Dark Legacy Part one: The new beginning
Authors note: This is the first part of my novelization of Castlevania 64. It's by no means even close to being complete :P But here's the first part. Those of you that have played the game will know what's going on, and will probably spoil most of the story, but I've added tons of little goodies. This story isn't entirely mine, it's by Konami, and all that jazz. Any questions or comments, email me at:
Raziel, battle axe in hand, stalked into the room with steps that couldn't be heard from two feet away. "I don't like this at all...." Actrise muttered from behind him. She held her staff aloft and muttered a few words of magic. The saffire in the crescent moon symbol on the head of the staff emanated a soft blue light. All around the room, torches flared to life, illuminating the room in dancing light. The light flowed to the back of the room.
There, bathed in the golden light, was the coffin of the Count.
Actrise lowered the staff, her face impassive. She must have been scared out of her mind, but she sure as hell didn't show it. "Sis..." Raziel whispered, "look!" he finished, gesturing at the coffin. Actrise smiled grimly, and nodded. She hadn't really said much for a while.
Still silently, Raziel stalked across the room. Actrise stood back, a spell already upon her lips. Raziel placed a clawed hand upon the coffin, and flung it off, assuming a fighting stance a split second afterward. His ears swiveled on his head, listening for any sound beside Actrise's or his breathing. The coffin lid thumped to the floor.
Still, there was nothing.
Raziel looked back at Actrise, she only shrugged. The Sapphire in the crescent moon upon the staff lowered itself as Actrise brought it down. Raziel, the dragon axe still gripped tightly in his hand, slowly examined the coffin.
A strangled gasp came from behind him. Raziel spun around, the axe humming through the air, thirsty for blood. Actrise was being suspended in the air, by her neck, by nothing it seemed. Raziel nearly dropped the axe. Actrise wailed as a mist appeared around her. The mist congealed into the form of a behemoth of a man. The man was holding her up by an arm around her neck. Garbed in a black suit and cape, he wore a sinister smile.
Without saying anything, the smile broadened to a toothy grin, exposing the fangs he had for canine teeth. This was none other than Count Dracula.
Raziel lunged at the vampire lord, ready to free his sister. Suddenly, Raziel froze in mid-air. He couldn't do anything but watch Actrise's eyes change from pleading to that of hopeless surrender. In a final act of desperation, blue lightning crackled from Actrise's body. This would have fried anything else to a cinder, but it only angered the count.
Dracula bit viciously into Actrise's neck, draining all hope of survival from her face, leaving in it's place a look of extreme pain. What would have been her final scream was muffled by the enormous arm that was crushing her hyoid bone into her trachea.
Actrise's form went listless in the deadly embrace of the count. Tossing her aside like a rag doll, Dracula wiped off the excess blood with the back of his hand, never taking his eyes off of Raziel. Licking the rest off of his lips, Dracula opened his arms wide in open welcome.
Raziel felt his limbs unfreeze. His eyes burning with tears, the werewolf warrior ran at the count, screaming in rage. His target; the heart. Raziel was so close, a flick of his arms, and the magical axe would slice through his torso, the internal heat of the axe burning as it cut.
Still wearing that malevolent sneer, Dracula waited until the dragon axe whistled through the air, aimed for the sturnum where that black heart resided. At the last possible second, the count knocked the axe out of the way, grabbing the shaft of the axe and forcing it from his hands. Spinning the axe in his hands, the giant "slapped" Raziel in the face with the flat edge of the blade. As the blade glanced off his face, it left a deep slash.
Raziel fell to the ground, changing back into a human, against his will. His magic had been disabled. Dracula walked over to the human who lay on the floor, admiring the craftsmanship of the axe.
In a voice darker than the depth's of the earth, Dracula spoke softly, "Let me show you how it's done, you pathetic fool."
The sneer changed to a look of complete and sheer joy. Hefting the battle axe, the count brought it down onto Raziel's prone body, severing his sturnum, burning his skin as it melted through his flesh. Raziel opened his mouth to scream in agony......
Raziel sat bolt upright on the floor, his hair plastered to his head. Running his hand over his face, he realized the slash wasn't there. Neither was the one on his chest. Raziel strained his ears to hear for anything else in the darkness of the room. Aside from Actrise's and his breathing, there was nothing. "A dream." Raziel muttered, "Nothing but a dream." Raziel lay back down. Running a hand through his hair, he silently recalled upon the night before. Dracula is dead, again. Raziel reminded himself. We sent him to rest, just as the Belmonts did before us... Standing up, He started to walk quietly across the room, so as not to wake up Actrise. However, he had forgotten about the small desk in the middle of the room.
