1999, East Europe, 11th of August. The prophesies have turned out to be true, and Dracula has been reborn. Under the blackened sun burning in the skies, the accursed castle was deeply rooted in once pure soil, having infused it with the taint of darkness.
The world has come to a standstill, humans are suffering under the merciless rule of darkness. Called forth by the Belnades and Hakuba clans, as well as by the son of the Dark Lord, Julius Belmont is summoned to bring an end to the castle.
While the members of the Hakuba clan prepare for the sealing ritual, Julius must travel into the castle to seek out Dracula and wear down his strength, for the solar eclipse to be his end.
-End of Author's Note-
At 19, life still wasn't that complicated. Maybe even only really getting started. A girlfriend, a job or studying at university, a normal life. All of that didn't apply to him, and never would. Simply because he was destined to become what his family had been since centuries: the mortal enemies of the Dark Lord. The ones to push Dracula back into his grave time and again.
He knew the family legacy, and he knew what history the clan had seen. Every single man of his bloodline had struggled to overpower Dracula, but none of them ever had succeeded in putting and end to the vicious cycle of being reborn over and over again. Dracula seemed to be bound to return, no matter how often he was struck down—be it by cross, magic, whip, or the sun itself.
It felt strange to put on the coat, and to pick up the blessed weapon of his bloodline. Vampire Killer, the infamous whip having accompanied every Belmont in battle, since the very first of their line had crafted it. And while the years had passed, new powers had joined the holy force behind the whip. There even was the rumor that somewhere in this world, a whip to match Vampire Killer existed. But he never had believed such rumors.
Julius Belmont, the currently last member of a long bloodline of famed and honored hunters, had been asked to travel into the castle born from chaotic darkness. The minions of the Dark Lord veiled the whole world in darkness, time standing still at the outbreak of Chaos. Only if this nightmare was ended, there would be hope for the world to return to its former peace.
It was strange to think that more than 50 years ago, the whip had been wielded the last time. Back then, a young man named Jonathan Morris had been bearing what should have been a Belmont's burden. His ordeal had ended Dracula's rise from the pained souls left behind by World War II, but also had shown that the Belmonts had failed to live up to their call as hunters. But now, he had the chance to bring the name Belmont back to its former glory.
"Are you ready, Julius?" Adrian Tepes, dressed in a quite formal suit and looking distant and cool as ever, had entered the room without announcing his presence beforehand. "We can't afford to wait for much longer."
"I am aware of that, Alucard." Julius sighed, looking down on the whip with a frown. "It's just strange to think that I am supposed to be the world's hero. The salvation in dark times."
"Are you doubting yourself, Julius?"
"No." Julius snickered quietly, following Adrian out of the mansion. "I am merely stating that it's a strange feeling."
"Good. Doubt is not fitting a true hunter."
Julius had known Adrian for long enough to know that beneath the detached mannerism, the dhampire merely was concerned about his health and his oath. Many men had wavered in the face of dark powers, had succumbed and changed drastically, to then merely be canon fodder for Dracula's very own pleasures. Not even other vampires were safe from the Dark Lord's influence. Brauner had been only one example in a long line of tragic cases of delusional men. Inwardly, Julius hoped that he wouldn't have to deal with such a man, or woman. He was not in the mood for long banter and gnawing doubt.
As soon as he stepped to the outside, Julius had the feeling a hand was grasping his neck and choking him. The thick fog of dark powers was constantly around them, suffocating them with its density and the chaotic powers infusing it. Adrian had to watch out more than anyone else, but since he had sealed his powers shortly before the castle's return, he was no threat as long as the spell placed over them held out. To anyone else with dark blood, though, the fog was a source of brainwashing and danger.
They walked in silence, while around them, the Apocalypse seemed to have sunken around the world. It had come unexpectedly, it had stalked upon them silently, and now was wrapping the world up in oblivion. Slowly obliterating memories of a time of peace and shining sun, of a world without constant threats, were giving the castle more power and more substance. The Dark Lord seemed to almost have won, but there still were thousands of people around the world fighting against the welling darkness.
