Akumajou Dracula: Kabuchi no Tsuisoukyoku (part1)

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This is a full translation of Castlevania: Ricordanza of the God's Abyss 

This is a light novel that takes place a year after Dawn of Sorrow. Knowledge of both the Sorrow games is a plus. 

Disclaimer: This translation was made by yours truly for the entire Castlevania community. Please credit me if you are posting this somewhere else. I did this translation to the best of my ability. If there are any typographical errors or mistranslated parts, please do not hesitate to inform me. I just divided the novel into parts because dA can't upload it all in one go.

A certain day in January 2037

I had come to destroy evil.
A spectacled vampire hunter confirmed this as his duty.
In front of him is a [grotesque creature] whose dreadful power can be felt. The creature appears human but the instant he looked at it, all of his body’s cells cried out in terror.
“The timing is bad, church person.”
Whilst listening to the words said by the [grotesque creature], the young hunter kept on reminding himself.
-----I am …… I ought to be a vampire hunter.
He gripped his weapon and fiercely glared at the [grotesque creature] in front of him.
From the point of view of the youth, the [grotesque creature] seems to be laughing silently.
“You have managed to come here alone…… looks like you have confidence in your ability. Perhaps, you might be able to surpass me.”
“But…… Have you ever experienced killing human beings?”
“…… tch!”
About 10 people lined up on both sides of the laughing man.
These are not the pitiful villagers who were captured by the vampire nor were they puppets being commanded -----
They confronted the vampire hunter with a clear mind.
-----I …… I ……
Surely these are human beings in front of him.
With that confirmation, the vampire hunter’s mind stopped working at once.
[It is not about your ability to distinguish between justice and crime, but it is between believers and heretics…… Isn’t it a given that you only distinguish between both humans and demons?]
Those arrogant words were said but scorn was not felt. Even if the creature had a certain respect for his enemy, he could never forgive him and damned words were said.
“That will be the cause of your defeat.”
At the next instant, a shock fell on the hunter’s body.
The hunter’s body was soaked with something that was not the vampire’s cursed fangs, nor its bloody claws, nor with magical flame-----
It was by the hands of humans who fired dozens of bullets from their guns.

It is certain that humans can kill each other with far more violence than a vampire’s fangs.


The Vampire Dracula
And the symbol of his magic, Castlevania
[That] thing of fairytales and legends is in fact true. The church and a group of the country’s top officials had confirmed it as a fact a long time ago.
Ever since the Middle Ages, every 100 years, this legendary castle would rise together with its master Count Dracula ----- And whenever it happens, it is said that a clan of vampire hunters will seal it.
Several hundred years have passed with battles with the [dark lord] Dracula.
When suddenly, an end to it all has been foretold.
1999----- Thanks to the power of a clan in Japan, Dracula’s castle was sealed inside a [solar eclipse] to disappear forever.

However, in this world, there is no such thing as forever. [They] had understood that Dracula’s regeneration cycle ought to have ended. Indeed, people have prepared for this but will it still exist?
The castle is the symbol of the chaos within humans and as long as people exist, it will not be completely sealed.

During a solar eclipse in Japan, Dracula’s castle appeared in this world once more.
Then slightly a year later, in 2036, a religious cult has planned the resurrection of [the castle and its dark lord].

Like the event that happened before, the castle reemerged, but with the help of the church, it was resealed. Though amongst them, there is but one conjecture and they have to use everything they have to be prepared.

-----Sooner or later, the castle would return.

That is why the [church] has continued to keep watch on any information that passes through their network.
And for a while, time passed by-----
Due to suspicious satellite images, some influential people were worried and it was up to Curtis to investigate, however-----
Somehow, that suspicion has passed into certainly and it is slowly changing into a nightmare.

And it’s 2037-----


Half a day earlier [Somewhere in Japan]

“Well, Soma-kun…… see you ~”
“Ah, see you.”
This young man said farewell to his childhood friend and watched her climb the stone stairs towards the shrine.
There is nothing peculiar about this youth. He has the features of an ordinary college student living peacefully in Japan. However-----
When he can no longer see her, he suddenly sharpened his vision and turned around to see darkness forming behind him.
“……Hey? What do you want from me? You seemed to be sneaking around for a while.”
He noticed that he was being observed by something since a while ago.
And he saw that it was probably not human.
-----An thought……no need to think
Feeling tension in his heart, the youth ----- Soma Cruz prepared to silence his breathing.
He only sees himself as an ordinary Japanese living an ordinary life. But he has seen all types of monsters and can surely attest that they exist.
He is the object of surveillance of cults since he has something that cannot be found in other human beings.
-----Dracula’s soul.
It can be thought of as an absurd fairy tale but-----A lot of [misfortune] happened to him and his destiny had been completely changed.

