Akumajou Dracula: Kabuchi no Tsuisoukyoku (part2)

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[In front of the castle gate]

“This is……”
“Its appearance had not changed since 2 years ago……That jeep, did the person named Hammer come to this place again?”
“Could it be that Soma might have come here too?”
Those conversing in front of the castle are an elderly man with his hair bound behind his back and a young woman. They seem like a parent and his child.
“Arikado said that Soma-kun was visited by [Death] yesterday. It would seem that he could have come here too……so before he arrives, we should end this.”
“Yeah, but, I am worried about Death showing himself……”
The castle in front of them did not emit any miasma. It just held a majestic appearance and it can be said that these two are veterans.
“Let’s hurry. First, let’s save the children and search for the culprit behind this castle.”
“You are not worried about your pupil?”
“He and Michelle have both prepared themselves and risked their lives by coming here. Needless to say, they do not need help and I have no intention of sowing seeds of anxiety.”
Julius Belmont
Yoko Belnades
They are the distinguished vampire hunters that are the pride of the church and they have both descended from noble families within the church. 
However, even with their distinction, they still continued on their study and training ------ They became the objects of longing and awe within the church.
Moreover, in the battle of 1999, Julius was the hunter that finished Dracula and he is the expert when it comes to anything related to this [castle].
“It is tough as ever……Oh well, I’ll look for the children. While you, Julius, may search for the culprit behind this.”
“Ah. Ok. If you see Curtis, please tell him to take it easy.”
“…… I would not tell him to return, right?”
“He is young and he’s my pupil. I did not raise him to be easily defeated by monsters.”
That expression surely included confidence in Curtis’ ability. ----- They headed to the castle to carry out their mission.

However----- when Julius and Yoko entered the castle, they started sensing some things that seemed out of place.
Set on top of the castle gate is a thing that resembled a surveillance camera. And on the side of the garden is a pool of blood surrounded by numerous empty cartridges.
-----Perhaps it was some sort of training to defeat monsters?
There is one suspicion that rose in Julius’ mind.

Even in the past, there were dark priests who came to this place and performed sacrifices with the intention of resurrecting the castle, but -----
The castle seemed to have involved far too many people than what he had thought.

XX

10 minutes after ----- [Demon Castle’s Top Floor]

“Earlier……I felt a strong stream of magic.”
“……”
“Could it be that the kidnapped children are there too? ……”
Opening a new door in front of them after leaving the clock tower, they entered an old room that was constructed out of stones.
Comparing it to the dance hall or the illusionary shrine, its appearance seemed much older and there is a rising maliciousness informing them that this is not a usual place.
It was said that no matter how many times Dracula’s castle appears to have changed, this is an exceptional area whose appearance does not change.
This is the area where the castle lord’s throne is located and that is probably the section where one pillar of the castle is at.
Sourcing from literature that was left by their predecessors, a long staircase would lead to the master’s chamber.
Michelle prepared herself as both she and Curtis opened the door in front of them, but-----
“……Eh?”
The view that stretched out in front of her was different from what she had imagined.
Clearly according to the literature, this tower that existed at the top of the endlessly long staircase is the master’s chamber.
However, what differed from her expectation was ----- that which is waiting for them.
Michelle drew her bowgun as she opened the door and saw guns in each person’s hand without the presence of magic.
In other words, they are regular human beings.

XX

[Underground Water Vein]

“What …… is this place?”
While searching for the whereabouts of the kidnapped children from the village, Yoko saw a mysterious sight at the lowest layer of the underground water vein that made her knit her brows. 
She saw clear stagnant water flowing with magic created a vast area and in front of her are----- corpses of humans that are jammed throughout the water vein.
Numerous corpses of men and women of all ages were facing down ----- judging from the quantity of the flowing blood, it could be concluded that they probably just died before she reached this place.
Strangely, all of them has slit their throats with the blade they held in their hands. Yoko is fearful that they would turn into monsters thus she hurried towards them in order to fully verify the situation.
By the time Yoko stepped forward, she noticed something moving in the shadows at the corner of her eye.
There was a dying young man who is struggling to move his mouth.
“! Are you ok!? Hang on!”
Yoko ran up to the man and supported his failing body but-----
The man did not see Yoko, with blood gushing from his slit throat, breathing weakly, barely spoke these words.
“Must……offer……so……ul……”
“……?”
“Master……Gra……ham……resurrection……near”
He was not able to say his last words when his power left his body leaving him like a broken doll that lost its strings.
At the next moment, a light shot towards the wall of the water vein, and a magical pattern emerged on the entire cave.

