Woken up, through a red veil over the sky, washed away with a swift motion of my hand. A ringing noise disturbed my slumber, and the stars were as close to me, as my breath extended. I got picked up by him, his face all red and white like a moonlight tint. His armor pure and violent with animalistic features, that inspire fear and bravery. He looked at me with bright crimson eyes, approached his head towards mine, and whispered to not give up, to rise from myself, and continue towards my journey. Then he left, like a mist carried with the wind. He left me on my feet, but I could not feel them. The only thing I knew was that I had to go towards the shadowy figures, and the towering blackness that stood before me. A flash, a cling and the moon shone under me like a glass of wine, with nothing but silence around me, I fell. 

Disturbed again from my rest, I see only darkness, even though I felt like my pupils touched the air. In the corner of this abyssal room, there was a man, a figure, a creature. I could only understand the cape that touched the floor in the most majestic and caring way, like a mother holding its infant, and whispering about love and survival. He spoke to me, asked me about myself, cared for me, and I don’t know why. I talked with him for what it felt like many moons, but I was relaxed and then I fell. On the next encounter, I started to discern the room. The bookcase that was filled with words I could not comprehend, and more on the floor next to it. The window next to me, and the abomination of a device, that looked like an impaled circle with the moon and sun engraved on it. The chair that he stood upon, bigger than anything I have seen. Then at the door, he came in, bowed before the door so he could enter. Again, the same caring questions were uttered before me, as now I could get up and walk around the room. Asking him about the place where I was and am, was difficult as there was no clear answer, in the end I fell. Time has passed, and now I can walk around this world of rooms. I need a map for them, but he can maneuver his way with ease. Now in the courtyard, I practice what I knew my whole life, swordplay. He has agreed to spar with me, and yet as humble can he talk, he humbled me with the grace of his sword technique. As soon as I fumbled to my feet, his eyes glinted like a ruby in a cave of nothingness. I would rise again, as soon as his eyes sparkled, like a trance or a war cry ushered only by his gaze. He took me back to my abode and talked about another fight that I needed to face, but this time with him by my side. I am indebted to him, for what I know my life, and I shall honor his request. With a faint smile he left the room, leaving for me to rest and I fell. 

The pain excruciating, the screams I shouted were echoing throughout the corridors. I felt myself changing, losing my sense of reality, and him watching over me, from that cursed chair, with his cursed gaze and his cursed cape. I will fall no longer, and yet in a flash I was on the top of this castle, looking down at the clouds, and fear is not consuming me anymore, I feel empty. I jumped towards the clouds, only to float like a feather carried by the zephyr of the night. I touched the ground with grace, from the tip of my shoe to the sole of my feet. There he stood before me; never did I understand the difference. I needed to look at him like a mountain, chiseled by nature and majestic in the moonlight. He threw a sword at me, but it perfectly snaps in my hands. He charges towards me, like a beast of night I was engulfed by the darkness, but I started to match his pace. Soon enough I leaped out of the abyss, and hurdled my sword to his neck, but foolish I was. With a snap of his finger, I was again on the ground, but not in pain, I surrendered. Took the sword he had given me and went to my abode to slumber. The bed that was an escape, a freedom, looked distant and cold. Kept thinking about the pain, and the castle that I stood upon. Passing time through the endless corridors, I stumbled on a door, different than any that I had seen. My curiosity got the best of me. It opened to a place of obscenities, glasses that looked like balloons, more books than a man can read in two lifetimes, and small swords big as the finger. I felt his presence approaching. Leaving the room, I knew I should not have seen it, but most peculiar of all, the portrait of the most beautiful and serene woman. With hair gold as the coin tossed to a barkeep, a face as sharp as a blade but smooth and caring. The eyes of blue like no sea or sky, the gaze of man have ever seen and lips of red. He uttered my name, which I did not know, but heard, yet my conciseness had blocked. I looked behind to his stature. He was neither mad nor angry, but disappointed, lost by looking in the room that I was in. I did not ask about that place, for I know that it was, and will be forbidden to me. I only apologized for my doing, and he smirked for a second, but changed to a cold man that made shivers crawl from the floor to my hair. His words were shallow, but with meaning to not test his patience. 