Dracula died in battle in 1999. That is the truth.
However----- his soul did not sink into chaos. Instead of losing the memory of his past self, he was reincarnated as a human being with the power of dominance over monsters.
That is the existence of Soma Cruz.
If in essence, he is the new Dracula, he should have reigned over the castle but with the help of the vampire hunters’ Genya Arikado, Julius Belmont and Yoko Belnades, as well as the previously mentioned childhood friend, his connection to chaos was severed.
Afterwards, due to his [power of dominance], he got involved in trouble but now he is sticking to living as a human being.
But his soul had scanned the past and even he cannot forgive that.
While deciding to prepare himself, Soma again concentrated on his surroundings.
-----This sign……from where……
This ominous vortex of magic was similar to what he felt in the [demon castle]. Among all the magic Soma knows, this particular type of sophisticated [power] belonged to-----
“……I know I am being rude……”
Faster than he can remember, that husky voice rang in front of Soma-----
From the shadow of the forest, a large shadow emerged.
When he grasped the identity of the shadow, tension ran throughout Soma’s body.
A giant skull wearing deep blue rotten robes appeared. However, there was no sense of madness and savagery. Even the atmosphere was filled with an indication of intelligence.
“Impossible…… why here…… tch!”
Formerly this diabolical being with immeasurable power stood in Soma’s way twice.
Except for the time when he was able to erase Death from existence by possessing Dracula’s [power of dominance] over the souls of monsters, his condition right now with his disregarded power and not even having a weapon was no match for his enemy.
While Soma had to quickly search for something that could be used as a weapon, Death took action-----

That giant scythe that he held in his hands was thrust out in front and laid on the ground.
“……I will not be hostile towards you……”
He might have a husky voice filled with ominousity, though he seemed to pay his respects towards Soma.
Thinking about this, this was Soma’s first time to have a conversation with this monster. It was not just [Death] that is in front of him but having a decent conversation with any monster has almost never happened in the past.
Death looked at Soma understandingly and mumbled with the same tone as before.
“Hmmm……with that look, you seem to know nothing of this matter……”
“!? What are you talking about?”
However, Death did not answer Soma’s question. Instead he asked him another.
“Would you still not want to return to the castle and be my master?”
“……Ah, I have no plans of becoming the dark lord.”
Hearing Soma’s unwavering answer, Death still not changing the tone of his voice, dryly said.
“Thus……It is none of your business. No harm will happen to the young lady you are thinking about. Continue to live your life in peace as a human.”
“Hey, answer my question……!”
“……Right now, you are not my master. I have no obligation to answer your question……”
And Death vanished into the darkness without a word-----The giant scythe that was placed in front of Soma also vanished like a puff of smoke.”
Confirming that the presence of magic in his surroundings has disappeared, feeling the cold sweat in his back, Soma opened his mouth.

“Don’t say…… that castle again……?”


The next day somewhere in Eastern Europe

Charging through never ending streets, a woman rode her horse.
She looks like she is in her early 20s.
The rider is an elegant woman with a firm face pushing forward towards the bosom of darkness.
A third of the 21st century had passed and yet her clothes and appearance gave a feel of an unknown place in the past.
Her clothes combine artistic design with ease of movement. A long sword and a dagger were bound on her waist. A leather bag slung around the side of the horse was crammed with lanterns and holy items.
Much more than her presence, the surrounding scenery had a sense of age. Not one building from the modern age can be seen.
Or rather, in the darkness surrounding the mountain path, there were no traces of humans.
The horse’s rough breaths turned into white clouds that flowed towards the back.
Even if she felt the chill of the night throughout her body, she used the moonlight to stare into the dark and firmly clasped the reins.
In between the sound of hooves and muttering the name of one man, she lightly bit her lip.
There was this regret that was felt between her words.
A remote gorge appeared hovering between nothingness and chaos -----
----- towards Dracula’s castle


This gorge is a place where only a few humans would dare enter.
Half a day earlier, 2 strangers—a male and a female, arrived at a village near this gorge.

Curtis Lang
Michelle Dynasty
These 2 were the advance party dispatched by the [church] whose mission was to investigate the area.
Curtis is the official member of the church, while Michelle is an outsider who chose the path of a vampire hunter. Both of them had met several times before in other assignments.
On one hand, Curtis, raised as a member of the church studied under the well-known strongest vampire hunter, Julius Belmont
On the other hand, the outsider Michelle, except for some resistance during their first meeting, naturally became partners with Curtis and this time was no exception.

The subject of the investigation is a small gorge, about 10 kilometers away from the village.
A few days ago, due to a partial solar eclipse occurring in that area, the ground observing satellites of several countries gave a strange image. That gorge was covered in black fog and nothing can be reflected out of it.
Most people accepted that it was just some sort of satellite malfunction. However, there was a group of people who suspected that the [solar eclipse] had something to do with it. A few days ago, the church picked up this suspicion.
Dracula’s castle was sealed inside a solar eclipse.
Strangely, that area once belonged to the region of Wallachia where Dracula’s castle formerly existed.
From the reports of the wrong satellite images and the suspicion of the church, and the church’s reputation rested on Curtis’ investigation. Though-----
Somehow, the certainty of this suspicion is slowly turning into a nightmare.


[A village in Eastern Europe]

From the time they stepped into the mountains, Curtis and Michelle felt malicious intent in the air.
Even though it is still far away, their bodies seemed to squeal [run away].
There was definitely no room for doubt. It is certain that the [castle] exists at the back of the mountains. The church’s greatest vampire hunter, Julius Belmont must be contacted. However, the conversation jumped into the matter of the disappearance of several village children.
“……If we go now, we might make it.”
From the time he heard that story, Curtis immediately started preparing his equipment and headed towards the castle.
With his self imposed mission, he insisted that it does not deviate from their investigation. Thus they brought only their essential monster fighting equipment.
Even if Michelle said that they ought to wait for Julius and the others, it was her priority ever since they were children to assist Curtis.
Usually, Curtis is a vampire hunter who thinks things over but deep in his heart, it an be understood that he is driven by passion.
Since working together in the recent years, Michelle knew that the Curtis now is unstoppable.
“If you really have to go……I’ll join you.”
Preparing herself, Michelle offered to join him to the demon castle.
Curtis was silent for a while-----before long, he gave a breath that said I give up. He adjusted his glasses and talked to Michelle.
“I’ll give you a minute to prepare. And then we have to leave a message for Julius and the others.”
“Ok. I’ll start preparing -----“
As she was going to her pack, she turned around.
Then she felt a shock at the back of her head ----- Her consciousness rapidly fell into the darkness.
She heard those last words of Curtis, but she was not able to answer back since she drifted into unconsciousness.
When she woke up, she realized that she was hit by a knifehand strike on her nape.
Then-----she saw that Curtis was no longer there and so was the bike with the attached side car.


