Regret is a powerful thing.
Crippling, painful and suffocating. Difficult to deal with, and capable of smothering the strongest of souls, given the chance. And yet, it can be a motivation, a driving force in the right circumstances.
When paired with the a supernatural existence, thousands of years of knowledge and a will impossible to overcome?
It can do impossible things.
Vlad Dracula Tepes watches his son crumble over the remnants of his body as it burned (like Lisa had been-) into ashes. No longer tied to his living form, able to sense Lisa waiting for him, on the other side of this , Vlad is finally freed from his grief. Finally able to see what he had become, what his son had tried to stop-
(I grieve with you, but I will not let you commit genocide -)
-and Vlad had tried to kill him . To kill his boy. His and Lisa’s. The greatest gift she had ever given him and he had-
And then the Belmont heir, and the Speaker Sypha are there, comforting where Vlad cannot, and he is thankful , even as his grief and regret surge at the sight of it. They should not need to comfort his boy- Lisa’s son.
Vlad should be there.
Lisa should be there.
None of this should have happened .
Vlad regrets like he has never regretted anything in his long life.
Even as he follows these three who had defeated his mad self, even as he watches the Belmont bow to his son and leave his family home and history in his boy’s hands, even as they help his son clean up, and then are called away to the road in order to help the people once again.
Alucard- Adrian who took that name to be the opposite of Dracula- is left alone.
And Vlad watches as his son, his star, his joy finally shatters, finally breaks the way he had not allowed himself while the Speaker and Belmont walked the castle’s halls.
Vlad keens with his son as Adrian curls into himself, sitting in Vlad’s chair, tears cascading down his cheeks as anguish twists his face. He reaches for him, but Vlad is dead and he cannot touch or comfort the living, and by God , does Vlad regret-
If he had been anywhere else, perhaps what would come to pass would never have happened.
As it was, Vlad stood in the seat of his power, in the halls that had been saturated with his magic, with magic meant to hop through space and time. In a place that he had called home, that he had poured love and joy and intent into its walls. A place that he had lingered-
And so, through a twist of fate, perhaps pure chance, maybe desperation, or a combination of all three, Vlad finds his spirit, gathers it all up, reaches and pulls .
He is helpless to stop it, and he watches the scene in front of him shatter like the shards of his mirror and the darkness overwhelms him.
It takes some time before he is aware again.
Vlad regains himself while among the humans, in the church where Lisa burned, ironically enough. He finds himself ghosting through the streets until he reaches the land where he built a simple wooden house for his wife. It stand empty and he stops and stares.
He’s arrived to a time before Lisa came, yet perhaps not long before.
Vlad would have to wait until after night fell to pinpoint his location in time more closely.
He drifts aimlessly through the town, unable to interact with the hundreds of humans. What he can do, however, is wander the halls of the church and use fire to scorch the walls and and his nails to gordge tears in their precious tapestries. He amuses himself with the screaming and the rising hysteria, even as he firmly ignores the empty place his wife burned to death, once upon a time.
He doesn’t know how long he stays in that church, leaving fire and tears in his wake, but eventually, he finds himself alone, all the windows and door boarded up, save for the grand entrance.
Vlad’s attention returns from his memories, just in time for a gangly boy of perhaps fifteen to be thrown bodily through the door, curses and insults falling from his mouth in a vicious stream.
He catalogs worn and frayed clothes, barely thick enough to keep the chill out, surprisingly sturdy boots and… a familiar weapon tossed in his face, followed up a lump of fur and torn cloth.
To his shock, the person thrown into the church with him, followed by a shout of, ‘ if you kill it, we’ll let you go!’ is the very human who fought by his son’s side, Trevor of the House of Belmont.
Oh, he’s much younger, skinnier and not quite as skilled with that whip of his, but it is undoubtedly him.
Dracula wonders at his surprising fortune, even as he drifts out of the shadows to study the features of the boy, softened by the lingering traces of childhood and just barely verging on adulthood.
