Before posting the next installment, I’d just like to thank those of you who liked the last chapter. Really, it shows me that I have some grasp on what I gave advice on. Lastly, a request? If you find errors or have feedback, please let me know?
Chapter III: Beginning of a Bond
Author’s Note: All characters herein are property of me. Copying or using them without my consent is not aloud.
Rated Mature: For violence/gore, language, and adult themes. So if you object, turn away now!
Now that Elisa’s safety wasn’t weighing heavily on his mind, Dante’s focus could shift to coming battles with the bengel vampire and her thrall. Wheeling through village to village, the Izurian let thoughts on how to combat the cat girl fill his head, until he found himself on a cliff, overlooking a canyon. Taking the Kahimoto sword’s scabbard off his back and placing it on his lap, Dante started to release all thought and his mind went blank.
While in this trace, the warrior began to explore ways to fight the vampire girl, but he knew his training wasn’t meant to be used for slaying vampires. So he would need to rely on what he heard from the local population on the subject. From what he heard, vampires could be killed by sunlight, a stake through the heart or decapitation, but something about her made him not want to kill her, but Dante couldn’t figure out why he felt that way.
In another part of Daltauria, Blackrose and her slave made their way to a cave for the daytime, but she felt another presence with her. As soon as the vampire girl began walking deeper into the cave, a distastefully familiar scent started filling the cat’s nose and she began growling. To Blackrose, this scent sent a chill up her spine, though the cat girl would never admit it to anyone. “I know you’re here, Alcuard!” she screamed into the blackness while summoning a dark energy spire in her hand.
It took a few seconds, but a voice bounced from wall to wall saying that it was nice to see her. The voice wasn’t a welcomed sound to her ears and the undead cat started grinding her fangs in disgust. By the look on her face, Blackrose knew the voice was her Sire, though calling him that left a foul taste in her mouth. When the form of a man appeared, the vampire girl took a defensive stance, because she knew Alcuard’s mood couldn’t be predicted.
Though he could tell she wasn’t thrilled about seeing him, her Sire always used that as some sort of power over her. A smile began growing on his face while he told her he watched her battle with that human in the chair and he wasn’t happy when she didn’t kill her prey, like he taught her too. What Alcuard said started making the vampire cat sick to her stomach, because Blackrose knew she set out to kill him, but couldn’t do it for some reason.
Knowing he wasn’t there just so he could point the obvious out to her, the vampire girl growled while asking, “Why was he really there?” She always knew he had an ulterior motive behind every visit he cursed her with, and this, in her mind, didn’t seem different. He began to smile and his smile told her that he wanted her to be a good daughter, but she always wanted nothing to do with him.
For a split second, Blackrose started to think she could kill her Sire, but retracted the thought, due to Alcuard telling her that killing a Sire kills the offspring. Though half of the filth he told her had to be truths only to suit his needs at the time, the cat didn’t want to test her theory, so Blackrose dissolved the spire she hid behind her back and moved away. As soon as she backed away, Alcuard’s grin seemed to get colder while he told her that she best kill the man next time, or suffer his wrath.
Hearing him give her orders like that drove the cat girl mad with anger, because she knew her mission and didn’t need him reminding her. When her Sire started fading from the cave, Blackrose grit her fangs and threw a black energy spire at his disappearing head, but she knew it wouldn’t hit the target. “Disgusting troll!” went bouncing around the undead cat’s head as she waved her hand and a wooden coffin appeared. Once in, the top of the vampire girl’s resting place shut, leaving her in total blackness.
While she tried to sleep, Blackrose began to be haunted with images that seemed to flash in front of her eyes. Everything that flooded before her eyes seemed to be from her past, before Alcuard put the curse of being one of the undead upon her. As Blackrose watched what Alcuard put her through, more anger started building with in her, driving her to blow the top off of the coffin. Before getting up, a bestial roar came from the cat girl and she quickly shot up from her uneasy rest.
By the look of hatred burning in her eyes, the gods couldn’t stop Blackrose if they got in her way. As soon as she got out of her coffin, plans began stirring and she knew she would kill the mortal, saving her Sire for last. Raising her hand, she summoned her sword to her right hip and with her slave by her side, Blackrose disappeared in shadows. While jumping from shadow to shadow, the vampire girl began wondering where her human prey would be found, but she couldn’t keep from asking herself, “Why did I stop myself earlier?”
Of course that wouldn’t plague her this time, for Blackrose wouldn’t allow it. With her thrall in tow, the vampire continued searching for Dante and found him sitting in his chair, on a cliff. A grin began growing on the cat’s face as she started descending on her seemingly unsuspecting prey. While carefully unsheathing her blade, not to make her presence known to Dante, Blackrose slashed at the man’s head. It came as a shock to Blackrose when Dante spun his chair around, crossing his sword with hers.
Seeing what this man did made questions fill her head, but, “How did he know I was approaching?” stood out in her mind. Truly, this warrior had to have some gift that she didn’t, the cat girl admitted to herself. Jumping away to reset her stance, Blackrose chose to not have her thrall get involved and wanted to face him one on one. Not taking his eye off the vampire girl, Dante told her he didn’t want to fight her, but he wasn’t about to let her kill him either.