[In front of the castle gate]

About an hour of galloping through the mountain path, she finally arrived at her destination.
“Here’s…… Dracula’s castle.”

That’s the first impression regarding the [castle].
It can be thought of as a medieval castle, a gigantic artwork that exudes the silhouette of [an elegant castle set up as a showcase of a king’s wealth and power].
However, it was never intended as a tourist spot ----- It feels like it was imprinted on this world.
The castle’s perimeter is surrounded by a moat making it an isolated world.
Even if it is in front of her, it seems that she is inside in a painting away from reality.
Michelle’s body was entwined by miasma that oozed out of the castle continuously inviting her in.
A side car was parked on this side of the moat.
He must have gone off road and with such reckless run, the side car’s body showed contortions all over. It is in a condition that might not be safe to ride later.
But it is certain that Curtis reached this castle.
Michelle looked around and noticed that aside from Curtis’ side car; there was one military jeep that was parked.
The engine was already turned off and there was no one inside.
Aside from us, who would come to this castle……?
Thinking of that question, what if someone from mountain patrol decided to come here due to his concern about the children.
“Hurry…… inside……”
Michelle landed on the ground and the horse backed away from the castle and shook itself.
“……I’m sorry, I brought you to this place……”
She gently stroked the back of the horse that she borrowed from the village. Michelle then faced the castle.
A drawbridge suspended from the main gate is seemingly welcoming Michelle’s arrival.
And her body was telling her [do not go] as her leg muscles were petrified like stone.
“Oh, come on……it’s just this……”
While warding off the miasma leaking out of the castle, Michelle braced herself and stepped forward on the drawbridge.
Before taking that step, she did not know that there might be something.


A few minutes ago [Chapel]

At a glance, this place gives out the illusion of being inside a cathedral.
Magnificent stained glass colored the walls, from the starlight soft moonlight flooded the area. The spacious chapel was constructed in stone and a large pipe organ was placed in the center. If this were a normal place, its atmosphere could purify hearts.
However, as part of [Dracula’s castle] this was far from being holy.
Proof of this is simply the number of monsters in this place.
There are stalking headless armors, squirming skeletons with spears or firelocks.
At the stairwells and in empty places, grotesque forms made of stone grew textured wings ----- gargoyles flitting by.
And below ----- swords, flails and other countless weapons emerged in the air slowly moving while waiting for a victim.
Animated by poltergeists, they are the monsters that belong to the weapon [family].
A giant black sword in the center of several weapons drifted by, a definite sign of death that is sweeping the chapel.
However, there is one man who is completely oblivious to the diabolic things inside the castle.
“Haaa……As usual, this castle ~ is a gloomy place~. If Yoko-san were here, I think wherever I am, I’ll be in heaven!”
“Gahaha,” a lively laughing sound rang through. It became a clear timbre as it permeated the chapel walls.
“Hmm……wait? Yoko-san and me inside the castle, in a place where a couple would take their oaths……? Aa!! Hey, wait! What are you doing? Don’t be shy!”
How long since I’ve stepped into this place? -----A bald man wearing a military uniform embarrassingly patted his head. Despite the situation of his surroundings, he started writing on a piece of paper.
“It’s too bad that the castle’s contents did not change much eh. I thought of giving Yoko-san a map and she’d be pleased but in this case, there’s no meaning. I don’t know much about the demon’s castle; perhaps, I’ll read the castle’s atmosphere……”
Completely infatuated with Yoko, immediately after calling out her name, he was overcome with emotion.
The weapon group dancing in the air reacted to the loud voice of the man. They headed out with violent momentum towards the living target.
The man avoided the flail’s dash towards his body and seized the hilt.
The  power controlling the weapon still wanted to move even though it was held down and the surrounding weapon [family] rushed and swept around the man wearing a military uniform.
Several metal sounds rang, swords and spears were shoved, crushed and thrown to the chapel’s stone pavement where they just stayed unmoving.
The black sword in the center might have judged that it was at a disadvantage. Wrapping itself with some weapons, it rose higher into the sky above the chapel and vanished.
Deciding not to pursue that object, the bald man started picking up these weapons that fell on the floor.
“Good, good, I can sell this after a few repairs.”
While murmurs permeated the atmosphere, those unmoving weapons were placed inside his bag one by one.
Something must have noticed the sound and skeletons and armors are seen moving towards this direction.
In front of the attacking gargoyles, the man sighed and shook his head.
“Really, you guys are an unsociable bunch. Soon enough and those maids would act affectionate. After properly greeting, they would start kicking……”
After the man said those strange things, those monsters held up their weapons in their hands.
Immediately----- the man raised an axe and climbed up the great armor, then in a split second, lifted the armor’s head into his shoulders.
Flinging it towards the armor and skeleton group ----- He grimly smiled and mixed in his complaints.
“Hmm……since I don’t have the hobby of getting flying kicks nor hitting women, and eventually, I would end up running anyway. I don’t know if it is here today.”
Protesting that he had been here before, the man cracked his hand.
After observing the scattered armors and bone, he placed the armors and axe inside the bag----- ignoring the atmosphere, this soldier optimistically spat.
“Now……I’m done drawing this area’s map. Should I at once return to the entrance?”
He walked a step forward and once more surveyed his surroundings----- He tilted his head a little and said.
“But, this castle……the atmosphere is somehow different from before……after all, maybe because Yoko-san isn’t here……”


