Lily spent the night dancing and celebrating her Sweet Sixteen birthday party in a pleasant dance hall. The color theme had been black, red and pinks, with the red to symbolize her growing up. Her dress had been been sleek, yet not form fitting, black with wine red details and a maroon sash wrapped around her hips. She spent the night surrounded by her family and friends, even Marshall the cute guy that she had been eying had accepted the invitation and came to the party. She and her friends danced under the stars when her dad had pulled her away with the promise of another birthday present.

Laughing, she had waved to her friends that she would be back as she climbed into her dad's car. The car sped through the night close to the beach below the dance hall. But as they were pulled away she caught a glimpse of Marshall standing in the doorway, too close to one of her friends. It soured her mood immensely and she stayed quiet through out the drive.

Her dad tried to get her to talk, he was a lawyer after all, but she remained tight lipped. Instead she focused on the outside world, where the nearby beach was drawing closer to her. The moon was large and full, it gave the ocean a deep royal blue sheen with silver waves. What was normally a black dark stretch of land was given definition as a dark blue beach with a parking lot further ahead.

"What do you think of your new car Princess?" her dad had asked, as they approached. In the distance there was a red corvette with a laughably big bow on the top. His voice had been anxious, he had hoped to be laughing and enjoying this ride with his daughter. But Lily had said nothing save fuming over that scene in her head. With the realization that her dad had bought her a new car the memory was paused as she took in the sleek lines of 'her' new car.

"Oh..."

She never got the chance to tell her daddy that she loved the car.

She had turned her head, her eyes filled with renewed excitement when the windshield shattered. Horrified she watched her dad's head snap back with all expression disappearing from his face. As his head bounced back from the head rest, his foot made one jerk movement slamming into the gas and propelling them further even faster. Lily's own head whip lashed into the head rest only to snap forward and back again as her dad's car hit the new corvette.

"Daddy? Daddy! Daddy, no!"

Every teenager thought themselves tough and able to handle any threat. Television, music and movies gave a wide array of violence for people to viscerally live through. Video games allowed even further access to the realm of self insert violence, first person genre and all. So logically, from a third person stand point, Lily should have grabbed her phone, called 9-1-1 and got help. Instead she could only stare glassy eyed and frozen at the corvette that was currently flashing lights and honking at the damage it took.

"Daddy?" She murmured as the moment her dad was shot continued playing in her minds eye. It was her sweet sixteen birthday party, a gateway to a blueprint that her dad had told her time and again. She was going to have the good grades, the good school, job, marriage, everything was planned out with picture perfect clarity. After all this was the modern age, the age of science and knowledge, where almost everything had an explanation; everything terrible could be avoided.

She began sobbing as she clung to her father's arm ignoring the sounds of help as people rushed to the car. The shattering of glass all about her until someone yanked her back by her hair causing her to cry out in pain. A cloth was shoved over her face and the world went black from that point forward.

Lily died being stabbed by priests performing a Black Mass ritual. He could see in his mind the ritual, the preparations for the coffin that she would be rested upon. For once committed to the Black Mass, the Castle would teleport the remains of Count Dracula inside the coffin for the ritual. She was drugged, awake and unable to respond to the world outside, stripped naked, checked out to ensure that she was truly a virgin then laid upon the coffin. They would have draped a single white sheet over her body to ensure that her blood was not wasted. A pure white cloth for pure virgin blood, while she was surrounded by robed and hooded priests ready for the return of their lord and master.

If not for the situation Soma would have burst out laughing.

His old body had been destroyed, Soma was a still living reincarnation, thus the Castle had nothing it could send to the Mass. They would open the coffin and see that nothing was accomplished save another wasted death. Another innocent life taken away and they would either start over again, or maybe try something else. Celia did after all.

"Avenge me! I didn't deserve this!" Lily demanded as she hovered before him. Naked, but for the blood that spilled when she died, taking on an iridescent glow that helped illuminate her spirit further.

"No, an innocent soul should be free of such cruelty. But I will not restart the war because of this." He could see her shock, the dismay as she hovered over the ground a good foot above his head. Then her hair went wild as the outrage kicked in, what was once nice and smooth ebony hair became a rolling wave as though she was underwater. Perhaps she was, water was connected with emotions and her emotions were suddenly spiking.

"I had my whole life ahead of me! They took it away from me! Not just me, but all the other girls as well, all for the sake of finding and bringing you back! You owe us! You owe us for what we endured! Our lives are over, we're never going to get back what we lost and it's all your fault!" She cried out in anger and he could only shake his head.

"Not just me. People are not murdered simply to bring me back. Welcome to the age of information, do you think I don't know about the world itself. Countless die every day for lack of food, or shelter, they're ruthlessly murdered for their religious views or simply for the color of their skin, or the gender they were born. You are 'nothing' greater then any of them. If I am to call forth the Hounds of War once more. If I'm to rekindle my war against humanity, girls like you will die by the thousands," he replied. That feeling, that old familiar sense of surety, that confidence that came from Dracula. The confidence of a ruler.

"How dare you say I'm 'nothing greater'! My daddy," she began only to have Soma cut her off.

