VAMPIRE: The Vampire Hunter VII

The bastard Vampire King is indubitably in the tallest tower.

I exit the Vampire’s main room, past the throne, out the door to the left, and into the hallway. Adorned upon the walls are intricate paintings, scenes of horror. All Vampiric, of course. I dart past darkened doorways, leading to all sorts of a Vampire’s macabre odds and ends. The smell of human blood can never be cleansed from the Vampire King’s castle. It has permeated each and every stone. A smell that draws every Vampire to the town, almost subconsciously. But it was built not as a pyre for Vampire kind, but as a labyrinth for humanity’s death…

I fly up the narrow spiral staircase and into the chamber at the top of the highest tower. Dracula, the Vampire King, stands there, awaiting me.

“Blah, Vampire: The Vampire Hunter! Ever the human, it took you long enough to traverse my Vampire haven. Ever the human, you do not appreciate your Vampiric gifts. It’s most curious how you hold onto such a pathetic ideal, the antithesis of the Vampire. Life, for the undead Vampire is only a gift of food, not to be protected, but to be harvested, as livestock.”
“…”
“We Vampires, although some fear your ferocity and determination in our eradication, see you as a joke. ‘Did you ever hear the one about the Vampiric Vampire Hunter and the Pope?’ we’ll say. Then share in a good, hearty laugh, all-knowing of the punch line.” He stands there, moon at his back, hoping he would entice me to make the first move. Not this time.
“Did you ever hear the one about the Vampire King and the afterlife?”
“Why, no,” says Dracula, King of the Vampires, “how does it go?”
“It doesn’t.” I pause.
“Vampire Hunter, I don’t think this needs to be said, but your humor is… lacking.” Keep him talking.
“It wasn’t supposed to be funny, Vampire.”
“You’re not nearly as afraid as you should be, because there is not afterlife for any of us, the Vampires. This is an eternal life on top of the food chain. We are hunters, but your prey is of your own Vampiric Kind. You are a cannibal, a freak, an aberration that I, Dracula, King of all Vampires, will rectify.”
“You? you’re looking a bit long in the tooth. I don’t think you could even scratch me, Vampire.”
“Vell, my form is preferred, it offers many advantages, despite my advanced age, it vorks to show it. My power is over and above all Vampires on this plane, in this dimension that the Vampirismus has crossed over to.”
I unsheathe Vampire-Killer in faster than the blink of a Vampire’s eye, and spin it around, stabbing it into the wall, into the Vampiric shadows behind me. The Vampire King collapses on the ground. Then his trespassing shadow follows suit.
“Did you really think such an old trick would work on me? I have been living of shadows for years.”
“So,” the Vampire coughs up blood, “you are more aware than I thought, Vampire Hunter, but it will do you no service. This castle is my home, and I have the advantage here.”
“No, Vampire, you only have your death here.” I stab the old Vampire King through the heart. He turns into a Vampiric mist, and curves up my blade, swirling. The mist thrusts me against the wall and explodes into bats as the bricks begin to deteriorate and the tower shakes violently. I rush back down the Vampire Castle tower’s narrow stairwell, avoiding blood tinged stone after stone. I hear the souls echo out and extinguish, released into the ether, trapped no more. Or forever. I leap into the hallway as the large frame to the stars collapses behind me, showering me in dust, with Vampire-tainted blood flowing over my boots exploding from the veins of the destroyed walls.

Strange noises emanate from the central hall, and I make my way there, to the center or the Vampire King’s castle.

Vampire-Warriors and Vampire-Knights descend from the ceiling, crawling like some sort of infestation. Their swords glint in the ambient candlelight, just as their fangs.
I stand at the throne of the coward Vampire King, and in a flash, the mob of Vampires leap down. I duck, and raise Vampire-Killer over my head, stopping a grouping of blades from the Vampires. I push up, and toss them all backwards. They come at me again; I block their attacks easily with Vampire-Killer, and maneuver out of their encirclement to begin cutting into them. Their armor and ancient Vampire training means little to me. Clanks of steel hitting the floor echo off the walls of the throne room.

The Vampires keep coming. They won’t rest until they are all dead. They all fall defending their Vampire Kingdom, Vampire Castle and Vampire King with beyond religious fervor. The Vampires are certain, there is no belief, no unknown in Vampire lore. Once they have all perished, it is only then that I notice there is no blood on the floor. It all drained out into the center, not into the Vampire-Killer. The horned Vampire King appears and kills the lights, transformed. Three fireballs fly at me out of the darkness, I slice them into nonexistence with the Vampire-Killer when the floor begins to slide open.

