A/N: GOOD EVENING PEOPLE! I'm awfully sorry it has taken me so long to update, I've been meaning to for a while but never got the chance ;[ however, even though I work five days a week all afternoon until half 12 in the morning, I've been going through a lot of ideas for this chapter, and the next few chapters as well, and I've just had a really big urge to update so, here you go! ^^ I do not own anything to do with Legacy of Kain, nor do I own Vera or any plots from Alivewiththegloryoflove's fiction, I only own my own characters. Enjoy!
The Evil Within
Now the beast shows his true nature, and so quickly, too. – Umah; Blood Omen 2
I watch as Raziel's form begins to fade gradually, and then, into nothingness. I would assume him dead, but somehow, I know he's alive, barely, in a place far out of my reach. I look away from the spot in which Raziel disappeared from, and gaze at the Reaver in my hand. I have not saved his life; I have merely postponed his fate. I sigh, and realise now that I have opened a hole which cannot be closed with ease. The Hylden will be much stronger, and more powerful, than they were a millennia ago. I must prepare for the onslaught ahead, otherwise, Nosgoth will be damned for eternity.
I sheath the Reaver on my back, and turn, walking back towards the gate which I entered from. "Kain?" I pause, and remember that spawn of Moebius was still here. I turn, and stare down at her pathetic form. I look her up and down, and scowl. What is so special about this girl that Raziel wishes for her well-being?
"I have nothing to say to you, creature. I should dispose of you here, and now." I reach forward, and grab hold of her by the shoulder, pulling her upwards. "However, I think leaving you to your own devices would result in an even worse death than I could possibly deliver." I walk around to her back, and rip the restraints around her hands with one claw, freeing her.
I walk back in front of her, and glare into her face. She frowns back, and suddenly lunges forward, pushing me backwards with both hands. "Why can't you take me with you? Raz would want you to make sure I'm safe! He knows I couldn't look after myself in this place, and you know it too!"
She starts ranting, waving her arms around, her voice gradually getting louder. Annoyed, I step forward and grab her arms, pushing them down to her side. "Listen to me, 'girl'. You are the spawn of that damned bastard Moebius; I cannot risk him watching me through you, that would only give him more of an upper hand in things to come." I let go of her hands, and turn, walking away. "However, I will give one piece of advice, as Raziel would like me to, help you, in some form." I wave my hand to the left, back still facing Vera, and open a portal. "Go through there, and follow the road signs to Ziegsturhl. Once you are there; travel east until you come across the Cemetery. In there, you will find my Mausoleum. Go there, and I will come and find you in due time. Things will then be dealt with accordingly." I lower my hand, then disappear into my mist form, leaving the girl behind, feeling the weight of the world upon my shoulders for a third time.
I wander through the Stronghold, searching for the Time Streaming Chamber, planning to return to the time in which all of this began, the moment when Mortanius the Necromancer turned me into a vampire, causing the chain of events I have been dealing with for over 2 millennia now. I could've easily gone with the girl through the portal I opened, but where it leads to is not the place I want to be in that time frame. No, I needed to travel to the Sarafan Stronghold of that time.
As I enter and walk through the deserted courtyard, looking up at the architecture of the Stronghold, I stop dead, hand instinctively flying up to the hilt of the Reaver. I found myself not alone in this place. The presence of someone, or something else, was here.
Suddenly, a figure appears in front of me, his left arm wrapped around my neck and shoulder, his face pressed against the left side of mine. Was it… no, it couldn't possibly be him… I stay there, frozen, hand still clasped around the Reaver's hilt. The man laughs. "I have everything under control, Kain." He says in my ear before pushing himself away from me with the hand that was wrapped around my shoulder, looking straight into my eyes. It was him… but, how different he looks…
I look away from his eyes, and look him up and down. Knee-length trousers, silver chains hanging from them, glittering in the dim daylight. He still wore no shoes or shirt, the scars on his torso seemed more faded than usual. And his face was different. It seemed more, alive? His hair had been de-tangled, his stubble trimmed, and he now had a neat, jet-black goatee adoring his face. However, his eyes… they were the only thing that sent a chill throughout my body. No longer that emerald green colour, they were now a blood red.
I lower my hand from the Reaver's hilt, and open my mouth to say something. He winks at me before I can get a word out, and disappears instantly, as if he was never there. I put my hands on my head, and run them down through my hair. Was I going insane already?
But somehow, I knew I wasn't. I knew what I saw. I lower my hands, and carry on my walk towards the Chamber. Alexi was alive, but it wasn't the same man we left behind.
"Surrender, Raziel. Abandon this petty rebellion. It was I who made you. Your life had played out, and in my grace, I spared you. You are my reaper of souls. You have no other purpose, no higher destiny – just this. Accept your calling, Raziel. Let go of these vain hopes. Relinquish your will, and feed."
As I knelt, knees trembling from the weakness I felt, I look up and glare at the Elder God. "No."
The Elder God sighs. "What do you profit from this defiance?"
"There's some grim satisfaction in infuriating you." I snap back.