While she heard her target say that, Blackrose’s ears began twitching and when her grin appeared, it seemed to be frigid. Now the cat girl’s options became limitless and ways to kill her prey seemed to stampede into her head like wild horses. Oh sure, Blackrose didn’t hold back before and now she could use her full power, if she wanted. Circling Dante with a smug look on her face, the vampire couldn’t hold her excitement in as she let thoughts ooze from her face.
Dante kept eye contact with the cat girl, trying to guess when and how she would strike. These long pauses before the first move had always bothered him due to having to put chance into the equation, but his training taught him that opening strikes could tell the outcome of battle. Turning his wheelchair with one hand while holding the Kahimoto sword in the other, the Izurian saw the vampire getting set to come at him and he started to twirl the sword, trying to confuse Blackrose so she wouldn’t know how he would set his grip.
Giving a growl before launching after her prey, the vampire went running toward the man she hated. Though he knew the ground wasn’t the best to ride on, Dante did his best at getting speed and both spun themselves, giving power to their strike before meeting in a loud clash. Even if she had her dead heart set on killing him, Blackrose had to admit this male amazed her, but kept the feeling off her face, for fear it may show weakness. While twirling his sword and parrying the vampire’s, the Izurian started to wonder if she might spare him, but what had him wasn’t just that, it seemed the cat girl had more on her mind.
Thinking Dante had the ability to read her thoughts scared the girl and, grabbing his collar, she threw the warrior from his chair. When he hit the hard ground, he knew she meant business and he heard her blade scrapping the ground coming closer. Though his head felt like had hit a wall of stone, the warrior knew he best come up with some way to counter Blackrose quickly. With little time to think, Dante spun on his back, letting his foot knock the vampire cat’s sword out of her hand.
Shaking her head trying to comprehend what her eyes just saw, Blackrose and her slave disappeared, leaving the Izurian to wonder about his feline opponent. While on the ground, Dante wondered if the vampire had her eye on him if he walked to his chair. Oh, the warrior knew how to trick her and limp to his chair, he had ways to make people believe what wasn’t true. Taking his sword and using it like a cane, the Izurian grunted as he started standing so it would seem he had to struggle.
While limping to his chair, “If my mother saw me doing this, she would kill me.” came into his head. He knew Yoruichi never liked it when he used such a trick, but this seemed the only way he knew to cover the fact that he could walk. Of course, Dante had to figure the vampire could sense his deception if she had her eye on him from the shadows. As soon as he got into his wheelchair, the warrior sheathed the Kahimoto and began to wheel his way into the night for parts unknown.
When Blackrose returned to her cave, anger that she reserved for Dante exploded in a rage and the cat threw a black spire at the wall.”Tisk tisk, daughter, what a temper you have,” Alcuard laughed from the shadows. While she heard him laugh, the vampire started growling because she didn’t feel like dealing with her Sire’s whims, at least not now and he knew this.
Like the vampire girl didn’t already know why her Sire came to haunt her doorstep again, an angry sigh came across her lips while asking him what he was doing there, but his grin told her he had something brewing up his sleeve and something told her to ready herself. So, Blackrose quickly summoned an energy spire and threw it at him. Swatting her power away like some child’s toy, “Insolent child,” went passed his lips as he threw a green spore in her face.
The force of the spore exploding in her face sent the undead cat staggering back while she tried to get her vision focused. “Damned fool,” just kept going through her head as if someone threw rocks into a lake. While trying to shake the saioki webs from her mind, Blackrose remembered that Alcuard used the same spore on another vampire he sired and she died soon after. The cat wasn’t afraid of death, to her it would release from the curse her Sire put on her, but Blackrose didn’t want to die in this way.
Though the vampire girl could feel Alcuard’s poison coursing through her, she motioned her slave to attack him, but Alcuard caught her thrall by the neck, throwing it like a rag doll. After he threw the girl’s thrall, he made eye contact with her and his stare grew cold as he looked at her, as if to say, do not think I will save you. That stare of his always made a chill go up Blackrose’s spine and this time had been no different, because it had her frozen and powerless to do anything, but watch him disappear with a smug smile growing on his face.
After she could no longer feel his presence in the cave, the feeling of being powerless quickly left the vampire cat. Once she could move, it didn’t take anytime for her vision to become distorted and Blackrose knew she was in trouble. Thoughts of what she should do started pouring into her already cloudy mind and though she never would think of doing such a thing in the past, the undead Bengal girl wondered of her grandfather, Vlad Dracula, would assist her. From what she knew of him, he wasn’t easily approachable on the subject of favors, but time wasn’t on her side.
The thought of drinking her slave’s blood popped into the vampire’s head and with a wave of her hand, Blackrose made her thrall walk to her. When the mindless human knelt to the cat girl, the vampire’s fangs appeared as she went for the neck. Blackrose could almost taste the blood in her mouth, but knowing that her thrall could serve her by providing safe passage to Dracula stopped her. Even though she felt the poison take hold of her inch by inch, the vampire cat made herself stand, her body resisting the whole idea.
Once on her feet, Blackrose found it a chore to black out her eyes and disappear into the shadows and, though that simple task made her horribly weak, she vanished with her slave. The vampire’s mind began to wander and, no longer able to bounce from shadow to shadow, the vampire girl slammed into a field of tall grass. Laying there on the brink of death, several things came to Blackrose, but she caught herself asking, “Was this the end?” The immortal cat girl always thought she would die in a glorious battle, maybe with Dante, but not this way.
