Vampire Kitty - Battle for Arpek Keep
Word Count: About 3,600
Warning/Disclaimer: Contains Violence.
The gloomy mist crawled about the rocks, leaving the grass behind it shriveled and grey. Thorns rose from the messy dirt and choked to death the plants, as the mist grew denser in a spot on the summit of the hill. The trees’ bark withered off, the wood rotting underneath, to the point they fell, dying and cold on the ground. Sharp thunder roared in the blackening sky, following a heavy rain that drenched the land. A crude horn was soon blown, not too far away, from the guard post of the cathedral at the underside of the hill. The rapid clapping of the rain on the barren stone became fiercer, and the wind picked up around the summit. They clanked along the wet, muddy trail, weapons in hand, ready to kill this enemy that had come without a warning.
“Hey, Cunning, sir, what will it be?”
“Never mind it, Neat, or I’ll drop you myself. Let God’s grace enlighten you.”
The soldiers were but a quarter day’s travel to the summit. It was quiet now, and a figure had taken form from the condensing black mist. The rigid plateau of rock had nearly cracked and crumbled away during the storm of her arrival; Ferula stood, as peaceful as the desolate earth around her. Her elegant, arching form could not be twitched by the wind, and not even her long, black, silky hair gave shudder to it. Her eyes closed, she slept. She dreamed, but in this dream she was awake, calling to her light of darkness and death. Like a slave obeying its master, the dark sky twisted and contorted, the clouds violently breaking apart. Presenting itself to her in the gloomy night was the full moon, intense as white-hot flame. Ferula’s eyes opened to its blinding light, and she stood paralyzed and blind.
At once, her hair grew, her many fangs ripped into her mouth in a mess of hot blood that ran down her chin and neck, and her fingers shriveled and extended into razor-sharp claws. Her eyes glowed a bright red in the black as she raised a fiendish grin at her spherical servant, blood continuing to drip off her chin and claws. She floated into the air above the trail in ravenous anticipation for her guests.
They came, rain spatting against their armor as they hurried towards the summit. The soldiers were immediately stupefied and began to complain.
“Captain, sir.. Where is it?”
Captain Cunning stared around the vista at the edge of the plateau, stunned. The bleak landscapes seemed to stretch endlessly from one direction to the other, as could be seen from such a height. After another moment, he pulled himself back from the ledge and nervously stared across the terrain, making out a dark figure in the hazy air. Standing tall next to the entrance of the forest was indeed a figure, only just visible. The captain froze still, poisoning his soldiers with his anxiety. None of them wanted to move now. A soft, demonic laughter echoed close to them as the figure protruded out from the shadows. The group responded, unsheathing all weaponry on hand.
Ferula casually stalked across the field, her red eyes blaring above her fiendish grin. She walked directly in front of the soldiers and stopped, waiting patiently. One after another, they lunged at her with swords and daggers. She was sliced through her abdomen and out her back, through her stomach, her chest, and her legs and feet. Finally, Captain Cunning cut her arms clean off with a swift maneuver and whirled into a deafening blow to her heart with his sword. Blood covered the soldiers and the ground beneath them. Ferula’s eyes widened, and she cried out in agony before drooping her head down like a ragdoll, eyes closed.
“Is she dead?” asked Neat nervously.
Captain Cunning calmly stood over her. Her diced body was pinned in the soft, wet dirt, and it bled profusely. Behind the soldiers, Ferula’s severed arms were floating in midair, animating themselves. Ferula slowly lifted her head, causing a mass startle. She smiled devilishly.
“This can’t be!” Captain Cunning shouted. “This sword is pure silver! I drove it straight through her heart!”
Ferula’s severed arms suddenly seized one of the soldiers, claws latched tight on his shoulders while he was carried upwards into the air.
“Aaaaah! Something’s got me! Help!” he cried as he was lifted steadily higher. The razor-sharp claws clutching him stabbed through his armor and began to carve the flesh inside, triggering an assortment of shrieks and screams from deep within his lungs as the crowd of soldiers below watched in horror.
“She took Clever! Stop her!” soldiers yelled.
“Aaaahh! Captain! Captain, help me! He–aaaaaaaaahhh!” Clever pleaded, feeling the bones in his shoulders bust and fragment under the pressure of the squeezing claws. The loud popping of his bones heightened the waves of panic that intoxicated the soldiers, but Captain Cunning rapidly turned around to face Ferula.
She was licking her lips in excitement as she watched the soldier die.