"Shirak," came an amused voice from the bed. The sapphire in the head of the staff brought forth a gleaming blue light. Actrise sat up in bed, and stared down at her brother, sprawled three feet from the door, face up.
Actrise stepped onto the floor, smiling down at the supine form on the floor. Raziel smiled up at her, and Actrise opened the door, flooding the room with light. Actrise's silver-grey hair belied her age. She looked much older than thirty-two. The art has strange affects on people. The biggest change, however, was her mind: when she graduated to an Arch-Mage, something new surfaced in her mind. A never ending ambition. For power.
Offering him her hand, Actrise helped Raziel to his feet. "Have a nice trip?" her smile broadened.
"Which one, the trip through the Castle of Hell, or that previous one?" Raziel asked, rubbing his backside.
"Both." She answered.
"Well, both were painful, and not too rewarding either." He finished.
"You have no idea..." Actrise trailed off.
Raziel was wondering about that, but her smile snuffed that thought. "We should get going." gently taking back his hand, "Mother and the rest of Walachia will be wondering about us."
"Ah, yes. Mother." Raziel stepped into the sunlight, squinting to keep his eyes from melting into his sockets. Gradually, they made their way out of the castle villa, and over to the castle wall. The portcullis, however, was down. Actrise looked up, and smiled.
"Should I raise it, or blow it apart?" More to herself than to Raziel, but needed no reply. Raziel, raising his hands, stepped back to watch.
Actrise planted her staff into the ground, and lifted her hands to the sky. Muttering the words of the forgotten language of magic, she closed her eyes, lost in the ecstasy of her magic. Taking her left hand, she wrapped those fingers around the rest of her right arm, apparently to steady it. A bright red light began to glow in the palm of her right hand. Actrise's voice rose higher and higher, the red light formed into a red fireball, and she released her magic.
The portcullis, now no more than a pile of smoldering and melted metal, was totally decimated. Turning slowly around, a broad grin on her face, she said, "Shall we, then?"
Raziel, still not used to her wielding this kind of magic with no negative effect, was a little dumbstruck. "Sure." He followed her, his boot sinking into a half-disintegrated metal bar. Lowering the draw bridge, as Actrise retrieved her staff.
"Ah, back to where we began. I'll see at home." Actrise bowed, and vanished in a puff of smoke. "You too." Raziel waved, and then called out, "Enigma? Are you there?" There was no answer. She was probably deeper into the Forest of Silence.
Staring into the heavy trees. The autumn sunrise caused the fall colors to shine a bit brighter. There was no sign of Enigma anywhere. Oh well, he thought, now I can think for myself. Recently, he had needed to. Enigma was his fiancée, even though Actrise never really like her.
Apparently, Actrise didn't want anyone to take her little brother away. Her real name was Lacuna, but everyone called her Enigma. It was a joke for a while, but eventually, it stuck. She had wanted to come with them, (she was quite gifted with a sword) but Raziel had told her she couldn't. One, he didn't want to take a chance in losing her, and two, Actrise wouldn't have been able to stand her. Leaving her behind caused them both pain... But how is she going to take the news of the curse... ?
"What curse, dear?" a soft, almost lyrical voice floated down from the trees above, making Raziel chuckle. Ah, yes, her mind reading ability is still in practice… He didn't need to look up to see the beautiful warrior woman, sitting in the tree, her flaming red hair draping down her shoulders in curls, her gentle eyes gazing into the heavens, waiting for her love to return. Ah, how her gentle appearance belied her fighting style. In battle, this young woman could shred anything in her way. "Why, immortality, my dear." Leaping up, Raziel grabbed Lacuna, and brought her to the ground. Lacuna, not one to fight him, only stared up at him, a weary smile on her face. "Just how long have you been waiting here for me?" Raziel smiled down at her; she was pinned to the ground.
"Ever since the draw bridge went up, locking you away from me." Raziel bent down to kiss her, breathing her in. He loved that mixture of steel and perfume, one of the more intoxicating things about her. Finally releasing her, Raziel caressed her cheek, and steadily brought her to a sitting position. "I'm sorry for not letting you go, but I didn't want to take the chance of losing you."