While making his way down the rocky path, Dante could feel it start to rain and knowing if the path got muddy, it would be harder, if not impossible to move. “Great,” came to his lips as the Izurian began wheeling faster, in an effort to beat the rain. Abandoning his wheelchair and running to the next town didn’t look to bad at the moment. What stopped Dante from doing that, however, was the thought that the vampire might be watching him. This made the warrior ill when he started thinking about it, because twice now she attacked, but fought him to a stand still and she had the power to end him, so why didn’t she?
He let thoughts of why beat around his head for the duration of his trip, but the Izurian wasn’t prepared for what he saw. Dante quickly put his hand on the Kahimoto, ready to pull it while proceeding up to what looked like the vampire girl he fought twice now. He couldn’t understand why she wasn’t moving, for nothing he could see would be a deathblow. Seeing this put more questions which didn’t have answers in Dante’s head.
Some part of him began to tell him just leave her there, while the other told him to give her aid somehow. Dante asked himself why he should help someone who wants to kill him for sport. His reasons on such a subject were good ones, he thought, but both his mother, Yoruichi, and Queen Chanista’s voice could be heard echoing in his head, telling him there was no honor in leaving someone to die when not in battle.
Deep inside, the warrior knew the words he heard spoke truth, but Dante still wasn’t to happy about giving this vampire help. On the other hand, Dante could feel a connection with the vampire girl, but no, there couldn’t be a connection, she wanted him dead. This kept at him while the Izurian started going for Blackrose’s hands, to drag her into a nearby cave, but almost by instinct, her thrall snapped at him, almost biting his hand.
A gut reaction took over and Dante pulled his sword out with lightening speed, aiming at the mindless doll like girl. Oh, he knew it only went for him because it was guarding its mistress, but it needed to know he would try to help the vampire cat girl. Though faint, the Izurian swore he heard Blackrose telling her slave to move aside and let him pass. She knew she wasn’t in any condition to fight him, even if she wanted too.
Putting the Kahimoto back in its sheath, thoughts of leaving the vampire to her death continued to haunt the Izurian warrior. Dante knew it would be easier, but yet, if he left her to die, he would be cold and the warrior wouldn’t live with that on his mind. Without thinking if she saw him stand or not, the warrior stood and picked up the undead cat girl’s cold limp body and sat back in his chair. Wheeling to the cave behind him, he cradled her head against a shoulder and it became apparent to him how dire this could be.
While putting her down in a clearing, Dante knew by what the locals told him that vampires were immune to everything, so how she got this way puzzled him. Though his mother taught him about various poisons, the Izurian knew this wasn’t one she covered. Knowing that there could be a chance the vampire would die, something made him look at her in a different light.
To Dante, it could’ve been honor or something along those lines, but he agreed that she should die in battle. A loud roar came from the vampire girl, followed by panting and the Izurian knew whatever infected her had the vampire’s blood lust go into overdrive. Seeing the look of pain that obviously ravaged her, Dante took his sword out its scabbard and cut a line into his flesh without any hesitation. Watching the blood surface, he quickly sent his arm over her mouth and while the blood started dripping into Blackrose’s waiting mouth, “I can’t believe what I’m doing,” began crossing his mind.
The Izurian knew there could be a chance the vampire girl would go after his arm because of the hunger that had its hold over her. Always thinking ahead, Dante began taking a kali stick out and planned to hit her if she went for his arm. After what seemed like an eternity, Blackrose started coming around, but when her sight focused, what she saw made her turn her head away in disgust. The vampire couldn’t fathom why the man she saw as a plaything aided her.
“Maybe he saw this as a twisted pleasure,” crossed her cloudy mind, because what else would it be? Looking back at the man that sat beside her wrapping his bleeding arm with a piece of cloth from his own clothes, Blackrose gave a growl while she asked him why he gave his blood to her. Dante knew he did it out of honor, but didn’t think the vampire girl would care to hear that word, so he told her he did it because there wasn’t another road to the next town.
Something told her the Izurian warrior kept the truth from her, but she chose to keep still, due to the poison taking over her body minute by minute. Even though she began to slip in and out of consciousness, Blackrose started trying to stand and began staggering to the cave entrance, mumbling something about green spores and her grandfather. By what he heard the cat girl say, Dante knew delirium had set in and he needed to stop her, because in her state, she wouldn’t last too much longer.
While wheeling as fast as he could to catch the vampire girl, the Izurian started plotting a way to stop the delirious undead cat from biting him. Pumping the wheels as fast as possible, Dante decided the only way to prevent her from biting him was to let her bite the Kahimoto sword’s sheath. Taking the sword out as he spun his chair in front of her and just like he predicted, the vampire girl came at him snarling.
Trying to wait for the last second, the Izurian forced the sheath between Blackrose’s fangs and before she could bite down, Dante hit the side of her neck, knocking her out. After the cat had been knocked out, she fell limp against the warrior, but he gave a small sigh because he knew that wasn’t smart. His thoughts continued to flood his mind replaying the last act and Dante started to beat himself up over that, because his mother, Yoruichi, would have told him how foolish that was. Laying the vampire back down, Blackrose’s eyes started to open and the cat girl locked on him. A lot of things began going through her foggy head, but how could this mere human hold her there, stood apart from all else.