XX

“……Is that so……”
Julius, who was searching the castle by himself, said those words while strongly gritting his teeth.
He noticed something was out of place.
Whenever Dracula’s castle appears, it essentially changes its form. But this castle bears a striking resemblance to the one that appeared in Japan 2 years ago from its outside appearance to its interior decorations.
He felt like questioning that point, but-----there is another thing that worried him. That was the presence of human beings inside the castle.
And then those signs immediately diminished. 
“Come to think of it…… Even the monsters are acting strangely……”
While he was speaking, he discovered an unusual thing. There is one part of the castle that was different from before.
And in front of that unknown part, at the center of the underground area, he found-----
He saw an extremely large room.

The hall’s walls, floors and even the ceiling is wrapped with an eerie magical light----- that room is entirely constructed out of countless bodies.
“……Legion……”
There is an object floating in the center of the room. It is giant sphere of gathered bodies.
Made out of many, acting as one
A collection of countless corpses functioning as one special monster
He had met this creature several times in the past but the thing that is floating in front of him is among all the legions he had encountered, a mass of the highest level.
In fact, while floating in the air, it grew several [arms] made out of entangled corpses that cut into the walls that are also made up of the same material.
But this legion’s distinguishing point is-----
The corpses that constructed it are not just made out of humans but also included numerous remains of monsters.
From the sight that expanded in front of him, no matter what conclusion it led into, at once, Julius left this large room.
Legion did not appear to attack Julius. Rather it did not even notice that it exists.
“Definitely……this castle is not Dracula’s castle.”

“In order to dispose that guy…… I must make sure those kidnapped children are safe……”

XX

And time slowly moved forward
Julius was not the only one who had questions regarding this castle----- Within the monsters, there was one who also had the same question.
That monster’s name is-----

XX

A few hours ago [Dance Hall]

“This…… What happened here……?”
Arriving a little bit earlier than Curtis and Michelle was a monster wearing rotten robes----- Death

When Death awoke, he noticed that he did not exist inside the castle.
The castle appeared in a state without a master and this time is different from the summoning of cults----- That he is completely awake.
Vividly waking up between the moon and the sun, the monster had one thought-----
-----Why, have I awoken?
The emergence of Dracula’s castle
That was the most possible thing, but why did I not awoke inside the castle?
Although this was not the first time that this happened, he understood that perhaps this time is similar to that time when only the castle was resurrected while waiting for Dracula to rise.
“What could have happened…… I must investigate……”
And first of all, Death----- went to the source of the [soul] whom he swore eternal allegiance.
Even if his master was reborn and he was bound to obey, but he had remembered that there was something different.
If he had awoken, then the castle ought to have emerged. However, he could not feel the sign.
Death silently started moving towards the center of darkness.
He swore allegiance to his master in the distant past.
Now, he has to carry out his allegiance and in preparation for that, he allowed himself to fill up with darkness.

And after Death met with Soma Cruz in Japan----- He was confident that his existence had nothing to do with him, yet he still had suspicions on the emergence of the [castle].
Without wasting time, he diffused his magic across the world, following the traces of magical current; he finally arrived at the castle.

However, what he saw there are-----
Humans
Dozens, no, hundreds of human beings are climbing. He then stalked the monster infested [castle].
He already knows the story of what will happen but ----- mysteriously, the castle’s zombies and skeletons and even other monsters are not showing any behavior of attacking those humans.
It is as if they did not see each other. The monsters are just prowling the castle and the humans are just slipping by in between.
Death briefly watched the situation but, suddenly, he saw some monsters that he knew in the dance hall.
One of them is a demon knight with the head of a bird and a body of a man----- Slogra. The other one is said to be the king of gargoyles, a stern winged demon knight----- Gaibon.
“Slogra, Gaibon, what happened……”
He showed himself in front of his subordinates, planning on doing some questioning but-----
Death immediately noticed something odd from the 2 monsters.
Their bodies are certainly theirs, but, inside them is just distorted magic and he could not feel their souls.
Moving by magic, these monsters resembled dolls----- That was the impression that Death got.
“What is this……”
Then, [something] appeared in Slogra and it faced Death thrusting the spear in its hand. Joining that, another [something] appeared in Gaibon and from its mouth a fireball was expelled.
“…… Insolent!”
Death did not move from his place and numerous scythes appeared around him.
A scythe was able to catch Slogra’s spear, another violently revolving scythe was able to snuff out the incoming raging flame.
The remaining scythes flew out to the 4 corners and with their momentum; they were able to surround the 2 monsters.
He drew out his unfailing death scythe ----- instantly slashing those soulless dolls.
They burned out without shrieking, those [things] that resembled his subordinates.
“……What ever happened here? ……”

