Written By: Lady Lunar Phoenix
Beta: No beta... which is why I had to redo this... stupid deleting... at least now it may appear to make more sense.
This wasn't right, he was pretty sure that this wasn't how a revisit to such a dangerous location was supposed to be. True the legends spoke of the Castle's ability to change it's form with each incarnation, even being summoned back within a few years apart, had a tendency to alter the castle in small ways. But never had he read of the monsters of the castle being so... so... Servants such as maids and butlers were clearly doing their 'jobs' the maids were cleaning, the butlers were attempting to be helpful. Animals were about as dangerous as they would be outside, most not looking to start a fight with the living human that walked in on them.
So Jonathan felt thoroughly disconcerted in traveling through Dracula's Castle, more so then ever before. The overpowering sense of being the focus of a stronger predator was no longer there, the power of Dracula, that was supposed to radiate, was more subdued. The whole Castle felt almost... just almost... neutral. Having woken up in the Castle's entryway with no clue how he got there, Jonathan had wandered the Castle's entry hall in total bafflement. Going outside had proven useless, the drawbridge was already raised, yet upon inspection he noticed that the castle's exterior was more neater.
So here he was, alone, traveling the hallway towards another set of doors with the Alucarde Spear hoisted over one shoulder. Wary battle harden senses had given way to confusion as the doors he had been heading towards suddenly opened. Jonathan wished Charlotte was around, maybe there was some point in time when this happened before. The girl was such a learning nut she was 'bound' to know about what was going on.
"You 'are' human, correct?" the door had opened revealing a single young man, albeit older then Jonathan himself. The stranger was of a lithe in build, much akin to a panther really, he moved with power and authority. A white coat that reached the man's ankles with a vivid red trim, while most of his clothes were black with silver trim, including his boots. There was a gauntlet on his left hand that reached his elbow and a chest plate as well. Charlotte would have also noted that the stranger looked more like he could have been Jonathan's older, more neater in appearance, brother.
"Yeah, the name's Jonathan, Jonathan Morris." he answered back noticing that this person carried a whip at his side. Not only 'a' whip, but the feeling it generated was of a fully awakened Vampire Killer. The stranger stopped walking about a foot away from him, before nodding and extended his hand out for a handshake.
"Leon, Leon Belmont." The stranger said with a confident tone, yet there were traces of warmth in his voice.
Belmont? This person was a Belmont and had Vampire Killer? The name didn't ring a bell to Jonathan, though he had heard about every Belmont who had hunted and defeated Dracula. Could this then be 'the' Belmont? The one that was destined to face Dracula in the future? Wait, future?
"Might you be able to help me? I woke up in a gallery here and no clue as to what is going on." Leon asked as Jonathan took his hand in a hearty shake.
Well, the Castle 'was' acting abnormally to begin with, maybe Leon was just as confused and decided that this 'couldn't' have been the true Castle. Besides waking up fully 'inside' the Castle itself? Very unlikely. This couldn't have been the true Castle, maybe a fabrication of the truth? It felt rather odd to Jonathan to be in the presence of such a revered Belmont, even if he hadn't been born yet. But there was still the issue of the time skip. If not for the fact that Leon carried Vampire Killer, Jonathan would have just assumed this was the current Belmont.
Jonathan was about to ask when a slight touch on his arm made him turn around. A zombie dressed like a maid, and in relative good condition, for a corpse, was standing there with an expected/vacant look in her eyes.
"Forgive me sirs, but could you kindly move? We need to clean the rug which you are standing upon."
"There's a Zombie talking to me..." Jonathan noted aloud stunned, while Leon merely stepped to the side.
"Yes, but she was polite about it, would be rude not to honor her request." Leon pointed out easily enough.
Jonathan mentally twitched as he did as told, stepping off the rug while wondering about the person he was with. But even as he thought, the maids came by and efficiently began rolling up the rug from one end of the room to the other. But when Leon walked off towards the maids he began to really worry about this particular Belmont.
"Excuse me miss? Perhaps you could help us, we've seem to be in a bit of a spot at the moment." Leon called out hoping to get some attention apparently.
Jonathan could only stare in open mouthed amazement as several of the Maids took notice, and one was elected spokesperson. The maid from before walked over dusting herself off and, for all intents and purposes, emulated a living person.
"Could you tell us where we are? We seem to have been brought here at a bad time, with such cleaning in the works." Leon asked in a polite, civilized tone.
"The Lady of the Castle has declared that the Castle shall always be open to your presence Sir Belmont. As for the Castle it belongs to our Lord and Master." The Maid replied her tone remaining sorta vacant though she did talk like the information was coming from her and not a puppet master.
Leon turned glance at Jonathan for help on the matter, but Jonathan was just as confused. A lady of the castle ensuring entry to a Belmont? Where was Charlotte when Jonathan needed her? Suddenly a thought hit Jonathan.
"Have you seen another un-regular vampire around here?" he asked walking up to the Maid. He watched as she frowned her focus turning towards him. For a moment he grew tense, his grip on the spear tightening.
"I have not. However; there is one wandering the Castle, posting up paintings that we do not approve of." Well that was surprisingly informative for Jonathan as he stood there, after all if Brauer 'was' in the Castle doing something...
