Dark Legacy part 9: Between Shadows and Light
by Chanaur Majere
Author's note: I for one have always been intrigued by the archaic arts. This part explains about Chanaur's past, and my take on Necromancy. And for Weiila, it explains just what happened to Raziel.
Vincent stepped forward cautiously. "What happened?" He asked.
Chanaur removed his hand from Milenia's shoulder and sighed. "Carrie just ran off, crying because I did something. The problem is, I can't think of for the life of me what it was."
Milenia shook her head. "I don't think she'd like me telling you." She looked up at Chanaur. "Believe me, she'll tell you the whole truth when she's ready."
Vincent nodded his head. "You should go talk to her. It might not help much, but it will help."
Chanaur raised an eyebrow quizically. "Are you sure?"
He nodded again. "Yes. Don't worry Chanaur. She'll be fine."
Chanaur reluctantly headed toward the double doors, and soon dissapeared. Rushed footsteps were heard after the doors had closed.
Vincent sighed. "When will they finally realize....?" He trailed off. He looked down at Milenia, and his eyes bulged. "What happened to you?"
Chanaur took a deep breath. He stood outside the bedroom door, where Carrie seemed to have dissapeared to. He needed to find out just what had upset her, and do something about it. He grasped the door knob, his hand shaking terribly.
God damn it, I did it again. He turned the handle quietly. He heard her soft sobbing from inside. Well, at least now I can do someting about it....
He sighed, Carrie's bo still held in his hand. He walked into the room, standing beside the bed. He leaned it against the wall, and kneeled down beside her. She seemed oblivious to him. She just continued to cry.
Chanaur put a hand on her head, brushing her hair back. "Carrie?" He asked quietly. She looked up at him, her eyes full of tears. Those eyes.... I never thought I'd see that much pain in her eyes again. "Carrie, what's wrong? What happened last night.?"
Carrie said nothing, just shook her head. She buried her face in the pillow, and cried again.
"Carrie, please. What have I done?" He put a hand on her neck, turning it so she faced him.
Carrie looked up at him again, and a dry sob tore from her throat. "I'm afraid..." She began. "I'm afraid to tell you....."
Chanaur turned her over onto her back. "That doesn't help much." He sighed. "Carrie, why are you afraid? I remember nothing from last night. Would it really make that much difference if I did?"
Carrie nodded solemly. "More than you could imagine...." Her eyes closed. "Chanaur... I'm sorry. I don't like to keep secrets from you.... But I have to be sure of something before I can tell you this..."
She has to make a decision.... One that could very well change her life.....
"....Alright Carrie. I'll respect that." He put a hand on her cheek. "But is there anything I could do to help you.... At all?"
She sighed a little. "Just be with me for a while...." She enfolded him in her arms, burrying her head in his chest. "I'm just so glad you're alive...." She looked up at him again. "But what did Milenia mean 'Dracula brought you back when you died?'"
Because he was my son.......
Chanaur shook his head to rid himself of the memory. How am I going to get around this one? She can't know about my affliction.... I'd never get her trust back.
He sighed heavily, and rubbed her back. "Dracula want's me for something, what, I don't know. But it must be pretty important...."
To continue the Tepes bloodline....
Carrie nuzzled into his neck, and said softly. "Whatever it is, make sure you don't do it." She sighed slightly. "Nothing the Dark Lord wants could have any good to it."
"Yes...." He whispered. "Never deal with the Devil...."
Or anyone else you find an interest in....
Chanaur froze. He had just discovered the downside to their bargain. He's driven a wedge between us....
"Chanaur? Are you okay?" Carrie pulled back and stared into his eyes. "You seem a little tense."
He looked away. "It's just that.... I don't like this feeling of hurting you..." He took her bruised hand in his. "Especially when I don't know what it is that I've done."
Carrie squeezed his hand. "I'm sorry." She sighed. "I.... I'm afraid.... If you knew...." She yawned. "....It would change things between us." She closed her eyes, and rested her head against his chest. "I like the way we are right now."
"So do I..." She heard Chanaur sigh. But she couldn't help but hope that there was something he wasn't saying.
The truth is I want you all to myself. I wish that things could change between us, but not that drastically. It could go either way, good or bad... She opened her eyes and kissed him on the neck. Someday soon, you'll know, my love....
"Chanaur, I'm sorry if I scared you." She muttered, pulling away. "I just... panicked."