"My patience is eternal, Raziel. How many eons can you bear to languish here?"
I try to speak, but I find I cannot. Instead, I just bow my head, the hunger and exhaustion growing stronger, making me weaker. The only thought that keeps me hanging on by the barest thread is Vera.
The Elder God continues to speak, ignoring my silence. "The Wheel of Fate must turn; all are redeemed in the cleansing agony of birth, death and rebirth. This is the Engine of Life – the purifying rhythm of the universe – to which all souls are irresistibly drawn. Yours is a necessary and noble function, Raziel."
Quite irritated, I look back up at the squid. "Enough of your sermonising – are you trying to bore me into submission? Why must this game go on? We both know what you are. You're not better than the vampires you so despise – a voracious parasite cloaking its appetite in a shroud of righteousness. I refuse to do your will."
There is silence for a few moments, before it speaks again. "I can see into your heart, Raziel. It is not your will, but cowardice that keeps you here."
"How so?" I reply steely.
The Elder God chuckles slightly. He knows he has struck a nerve. "You know what fate awaits you when you leave the Underworld. That phantom weapon you bear is a constant reminder, isn't it? The Sword is waiting for you out there somewhere, and you tarry so as not to meet it."
I look at the wraith blade coiled around my arm, and sigh with defeat. I could not deny it. As long as I lingered here, defying my captor, I was able to postpone what I feared was my inevitable doom; to become the ravenous spirit imprisoned in the Reaver blade. But that sentence was no worse than the stalemate I now endured. Better to face one's destiny than cower from it.
"Harvester of souls I created you, and to this function, my angel of death, you will return…"
I cut him off from another one of his boring monologues, irritated. "Enough. Yes. I submit."
"Very good. Indulge your hunger."
A soul suddenly materialises in front of me, looking frightened and lost. I do not hesitate to feed as I open my cowl and draw the soul in. I gasp as the soul is absorbed, feeling strength suddenly returning to me. I hear the Elder God make a satisfied noise, as I have fed his parasitic hunger as well as my own. "Yes… embrace your calling, Raziel. You will find that, just as defiance has its price, so obedience has its rewards."
Out of the corner of my eye I see one of his tentacles uncoil, and reveal the exit from this chamber. I slowly push myself back to my feet, and look up hatefully at the Elder God.
"And submission is not always what it seems."
I open my eyes slowly and stretch, pushing myself up from the sarcophagus I was laid upon. Shouting from the outside had awoken me from my slumber. Finally, she was here. I jump down to the floor, and look up to the portrait above the sarcophagus. One can tell you were just as arrogant as a human as well as a vampire, Kain.
I walk slowly to the exit of his Mausoleum, and stick my head out into the open. The sun was starting to set, leaving the sky a pinkish-redy colour. I advert my gaze from the sky to the source of the noise, and notice a brunette girl sat in the middle of the Cemetery, shouting to herself.
"… How the hell am I supposed to know which stupid mausoleum is his stupid mausoleum! They all look the god-damned same! Stupid, stupid vampire, when I next see him I'm going to kick him in the shins so hard…"
Yes, it was definitely her. I exit Kain's Mausoleum, and walk towards her, stroking my goatee, which I have become quite fond of. "Vera?" I call when a few feet away from her. She jumps up from the ground, swivels around and looks at me, shocked. I put my hands up, showing I'm defenceless. "I'm not going to hurt you. I'm a friend of Raziel and Kain's." She relaxes slightly, and I lower my hands. I gesture for her to sit down on the ground again, before I sit down myself.
She sits, but looks at me with a funny expression on her face. "How do you know my name? Who the hell are you? And what're you doing hanging around in Cemeteries? Have you got some sort of weird fetish or something?"
I scowl, and hold up a hand to silence her. "You're very rude, to say you've only just met me. Of course, I expected nothing less from you." I lower my hand and place it on my knee. "I am Alexi, a vampire from long ago, a time before vampires were common amongst Nosgoth. And I've known who you are since the moment you were born, child. You play a rather important role here, a role you have been blind too until this moment." She carries on looking at me with that strange face. I sigh. "And no, I do not have a strange fetish for Cemeteries. I am waiting here for Kain, just as you are."
"Ohh, right. That's cool! Then, maybe you can wait with me? I mean, it'd make sense, right?" I nod, and she smiles at me. However, the smile quickly fades, and I see her eyes fill with sadness. "If you're a friend of Raz's, as well as Kain's, then you know that he's… he's…"
I reach a hand forward and place it on her knee. "Raziel is not dead. He's merely trapped somewhere at this moment in time. You'll see him again soon." I smile at her, to reassure her. Truth be told, I wasn't entirely sure if he would be able to escape the Elder God's lair…
She smiles back again, and I let go of her leg. "So… you're a vampire? An older vampire?" I nod. "Even older than Janos?" I nod again, and she lets out a gasp of surprise. "Wow, that's amazing! Tell me about your kind, I want to know everything, Lexi!"
I laugh. Already she's shortened my name. "Very well. It will kill some time before the others arrive."
