Author's note: I greet you all with another Van Helsing fanfic. This is going to be quite different in its shape from what you've read before (hopefully), featuring Gabriel Van Helsing, Count Vladislaus Dragulia, and some OCs… It's a tale of romance and darkness, love and hate, loyalty and betrayal, sanity and insanity… Actually, the title of the story is inspired by the homonymous album by Iced Earth, and the storyline is partially inspired by the theme of the album as well. The prologue I post here is simply the prologue. If I get interesting response, I will post the next chapter soon, which, I assure you, is more interesting than the prologue. Also, the Count will make his entrance in the next chapter, so if you wanna meet him soon please give reviews to the author!

Disclaimer: I don't own any characters that you recognize; everything else is mine.

The Dark Saga

Prologue

Paris, the 31st of January 1889

The night fell hours ago. I walk in the narrow streets of Paris, having completed another mission of mine. The last time I was here was several months ago, and I had killed Mr. Hyde. Then I was assigned to kill Dracula in Transylvania… Bitter memories come in my head and I push them away. It's no time for this.

The only sound I can hear is my own steps on the cold cobblestones as I walk away from the scene of crime. My crime. But it is not time to think about my guilt either. I must hurry; my persecutors are out there looking for me. I rip another wanted poster of me off of a wall. They have increased the prize to 3,000 francs… They really want to catch me badly. I grin at myself at the thought. No, I don't like my life. I don't like being the most wanted man in Europe. But there's nothing I can do about it.

I turn in a dark and dirty street, even narrower than the one I was in before. Now my figure has completely drowned in the shadows. I lower my hat a bit on my eyes, but I can still see sharply. I'm trained very well to adapt at night. I live most of my life at night, when I can't be seen. It makes my job easier.

Suddenly I feel a sharp pain in my head. I ignore it and keep walking. But the pain intensifies, and I have to stop. I lean my back against a wall and I close my eyes. The pain continues and I wonder what's going on, what's happening to me. The pain worsens, I close my eyes tightly, and I feel dizzy. I feel my legs can't hold my weight any longer and I slide down on the wall until I reach the ground.

Unexpectedly, the pain vanishes in an instant, only to be replaced by a white light expanding before my eyes. My closed eyes. I stay still at my place. What is going on? I want to open my eyes but I can't. It's like a supernatural force has control of my mind now, because I know that everything is happening in my mind. Before I have the time to think about a way to bring myself back to reality, the light grows brighter, and gradually pictures start to appear in front of my mind's eyes. Pictures that mean nothing to me at first, but I soon understand what's going on. I have my memories back. And I can remember everything now…