I now possess three swords from three vampire families. Atrides. Amorphos. Goropholo.
Now I head for the House Of Morani. I have been duly warned. Behind me, a stately mansion burns as homage to its late owner. He had been an honorable foe. I have burned his head with his body. No pike sitting out with it attached. That is reserved for the cowards and monsters. Lord Goropholo proved to be neither.
Ahead of me, Morani is more than likely to have an army waiting. Possibly marching my direction to stop me. Let him send his troops. I will destroy them all.
Three houses have fallen. I head for one of the stronger houses. How many more small houses will I have to destroy before I reach it? I don’t know. But if Angel was correct, I shouldn’t run into any more. Unless he doesn’t know about a few.
No matter. I am ready for anything. Anyone. At my back, I feel the three bound swords. They keep time with my walking. Tapping just above my hips.
I stop. Ahead, I hear the sound of voices. I drop low and make for the nearest tree. I hide behind it and wait.
“Lord Morani wants the wench alive,” one voice states, almost as if giving an order, “So alive she will be. Bound and gagged. Especially after we get through with her.”
A roar of laughter goes up. I am appalled at their insinuations. No one will do anything to me. I put one of my remaining bolts into the notch of my crossbow. And cock it. From my place of concealment, I draw a bead on the one in the lead. And shoot him right between the eyes. My attack takes them by surprise.
“Geez, Sarge! They just shot Mikal!”
“I see that, you moron. Fan out. Search everywhere. Whoever did this is close.
Damn. And I was hoping to take out the leader. Now I have to take them out one by one. And hope that I can leave one to return to Morani with a warning that I am still on my way.
The first three are real easy to kill. I just let them walk into a razor line. Amazing thing, razor line. Super thin wire. Sharp as a razor.
By the time they are found, I am long gone from that position. And elsewhere, causing confusion. Sarge is beginning to realize that he wasn’t so smart splitting the troops up to hunt me down.
“Back to me, men!” He is now panicking. “Pull back and regroup!”
He turns to flee and I take his head. Out of fifty, only one remains alive. He is badly wounded. But he’ll do fine for carrying the message. He tries to crawl away as I approach.
“I want you to take a message to your master. Tell him the Angel of Death is coming. And tell him that he has a choice.” I step on his wrist to keep him from lifting his sword.. “He can either tell me where Kalkolides and the Stones are. Or he can stand and fight me.”
“And me?” The soldier grimaces in pain.
“You will kindly leave your sword behind.” I smile.
“You’re crazy.” He thinks he is going to offend me.
“So I have been told.” I remain unmoved by his words. “I have seen things that would give you nightmares for the rest of your life. Perhaps I am crazy. Are you willing to risk it?”
He shakes his head and slowly takes his leave. I watch his retreat. Fighting the wrong war. Against the wrong enemy. I shake my head.
Three times, Morani sends his men. Three times, I send a very wounded and unarmed messenger back to him with my warning. Each group is made of fifty men. Fifty very well trained men.
But not trained nearly well enough. You would think that they would be wonderful fighters. Graceful. After all, Hollywood portrayed them as quicker than a human’s eye. But matched against one of their own, they are slow and awkward.
It is odd, since one of their own legends was a warrior. The one that was mistakenly identified with a cruel human prince. And the very same one movies have been made about.
Dracul. Their demigod. A real vampire who was supposed to be fictional. Great cover. Not really convincing, though.
Of course man had to name him Dracula, then give him the first name of Vlad. Vlad Tempes, though, was a mere mortal. Dracul was a powerful vampire warrior. But the key word is ‘was’. Dracul met his grisly end at the hands of a human hunter.
Impaled and beheaded, he served as a warning to any vampires of Romania that they were not welcomed. No matter whether they were considered heroes or not. But that is ancient vampire history. Now, they have to worry about me.
And they are beginning to fear me. Not much now. But it is starting to grow. With each family that falls to me, their fear of me grows. It is evident in how Morani has sent most of his defense after me.
He thought he could deal with me as he has humans. Not so. I am not human. Not even a mere vampire. I am their worst nightmare come true.
But his men are not the only problem I am having. The living shadows have returned. The demons. But I am no longer afraid of them. And they know it.
Luckily, they cannot possess me. Something about me will not allow it. They have tried, but something inside me blocked them. This only served to anger them.
And anger makes you weak. Easy to kill. And I have decimated them. Just as I have the Vampire Nation. And because of this, they are no longer smiling at me. No, their evil grins have been replaced by scowls.
I smile. Come on, you nasty little buggers. Come and taste my blade. Come and dance with me. I will show you how easy it is for you to die. I dare you.