Though she did her best to try to deny this, Blackrose began thinking her target could go see her grandfather, Dracula, in her place. “This must be the spore sickness making me think of sending a human,” rang throughout her mind as the cat girl looked at him. Surely, the more the vampire girl had time to dwell on the idea, the more it made her ill, because she knew her grandfather would kill him rather then hear the reason why he is there.
Looking in her weary eyes, it became clear to Dante that the vampire needed him to go see this Vlad he heard her speak about. Giving a sigh to prepare himself for what he had to say, the Izurian told the cat girl to tell him about her grandfather. At first, Blackrose thought the illness affected her keen hearing, because she knew he wouldn’t survive his encounter. Thinking he had a death wish, the vampire girl nodded, telling him it wasn’t possible for him to go.
“What choice do you have?” passed his lips before the Izurian could think about it and, though the warrior’s statement made her curse his name more, because nobody that talked out of turn like that had lived, the undead cat knew Dante had spoken the truth. Though still unwilling to trust him totally, Blackrose wanted to live long enough to fight the man sitting before her again. Though she had restraint, the vampire cat started telling her mouse that Dracula’s castle could be found on the very northern border of Ervere, in a place called Trankla, but as she told him, phantom hands wrapped their icy grip around the feline’s neck and began choking her.
Watching the cat being choked by some force, Dante knew something didn’t want the vampire girl telling him about Vlad. The air in the cave began to get heavy and the Izurian warrior started to slowly unsheath his blade, as if he felt someone else with them. “Do not tell the human about father, BLACKROSE!” a voice rang out from the shadows and seemed to close the noose tighter around her neck. After hearing this disembodied voice call him a human, a smile ran across Dante’s face as the thought of what he have to do to stop her suffering went through his head.
Letting the ghostly hands kill the vampire girl crossed his mind so easily, but the voices of the warrior’s mother and friend wouldn’t stop pestering him in his ear. Knowing a chance he might regret this action later could come back to bite him, literally, Dante waited until the figure formed completely behind him. Thinking the human had been unaware of his presences, Alcuard started creep up while squeezing his cold hand which tightened the grip around his daughter’s throat.
Something about this man left a bitter taste in Dante’s mouth as he watched him approach out of the corner of his eye. Though Alcuard just appeared, he didn’t make a good impression on the warrior. In fact to Dante, the male vampire looked the same as any cocky piece of waste he has fought, so he didn’t see a threat. As Blackrose’s Sire drew closer, the Izurian shut his eyes, waiting for the time to strike.
Even with her life leaving her body, the vampire cat’s eyes fixed themselves on the man sitting beside her. Caught between what her Sire called a life and death, Blackrose tried to figure out what he had on his mind, but in the short time around him, she knew not to put anything past this man. In total darkness, the Izurian’s mind emptied, but only one thought stayed to occupy his mind, the way to stop this immortal fool from hurting one of his own.
Dante could hear Alcuard’s footsteps and counted the beats until they got closer to the warrior. When he heard the vampire stop, a grin made its appearance on the Izurian’s face as the words, “Got you,” trickled from his mouth in a mumble. Knowing the hand of the vampire would be his target, Dante draws the Kahimoto sword, twirled it with one hand and spun the chair around with the other, taking it in one swoop.
Alcuard screamed a hellish scream of pain while blood squirted everywhere, painting the walls of the cave crimson red. While shrieking, he began trying to figure out how this mortal possessed such speed. For he had never seen a human react with abilities like this, but all questions about the subject became moot, because he told the warrior that the vampire girl would die if her Sire dies. Of course there could be a thread of truth behind what this vampire told him, Dante wasn’t sure, but the warrior didn’t want to take a chance, so he backed his blade away.
When Alcuard saw the human back his sword away, a twisted smirk started to appear across his face because he thought he had Dante under his thumb. Little that he knew, the Izurian had a plan forming in his head all along and the warrior started laughing as he began telling Blackrose’s Sire, “If I can’t take you’re head, I’ll hack off another body part.” While saying that, Dante started thinking of either taking both legs, both arms or all of the above. As his mind grew with the sadistic things he could do, Alcuard noticed a start of a dark streak
The cocky attitude Blackrose’s Sire was so use to in the past quickly turned into what could be fear, but he would never let it topple him from the untouchable pillar the vampire put himself on. Though the thought of watching what he viewed as a mistake die gave him pleasure, Alcuard didn’t want to let his failure’s human protector carry out his own twisted plan. A grin started appearing across the vampire’s lip, which told the Izurian what he had up his sleeve, but before Dante could slice at him, Alcuard disappeared.
When her Sire left, Dante began to tremble. Oh, there wasn’t doubt that he would go through with his plan that had him shaking. The warrior simply didn’t think he would be fast enough to react and that scared him. That scene playing like a piece of a bad dream in his head made Dante tell himself, “I hope she can’t read my thoughts right now.”
While sheathing his sword, the Izurian saw the vampire girl staring at him and he began wondering if she could sense the fear in him. Looking at the human, it amazed Blackrose that a mortal had nerve to stand against her Sire. She knew Dante had to be afraid, after all Alcuard’s presence always made her fur stand on end. The way the vampire kept trying to focus her eyes told the warrior that she wouldn’t last long and he returned by her side.
