Chapter 2: The City Down Under
~~ October 8th, 2018~~
“Wait wait please lets-”
“No.” Stan insisted, swinging his sword and sheathing it back into his scabbard on his back. He turned around and began walking towards the window, a cut appearing on his victim’s neck. Blood found it’s way through the cut, spraying into the air like a fountain. Stan stepped out the window, climbing onto the roof and seeing his two teammates.
“Took you long enough.” a male voice said. Their body was rather big, overshadowing Stan as he came closer to them. He removed his hood, revealing his short black hair that complimented his brown eyes. He had the same skin complexion as Stan and they were all wearing the same outfit for the most part. Each person had their own variant but it consisted of an all black fabric that was enhanced with properties to be bulletproof and free to move around in, known as strebic. This person had a one handed axe on their waist, the handle being covered in a brown leather and the actual head of the axe being made out of a silver metal.
“It was still faster than you Leo. At least he knew where his target was at.” The other voice teased, this one being feminine. She was the same height as Stan, her body being fit for her size. She removed her hood, strands of her dirty blonde hair breaking free from her ponytail. Her dull green eyes supplemented her dimples popping off of her peach skin. She had a dagger strapped onto her left hip and a lance on her back.
“Thanks Olivia, anyways we should probably head back to base, I’m sure The Ancient wants to know how the mission went.” Stan declared, pulling his hood down and running his fingers through his hair. It had been a year and a few months since he had joined The Soulless Ones. Him, Leo and Olivia had been teammates for awhile now. They had both learned most of their training at the same time, however, Stan was the only one out of the group with Arthurian blood flowing through his veins. Olivia and Leo nodded their heads, the three of them pulling out a small grey sphere, each of them throwing it at the ground. They were engulfed in smoke, the smoke clearing shortly after, leaving no one there.
Smoke appeared in The Ancients throne room, Stan, Olivia and Leo emerging from the smoke. They told him about their missions, The Ancient listening and dismissing the three of them. Leo walked off to go to his room, leaving Stan and Olivia in the hallway.
“So, are you still seeing The Phantom?” Olivia asked, Stan taking a deep breath. The Phantom was what Stan called the man he saw a year ago.
“Not as much but I can feel him watching me from far away. My ears start ringing whenever I feel him close or even sometimes hear his voice. The Ancient doesn’t know what it is either but he speculates that it might be Merlin? I don’t really believe that. I...I can’t explain it but I feel like I’ve already met Merlin at one point? I don’t know, it might just be a side affect.”
“Well if it gets worse let me know, okay? I’m going to go take a bath, I’ve got a bunch of dried up blood on my uniform. I’ll see you later.” Olivia expressed, walking over and kissing Stan’s cheek. Out of all the things that happened in the past year, Stan was happy that he had Olivia by his side. She reminded him that he was still human in a way. He watched her walk off and decided to go to the training area.
“Alright, this time...” Stan affirmed, staring at the training dummy across the room. He put his right leg back, his foot pointing at the dummy. His left leg stayed in front of him, his left foot also pointing at the dummy. He unsheathed his sword with his right hand, aiming his arm so the blade was pointing forward. His left arm copied this movement, his fingertips pointing at the dummy, “Concentrate...” He told himself, his breathing and heartbeat slowing down. He closed his eyes, his body getting covered in a light blue aura. This was mana circling around him. He opened his eyes, feeling himself losing grip over the mana. He stayed calm, the color getting darker and the aura getting bigger. The blade on his sword started to get covered in mana, Stan feeling the weight of his sword getting heavier, “...Break.” Stan commanded, flipping the sword so he was holding it backhanded now. His body glowed an even brighter blue for a split second before he disappeared from sight. His feet left a crater where he was previously standing. Stan appeared just a few feet away from from the dummy.
“You’re getting there.” A voice said, Stan turning around and seeing his friend Dredgor. Dredgor was part of another unit that went out on missions. His out of control brown hair was the most noticeable thing about him. His skin was white and he had brown eyes. Unlike Stan however, Dredgor’s group was the metahuman unit. Metahumans were humans that had there genetics altered by mana or they were born from two parents that had their mana pores opened. At least it was something like that, Stan didn’t really pay too much attention when they were explaining it.
“Thanks...I just don’t get why it’s so hard for me, is there something I’m not getting? I thought it was supposed to be easier for me to learn magic. I can’t even complete this technique, I stop being able to control the mana within me right before I reach the target.”
“Yeah I see, well look at it this way...” Dredgor insisted, walking over to Stan, making an upward motion with his two fingers. Stan’s sword went flying out of his hand, getting covered in a thin green layer of mana. The sword circled around Dredgor, “Magic is fragile but dangerous in nature. Forcing it too much, will give out a good result but, it will leave negative repercussions on your body. Not forcing it enough will give you no results. Your job is to find your wavelength, a medium where you can control it with ease and give out a good output. Also, the purer the mana, meaning the darker the color, it will be even stronger than normal.” Dredgor finished, the sword flying back into Stan’s hand.