She frowns again slightly. "And, about me having some important role? What's that all about?"
I smile a crooked smile. "All in due time, Vera."
I finish my recollection of my life stories, as Vera listened very intently with her mouth hanging open half of the time, letting out the odd gasp now and again. My ears suddenly prick up, and I here the sound of hurrying cloven feet getting closer. "He's here." Vera shuts her mouth then, and looks around to either side of her.
I stand, and turn around to face behind me, seeing the shadow of Kain appear from beside one of the Crypts. "Welcome Kain. A pleasant experience for you to be back here, yes?"
He approaches us, and stops. "Not particularly. However, one would love to know how you came to escape from the Eternal Prison? That is not something so easily done, especially since they added extra precautions."
I hold up a hand. "All will be explained soon enough, Kain. But for now, we wait."
I hear a scuffling sound, and lower my arm, looking behind Vera. I see the outline of a strange creature, a corpse perhaps, raising from a grave a few metres away. We all stare at the creature stumble for a second, then turn to face us, walking forwards. Vera, screaming and waving her arms frantically saying that the Zombie Apocalypse has finally happened, runs and hides behind Kain, much to his displeasure.
"Get away from me you vile…"
Kain shouts, before being tackled to the ground by the corpse that suddenly appeared. They tumble over one another until the creature has Kain pinned to the ground by his throat. "I told you not hurt Vera while I was gone, but I should've known better than to take your word for it, Kain."
"Raz!" Vera shrieks, shock and excitement in her voice at the sight of the familiar figure in front of us. The final piece of the puzzle is finally here…
"Vera?" Raziel looks to his right, staring at the girl, eyes wide, before being shoved to the ground forcefully by Kain's hand.
"You stupid boy, do not jump to conclusions when you don't even understand the situation you've thrown yourself into!" Kain growls as he pushes himself back to his feet. "You're so caught up in your own little world you have failed to realise an old friend as rejoined the party." He crosses his arms and looks away, irritation in his features.
I take a step forward, as mine and Raziel's eyes meet. I greet his shocked expression with a grin, and extend a hand to help him back to his feet. "Good to see you again, my friend." He takes my hand and I pull him up, embracing him briefly. "Bet you thought you'd never see me again."
Raziel shakes his head, bewildered. "No, no I didn't, but it's great to see you again Alexi, we have much to discuss…"
"But I'm afraid the formalities are going to be put on an indefinite hiatus, my pawns of fate." We all turn on our heels quickly, the familiar voice of the Timestreamer filling the air.
Kain draws the Reaver, fangs bared. "Moebius…"
Moebius takes a step forward, staff in hand, a smirk adorning his face. "Ahh Kain, still as arrogant as always, do not make me use my staff on you again, it would be highly embarrassing for you to have an audience to your submission this time, would it not?" The vampire lets out a low growl, lowering the Reaver, still on guard.
Raziel steps nearer Vera, putting an arm out protectively in front of her. "To what do we owe this pleasure, Moebius? Another one of your attempts to gain me as your ally? Or did you just think to drop by on one of your little visits?"
The Timestreamer chuckles, his hand tightening on the staff on his hand. "Oh no, my dear Raziel, I'm here on other business, rather important business for that matter." Our gazes meet, and he nods, giving me the signal. It is time. "The girl, if you please Alexi."
Before the two vampires could click onto what was happening, I already had Vera grasped in an unbreakable grip, and at Moebius' side within a manner of seconds. Raziel looks from me, to Vera, then to Moebius, a look of pure shock and anger in his eyes. "What is this madness? Alexi, what the hell are you doing?" The wraith blade appears on his arm, and Kain lets out a wild howl of murderous intent, raising the Reaver, ready to lunge.
"Moebius is a much stronger ally than the two of you combined; we need to girl to unlock her true potential, to help finally give Nosgoth back to its rightful inhabitants." Vera lets out a shriek as I clamp my hand over mouth. "Nothing personal."
"You deceiving bastard!" Kain throws himself at the two of us, put suddenly drops to the floor at Moebius' feet, the staff's ball glowing a strange white light.
"I warned you this would happen Kain, one needs to learn to control their emotions." Moebius sneers. "Now, for our departure." He turns, and a purple portal appears between the two of us. I bow, and gesture for him to enter first. He nods, and looks back to the two 'heroes'. "Here, something to help you both with your 'travels'.' He throws a timestreaming device at Raziel before entering the portal.
I follow, Vera squirming in my iron grip. I turn and wink. "Until next time, my comrades." I enter the portal just as Raziel lunges at me, screaming for Vera, vouching that I will die by his sword, even if it kills him. I laugh back in his face as the portal closes on him, setting on course the next chain of events.
A/N: So, it's been just over a year since I last updated, and I'm so sorry for that, work and all this other shit's just got in the way so, I'm just glad I've finally finished this chapter, it's been on my laptop unfinished for months. So, I hope you guys enjoyed it, and don't forget to read and review, as I know you lovely guys do! I'll try to upload something again in a few months, but I can't make any promises.