“You!” shouted the captain. “You’re no vampire! Die, demon!” He raised his sword high above her head and brought it down with tremendous force, splitting Ferula’s body in half and breaking to pieces the swords that had held her in place in the mud. The two halves of Ferula lay down in a pool of blood and quickly turned to mist, vanishing into the air.
“She’s dead now, captain?” asked Neat.
“I think so…” Captain Cunning replied.
The men looked up at a motionless Clever still suspended above them. The rain grew heavier, and a black mist appeared in the air, condensing and creating a solid form behind the unmoving arms clenching Clever’s body. The soldiers were speechless; Ferula was whole again–completely untouched–and she was holding up their dead comrade with a wide, fiendish grin on her face. She eyed them and smiled sadistically as she pulled apart on the body in her claws. The organs spilled out onto the group, and they lost their will, fleeing in terror in any direction.
Ferula closed her eyes and concentrated, feeling only the presence of her targets. Her hair spread out like a huge, black cloud and shot at them as they ran, sweeping them off their feet. Their eye sockets were penetrated first by the pointed strands. Their brains were shredded to bits of juicy pieces. Ferula giggled and raced to where she still felt an emanation of energy. It was Captain Cunning; it seemed he had managed to keep her hair at bay. He leapt this way and that, dodging strikes and landing his own, cutting down any hair that could nearly reach him. But Ferula quickened the growth and speed of her hair by focusing on him, and it became too much, overwhelming him and grabbing him by his throat. Captain Cunning gasped for breath as the hair around his neck grew thicker. Ferula gave him a devilish smile, and she licked her lips hungrily. She stalked closer until she was inches away from him. He was held up in a vertical position, her hair tight around his throat, wrists, and ankles. Ferula tersely shoved her right claw into his chest, causing him to yell out with what little breath he had, but she hastily sent an arrangement of hair into his mouth and down his throat. Her glistening, black arm was now covered in the blood pouring out of him, and she ran it deeper, grasping his sternum in her claw.
Ferula withdrew her claw, ripping Captain Cunning’s sternum out of his bleeding chest. She curiously looked at the bone and started to lick the blood off it, when abruptly she felt a pulling sensation behind her. She turned around and saw a demon portal had opened at the edge of the field. It was strong–much too strong for her to escape from, but she nonetheless stabbed her claws into the earth, trying desperately to stop from being pulled towards the portal. It dragged her across the field, and she hissed in infuriation, instinctively protracting her claws as much as she could into the ground. After another moment, she was sucked inside the portal, and she continued to thrash around on the other side in a frenzy of frustration.
“Hold her…” commanded Athron.
“Yes, My Lord,” responded the Zix Twins in unison, raising their staffs at Ferula and conjuring a muddied, dark red bubble around her, protecting the throne room from her flailing claws. The throne room was a large, black hall with the finest crystalline gems in the kingdom lodged into the sleek stone lining the sides of the room. The vibrant gems radiated a warm, dim light throughout the hall. Athron rested on his throne in the back, and on his right side stood the Zix Twins, and to his left there was Sigil, peacefully asleep on the wall, as if gravity itself was keeping him there. The Zix Twins were draped in black and white robes, with the left one wearing full black, and wielding a long, bulky staff that held a blood-red, gemstone crest. The one on the right, who was only wearing white, held a simpler staff, albeit much more distinguished in its style and elegance, which shined a dim blue light out of its gemstone crest.
Ferula sat inside the red bubble in front of the 3 steps that went up to the lining of the space reserved for King Athron, Sigil, and the Zix Twins, and she hissed at them angrily.
The Zix Twins sensed their master’s wishes and asked gallantly, “Release her, My Lord?”
“Go on,” he responded impatiently. Athron, the current Vampire King, had grown weary of his daughter’s mindless escapades over the thousands of years in which he had to witness them, whilst trying to remind himself that she was not quite as mindless as she appeared. After all, she had her own language that he would never be able to understand. She had highly refined, sophisticated senses that he could never hope to imagine comprehending. His thoughts suddenly interrupted, Athron asked his daughter, “Ferula, what is that you are holding?”
Ferula looked down to see a white object in her right claw and remembered what it was. She was instantly obsessed, staring at the blood-covered sternum with big, curious, yellow eyes, and she began to lick blood off it and purr.
The Zix Twin in white giggled, struggling to control herself before she burst into a fit of laughter, “AHAAHAHAHAA!”
“Silence!” demanded Athron.