“Thanks for the advice, how are you doing? Things alright with Valerie and Axel?”
“You know how they are, Axel is stuck up like usual and Valerie is...Well, Valerie.”
“Yeah sounds like it, I wonder why-”
Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!
That was the bell getting struck five times, the bell indicated different levels of emergencies. One is the lowest and ten is the highest. Apparently, the bell has only been rung ten times once. When its rung ten times, everyone in the base is required to go to the throne room, otherwise the last team that was on a mission is supposed to go to the throne room. Since Stan’s team was the last, that means he was supposed to report. He waved goodbye to Dredgor, walking to the throne room.
He entered the room, Olivia and Leo soon following behind.
“What’s the issue?” Leo asked, crossing his arms and leaning against the wall. The Ancient coughed, clearing his throat before speaking.
“I need you three to get rid of this person. His name is Dennis Cole and Mrs.Pendragon requires his assassination tonight. He’s kidnapped multiple children from London and all around England.” He explained, walking over to the three of them and handing each of them a picture of the person. They were male and what was really concerning was how pale they were,
“What’s this guy’s deal? Why is he so pale...” Olivia muttered, The Ancient putting his hands behind his back.
“That’s because he is a vampire.”
“A vampire?!” They all exclaimed, Stan shaking his head.
“Wait, vampires exist? I’m honestly not that surprised, but I am, but I’m not. That’s crazy, wait do we need stakes, garlic and all that to kill them?” Stan asked, The Ancient shaking his head, chuckling a bit.
“Those are all myths, sure sunlight does affect regular vampires and makes them weaker in combat but this rule does not apply to higher up vampires. You can kill them with any metal as long as you have mana running through the blade. Lucky for us, you don’t even need to use mana because of the metal our weapons are made out of, Triterodium. Triterodium is the strongest metal on earth, cutting through anything material on this planet.” The Ancient said, Stan nodding his head before The Ancient continued speaking.
“Vampires live under the city of London called Kingdom Vrykolakas, there is a small cave hidden outside London hidden by magic. I’m not sure where all of your magic skills are so I had these contacts made so you can detect any magic anomalies.” The Ancient finished, handing them each a pair of the contacts. The three of them were dismissed and were taken to the plane hangar.
They made it to London, the three of them looking around and finding the cave that was mentioned. Stan rubbed his eye, his contacts slightly bothering him but they were vital so he had to get used to it. In the cave, it got really dark before Olivia held out her hand, taking a deep breath and a white ball of light appeared in her palm, lighting up the area.
“Nice Olivia, at least someone here can actually do magic.” Leo snickered, Stan rolling his eyes and sighing.
“Do you have to bring that up all the time? God, you’re annoying.” Stan countered, The three of them seeing light come from of the cave. They walked through, none of them prepared for the view. There was literally an entire city underneath the cliff they were standing on. All of them were starstruck and it could only be described in one word.
It looked like if the late 1800′s combined with the 21st century’s technology. In the middle of the city there was a big castle as well. Stan, Olivia and Leo still staring in awe before they remembered their mission. Just when they were getting ready to leave, a red mist started to appear around them. Stan’s contacts starting going off saying that they were surrounded in highly condensed mana. Before he could even speak, his vision started to fade, the three of them falling over and blacking out.
Stan opened his eyes, looking around, realizing that he was tied up but it wasn’t by rope or anything like that, no this was pure mana. He tried breaking out but it was no use. Olivia and Leo weren’t next to him but he could see them in the same condition. As he looked around more, he noticed that he was in some sort of throne room and looked at the people in front of them. There were a bunch of a guards around them, well, what Stan assumed to be guards. In the middle of them was a man wearing a grey armor chest plate accompanied by a red cape. There was a double edged longsword on their hip as well. They looked down at Stan with their amber eyes, their black hair falling down behind their back. Their beard hanged off of their chin, the person smirking,
“So, what are you? Human? If so, you’re one of the only few humans I’ve encountered with that much mana reserves.” They questioned, their voice having a distinct accent behind that. His tone was strict, like someone of high power. Another thing that Stan was...frightened about was the pressure he was feeling. He couldn’t feel mana as well as the others but he could even tell that this person was not to be messed with.
“Yeah I’m human, who are you?”
The vampire laughed, raising his left hand, Stan’s restraints coming off. Olivia and Leo started to wake up, seeing the situation going on. Stan was very confused now, why did he just untie him? What was he planning? Either way, he knew he had to be ready. He quickly unsheathed his sword, getting in his stance, the vampire laughing more.