Trevor Belmont is alarmingly skinny, with a hoarse voice, bruises, scrapes, cuts and wounds on almost every visible inch of skin he sees.
Dracula inwardly frowns. He isn’t entirely unaware of the Belmont’s fall from grace, but he doesn’t know when exactly such an event happened. However, it is clear that the boy is still struggling with the aftermath of his family’s downfall.
He takes a step forward, brushing the edges of the light of the setting sun that shines through the stained glass windows.
Instantly, the boy whirls around, his hand wrapped around the hilt of his whip and his body shifting into some kind of defensive stance.
His gaze jerks up and locks with Dracula’s own and the vampire allows surprise to tint his face. He had heard that the Belmonts were tainted with the blood of their kind, but of those who can see the shades of a departed person, there are very few.
He opens his mouth, allowing interest to coat his tone.
“Human, you can see me?”
A somewhat redundant question, but it allows him to open a line of dialogue. Still, the boy reacts somewhat differently then he would expect. Instead of launching an attack, or speaking to him in a biting tone, the boy slowly relaxes his stance and shifts away from the door.
“I can see you,” the boy says, gaze lingering over the vague, undefined planes of Vlad’s face. “Do- do you need help?”
The vampire stops at that, almost incredulously.
Help? Yes, of course he needs help, but this is a Belmont! Since when do the hunters offer help to an obviously supernatural being?
Still, what is needed is being offered without any prompting on his part, so he allows his features to clarify, ever so slightly. Not the fangs, nor the pointed ears, but his eyes, his cheeks and his mouth. His figure is still shrouded in ash and smoke, so the human cannot see how tall he is really.
For a moment though, Vlad doesn’t know what to say. He turns, almost involuntarily towards the space where they- where Lisa-
“They burned my wife here,” Dracula says and there is rage in his voice, not so terrible that he burns with it, but hollowly.
He’s so very tired. But he can save himself, he just needs to hold on a little longer. There’s a chance, this one precious chance to save his beloved wife, and their son.
The boy’s breath hitches in his throat and Vlad twists to look at him. His eyes are wide and his hands are shaking, curled into fists, as his shoulders hunch and he looks away.
Ah. That's it then.
He suspects the church was fond of burning things. Why change what works. As it turns out, the Belmonts died in fire and flame, and this one is the only one left, and he's just told him his wife burned in the fire, just as his family did.
Vlad sighs, an unintentional bit of manipulation, but he can already see the understanding and sympathy on the boy's face.
“I need your help, boy, because I can change that,” Dracula says, sweeping closer as the rays of the sun drift farther away.
Trevor’s head jerks up at he stares, his mouth dropping open, at him and something about the human settles. He steps forward, not close enough to touch, but his hands ease and he tucks his whip by his side.
“She’s already dead. You can’t change that, no matter how loud you scream or what you promise if God will only bring them back.”
The boy’s voice is, in turns, sympathetic, gentle and bitter. Understanding their shared pain even though he hates it.
The last light of the day flickers out and with a gesture, Dracula lights the torches lining the walls and allows his form to solidify as much as he is able to.
Belmont flinches backward with a sharp intake of breath, his arms coming up as if to ward off an attack. He stays still for a moment, before he controls his breathing and lowers them. But Vlad can clearly see the mark left on the child, even as fire glints in his eyes and casts shadows over his pale skin and the hollows of his cheeks.
He does not speak, neither does the boy, yet after a moment passes, his chin comes up and he steps forward, stubbornly squaring his too thin shoulders.
“Who are you?”
His voice echoes in the stone halls, but Vlad doesn’t do him a disservice of not answering.
“I am Vlad Tepes, Dracula, the Lord of Castlevania. I am from the future, and I am here to prevent the murder of my wife.”
Trevor takes a step back, his hand falling to the hilt of his whip and stares in shock at the fangs, the pointed ears and the familiar features of a vampire his mother had once shown him in a book. There is- there was - a portrait of him hanging in father’s study.