At that instant he said that, the surrounding air buzzed -----
Together with the sign of a much darker soul, a dry clapping sound rang out the dance hall.
“As expected of the castle’s guard, the devil’s confidant, born from chaos as a god of death while being undead.”
Standing behind him, wearing purple nobleman’s clothes, is a tall man with an unusually pale skin.
Those nobleman’s clothes were a cross between a military uniform and a majestic design. Recognizing that, Death spoke his name with a small astonished voice.

“The master…… Olrox? ……”

Once serving under Dracula, this noble vampire was appointed one part of the castle.
Personifying the dead seafloor and existing to overwhelm the surrounding light. It would not be strange if just by looking at him, an ordinary person’s heart would be devoured.
Seeing Death in front of him, he emotionlessly said. 
“It was within my assumption that you would be resurrected but…… I wasn’t expecting that you would be like your old self. Now that the castle has lost its dark lord, I thought that your soul was driven out of chaos as a magical beast, but, was it because of my haste that this happened?”
Olrox spoke with a tinge of admiration. He walked up without a sound in his steps towards Death.
With those words, Death once again understood.
With the emergence of the castle, he had deep concerns regarding the vampire in front of him.
----- The reason why he woke up still knowing himself was this.
Death was convinced of this fact and he asked about those [somethings].
----- Must evaluate that
“I see, the master now, the one that controls the castle’s magic, the one who intends to inherit Lord Dracula’s name is ……”
Hearing those hoarse words coming from Death, Olrox’s expression dimmed a little and then foolishly preached to Death.
“…… Speaking the losing dog’s name is unnecessary now.”
“……What……?”
With Olrox’s arrogant answer, Death’s voice flowed with a tinge of darkness.
Wanting to know the reason of the change in emotion, Olrox dared to continue speaking.
“The magic I received from the castle will not be used to bind humans to chaos and other similar things. I would like to equally gain control over both humans and chaos.”
“You…… did nothing but to insult Lord Dracula…… Are you denying the existence of the [castle]?”
“Oh Death, there is no need to be so loyal and respectful to that dead human, right? …… Oops, that guy was not human, he was somehow a vampire.”
With Olrox’s provocation, Death just kept silent and asked about his attitude.
“If …… you become Lord Dracula’s successor, do you not have any intention of inheriting his power……?”
Depending on the next answer, there is a possibility that Death would have an absolute intention to kill him.
On top of understanding that condition, Olrox still calmly answered.
“I had said it before. I do not intend to bind the world with chaos.”
“…… If so, why did you take power away from the crack in the eclipse’s seal? If you just intend to imitate like a monkey, isn’t your own power enough?”
Those were the emotionless words of Death.
In response, Olrox laughed his bold answer.
“As I’ve said, I would equally gain control over the human world and the source of Dracula’s power, chaos. I do not intend to obey someone else’s mind aside from my own. That includes you who were born out of chaos.”
“……”
“You should be glad though to know yourself.  Just by stealing power, my shameful monotonous time is over…… Even before Alucard appeared, just because I showed up and declared war on him.”
Olrox’s voice was mixed with a tinge of thin delight. He respectfully bowed to Death who completely killed his emotions.
“I would end the reincarnation cycle of this demon castle. I who understood and was spun out of the stains of chaos, swear to rob that power with my hands. Now, yield.”

With Death’s reply, an explosive murderous intent rose.

