Castlevania: The Tragic Prince Scene 4
Prince of Darkness
By Dawn Wilkins
Flames from the not-so-distant scones flared as if in answer.
I accept, Alucard echoed, forcing dispassionateness into his voice. As ever, he used his vampiric soul, free of trivial feelings, as a counter to his human heart and the emotion it inevitably entailed. His fathers lips curled, a mockery of a smile, and he laid one cold hand on the half-breeds shoulder. The other lifted to probe his own chin in contemplation.
Words haunted each other in the vampeals mind. Please, take my word. Please, whatever God is out there, make him believe me! I know I am a darkness vanquishing darkness, in an evil cycle, but if my blood is tainted, is not my heart pure? Please...
God answered his prayer.
Rise, Adrian, I embrace you as dose the darkness that is your birthright. Too long, I have waited for this momentthe moment you admit your destiny. Though his fathers voice was like the night, piercingly cold, it carried a tint of warmth. Love for a son?
Perish the thought, Alucard! spoke the half-vampire to himself. He does not love you, has never loved you, and cannot love...much like yourself.
Slowly, he obeyed, coming to his feet. Gripping Draculas hand in his own, Alucard straightened. In the background he heard more groans and objections. Richter sounded angry and in pain while Annette almost seemed faint. He had no time to worry about that, however, as the Prince of Darkness led him to the body of Maria.
Dove. Angel. Rose. Whatever one might consider the blond beauty Alucard himself, as poetic as he was, couldnt compare. Soft breaths misted from her lips, as her eyes twitched with some unseen thought, unspoiled by his bandage. For a moment, he could do nothing, enraptured with her loveliness.
Then, Dracula gestured for him to begin.
Kneeling, the vampeal kept a champagne eye on his father. He could not hope to destroy the Prince of Darkness if should he attempt too soon. Blood pulsed in his veins with abnormal speed. The fragrance of Marias own life fluid was blindingly intoxicating for the vampeal as he lifted her hand in a fictitious display of draining her blood. He waited...
His father turned away for a brief minute. And thats all he needed.
A brilliance of white, Alucard leapt to his feet. In those seconds between victory and defeat, time tempered the air, it seemed, into agonizing ineptness. Dracula revolved his head, two eyes, a window into a nightmare. Alucards breath even suspended. Forever could have come and gone as the cross, the one Maria had used to save the half-vampires life, buried into his fathers forehead.
Dracula should have been the one screaming someones name. Dracula should have been the one howling in pain. Dracula should have been the one crossing the barrier between life and death.
He wasnt. For centuries Alucard had denied darkness the opportunity to seduce him. But, as the blackness wrapped him up, and the sensations faded, the half-breed could but heed their call. What he was heeding, he could not imagine.
Mother. Mothers precious voice.
Mother? Mother, is that you?
Blackness. Utter Blackness.
Yes, my beloved child, it is I.
Home. He felt so home now.
Where are you?! I cant see!
Panic. Panic gripped his heart.
Open your eyes...and save me from those wicked humans!
Adrian immediately complied. When his vision returned, his eyes fell on a most atrocious scene. There was his cherished mother, Lisa Marie Tepes, strapped to a burning stake. Where was he? Who was he? What was going on? Then, it all came back, with frightening suddenness. Of course! He was an eight year old boy, watching as the foolish, cruel humans were engulfing his mother in flames!
He did not hear the flames.
You bastards! Stop!! Stop! STOP! A cold hatred, not from human emotions but from vampiric rage, swept him. The vampeal raced for his mother, drawing his blade and slaying the evil peasants who defied him. Something at the core of his being pleaded with him to halt but Alucard would not. These malevolence humans were killing his mother. He must save her! Blood scattered, a perfume to his nose.
He did not smell the blood.
Yes, Adrian! Kill them! Kill them all!
A portion of the peasants fled, others screamed, still others were foolish enough to contest his sacred vow to save her. The humans had decided that his mother was evilbut they were the evil ones! They chose to kill what they did not understand. He would make them pay. Those within range of his gleaming blade were either cleaved in half, beheaded or stabbed in the gut. Still some of the commoners persisted. After slaying a wide path to his mother, Adrian reached up to untie her.
He did not burn from the flames.
Once he freed her, Adrian intended to flee with his mother. But as he pulled toward an opening through the wicked masses, she resisted. No, my son. They have hurt your mother. They must pay!
He froze, confused...Something wasnt right...It seemed surreal...
THEY MUST PAY!!!
This time he did not question. Raising his sword, Adrian continued to massacre the commoners. His mother indicated to two of the masses in particulara brown-haired man carrying a whip and a blond woman in a green dressand he immediately attacked. Both individuals appeared stunned and horror crawled over their features...but he minded that not. They had hurt his mother and they would suffer.
The man dodged a massive downward cut from him and continued to duck. A string of obscene language came from his lips. Dismissing him for the moment, Adrian thrust his blade at the woman. She was not so fortunate. The blade hit home in flesh, the shoulder to be precise.
