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Master of the Blood Castle

The chilling wind blew past the icy mountain and down the freezing river. It encircled and played together with the leaves, with the trees before intruding inside of an old castle. The walls have a pale red-color, reflecting only the faint light from the morning sun. In a while, a window was opened, to show a gallant young man with blonde hair. He breathed deep once, twice, drawing the cold fresh wind into his lungs before sitting down on his study table. He gazed down with a satisfied grin and opened a drawer; from it he pulled a black journal with the initial Q.M. his white-rosy left hand traversed the pages and with his right hand holding a pen, he started writing.

Q.M. Journal

6 November.

I have already forgotten what year it is. It has lost its meaning for the current me, for the past years I am merely following the orders of my master and now my research is nearly complete. It is not like I was forced to do his bidding, I guess I am just honored that he has chosen me. Looking back, I wasn't as obedient as I am now, for the past me, he's in lineage with that Count. The vampire that caused my dear Lucy so much suffering, she died and arose from her body a different creature. I am just thankful for Dr. Van Hellsing, without him, poor Lucy would've continued to suffer. However, since the death of the Count, I have doubt lingering in my heart, soon, I will know the truth.

Yes, whenever I think of Lucy, I can't help but remember the man as well, the bravery of Lord Godalming were exemplary during those times that made me realize of the reason that dear Lucy chose him before Dr. Seward and I. Ah, yes, Dr. Seward was most helpful and it was through him that we got Dr. Van Hellsing to our side.

The memories just keep flowing into my mind perhaps our faithful reunion is coming, master said so, I don't know, it must be the morning sun past the icy mountains that invigorated my spirit today. Seating here beside the window, on the same room where Jonathan Harker, that loving husband of Lady Mina, was confined by the Count. I guess it's the wind, if not, his never-give-up attitude that must've remained here. Oh, I can still remember that beautiful face of Lady Mina before I lose consciousness that night, no, I really died and my master pulled me out of that darkness. It is probably just my wishful thinking that should he awakened earlier, maybe, dear Lucy will still be with us and I have remained a human though being myself now isn't so bad either, at least I have found another reason for living with my dear Lucy gone.

No, I mustn't think myself as a monster. I may no longer be a human but neither am I a vampire, and for that I thank my master. God must've another plan and I must do what I can, if what my master said is true, no, what master said is the truth and so we have so much thing to do. And for that I am tirelessly working to achieve that formula. I must be successful for the sake of the Harker child and for humanity.

I hear the main door open, it must be master. I must attend to him immediately.

The blond American young man dressed in a black suit pushed open the five inch thick broad main door of the castle. Armed with two pairs of saucer and cup, he laid one on the nearby round table, in the midst of the garden of roses, beside a rather young looking individual basking under the morning sun and offered '…Please have some tea, master.'

The master acknowledged, bowed his head as though thanking him, took his tea, slowly, quietly, and led the cup to his lips while Q.M. was observing keenly. Never has he seen a man with pure elegance yet stylish, all of his movements were refined but also reserved, and even his black coat with a tall collar and a slight puff at the sleeve head over a tall-collared white shirt and white cravat seemed fashionable. The being before him could not even be compare to mortals and if he was no vampire, he thought gods to be closest description. His attention was captured by the noises that interrupted the serene songs of the trees. Not long after, the galloping of the horses took their attention as the sound grows closer. The carriage stopped right at their open gate.

'I think we have a visitor, master,' the butler leaned closer to his master's ear. He simply informed him and has no reason to wait for his command as it was apparent that this was an unexpected visit. He put down his own cup, walked the remaining gap between the garden and the gate, and from the back of his suit, behind the servant black tuxedo he donned, searched for his bowie knife that glistened against the morning sun. His fingers closed on the handle and patiently waited for carriage's door to open. Eyes widened as it surprised him to learn the owner of the black shadow inside the carriage, 'Do-doctor Abraham Van Hellsing? What are you doing here?'

