Chapter 45:

Unlikely Team

Adventures of Zeleon

Charlotte got back up slowly, her face and parts of her body were marred from the silver particles. Still, she grinned at both Varius and Maeva. "That was pretty clever. I assume you made those for us, Varius? They're very effective, and not something I can just move away from. But of course, that's hardly enough to kill me."

Maeva gritted her teeth from annoyance of her high and mighty attitude. A green aura surrounded her, as she pulled the trees' roots from below and wrapped Charlotte up in a tight bind to keep her from moving around.

Varius makes a quick follow-up, pulling out an already loaded crossbow, firing a silver tipped arrow at her head.

Charlotte moved her scythe using her magic, cutting a piece of the roots off enough to shift herself, taking the arrow to the shoulder instead. "Agh!!! You are really reminding me how much silver hurts…!" Still using her magic, she cut herself free and took the scythe back in her hand as she pulled the arrow out of her. "It's a shame I'll have to hurt you both, I actually like you two."

Varius grabbed a large shield off his back and charged forward at Charlotte, with Maeva dropping behind him. The Vampire Queen scoffed as she quickly ended up behind them, striking at Maeva, who disappeared because she was a doppelganger.

In this moment of distraction, Varius swung his tail and sent Charlotte flying, hitting the ground rolling as more of Maeva's doppelgangers dropped bombs of silver dust on her again. She screamed in pain, with the real Maeva attempting to strike her down. But the Vampire's magic formed a barrier around herself.

Maeva made a hasty retreat back to Varius, unsure of what she'd counter with.

"You two are becoming a real thorn in my side!" Charlotte said with an angered tone.

"That's what happens when you underestimate your opposition!" Maeva retorted.

Charlotte got back up, her eyes now as black as an abyss with her fangs fully bared. "So confident in yourself are you? Let me put that to rest." She charged at them, and ended up between them in a split second. Varius grabbed her, trying to turn her focus towards him.

She obliged as she struck at him with furious aggression, the shield he had begun cracking after several hits, keeping him backpedaling from the sheer force of each strike.

Maeva had the opening she needed, using more tree roots from the ground to stab through Charlotte's body simultaneously, making her bleed out everywhere, making her cough blood. Even in a situation like this, the Vampire Queen laughed. Her body phased into a black mass, reforming behind Maeva. She bit into her to have been yet another doppelganger.

Charlotte was furious this time, she wanted an easy way to heal herself but once again she was duped. Then a sudden thought sparked in her mind. "Maeva has never really been here has she?"

Varius charged her, striking with his axe, forcing her to block it as she was pushed back from all the blood loss and damage she's suffered. "Have I been weakened this much?! That's it! She hasn't ever been here, if she were I could've used her to heal. They knew that ahead of time. And Varius is so physically strong...that he could take me in a weakened state."

Varius pushed her back into a tree, she looked up into his eyes while she struggled to give herself leverage again. She was forced to use magic to push him off of her, allowing her to back on the offensive when she was put in a precarious situation again, as more of Maeva's doppelgangers appeared along with Salandra.

"More of you?! Ugh, stay down you weaklings!!!!" Charlotte yelled at them, as her rage built more. She was a bit overconfident, not acknowledging the intellect that they had until it was too late.

Charlotte got rid of the doppelgangers with ease, but they were just distractions for Salandra. As she got closer, the Vampire Queen noticed there was a reflective glimmer coming off of her. The moment they clashed, the particles came off of her, burning the vampire.

"You covered yourself in silver?!" She exclaimed, as she was blinded by the silver going into her eyes.

"I did, you overconfident, red headed reject! Me and Varius will beat you in Leon's place!"

Varius got on all fours and charged her, while Salandra kept pressure with each clash of their blades causing further harm to Charlotte. The Vampire Queen was in unfamiliar territory with being pushed against the wall by superior strategy.

Varius rammed her backwards, she did her best to hold her ground but her feet dragged across it leaving a trail, Salandra jumped and went for her head, but she used her magic to protect her again. The moment the sword hit the barrier, it snapped cleanly in two.

Charlotte repelled Varius back with a stronger barrier, then attempted to go back on the offensive before vines grabbed her by the legs and held her once again. She tried kicking out of them, but they gripped much stronger than earlier.