His mother howled. KILL! KILL!!! KKKIIIIIIILLL!
Seemed so surreal...so unreal...
Alucard! Oh, my God, what are you doing? yelled the man.
Stop, please! cried the woman.
Their voices...so real...
Adrian turned to his mother, sword lowered. Why, mother? Why must I kill them? His mother looked enraged. In the time it took for him to breathe, however, the look metamorphosed. Then it contorted and warped into a far more gracious expression. She gestured for him to come into her arms and he went willingly. All the while the other two stared in utter shock, exchanging appalled whispers.
Dont you want to protect your mother? Lisa asked in an ultra-honeyed tone.
Then, you must. Her eyes were infinitely loving. Just as he remembered them, a crisp blue. Her golden hair, a shade deeper than his own, flowed over him. ...but there is something more significant... Ignoring the whip-bearing man and the injured woman, his mother led him to another blond female. She, too, evoked memories...so shattered...
His mother lifted his face to hers. The ruffles of the ebony gown should have been tickling his chin. But they did not.
Drink her blood.
Do what your mother says.
To say it was difficult to resist the woman who had given birth to Adrian was a grave understatement. Her voice was an odd mixture between hypnotic and soothing. In his soul, where the turbulent emotions once lived but now only drifted, dead, a coldness filled him. Once those feelings faded the wild vampiric sensations seemed logical. So natural.
He must heed the call. He was a vampire. He was the Prince of Darkness.
Yes, mother... Flipping his twilight cloak over a shoulder, he lifted the delicate hand with his fingers. Warmth, from her coursing blood, excited him and sensations jumbled within the prince with a alarming rate.
Leather across his face forced the vampeal back. He retreated and scowled at the assailant. A man with a fiendish whip stood before him, fury radiating. His female companion menaced a dagger near. His would-be victim was stirring but not yet awake.
Shaking his head, his adversary whispered, I dont know whats come over you...Dracula must have done something...but I cant let you hurt Maria.
Well stop you! The daggered lady added.
Laughter, cool, enveloped the area. Adrian looked up. It was his mothers laughter. But it wasnt his mothers laughter...But it was...He balled his fists and covered his temples in a portrait of despair. Where was he? Who was he? What was going on? As the vampeal knelt, confused, his mother flung out her hands and both of the opponents sailed up and then down. After that, she walked over to him and touched his arm.
Something strange happened then...All the doubts fled his mind, washed with his purpose.
He lifted the hand again....
He opened his mouth....
He brought his teeth down...
He froze. Both golden eyes lowered to the sight of his soon-to-be victim. Her own eyes, green as the deep ocean, gave him pause. She smiled. Alucard! You came for me! Just like I knew you would! Ambivalence thieved the air from his lungs. Had he been able to speaknot that could!Adrian/Alucard would have found his conversational inventory quite empty. Maria... he murmured brokenly. His soul, once a haven for unemotional hate, erupted with sorrow and love. Now the vampeal knew what had occurred.
This was a dream. A magic-induced, emotionless-enhanced, father-designed dream.
Maria, I... The two held close, he with his head buried into her shoulder, she rubbing the half-breeds back as one might do for a distressed child.
ADRIAN! His mothers voice...but not his mothers. Adrian stood, gesturing for the huntress to help their friends, now so clear to his memory. Richter lay some distance away, his face and body seared. Annette was yet beyond him with a burned arm and wounded shoulder. As the huntress obeyed, he riveted his attention on his mother not with cold hatred but grieved love.
You are not my mother.
You are my son.
You have failed. I will not be manipulated in a dream to do your bidding. And thats all this isa dream. But my friends are here so I guess Im actually sleepwalking, right? But now that I know and have defeated your evil influence, I will awaken and stop you.
A snarl came from his father/mother. Do you think you can so easily evade your fate, foolish child? You are a vampire and cannot escape this realm. If you kill me you will simply rise as another of me.
Dracula. Prince of Darkness.
Alucard. Prince of Darkness.
As the image of his mother faded so did the images of the others. Even Maria vanished, extinguished in a swirl of nothingness. All the son of Dracula saw was a bloody field devoid of bodies that should be there. The life fluid made him violently ill and he fell down again. Was he doomed to be trapped in the vaults of his own mind until the half-vampire accepted his immoral destiny?
No, Adrian. The sound immediately made him look up.
His mother. Only this time it really was his mother.
Instantly, without knowing why, Adrian/Alucard knew this was no Prince of Darkness. Her angelic eyes shone with a love his father was not aware of. She merely stood there, a sad smile on her face. If you wish to return to save your friends and yourself you need but truly believe and it will happen.
I miss you.
Do you? Ive been with you.
Remember when the waters flooded this chapel and you almost died? I did not want to see you die so I spoke to you..and the time I told you to get help for Maria..and...so many times.
Tears streamed his face, as his cultured voice wavered, I do remember.
Remember this also: I love you.
