This is Romania. History is witness to many dynasties who have ruled with sword and blood. Since 1011 AD, countless invaders have ravaged and plundered this land. And then came, the Draculs. Founded by Mirceah the first, the Dracul Dynasty passed from Vlad II to his son, Vlad III. Among all the Dracul Princes, Vlad III achieved the greatest heights, famous as Vlad the Impaler, and rumored to have made a treaty with the devil for the sake of his family. Till today, Vlad the Impaler’s remains are unknown.
Castle Dracula, the year 1537. All the courts were filled with people, the more important ones sitting closer to the Prince’s Court, and so forth. The funeral procession was signaled by ringing of loud bells, and every body in every room stood up as the procession went through. The first in line was the bell ringer, followed by members of the church: the deacons first, then the priests, the bishops, then finally the Pope. Behind him started a troop of the Royal Guard which encircled the carefully selected few who carried the dead Prince to the funeral grounds. And then the second bell ringer came, whom everybody else followed, including the only person hidden in a dark cloak.
The funeral procession lead to the Prince’s Court, stopping in front of the Royal Balcony, in which sat the next Prince of Romania, Vlad V, son of Miceah. The 13 year old boy stood and the funeral liturgy began. A grand eulogy given about Prince Miceah and his legacy were sandwiched between passages of the Holy Book and more ritual quotations. The pope looked to the in-ten-minutes future Prince for permission, and the young boy looked to his advisor. The old man assuringly nodded to the young Prince and he gave the go ahead to the Pope. Commonly, the dead were coffined and buried, but only for the sake of the House of Dracula, since the reign of Ingeras, the dead were to be sprayed with Holy Water and burned till nothing remained but ash, ensuring a true death. The water was sprayed and the fire was lit, and little Vlad let down a tear as his father’s corpse was set to flames. The boy sucked in a sob and the cloaked figure tightened his fingers in a fist, his other hand smacked the cement pillar he was hiding behind, sending a thin crack all the way to the top.
The funeral was completed and the Prince’s ashes were poured into an impenetrable box, then buried under his headstone, which lay next to the headstones of all the past princes, up to Prince Ingeras. As the Prince was buried and the chants of his peaceful rest were made, the Pope was lead up to the Royal Balcony, the crown being walked up behind him. Vlad V knelt in front of the Pope as the rituals were said.
“The crown of Dracul,” the Pope announced as he lifted the crown from its pillow and raised it for all to see. Then, he placed it on Vlad’s head.
“Rise, Prince Vlad the Fifth, of Romania. Long live the Prince.”
“Long live the Prince! Chanted every voice in the castle, including the one belonging to the cloaked man behind the pillar.
“As the Prince is yet to be of 18 years, who has been named the regent by Prince Miceah, may he rest in peace.”
“May he rest in peace!”
“I, Emilian Lupei, have been named the regent for the boy Prince Vlad.” Said the man who had stood next to Vlad, and who was commonly known as Lupei, which meant the wolf in Romanian.
Lupei stepped forth and knelt in front of the Pope as he was oathed into office. The Pope put a smaller crown on Lupei’s head, and the new regent smirked evilly as he rose to stand before the people.
“The death of a Prince, is always a tragic loss for his people. Prince Miceah was a good Prince, who reigned over all but a few nations of the great kingdom of Romania. It was his wish to leave for his son a united Romania, but his untimely death keeps him from fulfilling his promise. As a loyal advisor to the dead Prince, and regent to the new, I shall see to it that Prince Miceah’s words are fulfilled, even if it comes after his unfortunate demise, and bring to Prince Vlad a united Romania! Prince Miceah, may he rest in peace! Prince Vlad, long may he live!”
The crowd chanted and Lupei looked back to the young Prince, scaring the boy with his smile. Down below, the hooded figure saw the regent’s crooked smile, and also, heard his evil thoughts loud and clear.
Vlad the Third turned away from the pillar with anger splayed across his face, striding off in the opposite direction of the crowd.
“So long as I remain, none shall hurt the people of my blood.”