The streets below were glowing with radiant light impossible to see with the capacity of human eyesight, the asphalt glittering like endless heaps of princess-cut diamond in the rain. Murky cumulonimbus encircled the city like a haggard vulture in the sky, the full-bellied moon chipping itself away behind their gossamer curtain. Car alarms, traffic, and the other sounds that filled the symphony that was city life were faint, as if they existed on another plane of existence. The heady smell of fresh blood was rampant as it flowed freely from the veins of the frail creature in the vampire's arms, the host's heartbeat getting harder and harder to hear as the life was drained out of the gently shuddering body. The vampire known as Dracula, once the man Gabriel Belmont, groaned softly into a delicate ear as he felt the flash of pure silver slipping through his frosted skin...

Thunder cracked the sky, lightening illuminating the simple, saintly face of a granite woman, the candlelight flickering across the breaded face of gray man. The mother holding her son stared ahead, forbidding and condemning in the night. Hundreds upon hundreds of candles were lit, the flames licking the low wicks of exhausted wax sticks. The sound of a rusted, unused metal gate creaked open in protest as a shadow passed the moonlit threshold before closing itself. Walking unseen in the dark, the cloaked figure traversed the fine red carpet, ignoring the handsome and neat rows of the dark wooded pews, columns and columns of pillars going unheeded, turning right at the life-sized crucified Christ hung upon the altar. Breaking down the solid stone wall, dust clouds dancing in the air, the figure proceeded through the rubble, mice squeaking on the ground as they scurried away to hide. Stopping in the middle of a broken down, stairless tower with floors at least ten feet apart, the figure paid little to no attention to the boarded up windows, floating through the air to land ever so gently on the topmost floor. Trotting along to see the most glorious stained glass window, a thick layer of cobweb covering the walls almost entirely, the figure stopped in the middle of the room and drew back his hood.

An older gentlemen with ice blue eyes and a uniform white buzz cut with an orderly beard, he gave the area a quick sweep, "An unusual hiding place, for the Prince of Darkness. Don't you think?"

Looking to the side at a majestic high-backed chair, a curve of torn blood-red trailing down the rectangular steps, a low, aloof voice answered the man, "Zobek..."

He gave a brief nod, confirming his identity, "Yes, old friend, it is I."

"Where have you been, all this time?" In the shadows, a pale white hand with skin the color of death and nails short enough that they hadn't yet begun to curl under scratched the arm of the chair, the arm cut into the shape of a woman's head.

"Out there, amongst the living." Zobek inclined his head at the window, coming closer to the man swathed in shadows, "And what of you? Why have you been hiding all this time... Gabriel?"

Angered, the 'man' propelled himself forward into the light; his shirtless form gray and aged, "Don't you dare call me that! Eu sunt Dracul!"

Just then, the thunder cracked again, illuminating the man he used to be before he sat back in the darkness. Walking away from him, occasionally looking back, the old man spoke again.

"No doubt you once were, but alas... look at you now, a mere shadow of your former self," Turning to look back at the other man, he could only see the blanket falling.

Voice echoing all around the area, Zobek searched for the source, "Shadow am I?... What do you want... old friend?"

Continuing as if nothing had changed, he told him why he was there, "Satan's acolytes are readying for his imminent return. He's unlikely to welcome both of us with open arms, don't you think? Help me stop him... or you and I will be his favorite pets, for all eternity. It is time to get out of this wretched tomb you've made for yourself! Stop skulking in the shadows! Don't you care that he will enslave you?"

Appearing from thin air, he grabbed the man in his arms, poised to bite his neck, but Zobek disappeared from his clutches, reappearing behind the vampire. Launching a kind of energy blast, Zobek pushed the vampire out of the window, shattering it so the individual fragments fell along side his body, the pieces catching in the light and the vampire's skirt flapping as he flew through the air. Landing in the middle of the road, on all fours, the ground indenting under him, giant slabs of the street cracked. Cars hit the brakes, screeching to sudden stops so that they didn't hit the oddly dressed man in the middle of the road. Onlookers gathering with umbrella in hand, the vampire stood, hunched over, as Zobek gracefully hovered down to the down in front of him.

"I know what it is you yearn for..." He gave his head the slightest of bobs.

He studied the man for a minute, "I cannot die... yet. I cannot live."

"Help me, and I can free you of your immortality," Laying the final offer out, Zobek waited.

Crying out, he transformed himself into mist. The old man, so respectable looking, watched him go before leaving himself, "Soon old friend, soon... it will be over."

The ancient Necromancer and death incarnate, the elderly looking Zobek, had called out to his "old friend" for help against the Prince of Darkness, knowing exactly how to bait the reluctant creature of the night into joining his cause. If mentioning Satan's imminent return wasn't enough, then telling him that he could put an end to his immortal curse would do it. Even after all these years, Gabriel Belmont was as easy as ever...

So there was a way to end this... This CURSE? Immortality was such a hollow existence; to live alone, unable to be truly alive, and to be gifted with the unkillibility was a nightmare after centuries of scouring the deepest shadows of the darkest corners of the world. If nothing else, the loneliness was the worst part of it. Of course, he could easily make a companion, learning so long ago that the vampire who had made him was lying to be free of the curse herself, but who was he to do this another? Even fallen from the light to the pit of hell with all traces of humanity stripped away, he knew that he had no right to do such a cruel thing to another... He had lost his heart so long ago, but the dim remnants of his life as a human lingered to remind him of what he was before. No... His heart died before he became this monster, so much longer than that... It died when he lost his wife, his beloved Marie.