"Hey, it's okay." He released her, giving her one last kiss on the cheek. "I know I've scared you a lot of times before."
She leaned back, and put her head on the pillow, closing her eyes. You kept your promise... You survived, with the help of the most unlikely of Guardian Angels....
Chanaur squeezed her hand gently, and shook his head. "Did you stay up all night watching over me?"
Carrie nodded. "It was my fault you were in that possition, and I'll be damned if I didn't get you out of it." She opened her eyes and smiled up at him.
He nodded slightly, and put her hand on her chest. He kissed her lightly on the forehead, and said, "Get some sleep, for my sake." He closed her eyes. "You sacrifice too much for me."
"Hey," She yawned. "What are freinds for?"
Chanaur sighed heavily. He pulled the blankets up to cover her, tucking them beneath her body. She brought her hands up above them, and touched his cheek, before saying quietly, "Goodnight...."
The hand fell to her chest again, and he looked at her face. The trail of tears still glistened on her cheeks, and they still cut through his heart. The tears that he had caused, and in turn dried to the best of his abillities.
He brushed away the tears with the back of his hand. She was already falling asleep, the dancing candlelight casting strange shadows accross her face.
His hand carresed her face, as he said a silent prayer that there would be a tomorrow for them.
"I'm glad you've forgiven me..." He sighed, his gaze falling to her lips. "But what have I done?"
He kissed her delicately on the lips, and sat down on the bed next to her. He looked down at the hand on her chest, at the five large bruises he had given her. He took the hand gingerly in his. Something big happened last night.... But what? Maybe we went farther than friendly kissing, and it scared her.....
But why would that upset her so?
Chanaur's hand fell to her neck, and he felt her life beat beneath his fingers. Of all the things they had between them, it was her trust that he valued the most. And if she knew about his lineage..... She'd never trust him again.....
Maybe that was what happened last night.... She found out about my afliction....
No. Then she wouldn't have trusted me near her at all. But what could it be....?
Chanaur suddenly became fully concious of the blood pulsing beneath his hand. The age-old lust stole over him, slowly. He remembered how good it tasted, and wanted nothing more than too....
No! He snatched his hand from her neck and looked away. Not Carrie! He looked at her lips again, remembering what he had seen when she had smiled. I've already infected her. I shouldn't have given her any of my blood....
She stirred slightly, and squeezed his hand. "Chanaur...." She whispered. "What will become of us?"
"I'm not sure Carrie...." He sighed. He didn't look at her, though he still held her hand. "I'm not sure...."
Reinhardt tossed the archives key in the air, and caught it. He was walking to the final door in the Villa corridor, beyond the rose garden. He had peeked in on Carrie and Chanaur, and found that all was okay, then moved on.
He had seen Milenia, and had listened to her explanation. He was going to check if the soul crystal was in the archives, or anything that could be useful.
A sound of shattering glass filled the hallway, and Reinhardt sighed. He turned around, and snapped the animated stained-glass night with his whip. It promptly shattered, and dissapeared. All of these damned annoyances.... He snapped the second one to pieces, as it sprang from the window behind him. It makes one wonder why Dracula bothers with minions this weak.
Reinhardt crossed to the door, and grasped it in his hand. He turned it quietly, and stepped into the room.
It appeared to be a dining room of sorts. A large table sat in the middle, with ten or eleven chairs set around it. A chandelier hang overhead, and a large mirror was at the opposite side of the room. The carpet was the same as the outside, green with yellow designs laced in it. A second door led to the Castle Archives. A vase of roses sat on the small hearth beneath the mirror.
He stepped into the room, closing the door behind him. He walked over to the vase of roses, and reached for one of them.
He took it delicately in his hands. Chanaur had said that at times, love is a thorn without a rose. But, he didn't truly know what love was. A rose without a thorn, perhaps....
Rosa had always liked black roses...
The door behind him opened suddenly, and heavy breathing sounded from behind him. Reinhardt placed the rose back into the vase quickley, and turned around to see some villager, on his hands and knees, standing in the open doorway.
"He.... Hel.... Help!" He gasped out, standing up. "This place swarms with demons! You've entered the Castle of Hell!!"
Reinhardt regarded the man quisically. What the Hell is he doing here? "What is it?" He asked. "What's happened?"
The rose that Reinhardt had put back in the vase fell to the floor. He found his attention drawn to it, as he turned slowly around.
"If you value your life...." The villager's raspy voice came from behind again. "You will leave this place without delay...."