'Morris? How?' shocked and horrified mixture of expression registered on the face of the doctor. His hands trembled but his eyes remained focus, yes, he was the same Van Hellsing from years back with new lines and painted grain applied on his face. He was quickly losing balance and with only a few feet between them, Van Hellsing didn't waste his chance and jumped forward using the remaining strength from his old legs. The butler quickly noticed his cane and knowing Van Hellsing, he deducted correctly that it was in fact hiding a blade. Aiming at the heart of a lost and vampire-turned friend, Van Hellsing was pushed to the side by the younger and stronger Morris, rose unscathed and has successfully disarmed the doctor.

The professor did not even wait for his heart to calm. He was panting, obviously trying to catch on his breath and was also furious. 'How could you do this Quincey Morris? How could you allow yourself to be one of them?' Van Hellsing pointed at the man leisurely drinking his tea. He frowned at him disgusted but the vile creature ignored him altogether stared right past him. He felt insulted by the creature but realized the target for now. Van Hellsing followed his eyes and saw the man that drove his carriage smiling in return. He was horrified to see his driver make an approving bow, smile and bowed to him before galloping the horses away from the castle. Impossible!

These were the vile creatures, the maleficent creatures that he vowed to destroy. Hellsing tried to strengthen his resolve and though his body grew weak by day, his heart remained as strong. He wanted to believe that a vampire-turned human has the capacity to resist and end his own life save the others from the abyss of suffering. Despite the idea that swirls at the pit of his mind, he marveled to remember why the sun touching his skin seemed so important but the idea left his mind at the sight of Quincey.

'First, calm yourself down professor,' Quincey can clearly hear the wild beating of his heart. It may not be long now before he contracts a cardiac arrest. This was nothing close to what he wanted of a reunion but Van Hellsing continued. He relentlessly accused Quincey for the seven years that he betrayed their trust, the trust and love that was given to him by his friends. The same friends that wept, cursed at his fate, and prayed to the Gods on his wake. He mentioned that out of that love, the Harker named their son after him. Anger and hate welled inside the old eyes of Van Hellsing and Quincey was not happy at this kind of reunification between friends or at least acquaintance as Van Hellsing thinks of him as no less than an abomination that goes the same line as the Count. There was no sign of him backing down until his hands and feet suddenly felt numb and his movements restricted.

This was akin to the control casted against his driver not long ago, only he was made conscious of it. He never thought that such ability was possible but it maybe the stronger version of the charm the Count used to lure Lucy and stole her soul. He started walking towards the man, no, not really a man, not even close to a mortal and he suspected more powerful than the previous monsters that he encountered. Actually, Hellsing believed the being now before him was the strongest evil encounter in his arduous but hopefully meaningful life.

Aware of what was happening, he stood straight and bowed down in gratitude to his master and led his friend, yes, even with the commotion beforehand, he still thinks of Abraham Van Hellsing as an irreplaceable friend. Never had he regret dying for them, only he didn't die, and now has another chance to save them. Quincey was delighted that his master lifted a finger for him and as expected, Van Hellsing, now seated before his master, was trying to cast prayers in his mind, hoping to retain his own consciousness.

'Your friend has a strong faith.' The master of the Blood Castle praised the mortal. He took another sip from his cup and slowly, silently placed both fragile objects on the table, before his hand took possession of the white table cloth placed carefully on the side by Quincey. Van Hellsing was only disgusted, for a detestable creature to act as a human would. Wiping the remnants of the liquid that lingered on his soft pinkish lips, Quincey's Master rose from his seat and rest the white cloth on the table. For unknown reason, Van Hellsing followed the trail of that hand and slowly his eyes closed on himself.

It was Quincey and his voice that touched him before darkness welcomed him. 'Thank you, Master.'

Lying down the couch, the professor saw blurred images of Quincey, looking down at him, seated on a chair beside him. He felt something in his system, probably a sedative of sort which relaxed him at least, and he knew there was nothing he could do now. 'Are you awake, Professor Hellsing?'

'Yes,' he answered.

Although groggy, he tried to check on his neck, there was no bite and Quincey repeated himself. 'I told you professor, I am no vampire neither my master. It will be an insult to call him as such so please restrain yourself and listen. You were the one who told us to always keep an open-mind, now I urge you to listen first…'

It made him smile remembering the time when he was hectoring at the poor Dr. Seward, a student that he loved and admired as a son. He stared back at Quincey and crossed his arms waiting. In the seven long years that he was gone, he became more of a gentleman. The cowboy image was gone and he seemed more of a scientist, a professor perhaps. Without the vampire image hovering on his mind, he would have probably thought Quincey to be a messenger, heaven sent to relieve him of his suffering and the guilt of not being able to save a friend. There was a hint of serenity for a while between the two of them. The butler stood aside and cleared his seat before clearing a throat as though calling the attention of his aloof master, allowing a path so his master can approach Van Hellsing.