Two bronze colored scythes much larger than usual appeared; it advanced to the space in between the two men with an intention to cut off Olrox’s head.
Kill the distance-----
   Kill the sound-----
      Just, faster, soon, die.
It can be seen that the blades have certainly caught Olrox’s neck, but----- that is only an after image and the vampire is already at Death’s back.
“……die.”
That was said by the enemy who called on his servants.
From the surrounding space, a group of purple bats rose, passed by Olrox’s arm with the speed of a bullet, attacking Death.
However, Death did not show any gesture of avoiding them. He simply faced Olrox and sprayed out numerous scythes.
The bats and scythes cancelled each other out and the entire dance hall sparkled with blood.
Some rebounding scythes broke the window and moonlight softly lit the bloody castle interior.
Olrox, without changing his expression, shook his head a little, floated up in the air, went out the window without a sound and fled.
“If only I could meet you in a better place, but unfortunately, I’m very busy.”
“…… don’t flee.”
Death just crushed the emotions that rose up inside him and flew outside the castle in pursuit of Olrox.
However-----
When he was near the castle’s entrance, Death noticed another unusual incident.
He saw a gathering of humans in the center of the garden.
“……?”
A question formed in his mind, and a few minutes later -----
[That] formed

A huge magic pattern is spread in the center of the garden. Its interior has human beings drawing out something.
“His being busy was a lie. It was unexpected and he was bored.”
Olrox gave a slight smile----- Sensing the presence of dozens of humans located in the center of the magic pattern, he went there.
“Thanks to you humans”
In the center of the magic pattern are men and women of all ages and even combatants are gathered there.
And their hands are grasping black colored knives-----

At the next instant, all of them pierced their throats at the same time.

“……tch!”
At the same time, there is a black light that wrapped the magic pattern----- The blood that flowed out of the humans’ throat gathered in the air creating a giant red arm.
“This is …… !?”
From a part of the giant hand, numerous arms extended like tendrils, expanding and swallowing the body of Death.
Then----- convergence
“Cough…… Olrox…… you!”
Death who was wrapped in the giant bloody hand felt the blood of humans eroding his body.
Olrox stayed floating in the air while looking at Death whose movement was sealed----- then in a calm voice said.
“You who were referred to as the undying symbol of death, it might as well be said that death has extended his arm on you.”
Death whose body was being eroded by human blood, confirmed that the blood was magical and had also absorbed other servants----- he shouted.
“Aha……! You, including other monsters……!”
Not answering his question, Olrox just told his goodbye.
“Having your magic, I do not intend to control your soul. Crumble and fall into nothingness.”
“Ol……ro……x!”
Death’s magic completely flowed into the [castle]. When that thing that was inside the giant blood sphere was confirmed to disappear ----- It then landed on the ground.
At the same time, the floating blood arm sank into the ground and disappeared, even those dozens of corpses that ought to roll in the ground also disappeared as if nothing happened.
“With this, the castle is nearing its completed state.”
With Olrox’s words, the people that are outside the magic pattern gave out an expression of joy.
Then----- suddenly, the atmosphere settled, and his eyes turned towards the humans at the front gate with guns on their waists.
Olrox gazed behind them and he saw one human being.
“This…… What is this……”
By the looks of his clothes and the whip he is carrying on his waist, he is probably the church’s advance party. The whip’s holy powers can be felt but its threat was not the same as the Vampire Killer.
“Death and vampire, why did they fight……and also…… why are humans here……?”
In front of the confused youth, Olrox said in his expressionless voice.
“The timing is bad, church person.”

Then, numerous gunshots rang in the garden.

XX

Several hours later [Demon Castle’s Top Floor]