The man fell silent, as Reinhardt looked into the mirror. He could see the entire room, and there was no one in it...
That's strange... I didn't hear him leave....
The strange breath whistled just behind him now, and Reinhardt realized the truth....
He ducked the swinging claws, and rolled away from the vampire, sliding under the table. The Vampire was a chiropteran, a vampire with actual wings. The face was enlongated in a snout, the fangs more protruding than normal vampires.
"Heh heh heh heh...." It chuckled, licking it's lips. "You smell different from the usual adventurer...." It took another step forward, and threw the table aside with one arm. "Come to me.... I will taste your blood...."
Reinhardt circled slowly around it, his right hand hovering over his whip, his left over his dagger. The chiropteran slowly moved in, taking short, deliberate steps. In a flap of leather, the creature vanished.
Reinhardt ducked again, and listened as the thing crashed into the wall, and heard the sound of shredding canvas. He spun around quickly to meet the thing halfway, the whip snapping in it's face.
It groaned, and clutched at it's torn eye. Blood and optic juices gushed between it's fingers, and Rienhardt scored again on it's chest. The second smoking gash enticed it to take flight, landing a distance from Reinhardt.
Reinhardt drew his dagger from it's sheeth, and hurled it at the creature. The chiropteran caught it neatly in it's hand, and threw it aside. Reinhardt moved toward it again, this time with a vial of Holy Water.
Just before he could throw the bottle, it lifted a chair, and smashed it over Reinhardt's back. The vial sailed through the air, and landed at the chiropterans feet.
Blue flames engulfed the creature, and consumed it slowly. Before it could be entirely, destroyed, however, it morphed into a bat and flew through the wall.
Reinhardt stood up, picking several splinters out of his back. Then, gritting his teeth, he grabbed the broken leg and ripped it out. He groaned quietly, and took a small sip from a vial of healing water. The wounds closed, and the room reset itself, the table and chairs returning to where they were. However, the broken one stayed broken....
Reinhardt walked to the door leading out, and grasped the doorhandle. He opened the door carefully, glancing back at the rose that remained on the floor where it had fallen.
Leaving the door open, he crossed to the vase of roses, and delicately replaced the fallen rose. Then, reaching into his chest pocket, he lovingly put the black rose next to the others.
Sighing heavily, Reinhardt stuffed his hands in his pockets and walked on to the Castle Archives.
Raziel awakened, slowly, painfully. As the arrows fell from his body and the wounds closed, his eyes opened. A groan of anguish escaped his lips, and the devil in the black cloak stepped forward. The fire sword was at his side, glowing red.
Raziel regarded him coldly. "What do you want from me?"
Dracula stepped forward slowly. He leaned the sword up against the wall, and stood eye level with him. "I just want to know, how is Immortality?" The voice nearly quivered with delight. "How does it feel to be alone in the world?"
Raziel fought at his chains, but found no luck. "Why did you make me immortal, anyway?"
The feted breath surged into his face, causing Raziel to gag. "Isn't it obvious? To punish you for what you have done. Delaying my master's assention to the mortal realm, before the Belmont child could fight." The bladed gauntlet came up to his throat, and he tensed. "However, if it's a fight you want...." The chains on his arms dissolved, and Raziel dropped to the floor. "Then by all means... Face me."
Raziel focused on his transformation to the werewolf, as the Dark Lord cast aside his cloak. Raziel felt his body surge with power, as the metamorphosis completed itself. A snarl escaped his throat, and he leapt at Dracula. He brought both arms down, in an open-palmed punch, that bored ten bloody holes into the Count's chest.
The giant reacted immediately, bringing one massive fist up to Raziel's chin. Feeling his jaw break, Raziel summersaulted through the air, and was impaled on the upturned flame sword. The fire engulfed him again, and he screamed in agony.
"Look at the last remaining pure man-beast now." Raziel turned back into a human, as his limbs curled into cinders. "Now no more than a mere toy."
"If you have any mercy within you...." Raziel groaned. "Then please, let me die...."
Dracula stepped forward, driving the blade deeper into Raziel's gut. "Why? I have all the entertainment I'll ever need. But don't worry...." The dark one smiled. "When I grow weary of the noises you make...." Raziel lost conciousness. The final statement drifted slowly to his ears: "You will die...."
Chanaur released Carrie's hand, and walked away, feeling slightly sick. He had almost taken her life, in the same way he had almost taken Taolin's. But he had actually fed off of Taolin.....
