Chapter 46:

Sever the Last String

Adventures of Zeleon

"I'd never turn Leon. Ever. He has a life on Earth with his best friend and his mother; he wants to keep his limited lifespan. I respect that completely, even if his life is in danger."

"Those last words you spoke. I'll hold you to them. If Leon, a sixteen year old, in over his head with the boldness that comes in youth, was bleeding out in front of you, you couldn't turn him?........"

This conversation between herself and Charlotte rang in her head. It was all put into immediate perspective, as Courtney watched Leon get stabbed by the Vampire Queen's scythe. It went in just below his rib cage and came out of his shoulder, his blood gushed down his body while he coughed up even more blood.

Katrina fell to her back when it transpired right in front of her. She bursted into tears, Leon had thrown himself in front of Charlotte just to protect her.

Charlotte scoffed at him. "You disappoint me. All that rage in your heart and this is how you use it."

"He's a good person, that rage was pointed at you. You know, at one point he really felt conflicted. He didn't know how to approach you because you aren't evil, you're still not. But your vision is so warped you lost perspective…." Courtney spoke through her gritted teeth, as she clenched her weapon in her hands.

Varius, Maeva and Salandra caught up to Charlotte and came upon the scene. Courtney halted them with her hand.

"You think I lost perspective? You know what, fine. Think like that. But, now I give you three choices."

Charlotte responded as she pulled the scythe out of Leon making him fall to the ground bleeding.

"You can save him by bringing him back to the capital, you can turn him and you both fight me, can fight me, but not save him."

Katrina used her telekinesis and lifted Leon off the ground slowly, and slinked around the two alpha vampires over to the trio.

"I'll choose the hidden option. Beat you and get Leon back to the capital." She responded confidently.

"Hah! You aren't even a true vampire, how do you plan to def-..huh?"

Charlotte stopped herself. Courtney had a brilliant purple mist surrounding her, she took Leon's advice and plunged herself into the deep end of the power that was inside her. Her fangs were bared, her eyes blackening a darker shade as she screamed.

"You're really becoming a true vampire...for this reason?"

Leon stirred a bit, opening his eyes back up after he passed out for a moment. "What's...happening…..?"

The others weren't very sure, but Cynric, who'd been dutifully watching, explained. "Courtney is undergoing a final transformation of sorts. She's becoming a true vampire at your urging, young Guardian."

When Courtney finished, the mist only poured out of her with greater intensity. Her eyes met with Charlotte's, now a menacing blood red in color. When she spoke, it sounded like it was in a frustrated growl. "Charlotte. Whoever kills the other, takes over."

Charlotte licks the pooled blood off of her scythe with an evil grin. "Fine. If you really want it to come to this, so be it! Cynric, you heard her, those rules apply. But also, if they try to escape with Leon...kill them all."

"Yes, madam."

Maeva tried to not react, but she was upset that it was completely out of her hands to help him.

The two vampires clashed before anyone realized it. The force at which their weapons collided made a shockwave that shifted the branches around them.

"Come on Courtney!" Katrina blurted out loud.

Leon shook his head, and nudged her shoulder. "No...don't…"

Varius completed his thought process for him.

"This isn't something that should be celebrated."

The two clashed time after time, each one attempting to counter each other only for it to fail or end up in a deadlock. The looks on their faces were pained, it was an outcome that neither one of them wanted.

"This….is a sorrowful fight. It's not one that's wanted, it's not for fun, it's not even good versus evil. It's a battle of iron will ideals that neither will back away from. Even if it means to kill the other…"

Watching the two of them fight is an experience. Even Leon, who was struggling to stay conscious, could tell these two individuals were simply on another level from him.

Courtney's purple mist morphed around her as she went after Charlotte in a straight line. Then for a brief moment she disappeared then reappeared in front of her, stabbing the red headed vampire in the shoulder.

Charlotte retreated in a bit of a panic, as her flesh tore from the weapon being yanked out of herself. "W-what was that….?!"

Courtney had no words, she came after Charlotte again. She struck with a stronger force than the Vampire Queen anticipated, the overhead slam of her halberd made the ground give out, creating a crater beneath Charlotte's feet.

"Where is this coming from?"

Charlotte thought to herself for a moment before she turned into an energy mass that moved away from Courtney in haste.

Courtney made chase, she seemed to be picking up her newfound power quickly. She did the same thing Charlotte did and attacked her with reckless abandon.

The clashes between them felt like earthquakes in the air, with each clash happening faster than the last. Charlotte moved at an unfathomable speed for a brief moment, letting her get behind Courtney and struck her with incredible force.

She slammed into the ground hard, making an indent several feet into it. Her form returned to normal, with the purple mist still surrounding her. Charlotte followed up, slamming into Courtney, pancaking her into the earth even more.

Dust followed, blinding everyone from seeing the true aftermath. All they heard was Charlotte's voice sounding triumphant.

"Daughter. Your power is something to be marveled. But you'll never surpass your creator. Now, if you give up, I'll let you save Leon from certain death. If you don't, you force my hand in killing you right here!"