Questions kept filling her clouded head on whether to trust the human or not. The cat girl told herself that she would rather fight him at her peak then die at what she saw as a disgrace. So, taking a breath, Blackrose finished telling Dante where to find her grandfather and she would send her thrall to help. Even though he had his previous action still haunting him, the Izurian gave a slight nod.
Though the poison worked faster when she used it, Blackrose decided to teleport the man to Trankla, hopefully close to Vlad Dracula’s castle, but being as weak as she felt, thoughts of Dante ending up in lava ran rampant throughout her brain. Roaring from the pain of doing so, Blackrose’s eyes blacked out and soon a shadow enveloped the Izurian and her slave, making them vanish. After, her head hit the soft makeshift pillow made for her and “Grandfather, please see your way and help me.” went passed her lips, in a plea.
When the vampire girl’s saviors appeared at their destination, Dante drew the Kahimoto and looked around, mapping the area mentally. He knew they needed to get to the castle soon if Blackrose had any hope to live. Looking at this thrall she sent with him just kneeling next to him, the warrior didn’t know how to get it to move. “Perhaps if I call it like a Nightwolf, it’ll move,” ran through his mind, jokingly.
Sitting there thinking about how to make this doll of the vampire’s move wasn’t buying her time, the Izurian told himself. To him, killing it seemed to be the simple choice, rather then wasting time figuring out how to use this thing. Yet, Dante stopped that thinking, for he knew Blackrose had a good reason to send it also.
Out of nowhere, a theory started taking up residence in his mind, clearing it like day and he felt the need to test it. Picking a bolder that he knew had to go in order to get through, the warrior lifted his arm, pointing to it and before he could blink, the thrall crushed it to dust. After watching what the puppet did to solid rock, a bone chilling feeling went up Dante’s spine when he realized what it could do to him, if the vampire girl wished it.
The warrior had to put that thought aside, because the two had to get to Blackrose’s grandfather’s as soon as possible. Hoping her thrall would follow, the Izurian started to wheel into the night and, just as he hoped, it walked beside him. While wheeling on the cobblestone street, Dante scanned the area with a hand planned on his sword’s handle, ready to pull it if needed. Unknown danger from the shadows wasn’t all that had him gripping the handle tightly, not knowing if the vampire would change her mind and will her thrall to attack him, had Dante on edge.
Soon, an old brownstone castle which sat atop a rocky hill came into view. Something told the warrior the old dilapidated place was Castle Dracula. Just by looking at it made a incoherent voice say, “It fits the vampire lore, alright.” in Dante’s head. ”How am I going to get up to the gate?” stood out while the Izurian looked for a path. Sure, Dante knew he could leave his wheelchair if necessary, but he felt Blackrose watching him through the doll’s eyes, and if she found out his ploy, he would die for sure. If he couldn’t find a path, then he knew that would be a risk the warrior would need to gamble with.
The idea of what he may have to do didn’t sit well with Dante, because fighting her before wasn’t an easy task and if she found out, she wouldn’t show mercy. As the chilling thought played with his head, the Izurian found a graveyard that wasn’t to steep which lead to the gate. A graveyard wasn’t uncommon for this setting, that much he admitted to himself, but when Dante and the thrall started through it, decaying corpses started to come out of the ground.
Everything his eyes saw couldn’t be said out loud, because cursing wasn’t what the situation needed. After licking his lips, a grin that stretched the length of his face appeared on the warrior’s face as the words, “Party time,” worked their way through his head. While drawing his sword, the matter at hand wasn’t lost on Dante, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t have fun making his way through the horde of zombies. Pointing the Kahimoto told Blackrose’s thrall to attack and with it away, the Izurian could work on his own path.
Though wheeling on dirt wasn’t easy for him, Dante knew he would get rid of quite a few enemies in one stroke. Before meeting the creatures, a quick flick of the wrist reversed his sword grip and as blood started to drench his body, a feeling of sadistic pleasure took control of him. Yes, his mother, Yoruichi, taught him to control himself in heat of battle, but he couldn’t help taking pleasure fighting easy prey.
Once the last zombie fell, Dante turned his chair and looked at the sea of headless corpses. When his eyes gazed upon the pail he put down, the Izurian saw the vampire’s slave covered in blood from head to toe. He allowed the thought, “I see the doll had as much fun as I did,” entertain his mind, before a ghostly nudge from something made him get back to the task at hand. A look by Dante told the thrall to follow and the warrior started to make his way into the castle.
Making his way into Dracula’s house, even the smallest sound had the warrior on high alert with plans on how to deal with the unknown pacing his head. There wasn’t a question if fear took hold, it did, but if he let it show, Blackrose would undoubtedly use it. With each door the two went through, the Izurian felt ill. To him, the air had a demonic presence to it and whatever was in the room felt like weights pulling him to the floor.
An urgent impulse to exit the aura that seemed to get heavier minute by minute sent Dante rolling towards the next door, but the closer he got to it, the worse he felt, until the warrior fell out of his chair. While fighting back the urge to throw up, the Izurian knew that his mindless companion wouldn’t be a help. As the warrior started to feel the pressure mount like stone on his chest, many things went in and out of his mind, but nothing stood out than, “I can’t go on…”
Dante didn’t know what made him remember this, but an image of a training session with his mother who had him pinned down, began playing before him. It felt like Yoruichi sent that memory to force him to see past the pain, like she did when she trained him. “I understand, mother,” passed his lips while fighting to his stomach. Pain didn’t seem to matter to Dante at that point. Oh sure, it still hurt to move, but giving up wouldn’t get the Bengal vampire girl cured.
