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Richter Belmont (Rondo of Blood/Dracula X)

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By Romulan64   |   
© 2014 - 2020 Romulan64
As long periods of peace and tranquility prevail, the evil in men's hearts feels itself restless, blaspheming God ever-more. It begins to seek dark leadership, scorning the light that they feel to be oppressive. On a dark and stormy night in Transylvania, a dark priest named Shaft, with members of his cult, initiate a summoning ritual to revive Satan's most powerful minion, and eternal and immortal Count Dracula. Sacrificing a young virgin maiden, they run her blood onto the remains of the vampire, who awakens from his long slumber, and begins his plot to cleanse the world of humanity and exact revenge on those who have stopped him in the past...

Invading the old town of Aljiba, an army of skeletons, zombies, and giant rock golems set fire and lay waste to all in their path. In the midst of the chaos, four maidens are kidnapped: a nun named Tera, a doctor's daughter named Iris, 12-year-old Maria Renard, and her sister, Annette Renard - who happens to be the 19-year-old Richter Belmont's girlfriend and fiance, personally abducted by Dracula and Shaft. Richter, returning home in a hurry from a hunting trip in the woods, is approached by none other than the Grim Reaper, Death himself, and briefly challenged. Holding back his full power and jeering, Death leaves, warning the unscathed vampire hunter that the next time they meet, he will not be so fortunate...

Arriving too late, and only managing to attack remaining demonic forces, Richter makes his way through the burning village, fighting a small dragon before proceeding to the newly-arrived Castlevania, with hopes of rescuing the abducted maidens and destroying Count Dracula before he can proceed any further with his schemes. Not too far into the main hallway, a giant Behemoth crashes through the wall and gives chase. Losing the beast, Richter drops through the cracked ground, and in the watery depths of the castle, he finds young Maria Renard and rescues her from a dark magic imprisonment. She thanks him, telling him that she had also attempted to come and vanquish Dracula, but was caught. Richter, not as amused as Maria, tells her to take the path he had just cleared and run home. Refusing, she demonstrates her own unique power - the calling of animals to come to her aid. Coupled with her childlike agility, Richter reluctantly agrees to let her also fight through the castle.

Trudging through a ghost and demon-filled cemetery, Richter next finds the faithful nun Tera in an underground dugout. He instructs her to take his cleared path home as he continues on his way. She gratefully tells him that she will pray for his safety, and that God is with him. After conquering a demonic dungeon, Richter comes across some otherwise-serene swampland infested with toads, skeletons, and ravens. Within its depths lie yet another maiden, Iris. Seeing Richter with a wounded arm, she tears off a strip of her dress and wraps his injury, having seen her doctor father so the same to others, with Richter telling her to make her way back to the village while it is still safe.

Finding secret docks just a ways off from the castle grounds, Richter then mounts a ship swarming with skeleton pirates, ghosts, enchanted weapons, and hunchbacked "fleamen" riding attack seagulls. As it sails towards the castle, Richter fights his way through hordes of foes before coming upon an old, fearsome opponent - Death. No longer holding back his power, Death rights with deadly sickles and deadly magic before deciding to fight directly. Wielding his iconic scythe, he takes more direct swings at Richter, in the hopes of feasting upon his soul. He is, however, no match for the holy power in the Vampire Killer, and is ultimately destroyed in physical form.

The ghost ship now docking, Richter makes his way off and into a marble lobby, wherein he finally meets Shaft, the dark priest responsible for resurrecting Count Dracula. Conjuring his satanic powers, he seals all exits and brings forth monsters from all across time - a giant vampire bat, the deadly Medusa, the long-dead Pharaoh Akmodan II, and finally, the monster created by the Genevese Doctor Victor Frankenstein. With the young Belmont slaying each of them, Shaft sees that he has no other choice but to fight the vampire hunter himself. However, he fails, his spirit escaping in secret for another encounter.

Now finally re-arriving at the castle, Richter crosses a crumbling bridge, dodging large vampire bats the whole way. Climbing the treacherous, Medusa-head and harpy-filled clock tower, he finally finds the inner chamber containing his beloved. They embrace each other passionately, with Richter ultimately having to tell her to run home while he finishes off Dracula himself. She tries to dissuade him, but to no avail. Feeling the Vampire Killer's power in his blood, he can hear the call of the Count for one grand, final battle. After she wishes him safety and runs home, Richter continues his dangerous climb, only to be encountered by Shaft's ghost, who conjures bats, a resurrected dragon corpse, and a resurrected Behemoth corpse to aid him. And yet, through all of this, the enraged and agile Belmont is simply too much, and Shaft fades away...

At long last, Richter climbs the fateful staircase of the castle keep, entering the throne room of the waiting vampire. Amused that he had gotten that far, he taunts the Belmont before doing battle with him. His powers not sufficient, he transforms into a giant fire-breathing demon in an attempt to kill the vampire hunter for good. But alas, the powers of the holy proved too great for Count Dracula to withstand. As his soul fades, he tells Richter that humanity will always call him back to this world so long as their desires for evil remain in their hearts. Richter himself concedes this, saying that humanity may never learn now, but that it will one day have to, and that until that day comes, people like him will be ready for him. Dracula gives into his temporary death and ceases to be, his powers now no more. Richter escapes the crumbling castle with Maria, the two of them going home to a hero's welcome.
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