"Oh, and how did you think my waiting for three straight days in a tree, with no idea if you would come out in one piece or not, anticipating how you were doing..." Lacuna gazed into Raziel's eyes, the loneliness of the past days shining in both there eyes. "I was so worried you wouldn't come out alive."
"Oh, ye of little faith." Gently, he took her hands in his, pulling her in close, until his lips brushed her chin. Embracing her, those soft, warm hazel eyes smiling up at him, Lacuna reached up and ran a hand through his hair. "I'm afraid the curse is in fact not a joke. I will always be with you, even in death. For," Raziel took another deep breath of her unique fragrance. "Nothing can truly separate us..."
He would have said more, but Lacuna had caught him in yet another embrace, drawing him into her, silently stating what needed no words: "I love you, Raziel. With all my heart, and soul." Raziel returned her offer gladly, making the same vow, they had made so long ago...
"Forever, you and I, shall be together." Raziel whispered into her ears, as Lacuna and Raziel both got
some well deserved rest, in each other's arms. After so long, they were finally together again,
physically, as well as mentally. Leaning against the tree, they both drifted off into peaceful dreams...
The reason Actrise never liked Lacuna was because she had taken her baby brother from her. The reason she disliked their love, was because they had what she didn't: someone to share the burdens. Someone to confide in. Someone to have, and to hold. But, who could love a witch? No one in their right mind would fall in love with a woman of the black arts. "Who would love me, anyway?" Despite herself, Actrise felt a warm tear stream down her cheek.
"My lady, you shouldn't feel like that." A soft, sympathetic voice came from behind her. A gentle hand rested on her shoulder. Actrise pulled away, to get a good look at this new man.
Her heart skipped a beat. Standing before her was the most handsome man she had ever seen. Well built, he stood about as tall as she did. He had black, shoulder length hair. His face had high cheek bones, a slightly crooked nose, and a strong chin... but the part of him that caught her attention the most, was his compassionate, deep brown eyes.
Actrise became aware of his solemn expression. "Can I help you, sir?" Actrise tried to keep her voice steady, but the stranger smiled slightly.
"I am Vankar." He bowed deeply, making Actrise smile. "I'm seeking the province of Wallachia. In which direction would I head?"
"I'll be heading that way myself soon. I'm just keeping an eye on my brother and his fiancée for right
now. Hell, let's go now." Actrise offered him her arm. Vankar smiled, and took it. Actrise smiled back,
and led him back to Wallachia.
Soon she would awaken, smiling warmly up at Raziel, her loving hazel eyes shining in the autumn dusk. She would slowly rise, Raziel gently teasing her hair as he stood with her. Lacuna would coo, "Good morning, love." and kiss him softly on the cheek.
Ah, how he regretted that he had to continue living as she withered and died. Raziel twined Lacuna's hair around his pointer finger, letting each of the flaming strands to slip through his fingers, one by one. Gently, he stroked her back, massaging her soft skin. Lacuna sighed, and sank contentedly deeper into Raziel's breast.
Thinking about the last time he had seen her, (Oh, how painful those eyes had been!) Lacuna had a slash on her neck. The mark was still there, but it had healed almost completely. Raziel accidentally brushed the wound, and Lacuna seethed and drew away from his touch. Reaching into his cloak, he took out a green balm, and put some on his fingers. Rubbing Lacuna's shoulder to take her mind momentarily off of her neck, Raziel gingerly applied the balm. Lacuna's breath came out in a shallow hiss, but she soon relaxed as the balm cooled the inflamed skin.
Raziel massaged the skin of her neck as the cooling gel took deeper effect. Again, he found himself recalling his situation, how his love would pass on years before he did, leaving each other alone, until Raziel took matters into his own hands. He missed her enough at the end of three days, how would he stand being without her for three decades?
Lacuna breathed deeply, and relaxed, melting into in his arms. He tightened his grip on her. There was no chance in hell he would give her up without a fight. And she wouldn't either. He'd discuss this with her later. Right now, he decided to take this time to thank her, for waiting for him. Lacuna stirred again, and awakened.
"I want you to know," Raziel whispered, "That I will miss you horribly. Your smile, your eyes, your kiss..." He chuckled slightly. "Even your obnoxious temper."
Lacuna's eyes flashed dangerously. "What about my obnoxious temper?" Raziel smiled broadly. "I love it when you get mad, because after the storm, the light shines through, brighter than ever...."
Raziel lowered his lips to Lacuna's cheek, and gingerly kissed her. She stared up at Raziel with warm, shining eyes. "You silver-tongued romantic fool..." Gently, Lacuna rubbed his cheek, smiling lovingly up at him, just as he predicted. Again, he toyed with her hair, staring back at her.