The aura seemed to alter and change, as if it started trying to figure out how to keep this man down. While putting more pressure on the Izurian, a demonic growl that seemed to come from everywhere rang out. A smile appeared on Dante’s face while the thought, “Aww, my resolve upsets you, does it?” took up in his mind. Watching this mortal move, even after having more of its aura bearing down on him, the demon couldn’t understand how he fought it.
Eager to know how Dante had the power to defy it, a bestial voice bounced from wall to wall saying it was surprised to see a human moving after the amount of force asserted. Having a disembodied voice complement the Izurian made a weak chuckle escape his lips while he struggled to get to his feet. When he got to his feet, Dante told whatever was in the room that this human had a will that no one could shake.
After he said that, the entity didn’t say a thing and the warrior felt the ground shaking. For a brief moment, “Perhaps I should not have said that,” slipped past his lips as a pentagram begin to form in front of him. When the star completely formed itself, the stone floor began falling away into the depths of the underworld and a bright light shot up, which illuminated the room. Covering his eyes with one arm, Dante tried to think how long Blackrose had until she would succumb to the poison. Unsure how long it had been since they got to Trankla, the Izurian told himself he needed to try an reason with what came from the hole, but also knew that it couldn’t be reasoned with.
When the light died, a giant three headed dog with a snake tail stood looking at the warrior. The sheer size of the beast blew Dante away as his mind tried refusing to accept that this demon was the great guardian of Hell’s gate, Cerberus. Dante remembered reading about this demon in texts and knew that monsters called Spirit Guardians existed, but he never saw one.
Looking at this pitiful speck of a man made all three of Cerberus’s heads chuckle with a demented laughter, because his mind couldn’t see how such a weak human moved through the aura. Dante knew the fleabag had to be getting a laugh at his expense, but more pressing tasks were at hand. Though knowing it pointless, the Izurian tried asking Cerberus to move aside, but his request fell on deaf ears and a thunderous stomp on the ground that shook the room.
Watching how the quake effected the man with pleased thoughts passing through it’s mind, one of the demon heads told the Izurian that he wasn’t welcome there. Pacing in front of Cerberus trying not to show any emotion, all of Dante’s thoughts focused on the vampire girl and he answered by telling the beast that Blackrose sent him there to see her grandfather about a matter.
What he heard made the already angry demon wanting to rip Dante apart, because it knew the vampire cat didn’t trust humans. With thunder in its voice, Cerberus told the Izurian that she would come herself, not send a human worm, then took a swing at him with it’s huge claw. As Dante jumped away, “Fool, she is on her deathbed and needs Dracula’s help”, but while landing, “Why am I doing this, again?” started to reawaken in his head.
Not caring if Blackrose could be watching him walk or not, the warrior slowly drew his sword and took off toward the demon. While running to meet his would be enemy, Dante kept going over what could best bring the beast down quickly and with little time wasted. As he watched the human rushing to his death, a grin grew on Cerberus’s second head as it began forming an ice projectile and shot it at the man. “Just as I figured,” passed the Izurian’s mouth as he watched the ball of ice approach him. For he knew the beast might not be able to withstand aerial attacks.
Too focused on his target to not see that the demon’s ice froze the Kahimoto’s blade before he jumped, it came as a shock when the blade did no damage coming down. Cerberus wasn’t too pleased at the insect’s attempt and, with a paw, swatted Dante down like a fly. While rolling several times, the warrior’s sword spun out of his hand, but that wasn’t what concerned him at the moment. Knowing the demon might be planning the final blow began weighing on the Izurian’s mind.
Watching Cerberus walking over to him, while the demon’s heads started building ice, fire and lightening up in it’s mouths, Dante’s life flashed before his eyes. “What a way to go, being fried, chilled and struck by lightening all at once,” leaked from the warrior’s lips partly as a joke, but something told him that it might be the end. Not ready to accept that fate and let Blackrose die, the warrior’s eyes scanned the room for anything that could help him get out of this, and locked on two rusty chains and a plan started bubbling in his head.
With a plan taking shape, the Izurian flipped to his feet, but saw a blur quickly fly by him and knock Cerberus to the floor. At first, Dante didn’t know who or what knocked the demon dog across the room. When he saw the vampire cat girl’s thrall in front of the seemingly unconscious demon, a sort of playful surprise feeling came over the warrior and, “Oh great, now you help,” came out of his mouth. After he said that, the thought crossed his mind that Blackrose might have wanted him to work for her help before willing her slave to attack.
“If she did do this, it means the vampire wasn’t as weak as I first suspected,” came from his mouth in a mumble. At that point, questions revolving around what she saw started to fill the Izurian’s mind, but he knew the fear creeping in needed to be stopped, because getting the cure for Blackrose took priority. Stuffing the wonder of what the vampire cat could have observed into a corner of his mind, Dante started to look for his sword when a low growl came from Cerberus and, “I don’t believe this thing still has fight left after being hurled across the room,” crossed the warrior’s lips.
While the demon slowly started to rise, he shot a chilling stare towards the warrior. Looking at this man, Cerberus didn’t understand how the fly before him had the power to knock him out. As the sheer thought of Dante being able to do something that unbelievable made uneasy questions leak into the demon’s heads, all of which started fanning the flames of his anger.