[Castle Entrance]

After crossing the drawbridge, Michelle saw a proper gorgeous outdoor garden.
However, the garden is filled with an atmosphere that will not heal visitor’s hearts. The bustle of things living there was somehow wishing for something.
----- The sign of monsters……is still thin.
But, this is not the place to enter with common sense.
This thought Michelle placed in her heart. She has to find Curtis and peered out using the moonlight.
She already thought of going inside the castle, breaking into a run, then-----
At the corner of her eye, there was something out of place.
That is, a red peculiar dot.
It ought to dissolve if she rolled her eyes but it did not vanish.
Why does she see this red mass? She realized it in a moment.
-----Could it be……
The reflection of reality at the corner of her sight was clear and her eyes could not lie. She cannot accept reality, thus she strongly fastened her heart.
She felt her back ooze with sweat regarding that red peculiar dot-----
She suddenly fell into a pool of blood, turned and looked at the figure of a man wearing those familiar clothes.

Instantly, she knew he is really Curtis. She frustratingly kicked the ground, had she paid more attention to her surroundings she wouldn’t have run up towards his body.
Curtis’ body was full of wounds and it was not known which wound was worse. Based on the quantity of blood that pooled over the area, the thought of his survival was hopeless.
“Curtis! Hang on, Curtis!”
Michelle’s body went numb.
She cannot find his pulse.
She also could not confirm whether he is alive or dead.
Over and over, she tried to drown out the voice inside her head that kept on saying [it’s too late]. All she could do was ----- cry.
Instantly, all her senses returned to her.
He still breathes.
From the moment his groan was confirmed, for a split second, her faced showed a deep sense of relief, however, that was immediately changed.
Curtis’ face is pale and his breaths are extremely weak.
It is clear that at this point his life is in the balance.
She attempted to close his wounds, but -----
The young man covered in wounds suddenly stood up.
Not understanding what just happened, Michelle’s eyes widened.
The youth headed towards the main door of the castle dragging his bleeding leg----- and ignoring the presence of Michelle.
“!? Cu……Curtis! N……no! You should not move!”
His body either stopped moving or he heard Michelle’s voice, Curtis collapsed and dropped on his knees.
“No! There is no reason for you to walk! First, if you don’t stop the bleeding……”
It seemed that he fainted due to the loss of blood and Michelle’s voice did not reach his ears.
Curtis increased his breathing, fixing his eyes on the front door of the castle.
At this rate, Curtis would die from excessive blood loss. Even though it was impossible, Michelle tried to hold back Curtis’ body, then -----
Suddenly, there was a splashing sound and some kind of liquid substance rained down on Curtis’ body.
Imagining a monster attack, Michelle reached for her equipment at her waist and followed the direction of the thrown liquid with her eyes.
However, instead of an awful monster ----- she saw a middle aged man there.
“Oh missy, are you guys ok?”
This big man with a bald head, beard and wearing an army jacket stood in front of her.
He carried some kind of bottle in his hands and its contents are the same type of liquid that was splashed on Curtis’ body.
“Be at ease. The liquid that I doused him is a potion since I saw that things here seemed to have gone wrong and his wounds seemed more serious than to disinfect with vodka, right?”
This military uniformed man with a scary face said those friendly words in an inappropriate place such as Dracula’s garden.
Mumbling her suspicion, Michelle watched the situation of the soaking Curtis.
Then----- comparing his condition now to before, it is clear that his bleeding stopped and his breathing had gone better.
“It is better to drink it but……at that time, it was impossible.”
Frankly, that man is suspicious but it is certain that he saved Curtis.
“Though----- it is surprising. Did you come across other people here that are not your acquaintance?”
Michelle kept a little part of her heart cautious but she did say thanks to the man in front of her.
“Thank you, you’ve been very helpful. You are……?”
“Hmm? Me? Ah----- To say it simply, I run a general store. If there are items you want like information or medicine, I sell them for a cheap price.”
For a moment, she did not understand what the man was saying. While supporting Curtis’ body, she asked the man with a troubled expression.
“Selling……That……You, do you know what this place is?”
“Ah Dracula’s castle, right?”
“Was I ripped off pretty bad by an alchemist? That chap said that this potion can heal any type of injury. But ah, this time, I am not here to make money. But just to be sure, if you want to buy something next time, you have to pay me ok?”
The man shook his head and said those words casually.
“After all, with that injury, it is not appropriate to make a business out of it. Here.”
With those words, the big man tossed some kind of book in addition to medicine.
“These are free samples. Next time, I have to receive payment, ok?”
“……ah……thank you……”
While saying thanks to the man in front of her, Michelle brought a potion to Curtis’ mouth.
Finally, Curtis was able to sense Michelle’s presence.
Gradually suppressing his rising breathing, for a moment, he turned towards this side, but-----
Without a word, he reached for a small bottle with trembling fingertips and drank the liquid contents off.
“Are you ok……?”
His injuries are healing faster than before thus it can somehow be said that the military man’s potion is real.
With that, they were able to slip out of crisis mode and once again, Michelle said words of thanks.
“Thank you so much. I’m Michelle, he’s Curtis……and you are?”
“Me? I’m Hammer. As I’ve said before, I run a general store. I have goods from newspapers until rocket launchers.”
Michelle suspiciously stared at the man that was openheartedly talking.
“What was your purpose in coming here……? I doubt that your true purpose is just to sell goods, right?”
“Ah----- What was my reason…… from your look, you are a party sent by the church, right?”
“Y, yes……We are just the advance party though……”
For a moment, she hesitated to talk about the truth with him but since she felt that the man in front of her has no malicious intent, she immediately talked about their current situation.
The bald military man showed a slightly serious face and said in a lowered voice.
“Do you mean…… Of course, Yoko-san would also be coming here right!?”
Suddenly hearing an acquaintance’s name, Michelle tamely answered.
“Eh? If it’s Yoko-san, she’d probably come here but……”
Then the man clenched his fists, gave a wry smile and shouted “Yes!”
“Damn, I had confidence in believing the rumor about Dracula’s castle! My hunch was that if the castle appears again, Yoko-san would absolutely come! Banzai!”
Not knowing how to respond, Michelle remembered to say one thing.
“She ought to meet up with Julius-san. I think it would take quite a while……”
Immediately after hearing Julius’ name, Hammer placed his hand on his face, looked up to the sky and with an exaggerated voice said.
“……Argh-----! With that grandpa again!…… Working with that guy…… Perhaps, it is destiny that chance brought me here several times! Why, you also think that way, right?”
“By chance……You mean, you came here because you thought that you’d meet Yoko-san……”
“Gahahahahaha! Don’t pay attention to that little detail!”
With that man’s hearty laugh, Michelle for a while forgot her current situation.
-----Come to think of it, he seems to have heard from Yoko-san and the others.
-----Putting himself in this perilous place, this weird soldier……
While supporting Curtis’ body, Michelle asked a surprising question.
“Do you really plan to set up shop at this place?”
“I’m just a guy with items. Since I am collecting loads of items, money and jewels from those monsters, why not take the opportunity and earn some more money, right?”
By the way he talked, Michelle thought that he somehow understood this place.
“You’ve got an amazing business sense……”
“That’s why, please come again, come. In order to meet Yoko, I’m willing to go through a lot of trouble! The next time you’ll buy something, I’ll give you a discount.”
Michelle did not say anything more to the grinning Hammer. She would have to continue nursing Curtis when -----
Curtis once more stood up.
“Ah……don’t stand!”
His face is no longer hollow and both of his eyes had the light of a strong will.
However, he did not fully react to Michelle’s voice. He faced her with frozen eyes and said.
“Sorry, but……My memory’s gone.”
Not understanding the meaning of his words, Michelle called out his name without thinking and ----- she just invited confusion.
“Curtis……? Yes, my name is Curtis……”
“I can’t remember your name right now. I could only recall the name Curtis.”
----- What……
-----At this moment, this joke……
Curtis’ eyes prove that this was not a joke.
Still Michelle cannot accept this fact.
“Hey, say something……”
“Although I understand what I must do.”
Drowning out Michelle’s words, Curtis viciously glared at the castle in front of him