Chanaur sighed, and opened the door silently. He looked back and whispered: "Sleep well.... My love....." Man, if only I could say that to her....
He left the door open just a crack, and walked on down to the final door of the Villa. The stained-glass knights burst from there moorings, but Chanaur payed them no heed. He was too distracted.
It wasn't until one of them had taken a swing at him that he finaly reacted. Ripping down on the things arm, he hurled it at it's compatriot. They both shattered, and Chanaur sighed yet again. He continued walking, thinking.
His entire life he had been training himself. Trying to conquer his affliction. He wanted to be like his father, for so long, because he had truly banished his hunger.
But then he learned the truth. He learned that full vampires couldn't live without blood. He had never looked at his father the same way again.
It was obvious that Raine loved Alucard deeply, and possibly even sustained his life from time to time, but had always been slightly afraid of Chanaur. Perhaps she was afraid of what he might become.... She had always told him that he was shrewd for his age back then, and he went to great lengths to abate his affliction in any way possible.
Alucard had tried to help, in many ways. However, he didn't feel quite comfortable, apparently because he still fed off of the living. He had taught him to focus his energy, and use that to turn the hunger inward.
He had loved his parents, dispite their strange lineage.
And he was devestated that night that they were both torn away from him. He couldn't imagine how Carrie felt after losing Imbrium. Even he had cried then....
Opening the door, he stepped into the dining room. Oblivious to his surroundings, he went on.
After they had died, he had taken up the white arts, hoping that it would drive his craving into submission at last. For a while it had worked....
Until that night that Taolin had been attacked.
A strange vampire with wings had dropped down through the upper branches of a tree, and attacked her, slashing her accross the neck. Before it could finish the job, Chanaur had disposed of it. He later learned that it was a chiropteran, the horrid three-quarter vampire one-quarter human crossbreeds.
Taolin had layed there bleeding, and Chanaur had prepared to heal her, but the crimson liquid had arrested his mind. He had automatically kneeled down beside her, and healed her. But then he opened his mouth to speak to her, but she coughed at the same instant, spitting blood into his mouth.
All that Chanaur had learned about control ebbed away as he swallowed the blood, the taste still remaining in his mouth to this day. He leaned in closer, his fangs sprouting painfully through his gums. He remembered how Taolin's smile had faded, and a scream erupted from her throat, a scream that still tortured his dreams at night.
But it had been too late. He had already fed off of her. Had he been a true vampire, not a half-breed, she would have been like him. She hadn't trusted him for a long time after that.....
Chanaur stopped in front of the giant mirror, looking into it. He could see nothing but the table and chairs. Being a vampire, he casted no reflection.
He hated mirrors. They were nothing more than a constant reminder of what he was, what he hated most about himself.
He drew his sword. It hovered in the mirror, suspended by nothing. He watched as it changed into a heavy mace....
And then the door to his left opened, and Chanaur smashed the mirror, happy to see a spray of glass go in all directions. He didn't care that he had been stuck with several shards himself, but turned to Reinhardt.
Reinhardt looked at him strangely, and looked at the wall where the sheet of glass had momentarily been. "What are you doing?"
He smiled sheepishly, and shrugged. "I like smashing things now and then?"
"No, somethings bothering you." Rienhardt pocketed the gate key he had found in the archives, and closed the door. "Something happen with you and Carrie....?"
"Well, yes and no." Chanaur muttered. Reinhardt gave him another look, and Chanaur refrased his answer. "Last night, during my poisoning, something did happen betweeb us, something very important. However, she refuses to tell me what happened."
"You don't remember?" Reinhardt asked, cocking one eyebrow.
"The Count restored me to life after the fever had taken me, and it affected my memory. Don't ask me why he did it, I cannot say. The reason she doesn't tell me what happened, is because she's afraid it would change too much between us."
Reinhardt nodded knowingly. "Just don't worry about it. You mustn't put too much emphasis on this. It's nothing that can't be fixed with time." He gestured to the door he had just come from. "Here, I think you should take a look at this."
Chanaur followed him mechanically into the archives, and glanced around. Itrigued by the rows and rows of books, he stepped closer to the shelves, glancing at several titles..... But the one that caught his attention the most, was a small, red, leatherbound book, that lay on a desk in the midst of a bunch of other books.
"This is it, then?" He glanced back at Reinhardt. "This is what you wanted me to see...?"
