Chapter 13:

Vampire III

The Aliens They Summoned

The shadows aided their cause. This time, they went without humans. Count Nosgard watched his king, leading the operation.Bookmark here

He was silent.Bookmark here

Ever since that woman talked to him, his gaze lingered in the distance.Bookmark here

She donned the appearance of a mere human, but Count Nosgard felt no desire to taste her blood. Even his King sat up straight in his chair, his eyes sharp and respectful as they conversed.Bookmark here

As Count Nosgard didn't know her, he wondered whether she was a spy of his king, but that notion quickly disappeared from his mind.Bookmark here

She was stronger than his King.Bookmark here

That was the unease he had felt.Bookmark here

"I refuse to interfere in your actions," she told King Paegan, her arms crossed under her breasts. It would've looked alluring if she weren't as frightening as she was. "It is your decision... but there will be a war."Bookmark here

"What's your verdict of the situation?" King Paegan inquired, ready to listen to her in a way he didn't show to his actual consultants.Bookmark here

"I am a neutral party, Paegan. Your master wasn't supposed to land in this kingdom, and for that, he was impaled. You can be glad for your mind. You learned from his mistakes." She cocked her head, acting like she owned the place. "I must create balance, for it might lessen the weight of my mistake. The neighboring kings have grown suspicious. I don't intend to force you out of your lands, but they noticed your strange behavior. Paegan, their forces are assembled... well, two kingdoms worth of soldiers, at least. The third one is in disarray. I won't presume to know what's best for your kingdom, Paegan, but know that you are next. I wonder how much resistance those folks can even put up... though if they fought evenly against you, maybe the lands of men will actually break a sweat this time. You don't even know about the north, do you? Well, it's not really the north, just north of here... but no, that would be too much interference." She mumbled that last part, stopping herself. King Paegan watched her eagerly, listening to every word. "King Paegan," she said, resolutely using his title, causing the king to twitch in surprise. "This might be your one chance to fight them on even ground. I offer you a chance at victory so that I can rest in peace. Until next time."Bookmark here

She bowed, swiftly leaving the throne room.Bookmark here

Ever since then, the King had acted strangely.Bookmark here

He demanded information of the northernmost kingdom of the old alliance, Daghan, and prepared the troops for marching out immediately.Bookmark here

Daghan was a wasteland.Bookmark here

The darkness aided the vampires' advances, but even the towns and cities were wasted. Something had destroyed them all, leaving nothing in their wake.Bookmark here

It was unsettling.Bookmark here

A purple mountain range rose in the distance, growing larger as they got closer. The King looked almost somber as he gazed at it, not even bothering to feast on the rations of blood they took with them.Bookmark here

The mountains were strange.Bookmark here

They looked deformed and abnormally smooth, especially when they got closer.Bookmark here

The king looked at it with the same gaze again one night, accompanying his generals, lords, counts, and nobles in a last feast before battle.Bookmark here

The smell of blood hung in the air.Bookmark here

"Did I ever tell you about the last words of the previous king?" King Paegan suddenly spoke, his eyes never leaving the not-so-distant mountains. Nobody dared to answer. "I'll never forget the look in his eyes as all life was sucked out of him... by me. He said 'Guard the north. Daghan must be guarded.' I wonder what he meant... I never bothered to find out."Bookmark here

He didn't say anything else.Bookmark here

Everyone thought the same thing.Bookmark here

"We will find out tomorrow."Bookmark here

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They stumbled upon corpses soon after their march began.Bookmark here

King Paegan was back to his old self, commanding, and inspiring. It eased the tension among the vampires who followed their king without question.Bookmark here

They were ten thousand in total, give or take.Bookmark here

There weren't more to be assembled in due time.Bookmark here

Some of the corpses were as rotten as the world around them, others were bestial in nature. Count Nosgard recognized them as the same kinds of beasts he fought while rushing to Lord Viktor's aid.Bookmark here

It smelled terrible.Bookmark here

He had to hold back on throwing up.Bookmark here

"Jump into the shadows," King Paegan whispered. They followed without a word, rushing to the edge of battle. It was a huge scramble, a battle between tens of thousands. Humans, beasts, and something else, long past being human, fought against each other. "Follow me..." Their king led the army, firmly hidden in the shadows, to the strongest presences on the field. These were their commanders, no doubt. A beast and a half-dead human with greyish-green skin fought against three human warriors, one without his shirt, one with golden armor, and one dressed all in black. "Avoid those three."Bookmark here

"Which side are we fighting on?" Count Nosgard dared to ask.Bookmark here

Nobody actually talked about that.Bookmark here

"We get our chance in this battle," King Paegan whispered back. "I don't know which side will provide us with that chance, yet. For now, we just... shit! Get away!" he commanded, pushing everyone in the vicinity out of harm's way as a sword cleanly sliced through the tree. It was the warrior in gold. "King Gordan."Bookmark here

The man cocked his head, whistling in respect for dodging the attack.Bookmark here

"Pale skin, sharp teeth, clad in shadows... I wouldn't have thought that the rumors were true. Are you here to join your brethren in battle?"Bookmark here

"Actually-"Bookmark here

"No, don't worry. I will give you a merciful death. Consider it a gift between kings... you have the smell of blood on you, after all."Bookmark here