“No one had the power to do that, so how did you, a mere mortal do that?” came from the demon dog’s mouth. After the question came out of Cerberus’s mouth, the feeling of disgrace fanned the fires of the demon’s anger a bit more. Not hearing a response from Dante, sent the demon dog’s blood boiling. To him, the silence was a slap in the face, and Cerberus couldn’t bare that.
After hearing the demon’s words, something snapped in the warrior and he knew the vampire girl had little time. So, planting his feet, Dante focused on the chains that hung above Cerberus and took off running. While the Izurian ran toward the demon, no other thought pressed him more then Blackrose’s health, and before his opponent landed his massive claw on him, Dante leaped into the air, onto the demon’s back.
Cerberus couldn’t stand this flea on his back and began roaring, bucking, anything to get the Izurian off him. For a demon such as him, being defeated by a human wouldn’t go well with the other demons of the underworld. Though many thoughts seemed to overpower the great demon’s mind, Cerberus formed a plan. A slight grin started to appear on one of his heads as it seemed to be telepathically willing it’s tail behind the man.
Even though Dante needed every part of his trained mind to focus on staying on the demon’s back, he couldn’t help but feel like something behind him had its sight on him, ready to strike. The Izurian warrior didn’t place the growing sense of danger until he heard a hissing sound coming closer behind him. “How is a snake behind me?” came from his mouth, but in his limited experience dealing with them, Dante learned not to underestimate devils. Of course the warrior acted as though he had no clue that he was in mortal danger, but when he sensed the snake closing, Dante moved his head to the right, catching the demon’s tail in his hand and flicked it with a finger, making it sleep.
Now that he could, the warrior carefully studied himself, grabbing one of the huge rusty chains and somehow got it tightly around two of Cerberus’s massive heads. Once around the great demon’s necks, Dante knew it would be a matter of time before the chain tightened, cutting off Cerberus’s air, but the Izurian hoped he could hold on until then. With every buck the demon did, “I’m going to be sick,” came out of the warrior’s mouth half jokingly, but as the chain started to apply pressure, Cerberus started feeling light headed.
It didn’t take long for two of the demon’s heads to pass out, and though he resisted the idea, “Maybe this man is more then a human,” crossed his mind. When he convinced himself of that, Cerberus submitted, letting Dante down and the two passed the other a look of respect. “You aren’t just a human are you?” came out of the demon.
At the time, Dante didn’t know how to answer. Oh sure, he could’ve answered with a smart remark, but this wasn’t the time or place for remarks, Blackrose needed her grandfather’s help. “I’m just a warrior, doing a favor for someone,” was all that the Izurian told the demon, because he knew if he told the whole truth, Cerberus could attack again.
Something the Izurian said didn’t sit right with the demon, making him question, “What favor would a human need from a vampire?” When the demon tried to set his feet for a new attack, his vision started to blur, causing the great demon to shake his head a few times. Once his vision cleared, a memory started stirring with in the great demon. He had a hard time recalling a battle that made him feel this way and he took a step forward toward Dante.
Uncertainty of Cerberus’s intentions sent the warrior backing up, questioning whether or not to run, but then he knew the vampire girl wouldn’t get what she needed. Maybe the image of her face did it, he didn’t know, but the Izurian stopped stepping back and stood his ground. Now that he reaffirmed his mission, Dante took a step forward, asking, “Just let me pass, please?”
As he came closer, Cerberus saw something in the warrior that made him stop before the warrior, getting in his face. “I have never faced a human with abilities such as yours, you honor me. You have my blessing to go forth, but…”
Times such as this irritated Dante, because he knew Blackrose’s life hung in the balance and waiting any longer would shorten her already dwindling life. “But what demon?” banged around the warrior’s head as he tried not to let on that his anger began building, but the fear that it might be written all over his face made his arms cross. To him, anymore talk would be pointless, especially now, making Dante say, “Dracula’s granddaughter sent me to ask him for help, because her Sire poisoned her.” When the words came out, he felt like someone else made him say them, because he had no intention of telling the whole truth, for fear of the demon’s reaction.
After hearing the warrior give the reason why he had been there, Cerberus studied the man for a minute, thinking Blackrose would never send someone, much less a human, in her place, unless she couldn’t come herself, making him nod as he said, “I believe your words, go forth and see him, but there will be battles in your future that maybe to much for you. Hold out your arm.”
Holding out his bare arm made Dante uneasy and it showed by how he began shaking, because he had no idea what the demon planned. Watching the man shake made Cerberus kind of understand why the warrior was afraid, letting his paw take a fast swipe, drawing blood from the man then he said, “I require a blood contract,” then disappeared. After the demon disappeared, the Izurian knew how to summon it and began looking for the Kahimoto, but while he looked for it, he noticed the vampire girl’s thrall start to act strangely, twitching and growling.
It didn’t take much for Dante to put together that something had to be wrong with it, but the thought, “Maybe Blackrose is losing control of it,” crossed his mind, but the scene made a feeling of dread come over him. Approaching the growling slave with caution, he saw his blade laying at the now unpredictable girl, making, “Ahh, just my luck, the gods hate me today.” pass his lips as he drew closer. Even though the fear of not knowing how the girl’s thrall would react crept into a corner of the warrior’s mind, but he knew he needed to retrieve his sword, grabbing it while watching the puppet the whole time.