Van Hellsing would've strike a conversation if he could, in hope to get something from those deep red eyes, but some force took him back. He wasn't aware but it was fear crawling on his skin. This was the first time that he felt so weak. He excused calling it age but doubt occurred to him if his twenty year old self could even make a difference. He tried to move, clenched his fist, pulled his leg, and it confused him. His hands were free but chose not raise a hand against him, his feet weren't bounded but chose to stay still and wait for him. He asked himself, 'am I looking at the real vampire?'

Silence took over. When the master stood so as the hairs on the skin of Van Hellsing and with his glare, he pierced through his soul, pinned him at where he was seated. Hellsing remained still, drowning at the murky air that surrounded the master as he reduced the distance between them. And from where he stopped, a feet from Hellsing, the master plucked a hair from his and with his breath colder than ice, the thread of hair evolved into a steel needle. And without a word, not a single warning, the master of the house pressed the needle into his right eye.

Van Hellsing screamed, asked help to Quincey, but it fell unto deaf ears. He asked himself, why, why the suffering happened to him, why was he in so much pain, but then he realized that there was no pain at all. It was his fear crawling onto his skin, forced his brain to render this emotions as pain. As soon as he understood this, millions of images flashed through his eyes. These were a part of the deep memories, emotions that transcended through time, pain and suffering, his momentary joy and love taken and thrown into an abyss of chaos and utter destruction by the greed of no other than… men.

The sheer amount of emotions and memory took a toll at Hellsing's mind, exhausted him to the point of losing his consciousness again. 'Are you sure about this master?'

'Do not fret. It's just a fragment, thou tis enough to answer his doubts.' He assured.

He bowed down for a moment before disappearing into the basement. Sunset has painted the orange sky when Quincey returned, holding a brown wooden case that was almost a book as he held it close to his heart. It was at that same time; Van Hellsing has opened his eyes. He held his head, unsure of what to believe at this point. His faith in men and knowledge of the vampires were questioned. In truth, one question still lingered in his mind in all the years he spent hunting down vampires. He sat down and looked at the face of a long gone friend. 'Feels like I was out of a coma. How long was I out?'

Quincey saw a peaceful expression on his face at last and felt relief course through his spine. And now remembered how he too tried to kill his master before. He was only thankful that his master was far stronger than he could imagine that none of his festinate and dangerous approach was enough to scratch him.

'Three days. Here have some water.' Quincey provided after the professor grew impatient waiting for his reply and repeated his question. He was shock by the number but it cannot be help with all the information now swimming inside his mind. If it was anything that can be disprove so easily he would have done so, but details about the count has been true so far. He researched about him, and his lineage was anything but normal until at one point where he lost his wife in a war. He took out his notes, read some part about the Count, but then a sudden jolt put him to his knees.

Quincy helped. Took him by the arm and said. "Do not rush my friend. It wasn't your memory to begin with. Give it some time."

He didn't want to believe but he has more than circumstantial evidence now. 'I am sorry my friend, I feel I have misjudged you and didn't offer you a chance.' He said.

It amazed him how quickly the Professor accepted the fact, while compared to him. He took a week or even a month before trusting him. 'There's no need for apology professor. I am only glad that you understand… We need to go and save your grandchild and prevent that man from coming back.'

'What do you mean?'

'It's his birthday, is it not? And there's that business with the Harker.' Quincy explained. Hellsing remembered the birthday of the Harker child.

'You are right, but I fear that we may not make it.' He sadly sunk back. To travel to the Harker household will take hours if not days and they were sure to miss his coming. He took a glimpse of the man, Quincey referred to as master, thinking of the images and voices shoved into his head. Are they the truth or some fake memories made by demons? He gazed back at Quincey and asked himself again, can I at least continue to trust him?