As the dust cleared, Charlotte could clearly be seen stomping on Courtney's stomach with her scythe shoved against her throat.

Leon managed to walk a few steps forward, the others looked at him in shock. Maeva attempted to pull him back but he gently made a hand gesture for her to calm down.

"...Courtney….I...know you're doing this….for my sake….but remember..this is for yourself...take your any means necessary!!!!!" He forced the emphasis on his last few words, making him cough blood again. Maeva took him back to the tree he was leaning against.

Charlotte scoffed at his words. "Why is your faith so strong Leon? Do you two have a...potential romantic bond that I didn't see in your memory?"

Courtney's mist turned a bright red, the same color as her still red eyes. "You think that's why..? We're friends, we're roamers, we're loners, the outcasts, the outsiders. The bond between us needs no definition, but it certainly isn't that!"

Courtney grabbed Charlotte's scythe and pushed it back into her, before grabbing her leg and rolled with a strong torque, slamming Charlotte on her face.

She got back to her feet along with Charlotte. "Your obsession with us is unhealthy."

"What if he were to betray you? You never know, that darkness inside of him can be unleashed at any given moment." Charlotte stated to her.

"Shut the fuck up." Leon thought in his head.

"Shut...the fuck up!!!!" Courtney yelled at her. She charged, clashing weapons with Charlotte again.

Katrina looked between the two of them with a new found understanding, like she could see the invisible link that tied them.

"Those are not your words, Courtney!" Charlotte said emphatically, as she pushed her back again. "You're even talking like him!"

"And?! What of it?! You were interested in him, you tried to recruit him, what makes that different in your eyes?!" Courtney retaliated not only in words but in action, her red mist gathered around her right hand. She let her weapon go back to it's plane, making Charlotte's scythe stab her through her left shoulder. Courtney smiled, as she swung her mist covered right hand with everything, she hit Charlotte cleanly, knocking her back hundreds of feet through full trees.

The Vampire Queen took a bad landing, getting impaled on a sharp branch through her stomach. But, despite her injury, she got back up and went straight back towards Courtney, who was lying in wait for her. She threw the scythe back at Charlotte before bringing back her halberd.

Charlotte's mist turned completely black, looking like a black hole was following her around. "I'll put an end to this game!!!"

"I never wanted this, Courtney."

Courtney charged back at her, the mist changed to a reddish purple. "Your last gasp is here and now! I'll take the Queenship for myself!!!"

"Why couldn't you just listen, I didn't want to do this!"

The clash made time stop for a moment. The intensity was so powerful everyone's hearts skipped several beats. When it felt like time moved forward once again, Courtney launched Charlotte high into the air.

She chased after her, with her halberd absorbing the mist into a concentrated extension. "ANDROMEDA ASSASSINATION!!!"

Courtney slashed her halberd into Charlotte, leaving a trail of a beautiful purple and red spatial mist in the sky. Blood suddenly spewed out making the ethereal look of it quickly turn back into reality. Charlotte's torso was separated from her legs. Her halves fell out of the sky and onto the ground, with Courtney touching ground shortly after, taking a deep breath.

The shock on everyone's faces was apparent. The only ones who showed almost nothing were Cynric and Leon.

Charlotte, who was still clinging to life, crawled towards Courtney leaving a blood soaked trail behind her. "Why…..what did….I do...wrong…? humanity that….important..?"

Courtney turned to the almost pathetic Charlotte crawling before her feet. "You lost who you used to be as a whole. The good deeds you do, that's what you should've focused on. Instead you focused on revenge. The revenge that turned you cannibalistic, the revenge that made you a vampire, the revenge that got you killed."

Charlotte is in the last stages. Her mind started living through her past. With her whispers of the happiest times of her life. "Mary…..Helen….no you can't splash me like that...heheheh….yes of course...I'll both...very soon…"

Leon limped forward towards Charlotte but Courtney held her halberd out in front of him. "If she bites…."

He shook his head. "Charlotte….you're a mother and a wife scorned. That does something. You probably can't understand me….but, I forgive what you did….I believe, even now, that you're a good person. I can be with your family…"

Her eyes shot to him when he said that. He wasn't sure if she understood him, but she smiled right before she closed her eyes and passed on.

Courtney's halberd disappeared as Leon fell into her. He pushed his voice to talk, using whatever energy he had that was keeping him conscious.

"Everyone. I need to go, Immediately. Cynric, please collect her remains so we can bury her properly. Varius, let the Wolves know who the new Queen is, and tell them that the treaty will be signed with or without them. Maeva, Katrina, you two get back to the capital as soon as you can."

Courtney finished giving out orders before she held Leon in her arms and took flight. While taking him to be treated she cried, she bawled completely. That final string had snapped, Charlotte Winterborne is no more. Her creator is no more. Her adoptive mother is no more. Her one time best no more. She shook her tears away, holding Leon closer. " forgave her, you wonderful, kind being. Never change. I'll need more than ever…"

All hail Courtney Huntington. Queen of Vampires.