Aria of the Ascending Soul

Written By: Lady Lunar Phoenix

Beta: No one

A/N: OMG did so much have to be fixed, removed the girls' backstory made Soma sound like a normal human teenager and not his past life self. Did a touch of dusting on the prelude of the Demon Castle Wars, and you're going to find the next chapters opener as the ending of this chapter to fill it out and the change of the title. Since it starts with the death of an innocent teenager girl and ends with a innocent small child joining the Choir. You'll see the rest of the adjustments because of this change in the next chapter.

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This nameless girl died being stabbed by priests performing the Black Mass ritual. He could see in his mind the ancient ceremony, that once committed to, the Castle would teleport the remains of Count Dracula inside the coffin upon its success. Only she had been drugged, awake and unable to respond to what was happening to her, 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.

"You! This is all your fault, they killed me to find you!" newly slain girl shrieked in anguish induced anger 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.

"Its not my fault that people of their own free will want to watch me to destroy the world with hell fire. Its a shame they killed all of you girls, but I'm not going to let you drag me to depression over this." His rebuttal clearly offended her sending her hair wild as the outrage kicked in. Once nice and smooth ebony hair became a rolling wave, as though she was underwater. Perhaps she, and all ghosts, were, 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.

"Yeah, so? What did you think 'free will' was all about? Everyone is entitled to do as they so wish. Sure it can mean innocent people suffer in the end, but that's the price that must be paid for freedom. Everything has a price." he replied, slightly annoyed at the entitlement some felt that just because he was Dracula he needed to take the blame for what had happened. After all he was a 'reincarnation' not a 'resurrection'. He couldn't just order these people to stop to start with because all they would see is a 'teenager' not a 'Lord of Darkness'.

"So you think that this senseless murder is ok?" she began only to have Soma cut her off.

"Don't put words into my mouth, I don't even know who you are to start with!" He shot back in growing annoyance. "I have only the slightest idea of what these groups are doing besides trying to restore me to power. A power I no longer want to be a part of! All that would happen if I go after them is a return to a war that I waged for 'centuries' and what I can bring about is a lot worse than what these people are doing!"

She hovered there wide eyed and dismayed, painfully aware that her dad wasn't there to protect her or argue her case for her. The more she argued the darker his 'light' became, the back of her mind began warning her of a great threat if she kept going on her current path. She felt lost and alone, her only hope turning his back on her. "But you owe us!"

"I don't 'owe' anyone anything, what I give is voluntary only."

"But... master..." her voice was a wisp on an autumn breeze, her form dissipating 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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"My my my, what a presumptuous girl you are. Though I have to admit usually Lord Dracula needs little coaxing to restart his war. I guess this modern age gave him something that the past ages couldn't."

Lily lifted up her head at the voice, a cold though amused voice from somewhere above her. Horror creeping up through her spine and she jerked her head back down making herself as small as she could wishing she could cry. But tears wouldn't come from her eyes and she could only whimper.

"You made a grave error child, assuming to order the Lord of Darkness to do your bidding. Now you must suffer the fate of those who have angered him," Death intoned as it drifted down closer to Lily.

"I was a good girl, good girls go to heaven," she croaked in fear, holding on to belief and her casual faith.

"You're right. Good girls go to heaven, good children who die without malice and die old or ill go to heaven. But not girls like you," Death agreed, making Lily's head jerk up in shock and disbelief. "Girls and boys, women or men, when you die violently you don't go to heaven unless Lord Dracula grants you such reprieve. Good people are trapped within his domain, invisible to his rage tinted vision, they don't suffer, but they never leave, like your father in fact." The robes shifted a bit to show Death shrugged as It floated over so It was on eye socket level with her. "But girls and boys like you, who die with hate and can not forgive have a special place in my Lord's domain. Your warped soul becomes a monster, another servant for my master. Your negative emotions will fuel you until a hunter slays you, then you will eventually regenerate to continue the cycle." In the depths of Its eyeless socket she could see her reflection, wavering, twisting on itself.

"Daddy's there?" Then again, her dad had been murdered as well. So she wouldn't be alone!

"Yes, but you two shall never meet, while he will retain his soul's shape, you, will not. How can any mortal recognize a raging hate filled monster as their own kin after all? The Lady of the Castle bears the same curse, Lord Dracula can not see her because of his anger, as you will never see your father again. Child of hate."

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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 soldier, then others noted that the castle was... moving. From their distance, it looked as though the castle was being rebuilt at an accelerated 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.

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Xavier didn't really know what would happen when he was accepted as a new choir boy for the Vatican. For one thing, the Vatican was 'huge' and though he was only five years old, Xavier was well aware that the Vatican was an important place. After all, the bigger the place the bigger the importance right? So the fact that his father, who was a tall man by Xavier's estimation, was considerably shorter than the door, well...

He walked with one hand gripped in his mothers' hand, the other in his brothers' with their father taking up Deangelo right hand. It was just before mid morning and his parents had informed him that they were going to the Vatican. Well, not just 'to' the Vatican, at the tender and very tiny age of five, he was going 'back' to the Vatican for a completely different reason then normal. His parents were pleased with something, and they wouldn't stop talking about his voice. A pity they didn't seem to understand that Xavier was scared of this development, one would think hiding under one's bed would be a big hint. No such luck there.

So far he had been washed, rinsed, brushed, tugged and dragged out the door. It was a nice, if cloudy, day and Xavier worked his young little butt off trying to not pay attention to the fact that he was apparently supposed to sing for the Vatican. Not a 'church' a Vatican, lots of churches in the world, only one Vatican. Or so said Deangelo, who was his source for all grown up information that he couldn't figure out.

So yeah Vatican. Home of the Pope and Gods' personal home away from home, so said Deangelo. Such a huge place, the most important person in the world lived there, and it was no wonder that Xavier was reduced to a cowering sniffling mouse. They had passed through those insanely big doors and walked along the hallways while his parents talked to other grown ups. Xavier looked at the ground mostly, afraid that he would draw undesired attention on himself Every time his parents stopped walking he latched to his mothers' leg and barely peeked out at the world around him.

The last time he was brought to the choir room, there had been a few Cardinals who had listened to his singing, but now the room was filled with a variety of kids. Some looked familiar in a distant sort of way, but many were strangers that he didn't recognize at all. They all wore choir robes and were lined up along the room in groups. His parents and brother took a seat against the farthest wall leaving him to walk towards the only remaining grown up in the room.

"Come along young Xavier, the Cherub Choir practice is about to begin, then you will break for lunch," the grown up said. A firm hand gestured towards the section of kids his own age, with various young faces smiling at him and waving. He looked between his parents and the other kids before slowly shuffling his way towards the kids.

"Sometime 'before' lunch Xavier!" Deangelo called out from the back.

Xavier's timid steps switched into a childish double time as he made his way towards the stands. A girl with dark hair waved a sheet of paper at him that he took with nervous hands, his eyes going down to the sheet. Oh a music score, well yeah if he was going to sing then he was going to have to know what right?