Castlevania: Blood Strangers
By Simon Strain
He felt the cold evening wind flow through his hair. He stood atop the cliff, scanning the land outstretched before him. The forest was dense; the rushing wind almost brought the trees to life. In the distance he could see the faint lights of the town. Then, just on the horizon, he could see the dark decrepit form of the broken castle. Glanced down at the bag in his hands, he grimaced. It was now stained red; a few drops of blood had leaked through and created a dark pool on the grass. Slowly he raised his eyes and stared at the last dying rays of the sun. As the burning orb finally disappeared from sight a cold wave rushed through him.
“What a horrible night for a curse.”
And with that Simon Belmont set off.
He sped through the thick forest with almost inhuman speed and grace. Darting in and out of the trees, leaping from branch to branch. He stopped suddenly on a bough nearly 30ft from ground. He looked around him, sniffing the air like an animal. Suddenly a razor sharp spinning bone shot through the trunk of the tree. Narrowly avoiding decapitation Simon free fell through the air. He landed but instantly leapt into the air again as another bone ploughed into the ground where he had just been. As he sped upwards Simon spotted the skeletons. Three of them. He braced himself then managed to ricochet off a tree with his feet. As he hurtled towards the skeletons he reached for his whip. Like an extension of his arm the vampire killer hit it’s target shattering one of the skeletons into flaming fragments of bone. Simon landed in-between the other two monsters. A swift roundhouse kick took care of one and the vampire killer finished off the other. Simon smiled as he looked at the remains of his foes, but his smile quickly disappeared. Suddenly his vision went blurred, he lost his equilibrium and a sharp metallic taste filled his mouth. Simon fell to his knees and began coughing up blood. After a moment the seizure stopped and the sensations of dizziness went. The seizures were happening more frequently now, and were much more painful. That meant he didn’t have much time left.
As he passed silently through the town Simon could almost taste the fear of the people. Not a single house showed signs of life: No chinks of light from the shutters, no smoke from the chimneys. The large crosses fixed to each window and door said it all. The townsfolk were cowering in their homes, hiding from the night, and the creatures it brought with it. Just as hey had been since this all began. It seemed so long ago, so much had happened in the past weeks. Simon felt weary, but he took little comfort from the fact that one way or another his quest would soon be over.
He could feel the eyes of darkness upon him but there would be no more attacks tonight. The servants of the count had played their role; they would not stop him from his task. As he reached the outskirts of the town he turned and took a long look at the homes of the people: the people he risked everything for; the people that treated him like an outcast like a leper. He let slip a grim, ironic laugh.
His unhindered progress brought him to the lake quickly. As he stood on the shores of the black liquid mass, he took in the sight before him. The dark night sky burst open with a flash of light, a rolling crash echoed through the mountains. Suddenly the heavens opened and a cascade of glistening raindrops bombarded the misty surface of the lake. Breaking the peaceful veneer and creating a loud rushing sound that enveloped all. Castlevania stood, a bastion of evil, perched high above the lake on its sinister dark mount. The ruined castle was as black as the night itself. Tightening his grip on the bag and fighting off another wave of nausea Simon began to cross the ancient bridge that led to the castle. As he sprinted he could hear the lizard men swimming through the dark waters, following him. And yet no attack, he reached the collapsed entrance of the castle uneventfully. As he began climbing his way through the ruins he spotted a dark hole in the rubble. It was a stairway. He slowly edged his way down into the deepest depths of the castle. He felt his limbs become cold and leaden, his heart was pounding in his ears and his eyesight was blurring in and out of focus.
“By the blood that still flows in my veins I will defeat you count!”
He fought back the on-coming seizure and proceeded down into the bowels of the earth.
After several minutes of steep descent the stairway opened into an ancient sacrificial chamber. Strange runes of the ancient vampire tongue covered the walls. He wondered what secrets were stored in those ancient forgotten tombs of knowledge. He walked over to a large urn in the centre of the room. This is where is must be done. He emptied the sodden remains of the count into the urn. He withdrew his tinderbox; the first spark touched the rotting flesh and it instantly combusted in a bright green inferno. Simon was thrown across the room b the shock wave. Slowly from the thick smoke rising from the flames the wraith like figure of the count began to form.
“Simon, we meet again.”
Dracula's voice was still as powerful and corporeal even if his body was now ethereal.
“This will be he last time monster”
With that Simon grabbed the golden dagger from his belt and hurled I at the count. As ever his aim was dead on, it pierced the vampire's heart. But instead of screaming in pain or anger the count laughed. A blood curdling laugh that chilled every fibre of Simon’s being.
“How right you are Belmont…how right you are.”
With that the form of the count evaporated. It was over.
The golden rays of the dying sun illuminated the cliff top. Simon stood back to admire his work. It had taken him all day but he had finished. Before him stood a tombstone, the name inscribed on it: Dracula. Simon hoped that this burial would keep the count subdued for the full 100 years. Simon looked past the grave, past the village that was once again full of life, over the lake that was now a brilliant crystal blue to the ruins of the castle still as perpetually dark as ever. Suddenly the castle disappeared, his vision blurred, Simon fell to his knees. Twitches took hold of his body. He felt his heart race, then suddenly slow. He felt blood well up in his throat and run out of his nose. He had not killed the count quick enough! The curse had done its work and now he would die! As he fell face down into the dirt he desperately clawed at the grass, then the twitches stopped. The body of Simon Belmont lay still. The sun set and darkness claimed the land. The full glaring moon stood in the heavens and illuminated the scene with a sinister hue. Slowly a shadow appeared over the fallen warrior.
“I’m sorry I was unable to aid you young Belmont. Now it is too late, the curse has ran its course; you have entered torpor. It would seem our fates are to be the same. I shall see you rest in peace perchance fate has not finished with you yet”
The deep rich flowing and yet distant voice of the shadowy figure floated out through the night air, but no living thing was there to hear it.