Figuring her puppet might be a lost cause, the Izurian sat in his chair and proceeded into Dracula’s crypt, but something he couldn’t shake had him looking back every minute. While sitting in the blackness of the crypt, many things entered Dante’s mind, making him pace back and forth impatiently, while he muttered, “What now?” Waiting for the vampire’s grandfather, the Izurian’s temper began flaring with every stroke of the wheels, but when he noticed something start to form on the shadowy coffin, he quickly reigned in his emotion.
As soon as Dante saw the unknown form, something made him sit upright, as though the form represented royalty. The thought crossed his mind to speak to it first, but as took a breath, the form spoke. “What doth you, a mere mortal, want? Be fast, boy,” the figure said in a tone that made a icy chill come over the warrior.
Hearing that made the Izurian ask himself, “Can I follow through with this mission,” but as soon the questions became to loud, he began shaking his head, clearing his mind of doubt. “I’ve come on behalf of your granddaughter, Blackrose. She was poisoned by her Sire? And was unable to journey here herself.” After saying that, many things began to whirl in his head, but nothing more pressing then knowing that Dracula might suspect him of lying.
“Alcuard!” the elder vampire said bestially, as if the mere name brought dishonor. Oh sure, he didn’t mean the cat girl ill will, after all, she was family, but for his son to bring her across wasn’t something he wanted to think of, causing Dracula to look at the warrior. Studying this man before him made the vampire grin while thoughts of how easy it would be to kill him, making Dracula snatch the Izurian out of his chair before the warrior blinked. “What makes ye so sure I will give you the cure?” he said snarling, tightening his grip around Dante’s neck with every word.
Feeling the vampire’s grip get tighter had the Izurian trying to work out a way out of this, because he didn’t come this far, just to die in this manner. After little debate, Dante said, “Look, I already took on your son, making him one handed. So, I think we can come to some sort of common ground here.” He sighed, hoping that what came out of his mouth didn’t get him in more trouble, but by the vampire’s look, something told him he struck a nerve.
After thinking it over for a few minutes, the idea of helping his granddaughter out as a way to get at his son started to form, making the elder vampire’s face light up with a demented grin. “Very well, I will give you the cure, but what doth ye offer in return?” Dracula asked as he put the man down.
Dante knew he didn’t have anything but his fighting skills to offer up, and even if he had more, the warrior had no intention to become a vampire’s lapdog. On the other hand, the Izurian had a growing feeling that if he didn’t come up with an offer quickly, Dracula would refuse Blackrose her cure and kill him. Going back to his chair, a thought formed in Dante’s mind, something that seemed like a great leader might say. “Okay, if you do this, then I will aid you in battle or diplomatic matters,” he said, looking at the cat girl’s grandfather, wondering if his mother was at his side, having him say those words.
Dead silence came between the two while Dracula considered the man’s offer. Waiting like this didn’t seem like a outcome would fall into Dante’s lap, of course he tried to laugh, thinking, “This whole trip wasn’t fun, so why would this be different?” but any laughter needed to be restricted due to the nature of this matter and continued to wait for the verdict.
“Agreed,” Dracula said while nodding. While approaching the man, a old bottle filled with a liquid appeared in the vampire’s hand as he said, “This is the cure for Greenspore sickness. It is most likely what she has, but ye must be sure she drinks all of it.”
The elder vampire stopped in front of Dante, holding his hand out, giving the cure to the man. Before the Izurian took it, something made him grab Kahimoto’s handle, as if he felt something creeping up behind him. With one quick motion, Dante went to pull it, but before he could, an arm came around his neck tightly, choking the life from the warrior. Gasping for air, the warrior tried to come up with a counter, but a voice said in his ear, “I will not allow you to save that mistake, DIE!”
Instantly, the Izurian knew the voice belonged to Blackrose’s Sire and a technique filled his mind, causing everything to become clear. Jerking his arm, a dagger came out of its concealment and into his hand. Dante knew the reason why the now renegade thrall acted strangely was Blackrose lost her control over it to Alcuard. Twirling the blade, Dante plunged it into the puppet, the force of the blow released the hold on him.
After witnessing what the man did to something that clearly had a advantage over him, Dracula saw a strength in him that hasn’t awaken yet, causing the vampire to respect him. Of course he would never come out and say it, it wasn’t his way, but he couldn’t deny the power within the human, ready to surface. “Do you need me to send ye back?” he asked the Izurian, knowing that a spell such as his granddaughter cast might put unneeded strain on her.
Looking at the vampire, the warrior gave a nod, accepting his help because Dante felt he didn’t want to push Blackrose past her limit. Especially when he knew full well the battle she must have waged with Alcuard for control of the thrall. Waving a hand, casting the spell, Dracula said, “You take care of her,” before the man fully disappeared from sight.
Back in the cave, the warrior quickly surmised that the vampire girl didn’t have but moments to live. With no distractions, Dante got a old clay tea cup, a cup he used for his tea and cut himself, letting the blood drip into it. He didn’t know how long she had, so he began pouring the cure, mixing it with the crimson. Holding it over Blackrose’s gasping mouth, he whispered, “Try drinking this,” and tipped it, letting her sip it.
To Be Continued…
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