Chapter 12:

Chapter 12


Elizabeth, Sir Isaac, and Lenore approached the castle, Dracula's castle, Bran castle. It rested upon a large cliffside or mountain, elevated high above the rest of the town. As the three climbed up the stairs, Elizabeth took in the stronghold's elegance and beauty. Impressive masonry. Gorgeous round arches. Metal chains and bars that helped reinforce its imagery and exterior. Banners and flags waved in the winds. Truly it was a brilliant bastion. Once they scaled the manor's steps, Lenore drew closer to its iron studded doors. She knocked on the dark oak, and the massive doors creaked open, slowly swiveling on their hinges. She turned back towards Elizabeth and Sir Isaac and motioned them inside. The interior of the castle was just as luxurious as the outside. Stunning rugs and carpets, tapestries and painting lined the walls, all illuminated by the soft orange glow of torches.

"Please excuse the mess. Our Lord enjoys a more solitary life, and I don't believe he has enough time in the night to clean up all the dust and cobwebs." Lenore guided the two through winding halls and twisted corridors. A thousand rooms or more must've existed within the castle's walls, all vacant and unused. The only rooms with any signs of life were the dining hall, the kitchen, and the Count's quarters. They made their final stop just beyond the main study, presumably where the Count spends most of his time. "Alright, he should be in here! Our Lord is a bit weary of foreigners so I can do most of the talking."

"If you think that's best, we won't stop you." Elizabeth agreed.

"Unless things go south." Elizabeth shot a look at Sir Isaac just before Lenore knocked and opened the doors.

"My Lord? I have some travelers that request our aid." Lenore spoke, her voice trembling.

"You may enter." A deep, dark voice instructed. All three entered the study. And there he was, Lord of the vampires, Count Nosferatu. He sat in a gothic throne, his legs crossed. His apparel was much nicer and much fancier than anything Elizabeth or Sir Isaac had ever seen. His skin was pale and aged, and his face was clearly inhuman. He was a mammalian for sure, but whether a bat or a man could be debated, perhaps a hybrid of both. Large, pointed, ribbed ears with a long tragus. Pronounced fangs that stuck out his mouth. A reduced nose, almost to the point of just nostrils. A thin membrane of skin between his fingers, and perhaps under his arms. And he wasn't quite bald, still containing a few wispy strands of the blackest of hairs. He swirled a glass of red wine in his hand. "Who are you and what do you want?"

"My name is Lenore, my Lord, and this is-"

"They can speak for themselves." Lenore froze. She shook where she stood, unable to speak or react.

"My name is Elizabeth, Count Nosferatu."

"My name is Sir Isaac of the royal guard."

"Hm." Nosferatu paused. He examined his glass of wine before taking a sip and refocusing his attention. "Why have you brought a mortal to my castle, Lenore?" He gazed over at Elizabeth. "And why have you brought this..." He sniffed. "Living immortal?"

"They beseech your aid, my Lord. They have come requesting a specific ingredient for a special elixir."

"What ingredient? What is it that you could possibly need that you can't find out on the streets? What is it that you seek that is worth wasting my time?"

"We've come in search for sacred vampire blood, Count Nosferatu. We need it to create a cure for the plague and to save Ethros!" Nosferatu paused once more, glaring at the doctor, eyes full of hellfire.

"Denied." He coldly spoke. Elizabeth gasped, chocked by her own words. "Lenore. You dare bring the living here to ask for our most precious treasure? Your ancestors would be disgusted and you should be as well!"

"Wait, but-" Elizabeth cried.

"But nothing! Get out of my sight and get out of my estate!"

"Now hold on, your unholiness!" Sir Isaac yelled.

"Unholiness? I don't like your tone, boy. Who are you to disrespect me and question my authority?!"

"I don't give a damn about your authority! Now we came all the way here for some fucking vampire blood, and we aren't going to leave until we get it!" Nosferatu took in a deep breath.