'Do not worry professor, we have a way.' The American said which left a speck of smile in the old lips of Van Hellsing. To at least trust a long lost friend may not be so bad. The young master readily stepped forward. Quincey finally, claiming the solution to all their worries and introduced, 'Professor, first I want you to meet my master, the true lord of the Blood Castle… Lord Alucard.'

Just with his name mentioned, the lord has undergone a sudden change, his eyes were pitch red, thick with the color of blood and the air around him was almost too painful for a mere human to see. The castle begun to shake, as though awakened finally from a deep slumber, rejoicing at the presence of its true master. Without a doubt, the lord was excited. He raised his left hand, grabbing for something, when the flames dancing in the fireplace gathered right on his fingertips, creating ball of flames which turned blue.

'Ah, my master is happy.'

'He is?' Van Hellsing was surprised to hear that comment having observed no changes in the expression of Alucard aside from the keen look from his eyes. Still, he couldn't believe what was happening, even the hum of his own eyes deceiving him sounded crazy, out of this world madness.

'I have not turned mad, am I Quincey?' He asked.

'No my friend, you are not. It's this feeling that convinced me that he has no intention of harming any humans, as you can see, if he so wills it, he can destroy any human from where they stand. But that is not all, unlike the vampire that we know, master doesn't require any blood, not even sleep, and if you remember this morning, not even the sunlight was against his existence. Would you believe of a magnificent being like him amongst us? If he declared himself god, is there anything that can prove his not? But he said so, that he is no god and that he came only to fulfill a promise, to protect the weak children of men, the humans. If only, we weren't so feeble minded… maybe she is still… ' Quincey was lost in his own mind for a moment until his old friend took a step and tapped his shoulder. He knew of the love that Quincey had for that one woman that captured his heart. Apparently, the memory existed still in his heart and that fact brought delight to him.

Van Hellsing understood his heart well and was delighted to learn he still has it, thus proving himself, 'I saw enough of the memory of Alucard to understand what you mean my friend. I am still not sure if I can believe it but from my vast knowledge of history. His memory explained gaps in history that never made it to books. Also, we weren't so weak to not correct our own mistakes. It is just unfortunate that the Count wasn't so good an example. For centuries, the count continued to protect his village using the power bestowed to him but greed soon came to his doorstep, I must say typical of a human, and with a little guidance from the devil, Vlaad imprisoned him, changed his name to Dracula claiming he'd be lord Alucard reborn, putting your master to a long sleep, for centuries though, he remained docile. And I doubt he gave up his dreams of acquiring his strength, perhaps we overlooked a clue here, perhaps...'

'It's time.' A word from Alucard and the two were standing in attention. They lay witness to the blue flames merged into one on his pale-white palm and threw the eerie flame right at the main door. They thought that it would obliterate the entrance of the castle but nothing of that magnitude occurred. The flame did nothing but surround the broad and solid door.

Alucard closed his eyes waiting. What was needed, he provided and now without a word, as though it came naturally. Van Hellsing understood what is required of him after that smile from his old friend. He should be the one to open the door. He was, at first, hesitant to even move close to the blue flame but with trust and courage, he took the door on his right hand. There was no pain, he looked behind and found his friend, Quincey, brimming with confidence and the latter's master, wearing his natural cold expression. It was quite heavy but his strength did not fail him. He expected the garden, or the mountain but instead found himself walking into a dark-filled path with only a speck of light as their guide. Beside him was Quincey and after them was Alucard with indifferent look in his eyes. He was sure they were in a tunnel, only there were colors all around them, images of the places he saw while he was in the carriage, in the train, only these images were in reverse of when he went to Alucard's castle.

'Where are we?' Van Hellsing frowned, confuse by the havoc of images.

'This is also my first time, Professor.' There was excitement in his voice as he answered.

They both turn to Alucard, but he answered with, 'I believe it's called a shortcut.'

It no longer surprised them though, and laughed at their chagrin. A speck of light drew their attention of what seemed to be the end of the tunnel. There was no door, only mist that surrounded the hole to a lamppost near a house. Van Hellsing has seen this house before, of a friend and a child close to him as his grandchild would. He grinned and tapped Morris by the shoulder. "Looks like were not too late to celebrate his 7th birthday after all."