Haunted by the past, and by his fate, Dracula decided that, even though Zobek had used him in the past, he would answer the necromancer's summons and would embark on the journey... Even slavery seemed a better fate than this life...

Watching the cars blur by in watery colors, Zobek waited for a disturbance in the drizzle; the slightest hint that he was not alone. It had been harder to track Gabriel down than he had initially thought it would be, about a decade longer than originally anticipated, but now that he had found him, the last piece was in place: The game was just beginning! Chains rattled behind the ageless elder, a hazy figure in a deep crimson cloak fazing through a moaning swing set to stand apart from his 'gracious' host.

"You came," It was a statement of fact, not a question or betrayal of doubt, "I knew you would, old friend."

The vampire looked at him, knowing that once, he might have laughed hollowly at the summoner of the dead, "I have nothing... No reason to live, and hardly a reason to die. I came here seeking a purpose."

"Have you strength enough?" The modern man suspected that the ancient one would have lived off less than his share of blood, judging by the man that he used to be.

"Your assumptions serve you well," Dracula had in fact lived off far less blood than he should have; he ate only what he required, and not a drop more than that.

It was obvious, if you looked at him. His skin was gaunt, rubbery, and had none of that immortal luster of the others that he had met. But there was no mystery why he looked that way - He needed to feed. Time was now short, so they had to move quickly; Dracula could gather his strength back on the road ahead...

"Zobek, how are we supposed to stop HIM this time?" Dracula had always expected Lucifer to rise again, yet he had no idea of a means to preventing his reign over mankind.

Zobek smiled, his bluish-white eyes gleaming with joy at the very thought, "There is a ritual that will seal him... A complicated blending of the dark arts will be required to cast the spell... But you needn't worry, old friend, there will be no need for you to sully your hands with that. No, you need to unlock the pathway... The items you need are held by the Gorgon Medusa, a rather playful Succubus, and the mighty Chaos."

Dracula had heard the humans speak of them, but he never thought that they were real creatures... But then again, man thought that he was nothing but myth, yet here here he stood, plain as day. Speaking of man, he glanced around at the glittering light that was the human city; just how would this affect the humans? There was a time when Dracula would have cared for the fate of man, but now he was merely concerned for the sake of his food supply. Sensing his thoughts, the necromancer continued his explanation.

"They will be none the wiser if we succeed with our little venture," He himself didn't care at all for the humans one way or another.

Dracula was curious at how this could be possible, "How is this possible?"

Annoyed by how little he had learned over time, Death bit it back and told the vampire blankly, "The first item you must find lies away from the city. It will take you to another dimension."

"Another dimension?" He had never thought to consider that that was where all of the surviving monsters hid.

"When man grew wiser and crueler, the so-called monsters of the world began to take refuge and hide in their own worlds. Over the course of time, they split completely from the world, drifting off in separate directions," Zobek felt as if he were talking to a child. A child that could tear his arms off without a single effort, but a child none the less.

Dracula understood, walking away from the necromancer, stopping to ask one last question, "What am I looking for?

His papery lips curled up, "The Necronomicon will guide you on your path. Good luck, Gabriel..."

And he vanished, just like that. Irritated to be called by that name, Dracula turned to leave the playground only to find himself surrounded by creatures he had long since thought extinct. No doubt a message from Lucifer saying that all of the night's children were merely in hiding. Killing the pack of lycans with his whip, a demonic replica of the holy 'Vampire Killer' Combat Cross, Dracula put the whip away on a holster in his belt. Expecting only two waves of the beasts, he was not counting on a giant warg to bound up behind him. Dispersing himself into mist, he let the gigantic canine creature pass through his body. Snarling, the warg reared up on its hind legs, howling at the moon. Hundreds of lesser lycans answered the call, boxing the vampire in. Ready to fight his way out, a far-off figure clad in toffee-brown tossed a silver ball over his retreating back. Landing in the sandbox, the ball burst into a billion minute pieces, a million shards spraying out to kill every last lycan and warg gathered. Not a single shard of silver pierced Dracula, every last sliver whizzed passed him as if in slow motion.

Just who was that man? Why did he interfere? Contemplating the possibilities, Dracula left the park, making it nothing but a distant memory...

Ok, I'm back and butchering a whole new franchise! Seriously though, I really do love Castlevania (even if my only experience was Symphony of the Night and Lords of Shadow)! I'm trying something a little different here, so please try to bare with me. I want this to be a sequel to Lord's of Shadow, because that game really needs one, and because I want to develop video games, I'm trying to write an entire game! Maybe a bit ambitious, but... Anyways, on to more technical issues! I've heard that this game is a reboot, and there ARE a number of openings, so... Yeah. As for "naming" Gabriel, I personally like his name, but for continuities sake, I am not going to use his name (too much). The reason why I'm calling him Dracula is because, in my curiosity, I translated "Eu sunt Dracul", in Google translate, using Romanian, which was the closest match I could find that actually made sense, and it said "I am Dracula", so yeah. I first heard of the Necronomicon from the Evil Dead series, and starting with 'necro', and being a book of evil, I thought that it would make a good fit. Feedback helps me get better at writing, and if get better, I can give my readers a better product, so some r&r would be nice...