The Zix Twin hastily composed herself, apologizing and raising a slender hand up to cover her mouth.
Ferula’s curiosity was shattered, and she growled at the Zix Twin, feeling her pale, white face redden.
“Daughter, please…” Athron began. “I have brought you here for an urgent matter. One of our most vital strongholds in the North, as we have learned from our best spy, Sigil, is going to be attacked by God’s army within the hour. I want you to go there and ensure we do not lose it.”
Ferula hissed, tilting her head, as if to ask an important question.
“Oh, right. Well, I’ve heard they have a rather crowded dungeon over there,” Athron said, scratching his head. “I’ll send word to them that you may consume some of their prisoners.”
Ferula’s eyes lit up, and the sternum bone fell out of her claw. Then, she remembered that the fortress would be attacked and jumped into the air, startling everyone in the throne room, and before landing on a glass case which housed a prized set of vampire armor, her body gracefully faded into black mist, and bolted out of the throne room.
“Nice way to wake…” announced an awakened Sigil.
Athron sighed. “Ferula’s theatrics aside…I need you to go too, Sigil.”
“Just keep her from harm if anything odd should transpire. Perhaps intervention will not be required,” Athron prodded.
“Okay,” Sigil said, vanishing without a trace.
Black mist swirled down from the clouds and collected on the ground in front of Arpek Keep. Ferula formed, and stepped away from the heavy, wooden gate. She concentrated her vision across the landscape until she saw a battalion of armed men and women soldiers marching in her direction. She closed her eyes, pondering at the state of the fortress. In her mind, she saw the vampires inside gathering weapons and outfitting themselves in armor, and she could feel that they were afraid. Ferula paused and opened her eyes, leaving the vision. She awkwardly stood in front of the castle, staring at its big, wooden doors, before swiveling in the dirt and leaping into the air towards the army, transforming back into black mist.
Upon reaching the enemy line, Ferula solidified directly in front of the first soldier she sensed and pounced on top of the soldier, ripping her helmet and then her face off with protracted claws. Gradually, the army’s attention shifted to Ferula, and they let out a battle cry before charging at their first target. As Ferula was slicing off more pieces of the downed soldier, she felt herself get stabbed all over. Ferula let out a screech, forcing every soldier around her to stop and cover their ears. Her eyes glowed red, and the sky was beginning to darken. Thorns shot out of the earthy dirt and penetrated into the heels of many soldiers near her. Her claws enlarged, and her back exploded in a violent shower of blood, where wings sprouted forth, carrying her across the battlefield as she cut down each soldier, one by one. Ferula roared rapaciously, and every soldier in the battalion cried out in pain, cupping their ears and sinking to their knees, their heads ringing. Lightning surged out of the blackened sky and struck dead many soldiers, while Ferula was busy darting around the soldiers, severing the head of each one.
Hearing Ferula’s roar, the vampires in Arpek Keep sensed what was happening and rushed out to meet the army.
All of a sudden, everything turned to white, and Ferula was on the ground, attempting to cover her eyes. When the blinding light ceased, she pounced up to see a large, heavily armored figure in front of her.
“Do you remember me?” asked the figure. “You killed me and my entire squadron on that hill,” it said. “Now, I will be the one who kills you, demon. I was chosen by God in heaven to slay you. He came to me as I died, after you left me there with that hole in my body, defiled. Although, I should thank you. I will live in the heavens, and be able to serve my Lord directly, and you will die now by my hand. Ready yourself demon, for on this day you will face God’s judgment!” it said as it charged at Ferula, barreling into her and knocking her back.
Ferula dug her claws into the dirt, crouching and growling. She protracted every fang and claw until they were as long as they could be, and her hair let loose. Ferula’s vision was coming back, and she saw that the figure was Captain Cunning, although he was somehow much bigger in size.
“I have a new title now,” he called out. “I thought you might like to know who destroyed you. I am Heavenly Strength!”
Ferula stamped off the ground and dashed at him with a flap of her wings, and when he attempted to hit her as she came close, her hair caught his ankles, pulling her underneath him, and once behind him she struck his back with her claw, but not a scratch was made. Strength swirled around into a hook that sent her flying sideways, laughing, “Did you think this armor was penetrable? Ha!”