“Must destroy……this castle”

After muttering that, he faced the castle and stepped forward.
On the other hand, Michelle not knowing what had just happened, and not knowing what to do, just stood there paralyzed and in a daze.
“I don’t understand the situation but are you confused? Sometimes in battle, getting hit with a shock can cause memory loss.”
When she heard that other person’s voice, Michelle’s confidence returned and hurriedly faced Hammer.
“Ah, thank you very much! I’ll surely give a formal thank you to you later……!”
“Your thanks is enough. Just buy something later. Besides, I’m thinking of hanging around here. Hurry run after your boyfriend!”
Michelle once more said her thanks to Hammer who is now patting his head and laughing heartily. She then turned towards the castle and started to run after Curtis.
While watching those two, Hammer was still grinning.
“It’s good to see a such young man and a young woman. Would I also experience the same type of chasing from Yoko-san……?”
Suddenly, Curtis who just entered the castle noticed his leg gave way again. He then saw a jar that Hammer rolled on the ground.
“Weird, huh? You have used that much potions so you should have recovered by now, but……oh, oh, what if we took a bad product?”
Hammer still surveyed his surroundings, saw Curtis down and saved him ----- he raised his brow and muttered.

“That guy, live well……”

[Illusionary Shrine]

Located at the top most part of Dracula’s castle, this area of exceptionally elegant interiors is probably the place where visiting guests are entertained.
The castle’s interiors gave out fantastic scenery where visitors might forget that they are in an area of Dracula’s castle. 
But give it a while -----and the fantastic scenery would immediately change into a nightmare where fanged creatures are seen inviting guests.
So-----inviting guests?

