Chapter 13:

Chapter 13


"So it wasn't enough for you to bring dishonor to my name and estate, you also had to bring in my sworn enemy?"

"Sworn enemy? We don't know this guy." Elizabeth explained.

"Don't flatter yourself, Count. I ain't here for you. I'm here for the girl!" Said Van Helsing. Elizabeth physically recoiled, slowly inching backwards.

"What? You want Lenore?"

"What?! No, ye self-righteous prick! The other girl!"

"Don't tell me!" Elizabeth gagged, petrified.

"These guys just don't stop!" Sir Isaac grunted.

"And just to make sure you don't stand in me way." Helsing took out a small glass bottle from his pocket. He twisted the cork, shook it vigorously, and threw it on the ground towards Nosferatu. When the glass collided with the ground, it cracked, and a flash of the most blinding light shined out. It was a bottle of pure, concentrated, synthetic sunlight. Everyone shielded their eyes, Nosferatu and Lenore's breathing getting noticeably heavier. The two felt weak, unable to stand. Helsing whistled a cheerful tune as he ripped off his crucifix and rosary. He tied the string around Nosferatu's wrists, binding him and further weakening him. Finally, he kicked the vampire across the floor before dashing garlic petals around him. "There! That should keep ye at bay!"

"GRRAAH!" Sir Isaac swung at Helsing. A right hook directly at the jaw. Contact. Sir Isaac could feel the pounding of metal against his fist, the pumping of his own veins. But to no avail. The only reaction he got was not one of anger or anguish. Instead, Helsing smiled, peering down at the now puny knight. He grabbed Sir Isaac's hand and adjusted his spectacles. "Wha-what the hell are you?"

"What am I?" He repeated back. Helsing drew a large hand axe from his back. "I'm a monster hunter, Laddie." He raised the axe up above his head, shifting his body slightly to face Sir Isaac. Helsing loosened his grip on the knight. Sir Isaac managed to break free and slip away before Helsing brought the axe down on him. The blade cracked the floor, leaving a sizable dent.

"You're gonna have to try harder than that! Can't just let go of me and expect me to stand still!"

"You miss understand me, paladin. There was no error, no lapse in judgement. I enjoy the thrill of the chase!" There it was again. That smile. A toothy grin from ear to ear. Unnaturally white. Despite staring right at them, Sir Isaac couldn't tell if they were flat and blocky or sharp and pointy. He was unnerving, unfeeling. He sent shivers down Sir Isaac's spine. He didn't even notice Helsing draw out a second, identical hand axe from behind him. Not until it was too late. Before he knew it, Helsing was right in front of Sir Isaac. He slashed at the knight. Sir Isaac barely could react in time to block with his shield. Following through on his momentum, Helsing spun around and slammed his other axe downwards, cutting into Sir Isaac's shoulder. He screamed and Helsing planted his foot onto Sir Isaac's chest. He kicked and pushed him down, pinning him against the floor. "Tell me, paladin. Why do you struggle?" Elizabeth shuffled across the floor. She made her way to Nosferatu and began untying his hands. "You always pick a fight with us, but does it ever turn out in your favor? I think I know why. It's cause they hold ye back!"

"Shut up." Sir Isaac wheezed.

"Wastin your energy, protecting those weaklins!"

"I made a promise, I took an oath..."

"Your oath was to protect Ethros, you promised that when ye became a knight. And ye can still fulfill that promise. Old Ethros is gone, but a new one is risin from the ashes! The new Ethros will value good soldiers like ye, put you atop a pedestal, not toss you aside like trash! And make no mistake, paladin. You are a good soldier. Ye don't wear your heart on your sleeve! You understand how that makes one weak! That's why you've got that suit of armor on!" Helsing kicked off Sir Isaac's helmet.

"Stop... him..." Nosferatu whispered.

"Any good soldier knows the dangers of vulnerability! And that's why you hide it! Because unlike your parents, you know how to stay strong. That's how ye survived!"

"STOP!" Elizabeth ran up behind Heling. She stabbed him in the back with a scalpel.

"GAH!" He shouted, pulling out the tiny blade. He swung his axe around attempting to catch Elizabeth's head. She ran and ducked out of the way, holding up her saw for protection. "Now you've done it, Lass! You'll know God's wrath!" Helsing chased Elizabeth around the room, swinging like a mad man. He stopped at nothing trying to reach her, barreling through and cutting down any furniture in his way. Nosferatu crawled and stumbled over to Sir Isaac. The knight was still on the ground, staring up at the ceiling, blood pouring from his shoulder. He was locked in a trance, breathing rapidly. The room seemed to spin around him. His chest became heavy, painful. Was it from Helsing's foot, or was it from his own mind? The inside of his suit felt moist, not from blood but from sweat. Sir Isaac seemed to tremble on the ground, a prisoner and victim of his own mind.

"Hey, paladin. Don't listen to him, he's just trying to get inside your head." Nosferatu explained, trying to help. But Sir Isaac didn't listen, he didn't respond. "Talk to me. I'm here." Nothing. He only got worse. "Damnit. I know I'm not who you need right now. I know, because I beat the shit out of you, I'm probably just another trigger. But I'm here to help. I'm here to protect you. I need you to tell me what's wrong."

"I-I... I don't... I..." He stammered. Nosferatu gathered up all his strength.

"I need some help over here! Medical help!" He shouted. Elizabeth, hearing her call to action, quickly whipped around and slashed at Helsing's face. A shallow cut ran over his skin, from his chin to his cheek to his nose. The monster hunter stopped dead in his tracks. He chuckled, licking the slow trickle of blood.

"Nice try, Lass!" He raised both of his axes above his head. Suddenly, Lenore tackled Elizabeth out of the way. They tumbled across the floor as the blades split the stone.

"What are you-"

"Just go!" Elizabeth looked at Helsing, and then back at Lenore. She nodded and rushed over to help Sir Isaac.

"Big mistake, Lass." Lenore clambered to get up, facing her fate. Towering over her, an axe in each hand, arms outstretched, a wicked smile and a deranged look in his eye. "I have no problem hunting demons like you! These axes were made for slaying foul monstrosities! Oak stakes for handles! Hammers for the butts, to help drive in aforementioned stakes! Pristine steel heads with a sharped silver edge! Mirrors affixed to the sides! All quenched in the Lord above's holy water!"

"I-I'm not afraid of you!" Helsing's smile somehow grew wider.

"Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." He swung his axes back. "Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men."

"Ą̸̱͓̳̱̈̓̑̈́̄̈Ạ̷̣͙̹̺̈͛̃̍̋̈Ą̵͈̤̳̼̈̇͑̉̽͋Ä̶̗̟̥̘̠̒̆͑̔͝Ä̷̛͚̩̝̣̪̐̍̂̔H̵̢̬̙̖̻̐͑̀̿͠!!!!!!!" She shrieked. The axes struck her like pincers, one wedged in each side. Lenore dropped to her knees, still wailing, still screaming that blood curdling scream. Helsing forced the blades in deeper, still smiling. Smoke billowed out from her waist as the holy blades seared her unholy flesh.

"Heh heh heh, hahaha, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!" The signature cackle of Abraham Van Helsing, the thing all the hopeless monsters hear before their execution. His manic laughter was interrupted, however, by a whizzing bolt of light and energy hitting his back. Helsing swiftly checked over his shoulder. Hope was not entirely lost that night, as Vera stood in the busted doorway.