But the vampire was dead, Death killed him after all, so how could... or maybe it was just another painting obsessed Vampire?
A soft violin played with an accompaniment of a flute from somewhere in the room. Leon didn't know since he would have to open his eyes. But for a moment he merely laid there listening to a song he didn't recognize while trying to get his bearings. It was a hard stone floor, with soft music being played through the air and nothing else. No sound of a living person anywhere in the room, it was disconcerting enough that Leon finally opened his eyes to have a look around.
He looked to be in a hallway an art gallery of sorts, with the walls filled with paintings done with the utmost skill. He was near one end, where a single chair sat, a violin and flute hovered in the air playing as though performers were there. Beside it, the only a massive curtain rested the kind that hid windows or perhaps another piece of art? But he wasn't here to admire the artwork, rather figure out where he was, and leave.
He turned in search of an exit to this hallway, walking down it, though unable to ignore the numerous paintings around him. A good deal of them showed Elizabetha dressed differently, her hair occasionally partially covered. But it was her, and Mathias. If not for the fact of a child in the paintings he would have felt the bitter bile of betrayal and anger again at the sight of the now vampire. The child had the biggest of smiles, or the most endearing of attempts at looking grown up in the paintings. With hair the same color as Elizabetha, the boy was, too, clearly a blend between the two adults to be anything less then their child.
Only Elizabetha had died childless, so if this was where Mathias was hiding, were these paintings a type of story of what he wished to have happened? If that was the case why bring a newly made hunter with a grudge against the man into his very home? Leon couldn't fathom the reason as he moved along, watching as the little boy grew up into a young man.
The paintings told a story, in their own way, as all the paintings involved all three family members. But as the young boy became a young man the paintings stopped being about the trio, instead the young man was often depicted alone, with only the ghostly hands of a lady reaching for him. It raised a question in Leon about the grand painting at the end that he had left behind. Causing him to turn around and return to it. He approached the painting, noting that as he approached the flute and violin rose back up and resumed playing. Apparently once he got out of earshot they stopped on their own.
Pushing past the curtains he found an incomplete portrait, the hands that had hovered over the young man were now spread, reaching for two figures. One being the young man from the paintings again, he stood as though guarding something behind him. A serious expression on his face, with a half drawn sword, yet the apparent center piece was empty. So incomplete in fact that he couldn't figure out who or what was supposed to be there, was it supposed to be Mathias?
There was something about the incompleteness of the painting itself that disturbed him, the way the painting seemed to be protected by a powerful presence around it. There was something trying to guard this painting, control it even. The focus seemed towards the gaping hole in the center of the piece. Leon didn't understand, maybe there was a brush or something he was supposed to bring back to this piece?
Shaking his head he turned his back on it, letting the curtain fall again as he set back off to find the door out of the room. This time noting when the music stopped playing as he grew further from the painting. He kept looking about, expecting to see maybe a bar, a hole in the ceiling or floor, maybe another hall to take. But with every step it seemed this was nothing more then one long hallway. Concerned and curious about the way the hallway was built, he kept walking until he reached the only door in the long hallway.
He opened the door with a quiet apprehension about what to expect from the other side. Revealing a rather interesting conundrum as it was another very long hallway. There would have to be somewhere that it branched out... a home couldn't be one solid hallway could it? Even so the room was less decorative then the hall he had just been in. Though there seemed to be some distant work being done by the maids to clean the hallway up. That and there was a single blond man in the room as well, seemingly as lost as Leon himself. Well that was at least encouraging, since he felt less foolish with someone else who was just as clueless with him.
"You 'are' human, correct?"
The pair, upon an unspoken decision, opted towards the door that Leon had just passed out of, "I honestly do not know what we will find. There is nothing, but an art gallery of sorts down that way. However; the only door to leave it is what led me here." Leon spoke with a polite tone, informing Jonathan of what to expect.
"Did you try busting up some of the paintings?" Jonathan asked glancing over at Leon, who affected a surprised air.
"We do not idly destroy works of art." He pointed out, not exactly rude or cold, just a touch aloof.
"Well back home fine works of art tend to be where the action is." Jonathan replied with a smirk when Leon gave him a slightly confused look.
"Action?" He repeated baffled by the word, his eyes reflecting his curiosity, even if one was hidden behind blond bangs.
"Uh yeah, you know... Where all the exciting stuff is happening?" Jonathan found himself surprised at the baffled look on Leon's face. Wondering how the proclaimed Belmont of 1999 would 'not' know such a term. "Uh like right now something important could be happening pertaining to our being here in another part of this castle. That's where the 'action' is."
"Oh... I see... Well there was no.. 'action'... in the hallway that I was just in, just paintings and some music being performed. Though on second thought there was one rather disconcerting aspect of the gallery." Leon admitted as they approached the door. Jonathan opened it while Leon continued. "A single painting at the end of the hallway, it was incomplete."
With that the door was yanked out of Jonathan's hand the moment Leon passed the threshold. Alarmed the young man nearly ripped open the door himself to make sure Leon was ok, only there was no one standing on the other side of the door.