Their eyes connected, that same spark igniting the desire once more. Drawing in, slowly, ever so slowly, Raziel whispered, "Nothing... can ever tear us apart...." There lips met, the scent of perfume and steel enveloping his mind, causing the heat and the fervor to flare higher. Raziel pulled away slightly, and Lacuna leaned forward, hungrily searching for his lips. Raziel smiled, and moved from her lips to her cheek. Then from her cheek to her throat...
Lacuna let out a low moan and melted deeper into his embrace. All he had to do was draw her in, a little closer, and she would be his, totally....
No. Raziel thought to himself, there's a time and a place for everything. This is neither the time, nor the place. After one last, lingering kiss, he drew away completely, brushing her chin with his lips. Lifting her slowly in his arms, Raziel silently walked toward their home. "You tease...." Lacuna sighed, but only started to fall asleep again, lovingly caressing Raziel's cheek. It wasn't until Lacuna's hand stopped that he realized she needed to sleep some more. Apparently, she hadn't slept for three days either.
"Sometimes, I don't deserve you, dearest...." Raziel clutched her closer to his bosom, as she started to shiver.
"Not so, Raziel..." Lacuna yawned sleepily. "I don't deserve you..." Sighing contentedly, she nuzzled deeper into Raziel's breast.
"Now, now..." Raziel didn't want to persue the argument, because he'd never win. "Get some sleep. We're almost home..."
Raziel carried her easily and at a steady pace. That is, until Lacuna said, "How about you get my blood running?"
Raziel smiled and morphed into a werewolf. "Hold on..." He whispered. Lacuna wrapped her arms around his neck, and Raziel jumped into the tree branches. Leaping easily from tree to tree, Lacuna shouted in excitement. Raziel did this now and then, but only when Lacuna really wanted him to. Of course, they were home in no time. Lacuna sleepily mumbled, "good to be home, honey..." and once again, she drifted off. Smiling, Raziel opened the door and entered the house he had built with his own two hands.
Nothing special, it was only a two-storied, two-bedroomed cabin, on the outskirts of town. But, Raziel was proud of it just the same. Lacuna loved it, because this was where Raziel had proposed.
Carefully, Raziel walked up the stairs to Lacuna's room. Opening the door slowly, He gingerly laid her down on the bed.
Tucking the covers around Lacuna's cheek, he kissed her softly on the forehead and whispered "Good night, sweetheart." Raziel left through the door, and was about to go to his room when Lacuna sat up in bed.
"Raziel," She began tiredly, "If you wouldn't mind, would you sleep with me tonight?" She fidgeted slightly. "I feel so lonely at night, without you..." Lacuna gazed up at him with pleading eyes. "In a way, I'm scared..."
"Naturally." Raziel whispered, gently closing the door behind him. "But, no funny ideas, all right?" He teased, smiling.
Lacuna nodded, smiling back. Raziel crept into the bed as she scooted over to allow him room. Curling up beside him, Lacuna placed her arm around him, bringing Raziel to face her. Lightly pressing her lips against his, Lacuna rubbed his shoulders, kneading his flesh. Raziel returned gladly, running a hand through her hair. Breathing her in, he traced her spinal cord down her back. Disconnecting his lips, Raziel smiled warmly down at her.
Lacuna stared deeply into his eyes, bidding him good night. Rolling on her side, facing away from him, she started sleeping, yet again. Raziel put an arm around her, bringing Lacuna in close. "Good night, darling. I love you... with all my heart, and soul..." Yawning, Raziel surrendered to the weariness. He couldn't help remembering that at this time yesterday, he was fighting for his life, and for the world. But now, he rested with his true love, finally back where he belonged.
Raziel awakened the next morning, and found Lacuna gone. Groggily, he sat up, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. Stepping onto the floor, he walked across the room and through the door. He was just beginning to smell breakfast when he felt a heavy weight drag him to the floor.
Lacuna smiled down at him, and shouted, "Good morning, love!" She bent down and planted a firm kiss on his lips.
"Good mrrnff..." Raziel tried to say good morning, but Lacuna put a stop to that. Lacuna finally drew back, a broad smile on her lips. "Huh. What's got you in such a great mood?" He still wasn't completely awake.
