Somewhere covered in dark shadows, Arthur was able to witness everything going on. The plan had been set in motion and slowly things were playing out exactly as that person had foreseen it. The Punisher was surprised at the accuracy of all of it. Had the vampires always been this predictable in their behaviour?
Even though he knew that everything going according to plan should be a good thing, somehow all of it started to feel meaningless.
‘I wonder how they are doing… So far he hasn’t gone back on his word, so they should all be safe…’ Arthur thought to himself.
He looked towards the other castle who had come under attack. His hearing allowed him to listen to the shouts and cries of all those affected, though he tried to mostly ignore them, as he closed his eyes.
‘It’s a shame that the other castles had to be dragged into all of this, but perhaps it’s for the better. In a way, if they were forced to continue to live in this world, then it would be cruel. Take this as a type of kindness.’
Paul rushed through the castle, heading for the throne room where the teleporter had been placed. On his way there, he encountered a few of the Masked who had managed to crash through.
The Vampire Knight swiftly avoided the red aura attack, only to soon feel a fist from the two spiked Dalki hit him straight in the stomach. His body was lifted in the air, but Paul had made sure to hold onto the Dalki’s forearm.
“Touching me is not a good idea.” Paul’s hands started to glow slightly green, and soon the Dalki could feel its whole body weakening. Banging his hands together, a set of claws could be seen appearing from his knuckles. It was a special mechanism of his gloves.
With them, Paul started to stab the Dalki over and over right in the chest, yet instead of growing stronger, it lost more of his strength. His blade-like claws had been laced with poison, bringing the creature also closer to death.
The Dallki dropped to the floor, and Paul soon moved over to the Masked, stabbing him right in the face, destroying the mask and killing the wearer in an instant. Still there were more down the hallway that needed to be dealt with.
“I don’t have time for this!” Paul cursed.
Fortunately, he wasn’t the only one in the castle. Following the noise, some of his own men came up. Those that were once part of his army and now vampires could see their commander in trouble, so they started to move towards him.
“Wait! Don’t worry about me, head to the throne room and make sure it’s safe!” Paul ordered.
Without hesitation, the soldiers followed his order and started to head to the teleporter.
Seeing this, the Masked and Dalki thought to turn around but before they could, a bright light started to appear from Paul. Eight large green balls of solid poison were hovering around him.
“I said, I don’t have time to deal with you lot!” Paul activated his soul weapon and his deadly poison was something no one wanted to touch.
It didn’t take the Vampire Knight long to deal with the intruders inside. After he was done with them, he stayed at his location to fend off any other, but more never came. Since Paul was still close to the balcony before heading off to check on the condition of the teleporter and the rest of his people, he chose to take a peek outside to observe the situation.
He could see that the gargoyles had activated and were now aiding the tenth family in this fight. Those from the pooling area were also fighting for their lives. The stronger members were dealing with the Dalki, while the weaker pooling vampires were dealing with the strange Masked.
Although the pooling vampires seemed to be weaker than those traitorous vampires behind the masks, since the vampire refugees from the other families were all there, their sheer number allowed them to overwhelm the intruders.
‘All of this seems strange. Their forces are strong and the enemy clearly has information on the vampires and their families. Although we might be faring better compared to the other families, I doubt any of the vampires will have trouble dealing with such measly forces, especially if the leaders get involved. So what exactly is their plan in all of this? Why are the Dalki attacking us?’
The thing that Paul didn’t know, nor anyone else in the other castles for that matter, was that the situation in each of the castles differed greatly from one another. The number of Dalki and Masked that had been sent over, wasn’t random. There was a calculated amount sent over to each of the castles, each with their own purpose.
The first ones to figure this out were Leo and Erin as they traveled through the tunnels. They could see what was happening above, especially the Blind Swordsman who had more control over his ability, allowing him to see everything from a type of bird’s eye view.
Here, he could tell that the forces attacking each of the castles were different. Especially at the twelfth castle where they were heading. For some reason, it had the least number of enemies compared to the rest.
‘Should we take this as a good thing, or a bad thing?’ Leo wondered, but regardless they continued to travel through the tunnel. They could see Muka waiting for them. He didn’t say much as the fighting was still going on above and he knew there would be those looking for him.
“I have stayed here for as long as I could, but I must now leave. Use this opportunity and find out what Bryce is doing.” Muka said, placing his hand on the strange lock, and turning all the different shapes until the door moved to the side, allowing them through.
The tunnels were a great way for the group to enter the castle. Following it, it led to a giant trap door, which they slid open. With everything going on, it was a given that no one was currently guarding the place. The three of them found themselves in a dark cellar. There was no light, but it didn’t matter for the vampires who could see just fine.
“Due to the chaos outside, it looks like most of the guards and vampires have gone outside.” Silver noted, pressing her ear up against the door leading to a room above.
“The attack doesn’t seem to be as bad here, so the leader and other vampires must have decided to stay inside. Although I don’t think this energy is strong enough to be from the Royal Knight, at least the leader of the twelfth castle should be here.” Leo commented.
Leo was essentially asking if they still wanted to proceed with the plan. They had originally come here today, because the Royal Knight was supposed to return to his family. Every three days he would pay them a visit, but due to the attack, he appeared to have gone elsewhere, probably to protect the King.
“I think we should continue.” Silver replied. “She might be a new leader, but there is a good chance that she still knows something. Arthur still had targeted the other young leader for information, so probably they know something as well.”
Going through the rest of the castle, Leo had asked Erin to guide them. Even now the Vampire Knight was still training her in all aspects and he wanted her to get better at using her ability.
Silver found this interesting to say the least, and eventually, through Erin leading them, found out that the two of them shared the same ability and that the girl wasn’t any worse than her mentor. They were able to avoid all the vampires clearly until they had reached the top floor, but here was the limit, as two guards stood outside.
“Let me handle this one.” Silver suggested, since she had felt quite useless so far. Using her string she quickly and quietly sealed the mouths of the guards, before she strongly banged their heads together.
At that moment, both Leo and Erin burst through the doors. This was the only thing they could do. Eventually they would be found out, so they needed to blitz in the room as quickly as possible to learn everything they could. The doors were quickly opened and the two that Erin had beaten were choked inside while the double doors behind them were closed.
The new leader, Kim Prima, noticed this and immediately stood up from her seat, drawing her rapier.
“Intruders, the enemy has entered the castle!” Kim said.
The dozen or so vampires who were with her in the room went straight for the three. It was only natural for the vampire leader to mistake the three as intruders given their outer appearance.
The others were ready to fight, head on, until strange shadows dispersed from the centre of the room seemingly out of nowhere, and a figure could now be seen standing in the middle of the room.
“Arthur!” Kim called out, her hands shaking.
Many of you might have noticed that the number of typos has gone down and the quality of my writing has improved in recent months. I have my editor, Devils_Advocate, to thank for that. I’m calling him out today to thank him for his work and to congratulate him on his birthday. If you also appreciate his work, consider sending him a small donation through his ko-fi.