“What stance is that?”
“It’s my own, you’ll be acquainted with it soon enough.”
“You think that highly of yourself, huh? Lets lower that attitude then.” The vampire unsheathing his sword in one fast motion. Just him doing that sent out a gust of wind after his sword was fully drawn. Stan was pushed back a bit, “Oh, you wanted to know who I was right? How rude of me....Your opponent is none other than the infamous Dracula.”
Stan gasped, Dracula’s sword colliding with his, sparks flying everywhere. Did he really say his name was Dracula? As in The Dracula? No matter. Stan had to stay focus or he was going to get killed. He concentrated on the fight at hand. Dracula pushed him back, Stan keeping his balance as he skid across the floor. Dracula appeared behind him, Stan’s contacts saying their was an abnormal amount of mana close to him. He quickly turned around, putting his sword in front of him, Dracula punching the blade. The impact sent Stan in the other direction this time. Dracula smirked, a blood red aura of mana appearing around him. In his free hand, a ember danced over his palm before engulfing into a flame. Dracula threw the flame at Stan. He brought his sword down, slashing through it, Dracula appearing beside Stan, whispering into his ear.
Dracula elbowed him, sending him flying across the ground, Dracula following up with another attack, leaving a red trail of lightning behind him. Stan fell to the ground, Dracula quickly picking him up and putting his sword under his neck. Stan coughed up blood, quickly turning his hips and flipping himself upside down, his legs hitting Dracula’s face, releasing his grip. He tried standing up, his legs feeling like jelly as he regained his stance. His body was screaming at him, he could barely catch his breaths and his heartbeat was beating much faster than normal. He looked at Olivia and Leo who had the guards surrounding them now. He took a deep breath, his body getting encased in his mana, the blue aura surrounding him. He thought about what Dredgor said.
Don’t force it, let it flow Stan told himself, Dracula raising an eyebrow, his aura getting darker around him and his sword before he vanished from sight again,
Stan blinked a few times, looking down slowly and seeing Dracula’s sword inside of him, his own aura disappearing. Olivia screamed in the background, still trying to break free from the restraints but the mana was still way too strong. Blood rushed up from his stomach to his throat, escaping from his mouth and landing on the sword. Stan dropped his sword, his body going limp. Dracula snickering.
“All of that mana and you can’t even use it, you’re a waste of life”
“I said...” Stan muttered, he didn’t know what he was doing but it felt right. He placed his hands on Dracula’s blade inside of him, “...No.” The red aura around the sword started to turn blue, the blue reaching Dracula’s body and changing the red around him to blue now. Stan gritted his teeth, gripping the blade harder, his palms bleeding from the sharp edge. Dracula withdraw the sword from Stan, jumping back, Stan falling to the ground but he quickly caught himself. His aura around him started to die down, the mana circling around his wound and healing it. His aura had completely disappeared now. He picked up his sword, getting in his stance he used when he was training. He could tell he lost a lot of blood, the room was spinning and his vision was getting blurrier but that didn’t stop him. He took a deep breath before one single word escaped from his lips.
Stan’s body engulfed in a royal blue aura, this aura being much bigger than normal. The mana around him was insanely pure. He had absorbed the mana Dracula was expelling and added it to his own. He disappeared from sight, catching Dracula off guard, appearing underneath him, swinging his sword, Dracula laughing.
“You’re fast! I’ll give you that but-”
Stan was gone. He appeared behind Dracula this time, Dracula blinking and turning around to counter with his sword but Stan disappeared again. This time, he was above him, coming down with his sword, flipping it so it was backhanded and was getting ready to strike Dracula, the sword inches away from his head-
“Where did you find this strength?”
Stan’s eyes widened as that was The Phantom’s voice. The Phantom took the place of where Dracula was at, holding Stan’s blade, leaving him suspended in air with his right hand. He didn’t know how to react. He didn’t know what to say. His hands trembled as he was thrown to the ground. Stan tried his best to get up but he couldn’t, his body was at his limit. He looked up, seeing The Phantom staring down at him, smirking. Stan blinked again, Dracula being in front of him again, his sword at his head.
Just then, the shadows of the guards betrayed them, swallowing them whole, Dracula looking around wondering what was going on. Dredgor jumped out of a shadow, freeing Olivia and Leo with his mana. Dracula’s shadow held him in place, Stan hearing footsteps approach him. He knew exactly who it was, chuckling a bit before hearing their voice.
“Merlin, what in the hell happened?” They asked, Stan looking up at the other Arthurian descendant.
Author’s Note: Wow! A lot happened this chapter, I hope this wasn’t too much information because I feel like this chapter was really long. I’m proud of this chapter and I hope you all enjoy it as well, again, feedback is appreciated! See ya next week :)