And with that the apparition diminished, light merging with dust. Since the vampeal had never known much of true emotion the whole experience frightened him. However, his friends were in serious danger. Draculas intentions were obvious enoughto make him a full-blooded vampire. Now, Alucard knew what must be done.
He must die.
Lifting the blade, his heirloom, the half-vampire thrust it into his own heart...
I am dreaming!
...and he awoke. Once the amber eyes flittered open, the half-vampires gaze fell on that of his sires. Two steel-grey pupils locked on his. The Prince of Darkness lips set in a straight line as he laced a hand through his silver hair. You deny your destiny? The manner he spoke would convince an uneducated onlooker that he mentioned the weather but there was both mental and physical pain in it.
So clear it was to the half-breed now as it was not then. Once he had embedded the cross into Draculas brow the Prince of Darkness had cast a very powerful incantation on him. That spell encased Alucard into a dream-mental world that his father had manipulated to his own devices. Only the combined efforts of his mother, friends, and his own reason had restored his sanity and sensitivities.
Yes... the vampeal answered as his eyes continued to scan the area. As he straightened, his vision also revealed the forms of Maria, Richter, and Annette. The three lay, huddled, assembled into a pile of unconscious victims. Alucard prayed his weakness, that of such poor control over his emotions, did not cost them their lives. They deserved so much more...and his sacrifice was a simple price to pay.
Will you not cease this madness, father? Do not force me to plunge your soul back to the flames of damnation!" These were not just the words of a son distraught over his fathers fall; they were words spoken by an avenging angel. He did not recognize his own voice.
Only laughter and the vampires blazing palm, threatening his friends, answered him. So this is what it has come to, Alucard noted bitterly. Father verus son for eternity! Pinching the bridge of nose in dismay, the vampeals other hand probed his scabbard for his blade. With a yank and he menaced it before Vladimir. Silvers of predawn, an indication of the precious time he had remaining to kill himself and restore his beloved, glittered along the blade.
If you will not desist then I have no choice but to destroy you...
Or die trying...
Both combatants charged toward one another, cloaks rippling as if alive. Draculas weapon, a massive spear, interlocked with that of the younger Tepes, a slender heirloom sword. Champagne to silver eyes met. Each used his supernatural strength to force the other down. Because Alucard carried only half-vampire blood the vampeal was overpowered. He stumbled to the waterlogged tiles, seeing the morning streaks and all too aware of what that connoted.
Meanwhile, whipping in a shining arc, his loosened blade sliced through the air and landed some distance away with a clank. The next events progressed so swiftly that Alucard didnt have time to think. Dracula made a low cut to his head. He ducked. High slash to the knees. Dodged. Thrust. Slash. Hack. Again and again the half-breed evaded the swings as the elder Tepes sought to murder him. More often than not Draculas rapid efforts scored wounds in his sons flesh. Each step left a bloody footprint in the vampeals wake.
When your better half prevails victory shall be mine.
When my better half prevails victory shall be mine. The half-vampire countered, each breath torture. As his father advanced the vampeal immediately induced a transformation, this time, of mist. As his structure dissolved he admitted only a moan. It was indeed painful.
But the next thrust by Dracula proved ineffective because his strike impacted mere air. Mist brushed pass his midnight/crimson cloak, rustled, and emerged behind. Fast-as-thought, Alucard retransformed. At the same instant Vladimir spun around, the vampeal snatched up his blade. With a warcry, tore from raw passions, he slammed the blade in.
Now the sons efforts were unrewarded. While a string of blood sprouted and left a gap in Dracula, the Prince of Darkness grinned. Foolish, foolish child! Mere toys cannot kill me! I will killkill you alland resurrect you, my son, in my image. With that, he drove his son to the vampeals knees.
Horror, disbelief, and despair all took turns playing over Alucards face. The sensations, so newly discovered, reached everywhere but his eyes. In them burned determination. Ivory-gold bangs draped over his brow. Sweat beaded his forehead. Blood fled his veins. Pain, mental and physical, assailed him brutally.
But he still got up.
Water and blood splashed with each step son made toward father. Once face-to-face, the half-vampire exhibited the blade. Draculas chortles filled the corridor. Apparently, the Prince of Darkness believed Alucard about to cleave him asunder. He had no such plans.
The blade, a beautiful weapon from eras ago, clanged noisily to the floor. For a moment, that was all the action in a stoic world. But there was subsequent action, a slight of a hand as five gloved digits darted over to the wooden cross that hung. It was the same holy symbol that had scorched his skin a short while ago. Just as in the dream, death was only answer. His other hand snatched his fathers.
This time Dracula screamed...echoed by his son.
What a horrible night to have a curse.
A massive bolt of divine lightning jolted from the cross. His earlier attempt was in vain because of the high concentration of human blood. But, this time, the life fluid of a true vampire was in the circuit, spelling death for both. As the pain seared every nerve in his body until it created a level of nonfeeling Alucard sank down. His hands were yet gripped by the holiest of artifacts and the darkest of demons.
At last, death...the half-breed sighed, his final words thus:
Dawn Wilkins' Fanfiction