At the top of this area is a room-----with a giant fireplace in the center where numerous small dolls are curled up.
There are 5 to 6 children wearing clothing that don’t match the room’s magnificent interior and they don’t seem to be the masters of the castle.
Perhaps, they might be the children who were said to have disappeared from the nearby village.
There are some of them who were in tears while the others look really pale and they do not seem to be aware of their current situation.
Even if they are not restrained, it was just that they have gathered in a corner of the room.
They must have thought of running away from this room but they cannot----- However, there exists a person who seemed to be able to run away.
Although he just sat at a blue sofa in the middle of the room.
He is swirling a wine glass filled with a deep red wine in his hand.
This man who was wearing magnificent clothes looked like a nobleman ----- And it can be assured that the children do not know the situation they were in.
That he is not human.
There was nothing special that was done.
Just by his presence, there was a great pressure for sickness to take its hold on the children.
The man did not try to do anything but sit on the chair----- He then started a soliloquy.
“Let’s talk about the old days. A story about 2 years ago”
At that point, he stopped talking and sipped his wine----- briefly rolling it on the top of his tongue then swallowed It down his throat.
The impression of its taste did not show on his face. His ice-like eyes stared into the sky and continued speaking.
“Once……countless heads have adorned this room. Females, males, young and old……even the heads of kings and slaves……all were part of that demon’s collection……”
Lining the walls are luxurious shelves but nothing was placed on them, thus taking a very blank impression.
If the children imagined what could have been displayed on the shelves, their unease might have increased.
At the next instant, their unease would change into terror and despair.
“I felt that guy seemed familiar, from somewhere, but…… I could not understand that hobby of his. After killing them, those human heads were displayed on the shelves side by side without distinction.”
The man, who was still sitting, slightly lifted his hands and snapped his fingers. A sound rang.
“Dead human heads……stop screaming.”
Then, a black sphere appeared at the tip of his hand.
It is a sphere, but the children understood that it has [holes]. Even if it was illuminated by the flames of the fireplace, it did not reflect all light. It can be said that it is a sphere of darkness.
From its center, dozens of flame wrapped skulls flew out----- They seemed to know their places from before and started packing into the shelves. One side of the wall was changed into a patterned layer of skulls.
At the instant, one of the children let out a scream and the wall of skulls laughed together.
They do not have voices and they just banged their jaws on the shelf. With that action, their mouths gave out a sound.
Chatter chatter chatter chatter chatter chatter chatter
   Guffaw guffaw guffaw guffaw guffaw guffaw guffaw
Chatter chatter chatter chatter
   Guffaw guffaw guffaw guffaw kekeke ke
Ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke
Ke kekeke keke keke ke ke
“Aa……Aa Aaa AAA aaaa Aa!”
Overwhelmed by the sight, one of the children finally screamed
Like a chorus, the other children joined in----- the room echoed with the screams of the young.
The man must have felt increased pressure caused by the children’s fear. Upon reflex, one of the children stood up and ran towards the door.
However----- the man wearing nobleman’s clothes was already standing in front of the door.
“You guys were invited as guests. So until my business is over. Be obedient.”
The man was ought to have been sitting a few moments ago. He just stood there and----- it seemed that even before this room existed, it could be said that he had already earned his position.
“I just think……that the areas outside this room are more dangerous.”
The man remained unexpressive and lowered his eyes to the boy. His unexpressive eyes seem to pierce anything -----he just stared at the boy who was looking down on the stone floor.
“A person who deserts his comrades is hated, right? …… Return.”
At this point, the boy already lost control of himself.  Normally, it would just seem that the boy had lost his consciousness, but those words that the man spoke seemed to put a command on the boy’s soul.
Moving like a broken doll, the boy returned to his former position. Then the boy fainted and his body wilted into the floor.
The group of skulls already faded and the children barely contained their screams and fears at the back of their throats.
The man already returned to his seat. And his appearance was as before.
The world that the children believed in had easily crumbled----- They no longer cried and they just continued to curl up in their places.
Even the sweet hope of someone coming to save them was no longer there.

A little bit further from that place, the room’s door suddenly opened and a group of males who clearly appeared human entered.
They carried a gun on their waist and came to the center of this fantastic room.
The hearts of the children for once, had a glimmer of hope, but-----
At the next moment, that group of males driven by despair served the man wearing nobleman’s clothes.
“What’s happening?”
“……Well, we followed the soldier, and there are now invaders inside the castle……”
“……Is it Alucard?”
For an instant, the man’s face held a tinge of color from emotion but for the children, that name had no significance.
“No, well, there was a girl who said she is the advance party of the church……”
Then, the man’s face at once lost its color and he dully returned these words.
“If that’s the case, if you come across her by chance, you can dispose of her. But you can just leave it to the monsters of the castle to get the church’s spy.”
With that vague response, another man with a gun continued the report.

“That girl is together with……the hunter that we shot to death……”


[Ruined Corridor]

“----- ----- ----- ……”
A zombie with an arrow struck on its rotting face returned to the ground.

Passing through the center of the castle, this corridor’s distance seemed longer in the mind. Even though it is named a corridor, it has some complex twists and turns in some places----- Fundamentally, it is the backbone that leads to different areas of the castle.
And presently----- In order to be properly called the corridor of Dracula’s castle, this huge passage is packed with countless monsters----- Rather than calling it a den, it should be called a monster’s paradise.