“Eh……?”
Not understanding the scenery in front of her, Michelle removed the finger that was on her bowgun’s trigger.
The men were clothed in a military like uniform but they don’t seem to be the companions of Hammer.
They also could not be an army dispatched by another organization to destroy the castle and their eyes showed hostility.
“What are……you guys……?”
Hearing Michelle’s words, one of the men could not hide his anger and said.
“……Still not accepting your doom, eh, you dogs of the heretic church…… Do you intend to rob us of our standard……”
“……you guys……”
Listening to the words that man spat, Michelle somehow understood who he was.
In the past, there were countless groups of human beings plotting for the resurrection of Dracula.
Needless to say, there were dark priests who served Dracula and witches who were attracted by infinite magic. Then in recent years, there were stories about 2 religious groups that were planning for the resurrection of Dracula.
One of them, was a cult called [With Light] headed by a priestess named Celia. And another was a religious group founded by Graham Jones who called himself the [reincarnation of Dracula].
Instead of using strong sorcerers whose numbers have fallen, these new groups even if their founders were already dead, still had lots of followers.
Perhaps, at the very least, it was certain that they are enemies of Michelle and Curtis.
“……”
in that tense situation, Curtis stared silently at the men. The men looked at him and threw suspicious words at him.
“But……How did he recover from that situation? He was not able to take any miracle drug when we shot him to death. He was not even wearing an outfit that could nullify that amount of bullets……”
The men glared at Curtis.
“Eh……?”
Michelle was hit with a slight confusion.
Their words with double meaning gave her a shock.
The first is not about Curtis being struck by monsters, but rather about his defeat by [humans].
The other one is----- his injuries were caused by numerous bullets that showered his body.
Michelle initially thought that about one or 2 bullets probably hit him and the rest of his wounds came from the monster’s claws or blades-----
A human rising from receiving a volley of shots from assault rifles was unthinkable.
“Curtis……?”
Her feelings of anxiety rose.
However, it was not yet time to check on those feelings.
The men having lost their patience at the silent Curtis, held their stance with their guns and decided to take aim at Michelle and Curtis-----

A sound of explosion rang and a flash slashed through the dusk.