He stops, at the sight of the vampire’s face.
Dracula is made up of- of ashes, of smoke and he smells of embers and wood. His features are distorted, but he can clearly see them and he- the vampire looks…
Like when Trevor found a stream to wash the soot from his body and he stare into his reflexion and at the hollow empty look painted across his face and dimming his eyes.
My wife. They burned my wife here.
Trevor swallow harshly, the motion grating against his dry throat.
The vampire isn’t moving. He’s just staring at him.
“What did I do?”
The words slip from his lips almost on their own. But he straightens up and meets Dracula’s gaze. Something like a smile tugs at the vampire’s mouth and a hint of fangs poke through.
“You decapitated me, after my son had already shoved a stake through what was left of my heart.”
He- he killed Dracula? With Dracula’s son?
Trevor takes a shuddering breath and blinks rapidly in the light of the fire as flames flicker against the walls.
“Why would you come to me?”
Dracula’s face…. softens.
“You were friends with my son. You helped him, when I lead the Armies of Hell to destroy all humans, you fought by his side, and he at yours, along with another. A Speaker. You,” the vampire declares with bone-deep certainty, “You will help me save my wife, so that in my grief, I will not spiral into madness not even my son could save me from. You will help me, so that I will not commit genocide upon the human race.”
Trevor blinks rapidly.
A Speaker. And Dracula’s son. Against the armies of hell and Dracula himself.
Future him’s got balls.
He also has no idea what to do. If- if his father- his father were here, he-
Well, his father’s dead or this wouldn’t be happening, because Trevor would be home . With his-
A practiced breath to stem the tide of grief. The edge of the bottle of alcohol he drank earlier is wearing off. He inhales deeply, fighting back the still instinctive gag at the smell of burning.
“What makes you think I’m going to help you?”
Dracula doesn’t answer, because at that very moment, the door shakes under rapid pounding and the silence is broken by angry voices, and Trevor whirls around.
The hair on the back of his neck raises and Trevor barely catches a glimpse of red out of them corner of his vision when a cold hand clamps down over his eyes and pulls him into a solid chest.
“Look at all…”
Trevor scarcely notices as an arm curls around his shoulders and lips brush against his hair, mouthing words his ears cannot hear. His sight is filled with images of a beautiful woman with a fierce spirit and kind eyes. She is fierce and demanding and brave , marching into his domain and demanding he teach her. She is smiling, laughing and leaning closer to tug at a man- at Dracula- and oh, his heart swells as his gaze is filled with her.
She is everything, life, joy and a happiness he never knew he could have and oh, she is his. And she gifts him with a son who is just like her , but Vlad can pick out his features, and he does because they go perfectly with Lisa’s eyes, with her blonde hair, with her kindness and compassion and his fire is hers . It is light, brings warmth and nothing like the darkness that still clings to him.
His son is beautiful, made in the image of his wife, innocent from the evil that fades from Vlad’s being as the months and the years past in her- in their presence.
Lisa encourages him to travel, to see what the world has become and he does, because he loves her so and she is asking because she loves him so. He goes and always returns and he meets people who are interesting and caught his attention and he is glad of this.
Perhaps, perhaps, things have truly changed.
He returns to Lisa, to find-
Flames, fire, screams of women, of children, of a home that has stood tall and proud for centuries. His brothers, his sisters, his mother, his father, they are all screaming as the church stands and watches, glinting in white, in gold and red and declares this Righteous, in God’s Name, amen.
He runs and runs, away, away, gagging on the smell of meat cooking, flesh burning and that is his family. He is so cold, he is tried, everything hurts, he’s only thirteen, what is he supposed to do.
He cannot bring himself to start a fire, his hands are shaking too badly.
He cannot bear to cook the meat of the deer he slaughtered. He gives it to a family struggling to feed their children and takes a loaf of bread in return.
It’s not enough, it’s never enough.