"Yes. The book of the dead, is it not?" Reinhardt took a cautious step toward the book, seeming unsure to even touch it. "I thought you might be intrested in it."
"Indeed...." Chanaur traced the seal of the bat on the cover, over the runes on the binding.... "I can read these sigla.... I've seen them before...."
"What do they say?" Reinhardt asked, standing beside him now.
"They say...." The runes literally burned his fingers when he touched them. "Necromancy is the darkest of the Forbidden Arts, the one that very few have mastered, less still that have taken it up." He pulled his hand away, the binding glowing blue where his fingers had touched. "Or something along those lines...."
"I don't trust that book.... But I thought you might be able to decipher parts of it." Reinhardt opened the cover, to reveal old parchment pages, with holes burned in them, and more of the ancient runes.
"It is said...." Chanaur whispered, turning a few pages. He heard the spirits all around him start to moan in expectation.... "That necromancy can never truly be complete. The one brought back from the grave will have a half-life, and have to feed off of the living to keep 'alive.'" The spirits' moans became more pronounced, and Reinhardt looked nervously around. "However.... A true master, and he alone can restore someone back to complete life. But only one who's soul thirsts for and thrives off of Darkness...." Chanaur stopped on a page that had been marked. "One that was born of the Darkness."
The very souls of the world cried out in agony, and Chanaur snapped the book shut. The souls silenced, he slipped the book into his pack. The blue light emanting from the sigla clung to Chanaur's hands. He rubbed it between his fingers, and he felt a strange new closeness to the Darkness than he had for a long time.
It felt like returning home....
He jumped slightly. "Sorry. This book is ment for someone who can read the language of the ancients. Only I can, so this book belongs to me." Chanaur shook the residue from his hands, and put a hand to his chin. No, I taught Carrie to read the sigla also, in return for elemental magic....
But what use would she have for it? With this book, I might finally learn to eliminate my affliction entirely....
"Damn it, what do you want with this book? Nothing good could possibly come from this!" The tone in his voice was a mixture of awe, revulsion, and, strangely enough, reverence.
"Believe me....." Chanaur muttered. "I could find a use for it...."
"Chanaur?" Carrie's voice came from the now open door. "Let me see that book...."
Chanaur set it on the table, and opened it to the marked page. The moans of the dead filled his mind again, and Carrie heard it too. "What do you see?"
Carrie touched the pages, shivering. "These sigla... They are the ones you taught me..." She traced several runes, her fingers barely touching the page. "I see.... The ways of the dark path.... The black arts.... no longer seem so black." She studied the inscription shortly, and her breath caught in her throat. "But, Necromancy is neither complete, or reversable...." She looked up at Chanaur, her eyes riddled with anguish. "That means that you...."
"Keep reading." He gestured to the runes beneath her fingers.
She continued. "The true master can make the ritual complete.... So you have changed none?"
He gestured again.
She read out loud now. "However, it levies a heavy sin on the caster's soul, as any of the dark arts. And costs a good deal of his life force and power...." Carrie glanced up momentarily. "So the count can do this with immunity."
"Not quite." Chanaur placed a hand on the book, turning a few more pages, turning it to him. "The Count's power is not inexhaustable... Though he draws it from the souls he has harvested, no one can live forever." Chanaur tapped another page with his finger, and sat down. "He is a Nosferatu, but can still raise the bodies of the dead.
"However..." Chanaur sighed. "The balance of his soul does damn him to eternal life. When he dies, he serves a century in Hell, befor he rises again to take control of the world."
The voices of the spirits raised to a crescendo, and Chanaur snapped the book shut again. They silenced, and he traced the runes down the binding again. He laughed bitterly. "And they say he never pays for his crimes...."
My grandfather may never find eternal rest.... I shouldn't feel remorse for him.... But for some reason, I do.
Reinhardt tapped him on the shoulder. "Have you truly met Dracula?"
"No. Not in person." Chanaur put the Necronomicon back in his pack, and slung it over his shoulder. "And if it could be avoided, I'd keep it that way."
Carrie rose with him. "Chanaur, what do you want with that book?"
Chanaur sighed heavily. "With this book, I could free souls from their bonds to the Darkness, and possibly put the Count to eternal rest." It could also free me of my affliction....
"I find that hard to believe." Carrie muttered, looking at the blue light on his hand.
Chanaur smiled. "You'll see what I mean."
End Part Nine.