XX

A few seconds after that intense flash, Michelle does not know what happened and she prepared to die, but-----
She slowly opened her eyes making sure that her sight had gradually recovered from the flash.
Then—she saw the men in military uniform laying on the floor. And a large bald man is retrieving their guns.
“Yo.”
“Ha, Hammer-san!?”
Surprised at seeing that man when they parted ways several hours ago, Michelle confusingly asked.
“Um……what happened……”
“Oh, I followed you guys and I saw that the situation was dire so I threw a stun grenade. Afterwards, I took the opportunity to hit them strongly and shut them out.”
Hammer happily told his story while flinging the opponents equipment in his bag.
“Anyway, I got rid of monsters and as for human opponents, I just always hit them. With this amateur lot, I could defeat them even with my eyes closed. Oh no-----I was not able to show Yoko-san my cool moves. Gahaha!”
Hammer said that with pride and Michelle said her thanks with amazed eyes.
“Thank you. Because of you we were saved. Perhaps we have not fought against other humans……”
“Is that so? I had to do what I must. So, that young man was apparently killed off?”
“Eh?”
Michelle unconsciously gave out that sound after hearing Hammer’s words. She looked behind, and-----
Looking at Curtis’ eyes, she understood that Hammer’s words were true.
Curtis’ eyes are cold, if Hammer had arrived a little bit later-----he would be similar to a zombie.
With that thought, the light that filled Curtis’ eyes became dark, sharp----- and absolute.
“……” “……”
“Oh, it does not matter much. Here, here!”
Hammer sensed that the air between the two suddenly felt heavy so he laughed out while holding a weapon.
It was a whip that was soaked in blood in some places.
“I picked this up at the garden and I believe this is yours, right? Old man Julius also uses a whip. I came here just to deliver this to ya.”
Whoosh, receiving the thrown whip, Michelle noticed that it was the magical whip that serves as Curtis’ weapon.
“That’s great……! Curtis! With this your power-----“
In order to shake away the confusion she had a while ago, Michelle raised her voice, but-----
“Sorry, but…… with my current self, I could not handle it.”
“……? What are you talking about? Curtis……”
was he still confused, Michelle made him grip his whip.
Snap, some kind of popping sound rang and Michelle felt a light shock in her arm.
“Uh……!?”
What happened, she directed her eyes on the origin of the shock-----
A part of the whip’s handle had a rotten like disintegration-----
A part of Curtis’ hand was burned, and that skin immediately returned back to as before.
----- No way……
“Curtis……?”
“……I am currently weak at holy magic.”
“Eh……”
----- What did …… he mean by that?
She is still confused as she was before. She wanted to say something she had to say but-----
“Are you…… Curtis?”
Unconsciously it came out, it was stupid but at the same time it was accurate.
“……”
Based on his silence, Michelle instantly plunged into a deep despair.
“It is…… a lie…… right?”
Thinking about it, from the start there were a lot of things that were out of place. Normally, she would have noticed those at an early stage. But because of the thought [I want Curtis to be safe], and that [safe] word clouded her eyes.
However, even with his memory loss, his actions and behavior are unwavering. And thinking about this place, there is only one hypothesis that can be arrived at.
“Truthfully…… you are…… You are……?”
Not knowing what she should say-----
Just by knowing that Curtis was repulsing holy magic and his previous cold hearted kills, she strongly drew her bowgun and asked once more.
“You are…… not Curtis…… Who…… Who are you……? Answer me!”
Upon her reply, she pointed her bowgun. And that [something] within Curtis and answered in a clear voice.
“……There is no need to respond. But, it is not about you…… You are not my enemy tonight.”
He climbed up the staircase and glanced back at Hammer who was standing a few steps back.
“I could not say thanks, but……accompany this girl out of the castle. Beyond this, there is nothing you guys desire.”
“Cu, Curtis?”
The youth’s eyes had an icy color but he did not look down on the person he was talking to. It was just that he told the genuine truth.
After a moment of silence, Hammer felt something from those words and he let out a sigh.
“That’s a good idea. But remember to return and repay me for bringing the whip, ok?”
Apparently that remark differed from the atmosphere of the moment-----But for Hammer, that was his expression of a joke.
“……Am I not that terrible?”
“I do not fully understand what you meant but right now you are not the enemy right?”
Hammer gave an extremely concise answer to the question that was unexpectedly raised by that [something].
“Why should I be scared of the person that is not my enemy?”
Hammer cracked his neck and laughed, wanting that [something] that used Curtis’s face to also smile. Then with shrugging shoulders, he returned to the interior of the castle.
“Well, I have to search for Yoko-san for a while. If you meet her first, please tell her “That Hammer is an extremely nice guy” ok?”
“……I thought that he and the librarian are the same but it seems that I should reevaluate him.”
He said this while watching Hammer’s retreating form. Then that [something] that was controlling Curtis’ body made his way slowly to the castle’s lord room, when-----
“Wa……Please wait!”
Michelle shouted with alert eyes and poked Curtis’ body with the spearhead of her bowgun.
“Refusing that whip means……you have been tainted with dark magic…… But, I could not think of you as a doppelganger or an incubus, nor a zombie or a puppet. So…… what are you?”
“……”
The body in front of her was really Curtis’ but she cannot think of that [something] that possesses him.
Already knowing that the thing in front of her was not an [enemy], Michelle yelled at him with both hostility and hesitation.
“Please answer! And …… release Curtis’ body right now!”
“……”
That [something] that was using Curtis’ face slowly looked back at her and there was silence for a moment, when-----
Suddenly Curtis’ right hand moved and without further notice, he let his dagger loose.
“tch!”
In a moment, she decided not to avoid tha attack and she prepared to die.
However, her body did not fall in shock. In exchange, something rang out with a slashing sound at the top of her head.
In a panic, she looked up-----
There was one giant shadow.
“No way…… that’s……”
Michelle looked up on the top of her head, there was a giant skeleton wrapped in rotten robes. Stuck on his forehead was the dagger that Curtis threw. He then pulled it out easily with his bony hand and threw it down the side of the staircase into the abyss.
“That is…… Death……!”
Michelle saw that monster that is in front of her and it is certainly Dracula’s confidant.
“A……”
She saw an overwhelming amount to scythes swinging with the despair of death that headed towards Michelle’s body.
Even if she shoots those with her bowgun, she could not be able to hit all of them.
At last that moment came when despair took hold of her body-----
Then a shadow stood with blocking hands in between her and the scythes. 
“……Stand back”
“Curtis……?”
-----No, its different.
It is certainly that [something] that took Curtis’ form.
He stood silently in front of Death who was floating and the approaching scythes disappeared in the air.
With that scene, Death was also silent and he extended his hands to create more scythes.
Then at the same time, Curtis’ body leaped.
“……return.”
While muttering that strange word, he extended his hand above his head-----
At that instant, Michelle clearly saw.
Within the hand, a scythe larger than Death’s body appeared, and with a flash, Death’s body was cut in 2.
Michelle doubted her eyes but-----by the time Curtis’ body landed on top of the staircase, the huge scythe and Death’s form already disappeared.
However, the [magic] that wrapped Death did not disappear.
……What is……the meaning of this?
The vast magic that she felt emanating from the skeleton a while ago is also emanating from Curtis’ body now.
-----And……that scythe……
-----That, that’s as if Curtis……
Ignoring Michelle, that [something] that possessed Curtis’ body with vast magic turned around and glared at the room overhead where the castle lord sits.
He started climbing the stairs as if nothing happened. He then faced the woman that was walking behind him and told her.
“You are named, Michelle, right?”
“Eh……”
“Forget about tonight, live in peace.”
“That was the last wish of the owner of this body.”

