Drake (Book 1)

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[5]-Village

Romania

7:59 p.m.

Dacre Rosu and his two brothers, Darius and Ivan lived in an abandoned castle just on the outskirts of a small Romanian town called Corvini. The castle, which was more of a stone fortress with its many battlements, arched bridges and iron bolted wooden doors, oversaw its subjects from atop a cliff. The three triplets, nearly identical in every way save for their hair, instilled themselves as self-proclaimed “Lords” of the region. Unchallenged, they basked in their newly gained wealth in the safety of their castle, most of it made from selling old Soviet weapons to terrorists, mercenaries for hire, and Ukrainian rebels.

Amid the village, just across from what would be called its town hall rested an old Soviet warehouse stocked with military grade equipment by the tons. Originally, its location remained hidden in the event of an attack by the west and all its capitalists pigs. However, as time passed, the warehouse was ultimately forgotten. Its stockpile mainly composed of millions of rounds of ammunition, thousands of assault rifles, dozens of tanks and armored vehicles, and a small cache of chemical weapons.

That was only scratching the surface. The iceberg was much deeper beneath. Even Darius, as crafty and brilliant as he was, couldn’t accurately inventory the whole warehouse. From sunrise to sundown, the villagers worked, restocking and distributing the stockpile to be shipped to its various buyers. The brothers ensured they were paid in cash and did a damned good job of keeping the operation incognito. However, despite their precautions, a different hunter caught wind of them.

Dacre, with all his might, pushed in the set of double doors leading to the castle’s throne room. Darius lounged on his recently restored throne with two above-average whores sitting on its arms. Ivan, the scholar, sat cross-legged in his study and glasses, reading an ancient tome by a blazing fireplace. They continued their tasks as Darius stood before them, his face puzzled.

The brothers all shared long ink-colored hair that flowed down their back with minor differences. Darius’ hair had a long white streak running down the middle of his hair with citrine eyes. Patience wasn’t much of a virtue for him. A vertical scar made itself comfortable on Ivan’s right eye, leaving it blank without an iris. His body was less physically imposing than Dacre and Darius.

Dacre, the youngest and most impulsive, struggled to catch his breath. Sweat glued his fine clothes to his back and legs. Finally, Darius looked up and said, “Dacre, what’s wrong? You look like you’ve seen a ghost or something.”

“Yes, brother,” Ivan said, without looking up from his book. “Relax once in a while.”

Dacre gritted. “He’s caught wind of us brothers!”

Ivan slammed his tome shut. Darius rose from his seat as the two harlots yelped before falling over. “WHO!” Darius demanded.

“Drake…”

The brothers shared a glance; the blood drained from their faces. Darius covered his bare chest with a white dress shirt, buttoning it halfway. All three of their eyes glowed a fearsome yellow and fangs and claws replaced their teeth and nails. Ivan removed a book from its shelf, the bookshelves rotating into the wall, revealing a dark passageway that led downwards.

“We should leave now,” Ivan suggested.

Dacre never saw his brothers more serious in all their centuries together. But he trusted them and Ivan’s wits had gotten them this far. But they had never dealt with Drake before. Or Lyn…

“So, we’re just gonna hightail it and run!” Darius barked, “like a bunch of scared dogs-!”

“Do you have a better suggestion?” Ivan said, cutting through his words as usual.

Before the bickering could ensue, an idea sparked in Dacre’s head. He stepped in between his brothers. “We can ambush them in the sewers. I’m sure they’ll follow us. We have the home field advantage…”

Darius and Ivan looked at each other as they considered his plan. Without another word, they both nodded. Dacre couldn’t help but form a grin. Maybe they actually listened to him from time to time.

8:10 p.m.

“This place smells like shit…” Lyn remarked, as she trailed behind Drake.

He looked back and although he couldn’t see her miserable face behind her mask, he couldn’t agree more. The sewer system seemed like an endless dark tunnel filled with moss and murky water that went up to one’s heels. Rats scurried and squeaked in the shadows, slipping through narrow crevices in the walls. He heard nothing but rats and a faint wind echoing down the tunnel.

Drake took out a small map he acquired of the castle to include everything beneath it. He could only guess their location at the moment and with any luck, the tunnels led to a secret trap door hidden in the wine cellar. Lyn continued to moan and whine behind him with every step. But hell, he couldn’t blame her. She rarely complained, but this was her limit.

Behind his porcelain white mask, he smiled. Though he would never say, he was glad to have her by his side. Lyn also wore a white and porcelain mask with slits for eye holes and a green swirl pattern etched on its front. Drake’s mask was no different, save for the skull-like teeth painted around its mouth. They both wore dark cloaks that concealed whatever they hid beneath, in Lyn’s case, a black latex suit that fit her voluptuous body well.

Drake came to an abrupt stop. The diameter of the tunnel widened, and the darkness became blinding. “They’re here…”

He heard what sounded like the growls of several wolves, almost as if they only stood inches away. Then he saw their eyes glowing in the dark. Viscous and feral yellow eyes filled with bloodlust and rage. Drake could sense their savage intent crawl through his bones. But sensing it and feeling terror were two different things. Heavy footsteps displaced the water as his enemies revealed themselves. Wolves over nine feet tall that stood on their hinds with humanoid like bodies.

The pack didn’t waste any time as they swarmed the tunnels, hoping to catch them by surprise. Lyn raised her bow, Styx, and fired an arrow of pure white energy, slicing off the tip of Dacre’s ear. He yelped from the pain and bounded back as Darius and Ivan took his place. Darius swung at Drake with savage claws only to be knocked away with a swift kick. Drake took out the golden scarab from his pocket and crushed it into fine black sand.

The brothers stood in awe at its appearance. The legendary scythe, Acheron, known to kill a hundred in one stroke. Its silver pole resembled a human spine with a gold skull that connected it with the blade. The blade, stolen from death itself shined with brilliance and could slice a soul in half. Styx’s silver limb glowed as Lyn readied another arrow that brought an excoriating light to the tunnel. The pack shied away from the blinding light.

Drake used the opportunity to charge, and with one swing, cut Darius in half. Blood glazed his blade as Dacre and Ivan evaded his next few swings. The two of them howled over the death of their brother, but soon realized they were outmatched. By a landslide…

Before Dacre could retreat, Drake hurled a large silver shuriken that sliced off his arm. He fell to the ground and just before Drake could finish him, Ivan stepped in his path, taking the full force of his blade. The scythe plunged through his abdomen as Drake lifted him in the air and slammed him down.

“RUN!” Ivan yelled, having shifted back to human form from blood loss.

Dacre now in human form too, paused a moment before deciding to flee for his life. Ivan caught Drake by the ankles before he could pursue his brother, but Lyn was already moving. She fired off another arrow that missed Dacre and bounced off the walls before exploding on the ceiling, blocking her path with enormous slabs of stone.

“Dammit…”

Ivan regurgitated blood as he leaned against the wall, Drake’s scythe still plunged his gut. With a sharp pull, Drake removed the blade as more fresh blood oozed from Ivan’s wound. He knelt before him and removed his mask, his eyes a magnificent blue glowing in the dark.

“I- I read about your kind in a book,” Ivan said, his voice quavering. “So the stories are true- about your eyes and all. I’ve - I’ve seen nothing like it in my life before-”

“Lyn, you know what to do…”

She nodded and with the limb of her bow, decapitated Darius’ corpse, taking only the head. Drake prepared to do the same.

“My brother will avenge us!”

“This is the end for you…” Drake said, hushed.

And with that, he took the werewolf’s head.

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