"Fine." He sighed, standing up. "You want sacred vampire blood? I'll give you sacred vampire blood." He marched forward, head held high, standing tall.

"What are you gonna do?" Sir Isaac scoffed. "Suck my blood?"

"No." Nosferatu untied a small vial labeled 'Alucard' from his belt. He put the glass in his mouth and cracked it on his teeth. Tilting his head back, Nosferatu then poured the crimson contents down his throat. His muscles bulked up, doubling in size, ripping his shirt and jacket. "I'm going to break your body."

"Oh." Sir Isaac turned to Elizabeth. "I think we're fucked." In a flash, Nosferatu's fist met Sir Isaac's side. In one swing, the vampire launched the knight into a wall. The Count's speed was unmatched, as he immediately appeared in front of Sir Isaac and continued his assault. Nosferatu grabbed his neck and slammed Sir Isaac into the wall again.

"Ready to bow, paladin?" Sir Isaac choked, struggled to get out a single word, to breathe.

"Hey!" Elizabeth shouted. Nosferatu turned, dropping the knight. "D-Don't mess with him!" She stammered, raising a bone saw like a knife. Nosferatu lifted his hand, pointed at the doctor. His fingers twitched with a red glow, and suddenly Elizabeth felt tense all over. "H-Hey! What is this?!"

"Fall." Another red glow pulsed from his fingers. Elizabeth quickly dropped to the floor, letting go of the saw. She tried to stand up, but for some reason she couldn't. Her muscles wouldn't move, her body didn't feel of her own.

"What's going on?! Why can't I move?!" She struggled.

"All creatures in this world can use magic, including vampires. So, it shouldn't come as a shock that I can use blood magic."

Blood magic? She thought to herself.

"You serve no threat to me, nor anyone. It would be best if you didn't intervene. But make no mistake, I won't hesitate to turn you into a red paste if you become troublesome."

"My Lord! Please! Stop this!"

"This doesn't concern you, Lenore! I will deal with you later." Nosferatu flicked his arm to catch something in the air. "Pathetic." He tightened his grip on Sir Isaac's wrist. "Who do you think I am? Expecting me to be blindsided by the most obvious sneak attack." Nosferatu lifted him up by his arm, making their height difference well known. "I'm going to turn your bones to dust and sprinkle them upon the soil in my coffin!" The vampire swung the knight around and slammed him into the floor. He then proceeded to pummel the life out of Sir Isaac. The slamming of fists, the stomping of feet. "How's that armor treating you, paladin? Less of a protective suit and more of an iron maiden, right?" He grabbed him by the collar and slammed his head back into the ground. "Your own metal tomb." Nosferatu whispered. Elizabeth attempted to stand back up. She picked the bone saw back up, but she was caught. Nosferatu pointed his hand back to cast his magic. Elizabeth's body tensed up once more and she fell onto her stomach. "Don't get back up. Stay down. That's your final warning." Sir Isaac groaned, he tried to pull himself away. His attempt to crawl out from under the vampire was in vain. Nosferatu stepped on and crushed the knight's ankle. "We're not done, paladin. Or are you ready to submit?!"

"Go to hell..." He huffed. "If you won't help us save Ethros, then you're my enemy..."

"Help you?" Nosferatu laughed. "Why should I? You're rude and disrespectful! You come to my estate, and you insult our culture and my authority, you demand for our most precious treasures, you try to get me involved in petty politics, and on top of that you attempt to bring in contraband into my town!"

"Oh right... Vera..."

"You deserve a slow, painful, merciless death. And I cannot wait to be your executioner!" But before anything else could happen, a loud, obnoxious knock echoed through the study. Everyone stopped and stared at the door. The knock rang out again, much louder and aggressive this time. Suddenly, the oaken doors were kicked open and a large, well-dressed man entered. "Oh great, he's here now."

"Who's that?"

"Abraham Van Helsin, at yer service!"