XX

Several hours ago-----[Garden]

“Uh……aa……Mi……chelle……”
That really is no doubt an obsession.
The youth had more than 28 holes penetrating his limbs and body. His heart is already starting to fail and he is desperately trying to say something amidst the darkness.
“Only…… protect…… you……-----“
When he said those words he must say, the man’s soul already left his body-----becoming one of the floating spirits that wander the halls of the castle.
However-----
Fate did not allow it.
For those people who are involved with the demon castle, even the loneliness of death seemed half hearted-----
The man’s soul is pierced by a small scythe that flew in from somewhere. That scythe did not exist physically. It was a diabolic blade created by some magic and possessed a strong soul.

He understood that something is flowing inside him.
The quantity is small but he realized that this hot magma like thing is eating away his existence. But, in his state it is hard to differentiate whether he is losing control over his boy or his spirit.
Still not understanding what is happening to his soul, Curtis just felt that he would soon fade away no matter what he does.
-----That’s …… enough……
-----I……don’t care……what happens anymore.
Curtis threw away all his feelings, and just wished.
-----I just want her……to live happily.
Even if he can overcome pain, fear and despair by himself, his soul can only wish.

And----- his wish reached god.

However, that god is such in name, but his existence is far from Curtis’ faith.

XX

Several hours later [Castle Lord’s Room]

“……You came.”
Awaiting the visitor in the castle lord’s room is not the demon king with a pitch black cape-----
It is the vampire wearing purple nobleman’s clothes who is similar yet not similar to Dracula.
Sitting on the throne with his legs crossed, he saw the vampire hunter that should have been shot to death in front of him.
But the vampire with one look saw that inside his opponent is an entirely different thing.
Towards the spectacled youth approaching without hesitation, the vampire-----Olrox calmly said.
“There is no way you came through that state.”
His voice was filled with slight admiration. However, that is not intended for the youth who was shot to death.
That praise was for [Death] who is inside.
“I intended to completely erase your soul but”
“……”
Death stood there silently, and Olrox calmly rose from the throne.
“It’s useless to converse with you, hmm?”
Still with an emotionless expression, Olrox silently fixed his eyes on his opponent-----
Moving at the speed of sound, he swung his sword sideways.
The tip of the sword ejected magical winds acting like invisible blades that swooped in towards the youth’s body.
However, at that moment the youth held out his right hand-----dozens of scythes appeared in the air, acting like numerous shields blocking the winds.
At the same time, countless scythes appeared to attack behind Olrox, but the vampire left his after image and fled to the top of the throne room.
While looking down on the youth below him, Olrox calmly formed his words.
“However, it will be always the same no matter how many times you come. Since, the souls of those people who sacrificed themselves earlier are still wandering the halls of this castle.”
Snap, his fingers rang, and at the same time-----the castle lord’s room’s red carpet moved, transforming itself into the shape of a giant hand coming to attack the youth’s body.
That was not the carpet-----it was the bloody arm that robbed Death’s magic earlier.
The blood film hid itself as the carpet. The castle lord’s room’s floor also had the same magic pattern written on it as the courtyard. A distorted light shot off as the bloody arm sent off magic.
Thinking it would reconstruct the event that happened in the courtyard but-----
When the youth was swallowed in the interior of the dark red curtain, a red scythe flew----- it was able to slash the liquid bloody arm without a sound.
Then, like a water balloon the bloody film burst, and the splattered drops sank into the stone floor and disappeared.
“Ho.”
Olrox narrowed his eyes at the youth who emerged unscathed and said.
“Of course, come to think of it, the reason you entered the body of a human after you recovered your power was……in order to prevent the bloody hand from touching your soul. Using a living thing as a shield?”
“……”
“But, if that body dies, it’s the same.”
While glaring down at Death who still kept his silence, the vampire said these provoking words.
“Must the human body you are using as a vessel vanish along with your magic and pride?”
There for the first time, Death spoke.
“…… Absurd. Thinking those words came from someone who is the king of an imitation castle that used humans.”
“It was not my wish to imitate the previous castle. It was the product of the delusions of those foolish humans.”
A dark sphere floated up from Olrox’s right hand. He commanded those numerous ghosts that resided within to attack. On the other side, Death not moving from his place, just used his devastating magic to create countless blades-----returned those ghosts into nothing.
Risking his life in exchange, Olrox gracefully opened his mouth and continued his conversation with his opponent who was ready to kill.
“Did I tell you about Graham? That pitiful man who thought of himself as the reincarnation of Dracula…… His followers still blindly believed that truth even when he died.”
“……”
“Those pitiful lots believed that when Dracula’s castle is completely restored, their founder would also be resurrected.”
Olrox’s expression did not change but there was pity that can be felt in his voice.
The youth did not show any emotion towards that truth and he calmly asked his previous question.
“……The sign of humans, a large number of them seemed to have vanished from the castle.”
“Ah.”
Regarding that question, his answer was relatively calm.
“A part of them that remained seemed to have committed suicide.”

