Foreigners came from beyond the mountain, hearing of riches and lore with the death of the Immortal Reign. Many came, telling of their methods to bring death to these creatures, of the horror of immortals who did not reside within the laws of the kingdom. Whispers in the ears of mortals created a fear that did not exist until then. They saw their neighbors and friends, lovers and family as devils who would enslave and kill them all. Finally one turned against another and all by ‘accident’ the first drop of immortal blood was spilt, with the death of a child.
War. Love was washed away with grief, suffering and pain which brought to life the existence of hatred. This hatred existed on both sides as mortals and immortals turned against each other, bathing in one another’s blood in a drunken stupor. Dracula at last had had enough, he stepped between the warring parties of his castle’s town; his gift washing away the filth of conflict.
“Violence against kin is forbidden!” His voice roared as his water snaked around the offenders, trapping them in place.
Alucard joined shortly after, commanding that if any others continue they will face the consequences of their actions. Mortal and immortal villagers shouted,
“And what if we continue?! You will have us killed, drained of all life as you monsters have done for decades?!”
The crowds gathered in protest, finally the immortals drew their weapons, lining beside their king Dracula whose eyes shined in crimson rage.
“You dare insult our lord who has protected and housed you?!”
“Your insolence will not go unpunished!”
The mortals in turn revolved the same. Alucard’s power was displayed, the earth beneath their feet shifted and crumbled, finally protruding and trapping the group of mortals within stone cages. Their arrest only boiled the rage of the mortals. The king did what any would, he was unbiased, arresting both mortal and immortals who threatened the peace of his kingdom, but his actions enflamed the two peoples. Whether by the action of one or many a civil war finally erupted engulfing the first village.
Dracula traveled to this village with his sons, seeing the massacre, they found the mortals bitting the hands that fed them. They outsourced to the same foreigners who created their fears and doubts, bringing armies who called for ‘liberation thru death’. Death to the immortals, freedom from imaginary chains and thus the kingdom of one became two. Alucard saw his people mutilated, entire families, regardless of what were torn apart and any who tried to protect immortals or help them faced the worst of deaths. His hatred for the traitorous mortals grew, consuming his heart and destroying any love his held for them and yet his love for his wife was untouched. As his brother, he believed that these were the actions of the few and not the many, that if they could end the source of this evil then the innocent could be spared. Their father did not see the same, his heart grew harder with each village he saw destroyed and more and more he did not see mortal and immortal deaths, only immortal. Their dust and ashes fell thru his fingers, people he knew for decades, who fought with him, laughed with him, his memories of them and then to have their fire suddenly put out!
Natas returned to his mother and sister, fearful of father’s wrath he wanted to protect Mina in place of his brother, and Amelia’s secret lover. Above all he wanted to find a way for father to remember why he love the two peoples. In his absence he did not know of the change in them until after their return, until it was too late. Father called for the eradication of every mortal who dare raise their hand against an immortal and every other person who knew them, down to the last child so their traitorous blood would never again taint his kingdom. Natas who held the same heart as his mother and sister would not stand for it--he spoke against this decision in the War-Room, saying matching violence with violence does not solve anything. Dracula glared at his son responding,
“If you wish to save the mortals who threaten this kingdom and our kind then you will die with them just the same.”
Natas continued to speak with the hope of saving his kingdom and their family, “If you will judge those who have done no evil then you will be no better than they!”
Dracula and his table grew silent, Alucard held indifference toward his brother’s words, it was his father’s decision and he would agree with it because it would be for the best. Father has always done what is best for the kingdom.
“What I do is for the best of our kin--”
“Our kin is everyone in the kingdom! Mortal and immortal alike, we are all part of the same family!” Natas shouted knowing that father would not hear his words, but perhaps his brother would! Nothing. Dracula motioned his hand and two guard brought in Mina and positioned her between the two men. Alucard’s eyes grew wide with shock--why did father have her here?!
“Mina has been found guilty of treason against us. I see it only fit for her execution to be handed out by you.” Dracula’s eyes shifted crimson, “To determine where your loyalties lie.”
Natas stared at his father then Mina and finally to his brother who continued to be motionless. Was Alucard alright with this?! This is Mina: his best friend, his lover, the mother of his unborn child! He could not agree to this, to her death; she is innocent! Natas drew his sword...guided by an unseen force his hands shook as he stepped closer and closer to her.
Mina was quiet, as the guards released her and stepped away she did not try to run, to reason or defend herself. Natas was within reach, the entire room fixed their eyes on him. The white-haired immortal lifted his sword, something that felt heavier and heavier each second he suspended it above his head. hat do I do? His chest felt tight, the air being suffocated from his lungs--muscles locked, his entire body was hot. She is family, their family; mortal or not it did not matter!
“Its okay Natas.” Mina’s words passed thru the darkness of his mind, “I do not hate you or anyone in our family. My only regret is that I could not spend more time with everyone.”
Tears rained down from Natas’s face, “Mina, I--!”
He clenched his teeth while all the noise in his mind, something, no ‘someone’, told him to obey father there was a part of him that resisted. I--I--! Natas brought down his sword, I WILL PROTECT YOU! Flames licked his blade in an instant--rolling away from Mina they aimed directly for Dracula. The ground broke and shifted, forming a wall that sent the flames in three other directions.
Dracula was disappointed in his son, to throw away his family and people for one who isn’t of either blood.
“Kill them.” Dracula’s gaze shifted back to his table and his mind ignored the shouts that came after.
Natas grabbed Mina and made for the glass window that hung beside a cliff. Dracula’s water blocked their path, but the glory of the flames burned away any resistance of Dracula or his minions. Cradling Mina in his arms he broke thru the window and with, but a single step to use, leaped over the small valley carved by the river below. They barely made it to the opposite side and had Natas not possessed his flames they surely would not have.
