apologizes and tosses a single gold coin upon the table. Both Lorien and the barman are taken back by the wealth that the stranger obviously possesses.
"I'm sorry, is there something the matter?" The barman looks at Lorien and smiles.
"No sir. Nothing at all." Alucard is then aware that the man by his side is staring at him. Analyzing him. Did this man suspect that Alucard was indeed a vampire? Quickly the vampire turns to face him, trying to throw the man off balance.
"Permit me to introduce myself. I am.....Adrian."
It has been a long time since I used that name.
"I am Lorien. You might have heard of me."
"Sorry no. I am not from.......around here." Lorien nods.
"I see. Would you excuse me?" Lorien stands up from his seat. He picks up his weapon and turn back to Adrian.
"Of course." replies the vampire, aware that something is amiss with the man who hurries towards the door.
Lorien quickly heads out into the rain as Alucard finishes his drink. The muddy, wet path dirties his black boots as he walks, splashing against the tavern wall and taking away the shine from his shoes.He speeds up his pace as he tries to gather his twisting thoughts.
That man strangely fits the description Stanley gave me. Perhaps he is the one we are looking for. T'would be best I seek others to my aid.
"Stanley, come here." insist Lorien from afar. "I think you should come see this."
Alucard sits up and thanks the barman for his drink. He brushes back his silver hair and heads towards the door. Gracefully, he throws his cape back on to his shoulders and ties it down with golden shackles ages old.
That man suspected something. Perhaps I should get some rest and stay out of the way of any villagers until dawn.
As the vampire exits though the door, he is greeted by the mob of villagers he tried so hard to avoid before. Lorien stands in front of them. His arms folded tightly with his weapon clutched in his right hand, free of it's scabbard. The tip imbedded in the muddy floor.
"Yes, that's him." shouts a man in the back. He was about twenty with a high pitched voice. His long blonde hair was in a mess but not due to the rain that poured down from the sky. He was not a man that cared about his physical appearance.
"Are you sure, Stanley?" replied Lorien. He obviously believed him from the tone he let come from his mouth. The two share a brief look as the man referred to as Stanley nods once.
"Is something amiss?" asked Alucard in a friendly tone. "If not, may I pass?"
"I'm afraid you match the description of a man seen opposite Castlevania last night."
"Castlevania? What is that?" he responds. His tone revealing nothing but instead creating more distrust in the villagers fixed and evil expressions.
"Not important. Did you see anyone last night, sir? A man perhaps, dressed in blue. Long brown hair and carrying a silver whip. Or a young woman, Maria. Blonde hair, very attractive."
Maria and Richter. Dear lord, they know what I have done.
Alucard fails to hide his guilty expression and the villagers quickly become suspicious. Slowly they begin to close in on him. Spiteful expressions and harsh insults pour from the crowd and the vampire tries to fall back. But the drinkers in the tavern are aware of the commotion and have already surrounded him, sharp knifes and short swords pointing towards his head.
I must use my vampire powers to escape, else more lives will be lost.
Alucard begins to shake as he tightly hold on to his sword on his belt. The villagers watch curiously as the man in front of them begins to change form. His hands become transparent and his whole body seems to fall apart for a moment. His body becomes one with the foggy ground and the villagers stand back in surprise. Strangely however, he then reverts back to his normal form.
What? Why can I not use my powers? What is happening to me?
"Vampire!!" shouts a voice from the crowd as the villagers run forward to attack. They hurl their weapons and forward which strike Alucard in the arm and shoulder. Blood pours from the wounds and Alucard falls to the ground. He groans in pain as he tires to pull his sword free but fails to do so as his body sinks into the muddy floor. A single drop of blood then falls from his forehead and curiously lands upon his lip. He tastes it's sweet flavor and once again vampire fangs emerge from his mouth. He tries to hold it back but the control he once possessed has vanished and now all that remains is the hollow shell of evil. His eyes turn a dark red as he slowly gets back to feet. The deep wounds upon his arm and shoulder heal before his eyes and he grins evilly towards the townsfolk. The confused villagers turn to run but it is to late, Alucard has already decided their fate. The vampire rushes forward, striking them with his diamond sharp fingernail, tearing at their throats. Blood shoots from all directions but still the monster does not stop. The now defenseless villagers try to attack with their bare hands but the useless gestures are met with death. He rips their heads from their necks and drinks from their exposed veins. One by one the villagers fall, and a stream of fresh blood pours through the mud and filth upon the floor. Only a single villager remains, his curved sword ready at his side.
Lorien was a hunter. Not of vampires but of werewolves. He had always wondered how he would fare against an immortal, and this was his chance to find out. He would now face the most dangerous vampire on the planet.
Quickly he rushes forward and strikes at him with his sword but Alucard jumps to the side. Again he attacks but at lightning speed Alucard pulls his sword free from it's scabbard and blocks the attack. Sparks of blue and white fly forth as the weapons collide and Alucard falls backwards for the moment. Lorien attack again, his powerful blade cuts at the Dampile who grabs the weapon with the palms of his hands. Lorien's face turns pale with horror at the vampire's horrific strength as Alucard pushes his weapon to the side. In the blink of an eye, Lorien pulls forth a dagger from his belt and readies to thrust it forward. Alucard see's the dagger at the last moment as it darts forward. His face turns to horror as he is unable to defend himself.
Suddenly a silver knife shoots through the air. It becomes imbedded in Lorien's throat and he falls to his knees, clutching at the very thing that allows him to breath. With a mighty yank, Lorien tugs at the dagger which comes free from his neck. Blood splatters across his face and the hunters life flashes before his eyes as his face turns to horror. He then senses the spirit of death float above his dying body.
Alucard then turns to see Maria stand several feet away. Her clothes are burned to a singe but her body is without a single scar. Her face is now paler than ever before and her eyes seem to gleam at the site of blood. She too, like Alucard, is a member of the undead. Maria throws herself around the vampire and gently she kisses him upon the cheek.
"Well done, Adrian my love. Let us feast upon the blood of the mortals." she whispers into his ear.. Her hunger waiting to be filled by the river of blood that flows before her. Alucard wants to agree. His head is saying 'yes, do it' but there is something within his soul that hold him back.
"What did you say?"
"Let us feats upon..."
"No, before that." he questions.
"Well done, Alucard my love."
"You lie! You called me Adrian. How do you know my name? Never did I tell you my real name." She stares at him in confusion, as if she was trying to think of a sensible answer, like a child who has just learned how to lie, and Alucard stares deeply into her dark and empty eyes. The woman he loved was gone, and now there is only an empty hole where her soul should be. Nevertheless, there is something in Alucard's soul that makes him question Maria. A small, almost untouchable thing that will not allow him to continue with this madness. Something good.
Do not hate humans. If you can not live with them, then at least do them no harm. For theirs is already a hard lot.
Alucard nods in agreement to himself.
Yes mother. You are right.
He looks down upon the corpse of Lorien, where blood pours out consistently but Alucard smiles. Slowly he raises his head towards the heavens and cries out with all his might
"I understand. Finally I understand!!!"
To be Concluded......
Yes that's right. The final part. What is wrong with Alucard? What will become of him? What does that ordeal with Maria mean?
"Time vill tell. Sooner or later, time vill tell."
Red Alert. C&C