He stuffs himself with berries, mushrooms, vegetables and bread and he’s always hungry because he goes out and fights, trains because there is still evil out there, there is still good, and a Belmont protects the helpless and hunts the demons-
He cannot do that if he is weak.
His wife burns on the pyre and he does not make it in time. She is charred flesh and blackened bones when he materializes in that church.
His heart has long since lived outside his chest and there it is, hidden among the logs, the sticks and he cannot recognize what the fire has left behind.
He gives a warning, he doesn’t touch a single human, though he burns with the desire to do so, and he leaves, back to Castlevania because life has no meaning, he should just destroy them all.
Dracula strikes down his son, calls his armies, summons the demons and a year later he fulfills his promise.
It is not enough. It never will be.
He lets Adrian kill him. He doesn’t lift a hand in defense, not after all he’s done to his son, to Lisa’s son.
To their greatest creation.
The Belmont cuts his head off, in defense of his son, and he lets that happen too. He stays, he can’t not , he stays until Adrian settles himself in his father’s favorite chair and breaks down into sobs. His child. He did this.
“ ...that I have lost .”
Tears slip down Trevor’s face as Dracula breaks into ash behind him, leaving stains on his face and his clothes. He sinks to his knees, presses his face to the cold stone floor and weeps.
Trevor escapes the crowd that shoved him into the church, blindly running through the village until he spots a horse. He doesn’t hesitate. He swings himself on and digs his heels into its sides, hands fisted in a thick mane.
There’s no saddle, but he doesn’t care .
He races out of that village and doesn’t stop until the moon rises to the high peak and then he abruptly hauls his weight back, forcing his mount to stop.
The stars are easy to read as the night is clear and he’s halfway to a realization that he’s heading to Dracula’s castle when he freaks out.
His father had only taught him which stars came out in which season, and which one would always lead north. Yet, he has to only look up at the sky and know exactly where he is in relation to where Dracula’s castle currently sits.
Trevor struggles with all the images in his head, the foreign emotion that wells deeply in his heart and the tears that continue to slide down his cheeks. He can’t afford to lose the water but they won’t stop.
Luckily the horse doesn’t hesitate to casually wander over to a stream and Trevor dismounts to drink his fill and scrub the traces of ash and soot from his face.
He doesn’t know how long he sits there, but hours for sure. He debates, remembers and finally reaches a decision not long before dusk.
An innocent woman will die, and in revenge for her death, Dracula will raze the Earth. He’s the last Belmont. He has a duty. He can prevent this and save people.
Trevor stands, mounts the horse once more and sets off.
Dracula wept for his wife. There was no doubt he loved her, loved their son. He allowed himself to die, he knows that. So he steels himself, even as fear creeps into his heart and screams echo in his ears.
He’s a Belmont and he has a duty.
Vlad is home alone, reading through a particularly favored book when someone knocks on his front door. He pauses, considers and then stands up.
The last time someone knocked on his door, it was Lisa. Things turned out very well from that point on, so perhaps this human will provide him with something fascinating as well. Hope for humanity, perhaps?
He ghosts through the shadows, appearing at the steps leading to his entry way and lands quietly in front of the door. Vlad doesn’t hesitate to pull it open, his gaze automatically shifting downwards.
Humans are short of statue, afterall.
This one appears to be very short.
Vlad blinks at the conflicting emotions vividly splayed across an expressive face of...a child. Barely reaching halfway up to his chest, it is undoubtedly and unmistakably a child. A particularly thin one at that.
He doesn’t get the chance to speak, to question why such a human is here , on his doorstep , as tiny shoulders square and the boy’s chin goes up to stare flatly into Dracula’s eyes.
“ This ,” the boy half spits in anger, half in some complicated form of anguish, “is your fault , and I am apparently , the only one who can fix your shit.”
A moment of bemused silence in which Vlad raises an eyebrow at the travel stained human and quite honestly finds himself at a loss for words.