Lacuna's smile faded. "Hmm. Never really thought about that..." She stood up, still contemplating her demeanor, dragging Raziel up with her. "Come along, then. Breakfast is getting cold." "A wake up call and breakfast. You're too good to me." Stumbling down the stairs, Raziel sat heavily into his seat at the table. He hurriedly ate his breakfast, kissed and thanked Lacuna, and headed to his mother's house. He didn't want to keep her waiting any longer.
He was in enough trouble as it was.
Lacuna wished him good luck, and shut the door. "Coward!" He yelled back. Oh well, he thought, Can't blame her, can I?
Standing on the threshold to his mother's house, Raziel took a deep breath. "Relax." he whispered, "Relax... So you didn't come to see her, big deal. She'll understand..."
Taking another deep breath, he knocked on the door. Shortly after, a strange man answered the door, in a blue bath robe. "Can I help you, sir?"
Raziel was slightly dumbstruck. Where did he come from? Glancing down, he asked himself, and why is he wearing Actrise's bathrobe? The man was handsome, well built, and he stood about as tall as Actrise did. He had black, shoulder length hair. His face had high cheek bones, a slightly crooked nose, and a strong chin. "Uh, sure. Could you tell Mrs. Schneider her son is here?" The man nodded, "Raziel, right? Yes, she mentioned you last night... Several times." Great. Now she's really gonna let me have it. "You might want to get comfortable. You've got a long talk in front of you."
"Thank you. Say, who are you anyway?" Stepping in, he stopped himself (barely) from asking the strange man the same second question he asked himself.
"Pardon me. My name is Vankar." He bowed low. "I am a stranger here, looking to establish a home. Your sister graciously invited me to stay here tonight." Gesturing to the sofa, he muttered, "I slept here, of course..."
"Naturally. Why are you wearing Actrise's bath robe?" Raziel asked, raising one eyebrow, a trick he picked up from Lacuna.
"Oh." Vankar picked at a bare thread. "She gave it to me. She's a very generous person." With the look of someone who wishes to say more, but dares not to, he went into the back to get Katherine, Raziel's mother.
Raziel sat heavily onto the sofa, thinking what was in store for him. Katherine was a sweet lady, looking like an older version of Actrise. Yet, for some reason, he feared her more than anything he saw in Castlevania. Probably because her temper was unsurpassed, by anyone he knew.
Then he thought about this Vankar fellow. Actrise never gave anything to strangers, much less a place to stay for the night. She must really like this guy, he thought to himself.
Katherine stepped into the living room, flanked by Vankar and Actrise. However, the thing that caught his attention the most, was the fact that Vankar and Actrise were holding hands.
Damn. Raziel thought to himself. She must really like this guy.
"I believe you owe Vankar a thank you." Katherine said.
"How so?" Raziel and Vankar asked at the same time.
Katherine smiled. "By helping Actrise through her depression! She's finally found a reason to stop hating!" Actrise smiled too, more at some private joke than anything.
"Ah." Raziel said. "Well, maybe I should go get Lacuna." Because she'll want to know that Actrise finally stopped hating her.
Lacuna was surprised as Raziel to find a stranger holding hands with Actrise. Just as Raziel, she was totally dumbfounded. She squeaked out, "Oh. Well, congratulations." Then they hugged, and Actrise actually let her. Katherine kept Lacuna afterwards, to talk. She liked her a lot.
After a long time, Raziel and Lacuna finally got away. While walking home, Lacuna glanced swiftly around, and whispered into Raziel's ear, "There's something strange about that Vankar... Something foreboding, and dark..."
Raziel put an arm around her, and smiled at her. "That was one of the reasons Actrise took such a liking to him." "No, no, no. It's deeper than that." Lacuna frowned slightly. "At first I thought it was just me, but then something happened...."
She trailed off. Raziel expected her to go on, but even on the steps of their home, she still hadn't said anything. "Well, what was it?" He asked irritably.
"Well, I don't know how to say this, but..." Lacuna hesitated. She swallowed hard. "When he looked me straight in the eye, a searing darkness struck my heart. I couldn't read his mind, he blocks it. I-I just don't trust the creep."
"Are you sure? He seemed fine to me." Raziel frowned.
Should I get rid of her?
Not yet. She could prove useful.
Specifically, she could eliminate Raziel. The problem is snapping her will. We need a way to break her down...
Yes, there's a problem. She's always had a will of iron. She has an Achilles Heel, though.
And what is that?
Take a wild guess.
How do we use him to destroy himself?
I think I have just the way....
End part one.