"That's what we do, Gordan. Men, disperse!"Bookmark here

Count Nosgard distanced himself, sucking the closest human dry. Another gry-skinned creature eyed him strangely, then bit into the very same human.Bookmark here

Instantly, he twitched and stood up, now donning grey skin and a foul smell.Bookmark here

The lack of blood didn't interest him as it sunk into the shadows to surprise an unfortunate victim in its vicinity.Bookmark here

Count Nosgard allowed himself to watch the fight between kings for a moment.Bookmark here

They hadn't made their moves yet.Bookmark here

King Gordan chuckled.Bookmark here

"How many did you bring? A few thousand? This could get dangerous, after all..."Bookmark here

"You could've had those on your side, lad," King Paegan taunted back, earning a snort from King Gordan.Bookmark here

"Don't fool me, you creatures are all the same."Bookmark here

"You don't stand a chance against me," King Paegan announced, moving so fast he could have teleported. He emerged behind his foe, swinging his sword... which was blocked. King Gordan then swing it again, and King Peagan only evaded it by turning into a shadow. "Humans shouldn't be that strong," King Paegan spat.Bookmark here

"You creatures shouldn't even be here," King Gordan countered, and their swords clashed.Bookmark here

The impact alone sent Count Nosgard flying, but he mitigated the damage by jumping into the closest shadow.Bookmark here

He would distance himself from those two.Bookmark here

The other four were still at it, not even noticing that King Gordan now fought another one.Bookmark here

The bare-chested man squared off with the beast, and the rotting human fought the warrior in dark armor.Bookmark here

Their aura felt dangerous on his pale skin.Bookmark here

He jumped out at another group of men a few hundred meters away.Bookmark here

They were too surprised to do anything.Bookmark here

Strangely enough, neither beasts nor rotting men attacked him or the other vampires. They directed their bestial attacks only on the humans, who fought back bravely.Bookmark here

The beasts could hold their own, but the rotting men only stood a chance because of their numbers.Bookmark here

Barbaric but disciplined fighters mowed through rows and rows of them, while knights in black armor sent shockwaves through the ranks, hurting even the beasts.Bookmark here

It was hard to tell through the rot and the thick blanket of clouds in the sky, but it wasn't even full moon yet, and the other kings clearly said that the beasts only appeared on a full moon... Count Nosgard wondered what was going on as he went back into the shadows, ambushing a particularly troublesome foe who killed two beasts in combat.Bookmark here

Not expecting the onslaught, he was easily dispatched.Bookmark here

Rays of light and flames and other elements raced through the forest, crashing into the forces of rotting creatures.Bookmark here

It was as the woman had said, Count Nosgard discovered.Bookmark here

The humans could hold their own.Bookmark here

Was fighting against them really the best option?Bookmark here

Should they listen to a false accusation of King Gordan when they hadn't even decided on the enemy yet?Bookmark here

Count Nosgard admitted that he would rather live to see another day.Bookmark here

The fighting went on everywhere.Bookmark here

Through some means or another, the human forces reached the wall and battled there, unable to shield themselves from all the debris raining down on them.Bookmark here

Count Nosgard saw figures on top of the mountains which turned out to be a really big wall, throwing stuff down at the humans.Bookmark here

Some even jumped down, unable to contain themselves.Bookmark here

The ranks up there grew thin...Bookmark here

"Whoa!" he exclaimed, evading an intense ray of light crashing into his position from the sky. The sun wasn't like this. He looked for the perpetrator, finding him in a reddish-white gown. The red was from the blood. "Let's get this fucker."Bookmark here

Motivating himself like that, Count Nosgard fled into the shadows, circling around the figure. The man set off what could only be described as a light bomb, causing Count Nosgard to tumble out of the now non-existent shadow.Bookmark here

A moment later, the man was upon him with a sword clad in light.Bookmark here

Count Nosgard countered, noticing the strength of his adversary with a grunt.Bookmark here

He kicked the man backward and evaded an oncoming swarm of bats, washing over the scene.Bookmark here

King Paegan seemed to have a hard time.Bookmark here

"What the...!" the man cursed, protecting his face with his arms.Bookmark here

It barely saved him.Bookmark here

Count Nosgard jumped from his hiding place, biting deep into the man's neck. His body went limp as he sucked the blood out of his body!Bookmark here

"AWOOOOOOO!"Bookmark here

"WHOOOOOO!"Bookmark here

"AUHOOOOO!"Bookmark here

"WHUUUUUUUUUU!"Bookmark here

Countless howling noises suddenly echoed over the battlefield. In a stroke of dumbness, Count Nosgard turned his head, freeing the man, who also looked for the source of that noise.Bookmark here

They were close to a hole in the wall, and the ground shook as what must be thousands of beasts came storming through.Bookmark here

Count Nosgard was too occupied with blankly staring at them to notice the wave of bats crashing into him and the man who could control light.Bookmark here

They were both flung far away, and Count Nosgard crashed into the wall, knocking the wind out of him.Bookmark here

He could make out the full moon, unmistakable in the sky, and he wished for blood.Bookmark here

The world turned dark, and he needed blood to recover...Bookmark here

"Blood... give me blood..."Bookmark here

He stumbled to the closest figure, which evaded his tumbling.Bookmark here

Count Nosgard groaned as he laid on the ground, listening to a voice far away...Bookmark here

"Be purged, vile creature!"Bookmark here

A searing heat engulfed him soon after.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.