And in the middle of all of it, Adrian Tepes had found the way to defeat Dracula. The solar eclipse could be used to seal him, and the castle, for good. The clan of the Hakuba—they knew how to bind even gods with rituals. But there always would be some sort of trace remaining, lingering in the world like a small wound. A wound which never could be removed. But they would care for the world's resurrection from the war tearing at the world's very substance.
Julius felt a strange restless stirring in his heart as they approached the castle, as far as they dared for a cursory examination. Around the castle, floating stone was indicating that it was trapped in time just as the rest of the world. How everything was flowing still was a mystery the Belnades clan blamed on the fact that there was too much Chaos in the world by now. The chaotic energies had ripped apart constructs of logic and laws of nature alike. Clouds never releasing their soothing rain, the heat pressing down on them, the thick black fog—it all was defying nature itself.
But this time, the Belmont clan wouldn't stand by and let someone else take action. Julius grasped Vampire Killer tightly, his eyes on his target. The highest pinnacle of the castle, the traditional place for the Dark Lord to feast on the world's misery. It was sickening Julius to merely think about it. But he could do something against it, and that was his strongest weapon. The Dark Lord would not have won, unless the Belmont clan would be completely shattered. And even then, other hunting clans would have taken over the legacy of the Belmont clan, even if they never would have matched the strength wielded by the hunters of the night.
It could have been all too easy, had the castle not immediately started to supply its master with energy. The Hakuba clan may was capable of executing an unbelievably powerful ritual, but with the current waves of pure dark and chaotic energy unleashed, it was impossible to carry it out thoroughly. It would have been corrupted by the energies flowing freely, and with that served Dracula to gain even more power, rather than being sealed in a solar eclipse and be lost in it forever. They had to be careful, especially this close to the source of the world's darkness.
"It's incredible how high the amount of darkness is." Julius was shuddering at the impact of wave after wave of slowly rolling darkness, the chaotic energy plucking at his heart and whispering to him all too seductively. "How can he supply himself like this?"
"Darkness still is a side of humanity better kept under lock and seal." Adrian had fixed his eyes on the distant castle, an unreadable expression on his face. "It can't be completely suppressed. It is a natural state. A counterpart towards light. 'Where there is light, there must also be darkness', isn't that how it goes?" Adrian chuckled quietly. "But there is a limit. It must be balanced, but as soon as toppled over … it's either Paradise or Inferno."
"I never was a fan of too much heat." Julius grasped the cross around his neck, uttering a soft prayer. "Nor do I want to find out what Chaos could do to the world still. So, the traditional way, it will be?"
"Exactly. Seize the energy cores, cut off Dracula's supply bit by bit, and weaken him enough to send him straight back to his casket." Adrian had closed his eyes, his hand seeming to close around something in his pocket. "I know you can do it, Julius. You must do it. There is no way around this."
"I'm aware of that, too." Julius nodded at the assembled Belnades', Hakubas and at Adrian. "I will be successful. With the spirit of my family flowing through my very veins, it won't be long until Dracula will rest in peace."
"Just don't let your family's general character overwhelm you." Adrian chuckled quietly, one of the very few instances he would let something like that shine through. "Richter has been a thick-headed fool, almost drawn in completely by darkness, and many other Belmonts were dancing on that fine edge. But I trust that you are more composed than them."
"We will discuss that as soon as I return, alright?" Julius turned towards the castle, taking a deep breath. "Well, here I go. I expect that when I return, you will all be celebrating the one true hero."
"Don't get ahead of yourself, Julius."
"I won't." And with Adrian's warning still in his ears, Julius set off towards the castle looming into the unnaturally dark sky. He would not fail on his quest. He would prove the world, and himself, that he was a full-fledged Belmont, and able to take down whatever threat the darkness offered. Still, it was a strange feeling to finally enter the castle, and begin the quest of his fate...