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The Black Flame, Chapter 10
Valerious reached the shores of Romania again after a long and tiresome journey. Through the whole return voyage, he had pondered over all the things that had occurred at the Vatican. He had been to see the cardinals in charge of the Holy Order there. At the Vatican, they kept a secret armory designed solely for the purpose of equipping the Order. It was down in this armory that Valerious had told them all that had befallen him and his family.
The cardinals had heard his story and granted him forgiveness for all that had happened to him. But granting salvation to his family they could not do. So they had decreed that only when Dracula had been destroyed once and for all would the Valerious family receive salvation. Valerious accepted his decree, but knew he could not be the one to carry it out. He would have to leave it up to his descendants, starting with Sergi.
When he arrived at the manor, Valerious went in search of Sergi. Not finding him there, he assumed that his son had gone bac
The Black Flame, Chapter 9
Valerious was in his study, reading one of the sacred texts kept by the Order. Since it was night, he was relying on the meager light from a few candles and the fire in the massive stone fireplace to read by. As he read, a cold chill began to creep up on him. This was nothing new to him. The manor was frequently drafty, especially in the deep of winter. Thinking nothing of it, he continued to read.
A sudden blast of the chill air whipped through the room, snuffing out the candles. Frowning, Valerious got to his feet and picked one of the candles up. He approached the fireplace but as he did, an ever fiercer gust of wind blew past. In an instant the fire vanished. Valerious groped around in the darkness, searching for a flint to light the candles with. Instantly, one of the candles sprung to life as if lit by an invisible hand. Then the rest were lit in succession, bathing the chamber in light. The glow emanating from them revealed a figure standing near the window.
"Hello father," Drac
The Black Flame, Chapter 8
It was just after nightfall the following night when the two knights entered the cemetery. They had been sent by Valerious to retrieve Dracula's body. Passing into the mausoleum, they descended the stairs into the lower chamber. The room was dark and seemed bathed in gloom. One of them carried a torch and proceed to light the wall torches with it. Immediately light flooded the chamber, revealing Dracula's lifeless body, still pinned to the pillar by Van Helsing's sword.
The knights immediately bowed and made the sign of the cross. Slowly, reverently, they crossed the room. Upon approaching, they debated the best way to remove his body from the sword. As they looked him over, they realized that Dracula's ring was missing.
"His ring is gone," one said.
"See if it fell somewhere on the floor," said the other, "Let me see if I can remove the sword from him."
The first nodded and began looking around the floor of the chamber. The second grasped the hilt of Van Helsing's sword and attempted
The Black Flame, Chapter 7
The sun was sinking in the sky, casting shadows across the foreboding grounds of the cemetery. Van Helsing walked past the gravestones, his unsheathed sword glinting in the dying rays of light. He was approaching a large mausoleum in the center of the cemetery. He knew Dracula was inside, pining over Sonya and plotting to resurrect her. Only the antichrist would conceive an idea like that. Such a horrible offense against God. Van Helsing could not allow his friend to go through with this. He had to destroy him. It was the only way.
The door was already open a crack and it creaked as Van Helsing pushed it open all the way and entered. Descending the stairs into the main part of the mausoleum, he immediately saw Dracula standing in the middle of the room. He was facing the opposite direction, looking up at the ceiling with his arms raised heavenward.
"Why? Tell me why!" he whispered over and over.
"Because you were not destined to have her," Van Helsing said as he crossed the room.
The Black Flame, Chapter 6
"My son is dead?" Valerious the Elder cried.
"I am afraid so," Van Helsing said, "The doctor told me he would not survive the night, which was the night before last. Surely he has passed by now."
Valerious sighed and nodded.
"Thank you for telling me, Gabriel. As I have said countless times, you are my most trusted knight. I would have no other tell me this dreadful news," he said.
Van Helsing bowed and exited the chamber. Sonya was waiting for him in the hallway. Smiling, she took his hand and together they walked down the halls of Valerious Manor. They went through the armory where the family kept weapons that had been passed down for centuries. Finally they reached the study, in which Valerious kept numerous books on the subjects of the realms of darkness, as well as information about the family's history. Van Helsing went over to the window and looked out over the landscape. Sonya came over to him and wrapped her arm around his waist.
"I love you Gabriel," she whispered, "And I am
The Black Flame, Chapter 5
Van Helsing sat outside a tent, watching the dying embers of a nearby fire. The other knights were not far, each of them as worried and anxious as he was. Dracula was inside the tent, badly wounded. The doctor was also inside tending to him. The knights were all awaiting the prognosis that was soon to come.
Closing his eyes, Van Helsing reflected on the events of the night. The knights had all assembled to do battle with a horde of gargoyles that had lately been terrorizing the land. When the two armies had met, it was a vicious battle. In the end, the knights triumphed but not without cost. Hardly any had escaped unscathed and during the struggle, Dracula had taken a devastating stab to the chest. Van Helsing had called in the doctor, although he feared already that Dracula would soon be dead. A few hours had passed while the doctor cared for him and now the knights waited for the inevitable.
The doctor emerged from the tent. Van Helsing immediately to his feet and hurried over t
The Black Flame, Chapter 4
Dracula and Van Helsing crept silently up the stairs of a ruined castle. It was a dark night, the little light from the moon obscured by thick clouds. They could hardly see each other let alone the surroundings. Groping the stone wall for support, they ascended up towards a tower room. Each of them carried a silver stake in their hand and had bottles of holy water tucked in their belts. Van Helsing also kept a crucifix in his belt. They had been sent out tonight to eliminate a group of vampires that had lately been plaguing Vaseria and the surrounding country. This old castle was thought to be their lair. As Knights of the Holy Order, they should have been completely focused on the task at hand. However, both of their thoughts were elsewhere.
For months now Dracula had been wanting desperately to see Sonya again. He and Van Helsing had actually gone once to visit her. It had not been pleasant. The entire time they both had to restrain themselves from letting on how much they were
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