The others held no hope of giving chase and helplessly waited outside the broken window as the two climbed the valley’s wall. Alucard remained beside his father.
“Traitors of our kind are not to live.” Alucard bowed to his father’s words and made his own path across the valley.
It was not long before the eldest caught up with his younger and his wife. Natas, believing Alucard to be under the same principle of his father, having renounced his relation to the family by his action, wielded flames against the opposing immortal. Alucard did not attack, rather he sheathed his sword speaking,
“This time only...I will allow you freedom.” He clenched his fists, “Though our views differ we are still family, though I have betrayed you both as you have betrayed father.”
Mina placed her hand against Natas’s, lowering the fists until their flames went out. She wanted to speak to her lover one last time. Natas, untrusting of anyone under Dracula, remained close, but gave them their privacy.
“I know I have hurt you, my love, and there is no excuse I can give for my betrayal--”
“You did not betray me...” Alucard’s tone softened as he brushed his hand against hers, “All you were doing was being who you are. You are kind to all, that will never be a crime to me, but I...no longer deserve such kindness.”
Mina brushed her fingers in his long, golden hair, tracing the outline of his chin thru his beard. Alucard nuzzled his face into her hand, his thirst for her blood, her body, her love--he wanted to consume it all now more than ever, but most of all he wanted her to remain at his side forever. This was a wish that was no longer possible.
“I never was able to be angry at you, not even when we were children.” Mina pulled out a blade from within her dress and held it at her palm. With a quick swipe, having felt no pain after years of doing such, her luscious blood seeped thru and dropped onto the ground.
“Allow me to relieve you of your thirst one last time, so you may treasure my love within you until our next meeting.”
After their exchange was over Mina and Natas stood before Alucard together once more.
“I failed as your elder brother, I do not expect you to forgive me of that.” Natas was silent, his eyes of disappointment at his brother’s choice told all that they needed to. They turned and began walking away
“Promise me: you will protect her.” Natas did not turn around, but responded nonetheless, “I will.”
News of Natas the Betrayer turned into legends of the werewolves, a creature who went from mortal to beast at the eve of the full moon. This legend was a half-truth, the mixing of reality, fear, and superstition to create such a fantasy. The reality was much further than legend, though the figure of a wolf came to be well-known it was not the full-moon, but the mistake of light during twilight emitted by Natas’s creative manipulation. His flame cloaked his body, growing and growing until he could create a distinct shape that just so happened to appear as a wolf. He used this against immortals and mortals who threatened the innocent, but only as a last resort seeing as his enormous power caused much drainage of energy after.
Though his powers were great other gifted immortals, eventually referring to themselves as ‘Purebloods’ were a great challenge for a young immortal such as himself. His mother and sister (having joined him after his flee-ment), both equal in their power and gifts often fought, but mother especially was drained of energy. The difference between her and her son was she could not regain that energy after a while. Perhaps it was due to her lack of blood, or the blood she desired, but she would not tell the reasons of her suffering. Natas objected to such stubbornness, but was over-ruled when mother mentioned the inevitable end.
Time passed since the splitting of the kingdom and mortals were on the verge of annihilation. Sierra would not accept this fate, despite their violence, their capacity for cruelty and evil, there was as much room for love and understanding. Even if her beloved lost sight of that. Her powers dwindled, more and more they were being absorbed and progressively her control was diminishing. There was not much longer now, but enough for this last effort to save ‘everyone’. She told Mina the entire truth, for one who had already seen what the future brings knowing what precipitated it could help them.
The Book of the Moon was completed, in its pages was the foretelling of a catastrophe that had already consumed their own world and would do the same to the future ones. It was too late to save theirs, but not for the next. Mina added in pages in the beginning, designed to lead those who would read to Natas who possessed the Book of the Sun. The mortal saw two futures for this one ‘sage’: either they would unite the two peoples and take on the coming darkness or...they would become darkness and destroy ‘everything’. Mina and Sierra both knew they would have to do everything to ensure that second future would not come to pass, even if it meant somehow ending the ‘sage’.
At last preparations were completed and all that was left was to enlighten Amelia and Natas, but there had been things Mina had not seen.
He bolted thru the tree line, faster and faster desperate to catch up with her scent. What had she been thinking? Half the kingdom knew she was Alucard’s lover, those for and against immortals all wanted her death! He was beyond the tree line now, to the outskirts of the temple’s walls hanging over the cliff. Smoke rose from the courtyard’s center and no matter how fast he was, it was not enough. Mina burned. Natas froze in place, the sounds of the temple’s occupants faded into oblivion, leaving only the sound of fire as it scorched the silent body. No... They bubbled from his body like liquid flame, more and more until every inch of him was cloaked by this heat. This is wrong... Alucard’s wife, with child; those mortals they--Natas’s cry echoed throughout all the land changing into a roar to match the monster they made him out to be.
The mortals noticed the source of this ear-bursting roar and proceeded to attack. This world--! His rage drove him to swipe away the mortals throwing them into the temple’s walls; shattering armor, melting it into nothingness. Those flames reached the flesh of the mortals, causing the sounds and feelings of agony. The moment these were heard Natas’s mind snapped back and his light retracted. His tears diminished before reaching the ground as the cloak protected him upon his approach to the extinguished body.
“M-Mina...” Natas sobbed cradling her body and burying his face against her breast.
“The witch has summoned a monster to inflict her wrath upon us!” An old knight, having reacted quickly to protect himself and his armor stood before his wounded men.
Natas lifted his head, “No.” He turned his head, his crimson eyes faded back to brown, “She is the one who saved you from mine.”