Strength’s eyes and mouth glowed a whitish blue and leaked some unfamiliar substance into the air. Ferula leapt at him again, dodging his clunky movements and attempting to claw at his exposed head, but with each connecting strike the armor seemed to push back even more, until it started to feel like an electric current was bolting throughout her body by merely touching the armor. Strength raised his balled up fists above his head and slammed down, creating a shockwave that paralyzed Ferula and killed many of his own troops. Ferula’s hair shrank back to her body, the thorns in the ground discontinued their animations, and her eyes became their regular yellow.
“My power too much for you, demon?” Strength boasted. He picked up Ferula in his right hand, enveloping her, and squeezed her. “You can’t even retreat into that dust! Ha!” He started punching her with his left hand and continued until she was completely still, before smashing her into the earth, exploding the ground. Her head was visibly sticking out of the crater, and he raised one foot to stomp down on it. Strength crushed his foot into the crater like a colossus, sending another shockwave that killed every soldier and vampire on the battlefield. He lifted his foot to see only a crater full of dirt. “Must have slammed you all the way down to hell. Ha!”
“What? Who’s there?” Strength turned around to see Sigil standing in the debris and looking quite bored, and he noticed that Ferula was asleep on the ground some 20 feet behind him, apparently unharmed.
“They call me…Sigil.”
“You look like another demon. I’ll destroy you, too. God’s judgment has been prepared for you, demon. You will feel His wrath!”
Sigil’s eyes glowed red, and he transformed into his fighting form, his impish black body protracting long spikes. His white face became mostly covered by a sort of bone shell, when Strength charged him and connected his fist against Sigil’s, knocking Sigil back several feet. When Strength charged again, Sigil sidestepped and skidded a full circle around him and stabbed one spiked claw into an extremely narrow opening of his armor in the middle of the back of his leg. Strength grunted and swung his weight, landing his fist on Sigil’s face and breaking apart the shell. He grabbed Sigil in his right hand, but Sigil’s body spikes protracted farther and ripped his giant hand to pieces of bloody flesh that fell all over the ground. “Aaah!” Strength yelped, withdrawing from Sigil and holding his wounded right hand in his left. While Strength was distracted by his blood-spurting hand, Sigil came behind him and jumped on his back, slicing at his neck. “Aaaaar! Get off!” yelled Strength, as he reached around behind himself to grab Sigil, but Sigil was too agile, dodging any movement that came his way, and continued to slice away at the flesh until he could see bone.
Strength desperately raised his fists and slammed them down, shock waving the ground as forcefully as he could and sending Sigil up into the sky with the blast. “Now, you’re mine!” Strength jumped and hurled himself towards Sigil, attempting to body slam him via his chest plate. Sigil swayed swiftly to the side, as if gravity simply did not affect him, and grinned at a bewildered looking Strength, twirling himself 360 degrees and kicking Strength in the chest with a bang. Strength was struck like a baseball back to the earth, landing with a crash.
Strength was dizzy after the impact, and before he could pick himself up, Sigil came down and smashed on top of him, creating a huge dent in his armor.
“Not penetrable, no…But…” Sigil trailed off from his words as the left fist of the giant shot at him, forcing him to dodge. Sigil proceeded to dodge the next dozen attempted strikes, while holding Strength down by punching his chest plate with balled up claws. Sigil kept Strength hammered on the ground, crushing the chest plate inward and hitting harder and more rapidly as it became easier to dodge the same strikes over and over again. Sigil had given up on the idea of going for Strength’s exposed face, as he knew that would put him too close to the brute’s arms.
Strength felt his chest plate pressing into him, and it was beginning to cause pain. In a daze, he thrashed his arms around violently but to no avail.
Sigil was in a furious trance, pounding harder and harder on Strength like a drum. His fists caved in the armor, squishing Strength’s upper body.
Strength felt his ribs crack and break, and with each blow, blood spurted out of his mouth.
By now, he had lost the ability to move to defend himself, which gave Sigil more focus. Sigil blasted the armor with incredulous power, squelching and bursting organs as the breastplate was slowly flattened, punch by punch–shock by shock.
The blood spurted higher from Strength’s mouth with each consecutive hit, and higher still, until there was none left to force out. After a short while, Sigil paused and then stopped, catching sight of his handiwork. The chest plate had been beaten to the point of being as wholesomely thin as paper, and the body that had belonged to Strength was severely deformed and disfigured.
Sigil rose from the bloodied corpse, looking down at it sullenly. He went back to where Ferula was still fast asleep against the earthy dirt and commenced whispering a chant under his breath. Upon his completion, a demon portal appeared next to them in a whirlwind of flying dirt, dust, and debris, contorting and twisting the air, and pulling them both away.