From the time Curtis and Michelle stepped foot into the center of the castle, immediately the appearance of monsters became thicker----- with the latest one coming from underfoot.
Countless corpses are vigorously rising up from the ground. These zombies travel within the ground and are coming out pouncing.
“Th……These……one after the other……”
Driven by impatience, Michelle loaded her bowgun with bullets, shooting each and every corpse that appeared.
Soon, those corpses are joined with numerous giant vampire bats heading their way.
Michelle kicked the ground, ran up the zombie’s shoulders, entering the state of a superhuman feat of agility, she grabbed the lamp that was overhead----- and dangled on the ceiling with one hand.
Her ancestor fought against monsters using acrobatics.
She believed that [fairy tales] had all too soon entered this world-----she gained the use of her agility as a means to fight against monsters just like her ancestor.
With her free hand, she positioned her bowgun and continued on shooting each and every bat and zombie that came their way.
Probably the wounded Curtis is becoming a lure for these monsters.
With that thought, Michelle continued shooting with her bowgun.
From the back of the corridor, a giant eyeball monster was seen floating towards them.
----- A peeping eye!
This giant eyeball made Michelle recall that in the past, alchemists have confronted their summoned objects.
It was a monster that belongs to a comparatively weaker class but its appearance in the natural world is impossible, thus it is logical that it came from the demon world.
While knocking off the zombies, Michelle inhaled deeply and prepared herself-----to find a foothold for her landing.
Those creatures living in Dracula’s castle is not just the lord of the castle, Dracula.
Michelle had promised herself to use Julius’, Yoko’s and other predecessors’ quest records as a source of information to improve her knowledge on those things.
As a start, the castle has an infinite supply of zombies and drawn by the castle’s magic, numerous other monsters appeared, perhaps their existence is allowed by a part of the magic that governs the original Dracula’s castle.
Perhaps, people who sought to resurrect Dracula had called upon those countless monsters.
Among the usual monsters, there are other beings with incomparable power and it has been told that extreme caution must be exercised when facing them.
The dark lord Dracula’s confidant, Death
His two demonic subordinates Slogra and Gaibon
The demon with a fear inducing gaze, Balore
With numerous [things] gathering in its body----- [He is many, he is one] ----- Legion
The demon with mastery over time, Zephyr
The cursed king of dolls, Puppet Master
And from the ancient times, the 4 pillars that guard the castle-----Medusa, Frankenstein, Mummy and Giant Bat
Other monsters that are too many to list also guarded the castle and it was said that they were ranked by their prevailing magic powers.

They were the ones who first stepped foot into that territory.
Michelle has teamed up with Curtis several times in the past in order to vanquish monsters.
However, it is clear that the crisis they are in right now is of a different level.
Even with that knowledge, she still came here. Even when Curtis succumbed into confusion, she vowed in her heart to continuously protect him.
Just like old times.
Then-----several bodies of zombies sank to the round and headed straight to the standing Curtis.
“Cu, Curtis!”
From her position, her arrow would have gone through the zombie and hit Curtis.
She released her hand from the chandelier, hit the eyeball of the incoming peeping eye and landed on the ground.
Curtis right now could not handle a weapon.
Hammer was right. He may have been confused. With that judgment, Michelle strongly kicked the ground; hit the zombie that threatened Curtis at the back with a shot, but-----
At that instant, the zombie’s head popped out and flew.
By the time Michelle made it in the ground, its rotten body had already collapse into the ground and from that shadow, an unexpressive Curtis appeared.
“Curtis! Are you ok!?”
“I’m not hurt.”
Curtis dryly answered. He struck his right arm out and Michelle did not understand what he was doing.
Maybe he used magic that made the wind slash the enemies. Curtis was close to Yoko so he could have managed to learn some degree of magic.
Michelle judged that even in his state of confusion, his instincts still remembered what to do. She then looked that the zombies that surrounded them.
Then, Curtis showed his moves.
He just gently stepped on the ground and with a flowing motion, slid between the zombies with a knife.
Then something happened-----the bodies of the zombies were slashed one after the other, without even the time to groan, returned to the ground.
“Did you see Michelle? ……I broke through in one burst.”
Curtis muttered this with cool-headed eyes. Michelle was certain that his memory had not returned. Nevertheless, since they had come so far, she understood that forcibly retreating had no meaning.
While reluctantly running through the demon castle together, Michelle noticed her partner’s discomfort and inquired about it.
“Curtis…… what happened to your whip?”
“Perhaps a monster could have carried it off……”
The whip was a part of Curtis’ equipment. It is similar to the holy whip, Vampire Killer, having the ability to strike evil and it could have made a big difference in the previous battle.
However, looking at his current state of magic and ability, it seemed that there is nothing to worry about. Even if his memory was lost, his ability has greatly improved since the last time.
----- In this short time, he has become stronger……thanks to Julius’ training.
-----But, for Curtis to incur such amount of injuries……what type of devil is lurking in the castle? ……
In order to get over that unease, Michelle thought deeply but could not find any single abnormality.

Just a few minutes from the time Curtis moved his leg ----- to the time the zombies were disposed of, his return to his usual stride might be an abnormality.