"Don't give me that 'special little snowflake' line." He snarled at her, feeling the darkness swirling about him, his to command. "You are nothing. You lived the life of a spoiled child, you have no clue how hard it was for people back when this all began! You think, you arrogant pretentious child, that 'you' are worth the death of countless men, women and children from across the globe? You think your life's end is more entitled to such grand response, then those who died on the battlefield or a victim of a rulers indifference? Presumptuous child be gone from my sight!"

She hovered there wide eyed and dismayed, painfully aware that her dad wasn't there to protect her or argue her case for her. She felt lost and alone, her only hope turning his back on her. "But you owe us!"

"I owe the human race 'nothing'. My war began when an innocent doctor was murdered out of the ignorance of the masses. I wish only to be left alone."

"But... master..." her voice was a wisp on an autumn breeze, her form dissipated like mist before him. While all around him the unlit candles sprang to life, as the spiritual glow of the ghost was replaced with the warm golds, oranges and reds of flames. As though the ghost had been using the energy meant to light those candles. Now that she was gone, they had returned to where they were meant to go, and with a vengeance.

Leaving Soma standing in the center of this circle, his heart racing, chills that ran down his body and a warmth in his soul that he had come home.

The king had returned.

Beyond him, in the crevices and hidden spots where the light of the candles could not reach, he could feel more eyes upon him. His army, his to command, waiting for his order to unleash hell, waiting for him to say the word. Soma closed his eyes for a moment, and he could see his father standing there.

"Mathias, it's time I teach you the art of Alchemy."

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There had been a prophecy.

A warning hidden in a riddle about the return of Dracula.

From that point on, while the world spun tales of the monsters that no one believed in anymore, the United Nations prepared for the coming war. Piece by piece they were moved into position like a grand game of chess. The troops never were told what they were being sent out to do, who would believe such a tale? How could a solider be informed that they were being sent to fight a war against fake fangs and bad hairdos? Because, in the age of science, that's all vampires and werewolves were, and the forces would have lost their focus.

The Church was called in, but no Five Star General was going to take help from some guy holding a 'whip'. Because it took a stake or sunlight to beat a vampire, everyone who ever read Dracula or watched television knew that. Seriously? The Vatican was willing to place its faith on a guy with a whip and a few robed priests from Japan? Not to say that they even believed the prophecy itself fully, but orders were orders.

It was because of those orders that they eventually found themselves doing basic forest tactical training around a lake. It wasn't just Americans either, Great Britain, France, Russia, Spain, Africa, Greece, it was as though they themselves were a military United Nations. A very tense one at that, what with multiple nations not necessarily on good terms with each other forced to share the same general location. Skirmishes were typical and dealt with, the lack of towers and several severe solar flares restricted the use of phones so communications outside of a few hundred miles was proven useless.

Then the skies turned dark over the lake they were surrounding, not a typical type of 'dark' either. Rather a spot of just pure darkness seemed to grow like a balloon being inflated. Even as it did so, what had 'been' a cloudless sky suddenly produced clouds that were sucked towards that darkness. Growing bigger in mass as thunder started to rumble overhead. No one knew what was going on, until someone shook themselves awake to sound the alarms, everyone soldier found themselves staring at this strange meteorological event.

During their time off duty, many soldiers took to walking around the lake, going up the cliff towards the ruins of an old stone castle. Thus when the clouds started amassing, a pair of eyes, then others noted that the castle was... moving. From their distance, it looked as though the castle was being rebuilt at an accelerated pace. Large gaps in the outer walls were getting filled in at an incredible pace. Those who had been off duty at the moment, stood in wide eyed wonder as stones that had fallen ages ago moved, leaping back into place reforming walls. Wood that had been quietly rotting away into nothingness began to regrow back into a drawbridge and gates.

Alarm sirens rang, calling the troops back to their own camps. The chain of command snapped into position like a like a well oiled machine. An anthill alarmed at the arrival of a wasp, the soldiers of multiple countries came together to face a common threat. They stood in rows and lines, guns at the ready and waiting for the command to march.

But these were not soldiers of the days of myth and fantasy. Clad in their leather skin clothes, or maybe a suit of armor.

These were modern soldiers.

Soldiers who had to be spoken to 'nicely'. Because 'soldiers had feelings to and didn't deserve to be yelled at'.

Soldiers who had 'rights'. Because joining a military unit created for the protection of a nation didn't mean that they should be held to the same standards as everyone else.

Soldiers who were 'educated'. Because joining the military made it cheaper to go to collage and looked nice on a resume to boot.

Perhaps someone looked out from the lit window of the highest point of that castle. Maybe someone laughed.

Regardless, the power of Dracula was enough to break every lazy fool that tried to march on the castle.

For every soldier who joined with a sincere wish to protect their lands, who had faith in themselves, their gods, or countries; more fell. Units breaking in record seconds as soldiers dropped to their knees in agony, only to wrench themselves to their feet moments later. Bare skin suddenly was covered in fur or scales, while BDU's were ripped off like tissue with inhuman strength.

The weak came to serve his father and died by a hunters weapon.

The strong died trying to complete the mission.

In a single day, the army of the world stormed the Castle of Dracula intent on destroying the menace with military might.

...