Dracula, the Vampire King leaps at me, and pulls me downward for what seems like an eternity. Fighting, exchanging deadly blows against each other descending into this pit below the castle. The Vampire grabs my arm, ripping it off, it and the Vampire-Killer fall into the blackness below. The Vampire King gains the upper hand, at my throat, at the last minute, and I hit a floor of stone and dirt.

“Blaah, I vant to suck your blood from your heart!”
“Suck on this, Vampire!” I manage to lift my other arm, and tear into his throat; my middle finger entering exactly into the suprasternal notch; and pull up, tearing off the Vampire King’s jaw in one swift motion. Shocked, in pain, he lets go of my throat, stumbling backwards, gushing fountains of blood, and falling over. One thing I didn’t count on, however, is that while one hand was crushing my trachea, the other hand dug into my chest. So, in standing, the Vampire just ripped my Vampire heart of out of my chest.

I manage to stand, and stagger over to him, when I see the Vampire-Killer out of the corner of my eye. I drop the jaw and flailing tongue, holding my gaping chest wound, I make my way towards my sword, my removed arm still gripping tightly. I quickly pick them both up via the hilt upon hearing the Vampire King begin to stand behind me.
It has no words for me.
With one attached arm and no heart, I wouldn’t stand a chance without the Vampire-Killer. I make a false lunge, and quickly spin, stabbing the air with my blade. Surrounded by Vampiric mist, I hear the echos of hollow screams, my sword lodged deep in its heart. I quickly rip its hand off, and replace it into my chest, along with my heart, matching the finger grooves of where it was torn out.

“It’s over, Vampire!” Ash explodes around me, ending the reign of Dracula, the Vampire King for all eternity.

With that, a quake begins as the Vampire King’s entire Castle begins to collapse around me. Shit. It was another trap all along to get me, Vampire: The Vampire Hunter, down here, my final grave. There’s no way I’m fast enough to escape this. I’ll be crushed by rubble. I sprint up the stairs along the pit wall from the Vampire King Dracula’s dungeon. Chunks of ceiling wall and stone fall around, taking massive chunks out of the spiraling staircase. I jump over pitfall after pitfall. Vampire statues collapse upon me from the upper levels. I have no idea how many stories rest on top of me, but I can sense no end to the ground that I’m below. The stairs finish their collapse before I can make it to the top, I attempt to gain momentum by leaping upwards across the chasm, but large chunks of stone continue pummeling me from above. Flight is useless, there is simply too much of the Vampire’s castle collapsing on top of me. A spire catches me through the abdomen, and takes me down to the bottom of the Vampire King’s pit.

I awake in a pool of my own blood and viscera. The Vampiric face from the spire, mocking me with its upside-down grimace. Is this how it will end for me? Weakened, trapped beneath Vampiric debris, impaled by filthy Vampiric idolatry. I can’t even pull it out of me, not with only one arm. Where is Vampire-Killer? I attempt to summon it, but it does not respond. My grave, a pit, my tombstone, the collapsed remains of the Vampire King’s castle. Not a bad end, but far from my goal. I look down at the battered and beaten mess of my body. The Vampire King’s clawmarks: a permanent addition to my chest of scars, a deep red visceral irregular pentagon that will never fade. My mind begins to fade, however, blood loss, disconnection from my Vampire-Killer. Perhaps this should be my end. I can think of no escape. I try to break apart the spire with my one arm, but only take small chips off the ancient Vampire-stone, and lose consciousness..

Soon, however, from the darkness of a faded consciousness, I hear the unmistakable pizzicato tip-toeing of a pesky Vampire. Multiple Vampires, crawling all over the walls and through the rubble. Drawn in by the smell of all of the blood I’ve lost. They’re watching. It’s then that I realize, these are the Vampire-Demons, smaller than Vampires, weaker, but faster and always in great numbers. This pit, it must lead to a cavernous maze, their Vampiric underworld abode. I am scraps of meat to their Vampiric palette; filthy Vampiric scavengers. The first of the Vampire-Demons approaches cautiously, sensing activity within my corpse. They are not used to live prey, no doubt. It sends one of its lessers towards me; smarter than I thought, but still foolish. These Vampire scum should have left me to enter the Vampire’s hibernation sleep. It would have been their only reprieve. The small Vampire-Demon comes within a close distance, attempting to taste of my spilled blood, but it comes within arms reach, and I grab it, sinking my talons deep into its shoulder. The Vampire-Demon struggles, thrashes about, but it’s too late, and I sink my fangs into its neck, draining it of all its blood. I tear off its head with my teeth, and toss it to the side. I smash the stone piercing through my abdomen, affixing me to the ground, and stand. The Vampire-Demons startle. I call out to the darkness, the Vampire covered walls.

“Where is my sword, Vampires?”

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