10 minutes after [Demon Castle Library]

Passing through that group of monsters, Michelle and Curtis finally had the time to catch their breaths-----then they noticed that the surrounding area had a foreign sight.
A mountain of books are jammed from floor to ceiling, each and every book spine had all the colors of the world. Viewers would be overwhelmed by this peculiar sight.
It could be said that each and every book published in this world is collected here in this luxurious library, however-----this is still a part of Dracula’s castle.
When Michelle confirmed that zombies have not gathered in this place, she then talked once more to Curtis,
“Even so, it’s surprising……I was worried about your shaky memory, but, it seems that your body still remembers.”
“However, I did not think that you could use such a high level magic! The one that slashed the zombies earlier, was it Gale Force, or something else? Did you learn it from Yoko-san?”
Judging from his reaction, he could not even remember her name, so Michelle said another.
“……Um, anyway, Yoko-san and …… can you recall Master Julius?”
then, he showed a bit of reaction and with a firm expression said.
“Julius……Julius Belmont?”
“Yes! Did you remember!? Well, what about me?”
Hearing his apology, Michelle dropped her shoulders significantly.
But in order not to show sadness, she tapped her cheeks with both hands, put on a serious face then continued the discussion.
“Ah it’s ok. Even if your memory is gone, I think your power is enough to pass this castle. Anyway, let us make rescuing the children our top priority.”
“……What I ought to do is to destroy this castle, and then everything will end.”
“We should leave that to Julius-san and the others. It was said that even if Dracula no longer exists, the resurrection of the castle…… would also mean that there is a big possibility that [Death] was also resurrected.”
He is in a state of confusion but is Curtis really this reckless? With that in mind, Michelle started talking about the danger level of the castle.
“The monster Death serves as Dracula’s confidant and he was said to be a terrible enemy since this guy is intelligent and is good with words, thus he can easily deceive people.”
“It was told in the literature that his appearance is pretty horrifying. If we are able to rescue the children and escape before we meet him, then it is the best way.”
“If that’s the case then it is just not our mouths but our legs have to move too.”
Even with his memory loss, Curtis still held a clear mind and he quietly stepped forward.
The youth moved forward without hesitation, while Michelle hurriedly caught up behind.
“Wa……Wait! Curtis! Even if you do not recall anything, at the very least, listen to other people…… Hey! You still have not changed that part of yourself even with your amnesia!”

------He did not change at all.
Michelle clearly understood that those words were not just a wish.
Not paying attention to the shattered pieces of her burning heart, she just continued on following the man in front.
The hunter himself does not remember who he was. As it was, she feared in her heart that he would never remember her at all until he died.


After 1 hour ----- [Clock Tower]

It is said that the giant clock tower is a symbol of Dracula’s castle. Within it are crushing giant moving contraptions and gears that are several times the height of a human.
Curtis and Michelle continued on climbing up and up.
Relying on the few scattered scaffoldings, they attacked the medusa heads and monsters that crowded their surroundings.
Although they have been through various places of the castle, they still have not caught sight of the children. While defeating numerous monsters, up until now Michelle had not doubled her speed.
From the first monster that she saw and defeated, it is certain that she had developed far more experience in actual battle.
It was said that there are areas in the castle where teleporters instantly allow you to return to the entrance even from the farthest side of the castle. It was then discovered that the castle exists on top of another dimension.
While moving through the different areas of the castle, they realized the extent of their power but-----Curtis must be observed.
Michelle thought that they both grew through those battles but even so, it can be said that Curtis grew stronger with extraordinary speed. He was not just getting stronger but it can be better said that he had recovered from his injuries.
Memorizing the paths of the countless flying medusa heads, Curtis shot each and every one that was in their way with the dagger that he picked up in their journey.
When a harpy sent out it blade like feathers, he approached the harpy by weaving his way through the feathers and used magic that made a wind blade that slashed through its wings.
-----But, surprisingly…. Is Curtis that strong? ……
Even before arriving in this place, they have already met most of the monsters that were said to be strong.
And most of the time, Michelle did not have to exert effort since Curtis was able to perfectly coordinate his movements to drive through the bodies of any monster,
With that, Michelle sometimes found herself staring like an audience.
And ----- that strength caused her to plant seeds on anxiety in her heart.
----- Curtis…… vaguely……
-----You really seem like a different person.
“Curtis, are you ok?”
After finishing a violent attack on the monsters, Michelle asked Curtis again while walking through the next zone.
“……I’m not hurt.”
With his reply, Michelle’s feelings once more dropped in shadow.
-----After all … Curtis’ memory still has not recovered.
According to her, Curtis does not speak in a stiff manner as he was doing now. The fact was that Michelle felt a deep trench between her and Curtis.
From the start of the battle against monsters, she thought that his poor motivation is contradictory and not to mention his memory still has not returned.
And in addition to the slew of strong monsters before----- there might be new monster born in exchange of Dracula ----- Between herself and Curtis, there is a possibility that they could die before she could recapture their connection with each other through his memory.
At the same time, Curtis is continuing to heartlessly butcher monsters. This was far from the man the she knew and this fact contributed to the deepening trench between them.
Before they neared the library, it was possible for them to pass through the border but slowly, their actions started becoming impossible.
Then hearing the sound of wings, the previously defeated harpy started to attack once more
And the still expressionless Curtis attacked the enemy with indifference using the same wind magic which minced the enemy’s body.
-----I am……
Before falling, the harpy got stuck in a gear. Even with this tragic sight in front of him, Curtis did not even batted an eye. There was a fog behind Michelle and with a shudder from the cold, she ran through.
-----Am I now……afraid of Curtis?
With that inconceivable thought, she did not withdraw her gaze on Curtis.
Due to that, she once more overlooked one detail.

That harpy that was struck in the gear----- even during the time its wings was cut, and even when it died, it did not even let out a single scream.

To be continued in part 2

© 2017 - 2021 ShiroiKoumori
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TheBloodstainedRose's avatar
The forum is working for me again, but it's still nice to have the translation here, too :D
ShiroiKoumori's avatar
That's good to know. There were some server issues on the forum according to our forum admin.
You're welcome! :)
TheBloodstainedRose's avatar
Ah! I figured there were server problems :)