Those who adhered to Graham Jones were those who were obsessed with the thought of an impactful end.
The world would soon perish. For their fallen neighbors, they would change themselves.
In order to become the body of [god] destroying this unclean world in order to create a new world together with [god].
That kind of thinking influenced this group of fanatics.
Their founder was born on the time that Dracula died and had received a degree of [power]. That was the man named Graham Jones. He had a charisma that attracts people and was practicing real magic.
He as the real dark lord and ----- also as a [fallen] human----- sought to create a paradise [Genesis] which was blindly believed to be possible.
And that blind belief still continued on unchanged even after their founder died.
It was just their story.

“Dracula’s castle, in other words is the embodiment of Dracula’s magic, a part of his soul and body, their belief in them being [fallen] and a part of [Genesis}.”
“……”
“……Then, they waited. Once they arrived at the land called Wallachia, a partial solar eclipse happened.”
“Since……the moon did not completely eat the sun, calling forth the castle should not have been possible.”
“Yes. That is why, instead of calling the castle----- from the partial shadow of the solar eclipse, they called forth a massive amount of monsters……2 of which are strong.”

XX

“Yoko. How are those children?”
“……I saw them on the illusionary shrine. Though there seemed to be nothing left there now, they seem to be very scared……”
Yoko was contacted by Julius through their special communication device.
Knowing that the children were safe, he expressed relief but he cannot relax just yet and he sent instructions to his partner.
“……Can you escape with all of them?”
“It is difficult to protect all of the children while escaping outside the castle, there are too many monsters.”
“……”
While Julius is quietly thinking, Yoko continued her report on a particular situation.
“No matter how many times you knock them down, they immediately revive. These monsters’ numbers seem to be more than those of the previous Dracula’s castle.”
“Why is that so?”
“?”
“It is because we still have not defeated a particular monster.”

With that reply, Julius quietly cut off their communication and focused his eyes on the monster in front of him.

[That] has a body the size of a tennis court and is a puppet. But it looks like a distorted human from its giant head with numerous arms sprouting from it.
Its back has a human face and with imagination, it looks like a magnificent spider, its exterior looked eerie.
Its face is a patchwork of wooden texture. Its eyeballs are larger than a carriage wheel and that part seems like another living creature eerily rolling slowly.
Puppet Master.
The said cursed king of dolls hanged by the magical thread surrounding it and commanded an unthinkable number of [dolls].
Puppet master created those monsters that abound in the castle which were moved by both their soul and magic. And it adores only high quality dolls that move as if they were alive.
[That] giant head saw a figure in front of it and launched into a distorted smile-----screaming.

“Yyyyooouuuurrr fffffaaaattteee iiiissss ttttoooo bbbbeeee aaaa ppppuuuupppppppeeeettttt.”

For Julius, the answer is clear. Not showing any fragment of fear nor hesitation, he flung up his holy whip that he held in his hand.

“Sorry but…… the curtain falls on this puppet play.”

To be continued in part 3
Published:
© 2017 - 2021 ShiroiKoumori
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