Days have turned to months, months to years, not much would have happened, but I have grown. I saw clearly through the veil of the night but struggled to get my bearings within the kiss of the light. Nothing came close to me in sheer speed and force, as the walls were scared to hold my path, and the wind ushered me way to my sword. His training, though a predicament for my slumber, has enhanced my fortitude. Every day of coaching he seemed more and more pale, more and more suffering, as though my presence made a darkness grow powerful inside his chest. I asked him what this is all for, why train someone who was nothing but a burden from the beginning? His answer, empty, just like the shadow from where that cursed chair stood across my bed. Nothing prepared me for this, not the training, not the hollow corridors where I wept as if nothing had heard me. He had said that the world is nothing to him, only the pale moon has given him peace. This plan of existence would be his or for nobody to enjoy, for it had taken everything from him, and left only sorrow and despair. I grew defeated, before his words, as nothing I would have said could have changed him, or what was eating away the real him. The next few days, I tried to accompany him inside the fortress and outside, not only in training, but in dining and having measly conversations. Once in a while, he would slip and give me something to cherish, or keep only for myself. He has given stories about youth, about death and, most importantly, about love. He is a changed man or being when conversing about his love. In those darkened eyes you could see the stars when the words about his devotion to this fair maiden. When these tales would end, I have seen the sorrow in his eyes, his wish to weep and cower. I felt like ending anyone who would have hurt this gentle fallen angel. 

 The time has come, he said, while disturbing my slumber. Trying to get my bearings, my sword flew across the room deep withing my clutches. I felt its hunger, the lust for power and destruction, making my heart skip a beat. One last match between us, he gave me an ultimatum to either defeat him or take his life, or whatever he had left. The sword unsheathed itself, like a rabid hound waiting to feel the blood of my enemies, I stood my stance. Leaped at him, grazed his face, the anger I have seen in those bloodshot eyes, made me cower and change to a puppy. But alas, I charged again, he grabbed me by the skull, smashed me through enough walls that it would take years to repair, but I felt nothing. In those few moments, that I was taken as a puppet, I only thought about a way to keep him at bay. As soon as he finished dragging me through the façade of the castle, I was thrown in the courtyard and on my back. Got up on my knees, about to admit defeat, only to hear the whizzing of arrows flying over the moonlit sky. I grasped the change from red to crimson, my blood boiling inside my veins. I saw only shadows before me, in the thousands or hundreds of thousands, but alas they have all fallen before me. These attackers have been defeated by me, eviscerated, and mutilated by me, sensed that I started to lose myself, this bloodlust was not who I was. I opened my eyes, the real ones, and did not know where I was or how I got there. He was standing there with a white cloth in his hands, rubbing my face and hands. “Use it on your sword, for it had helped you defeat your enemies”, his words echoed in my head, the hue of my sight changed from red to black, as if it had changed to the ordinary. I started to feel like I would have fallen, but not this time I gripped my sword, cleaned the blood of it and demanded it to sheath itself. 

But now, I stood before him, the full moon over us for light and the stars as audience, the music was the droplets of water that came from the sky, as if mourning the loss of the purest soul. Neither he nor I would start this duel, but he said it must be done. “Come at me with all that you have, and do not hold back the strength that I have given you from the beginning”, he said with the most bone breaking and soul crushing scream, and I obliged. We clashed in swords and fists, with claws and strikes that created new lights before us. The forest where this dreaded battle took place has turned into a field, as the trees were used for cover and weapons. His cape, as majestic as ever even in this wretched sight of nature, flew around him and captivated me with ease, but alas, my focus was on him, his cursed face, his cursed eyes, and his cursed demeanor. I ordered my sword to dance with me, around me, to shield me and attack with me as though we were one. A killing machine of sort. With the moon nearing its end, his life also came to something poetic. As a final clash with open arms, I sliced him and pierced his blackened heart. “Your eyes are beautiful just like the maiden I long for”, he has given me another story to decipher with these final words, as I took his cape and buried him next to that gloomy castle. 

I once again open that door, the one with the most beautiful of décor, looking at that maiden painting. Deep within its eyes, I see myself. The candle was lit, the room anew and more paintings were shown to me. It was him and this fair maiden, with a boy as pale as the moon, and his hair silver like the blade I control. In the corner stood a temple with him and the maiden, with a book under it. I took it and read it right there, only to find what I should not have or should have. The pain and ringing were sharp as the tip of a mountain top, piercing every thought I had, but now I remember. I am his and hers. For he was my father, the man named Dracula, Vlad Tepes, and I was Alucard, his beloved son. He has lost my mother to this wretched world, and would have destroyed it, if I had not intervened. I have lost my first endeavor, but he has given me a new life only for me to end his. He got the peace that he wanted, and I am grateful it was me who provided his final moments. Now I stand in that cursed chair, looking at my bed, only to see the portrait of us as a family looming over this cursed cradle. For now, I am Alucard, and will always be, the protector of humans and nature alike. 


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