In a tree above her was Maeva, likely the real one this time. "You really don't die do you?" She made five doppelgangers of herself that descended to strike at Charlotte. Charlotte's arms were still free, she gripping her scythe tightly, making quick work of the doppelgangers in one fell swoop.

Varius and Salandra both charged her, making her have to dig deep. She loosed a powerful magic burst that broke her out of the vines and sent both Salandra and Varius flying backwards.

"I've had enough of you all!" She shouted as she grew her wings out and began to take flight. Maeva refused to let her go, as she jumped down herself and stabbed both her blades into her newly grown wings.

"I won't let you…run!" Maeva spoke with passion as Charlotte flew up higher.

"Get off of me!" Charlotte yelled at her as she kicked her off, falling about fifteen feet before hitting the ground with a dull thud. The trio tried their best, but ultimately Charlotte was too powerful. She flew off, heading in Leon and Courtney's direction.


Earlier, Leon rushed Courtney back to safety with only Katrina, Salandra had already gone to fight Charlotte. He laid the Vampire on her back gently, she was holding her stomach that'd previously been gashed open.

Katrina saw the shape they were both in, and immediately ran to them.

"What happened to you two?! Are the others ok?!" She said in a panic.

"The others I don't know about, they're likely still fighting Charlotte." Leon responded. "We both got our asses handed to us by her. She's just too strong…."

"It's my fault. She was right, Leon. I'm far too weak, I'm afraid of being corrupted by the true power. She's been the only vampire to unleash her true power….I can, but…I'm scared." Courtney said.

Leon took her free hand in both of his, looking her dead in the eyes as he took a deep breath. "Does power have a consciousness?"

Katrina almost interrupted but Leon held a hand up to her. Courtney was confused by his question. "Consciousness?"

"I mean does it have a mind of its own. Does power have its own motives?" Leon questioned.

Courtney was left dumbfounded by Leon's question as she frantically tried to think. "No….it doesn't….."

"Then, why aren't you a true vampire? Why aren't you trying to do what it takes to be the Queen?! I have Silva, you never know what I could've done with it. I'm using this power to help you, to help Zeleon. Power is only a means, it's the thing that allows you to attain goals, not what corrupts them. Power only has as much control over you as you allow it to. You are above that! You're stronger than that!" Leon spoke emphatically, and felt out of breath shortly after from his own fatigue.

Katrina stepped away from the pair, she didn't think he'd be able to handle the situation as well as he did.

Courtney meanwhile, was conflicted within herself. "He's...not wrong. But this curse is something I despise so much….or maybe I just don't appreciate what I am enough. In a way, Charlotte was right. I do need to embrace that I'm a vampire, but I need to do it in my own way so that I can still be proud of myself. Leon, how do you always...wait what the hell is he doing?!"

Leon had pulled a knife from his pocket and cut his hand open right in front of her.

"Why'd you do that?!" She exclaimed.

"You need to heal." He responded calmly.

"I….don't want your blood….like I said, it'd be cheating…"

"Your health for the present means more. Besides, you've had over half a year to not 'cheat', it's ok."

He gave his hand to her, and she took it by the wrist almost nervously in her cold hand. She thought about it for a moment before pressing the wound to her cool, but soft lips and drank the spilling blood.

She felt his memories flash through her mind as her hunger grew a bit, she restrained herself, but her teeth grazed his hand while she continued to drink. Soon, the shock of his memories stopped her. The vivid recollection of the night when Leon was nearly beaten to death stained her, the pain, the screams, the gunshots, it made her understand his mental state. The taunting, the bullying, the retaliation. She understood him on a level deeper than anyone ever could, the experience was so overwhelming that she cried and hugged him tightly. Her wound sealed up like it was never there thanks to his blood, but that was hardly on her mind.

"I promise you Leon, I'll make all the hell you've gone through worthwhile. We're going to have a lot of great memories from here on." She said to him as he took a deep breath, and hugged her in return. This touching moment between two friends was then promptly interrupted.

Charlotte flew in looking battered and beaten, but was still able to move around exceptionally well. She went after Katrina immediately, and though the Princess blocked her with a barrier, it cracked after she struck it a few times. Leon realized this and moved with the lightning element to try to save her.

Seconds felt like eons, blood seemed to spill slower, a universal silence over the sound of flesh being torn. These events created an unsettling feeling, one that charged the air in the area. A scream was finally let out, while soft sobs were it's background.