The boy twitches, like a particularly offended cat.
Yes, that is certainly very interesting.
So naturally, Dracula does the only sensible thing to do, when a vampire finds themselves in this situation.
“Would you care to come in?”
Trevor doesn't want to come in, at all. So he stands there, on Dracula's doorstep, while the vampire patiently waits for him to make up his mind.
He's a Belmont, he has a duty.
He scowls, borderline glaring at Dracula, but he enters his castle, not even caring that he just offered a vampire his back. He knows exactly where he stands if the vampire decides to kill him and he's not going to delude himself that he could offer anything other then a brief, but futile struggle. Trevor caught Vlad's eye, clearly watching as interest gleams in their crimson depths and he scoffs.
Dracula takes the lead easily enough, leading him deeper into the dimly lit foyer- (that he vividly recognizes, even without the bodies and the blood and ashes staining the floor)- down a hallway and breaking off to open a door that leads into a cozy sitting room.
Trevor ignores the fireplace with something of an ease of practice.
Even as Dracula motions to a plush couch, Trevor takes the seat farthest from the blaze.
The vampire's gaze is too sharp as it drifts over him and he can't help the way his fists clench, hidden in the folds of his cloak.
"So? What part of this, exactly, are you laying the blame on me for?"
Trevor opens his mouth…
...and quietly closes it.
He's entirely unaware of the vaguely lost expression that steals over his face. Dracula, keen eyes carefully picking over his expression, feels his curiosity spike.
Trevor wonders exactly what is he supposed to tell literal number one enemy of humans, the Church and the Belmonts'.
"Your dead future self made me watch a shitty future and told me to change it."
Because that would go over so well.
"You time traveled as a ghost, and apparently I helped your son kill you. I was friends with him! It was more of a suicide anyway. No hard feelings, you were about to destroy humanity."
There was literally no possible way this was going to go well.
They burned my wife here, the vampire says like it bleeds. Help me, the vampire demands like he should care.
(oh, he does, he does, he cares too much, he cares so much he would burn the world and it matters not-)
So Trevor opens his mouth once more and starts at the beginning.
"I made it late into this one village and found a crowd of people gathered outside of this church. Apparently some vengeful ghost, or spirit or demon got in and the clergy were useless bastards as always. When I stopped to ask what was happening- well, things happened and it was decided that I was the best option to go in," he explains in somewhat rushed tones.
(Vlad is entirely aware the boy was likely subdued and thrown headfirst into the church and the doors locked firmly behind him. Humans.)
He eyes Dracula because this could go really badly, but he carefully reaches into his cloak for his whip. He's fairly certain it won't really harm him enough to make a difference, but he should be able to recognize it. The shitty vampire doesn't even do him the credit of tensing when he sees the blessed weapons drawn from his side. Rather his face makes the tiniest expression that suggests it's nothing more than a toy.
Trevor lays it on the little table between them.
"I'm a Belmont," he says like the word doesn't almost refuse the leave his throat and it doesn't hurt when he says it aloud. "Churches burn people."
It's fact. It's life, it's a thing that happens that nobody is surprised at because it happens. To anyone the Church deems 'unnatural' or 'demonic' or a 'witch', anyone that didn't fit their mold exactly, the Church goes forth and cleanses them. Rain is wet, fire is hot, the Church burns people.
There is something like understanding in the vampire's gaze and fuck him. It's his fault he's in this mess in the first place.
(anger is familiar, anger is safer and it hurts less)
"They threw me in, but I would have gone in willingly because I was probably going to be the safest person to send in," Trevor shrugs carelessly, as if it doesn't matter, because it doesn't. "It didn't take long before he walked out of the shadows, mostly ash and smoke. So I assumed he was a lingering soul, specifically of someone burned at the stake."
Trevor falls silent. His gaze drops and he takes a breath.
"I offered to help. And he said- he said, 'they burned my wife here'."
He coughs, just once, to remove the lump stuck in his throat. Takes a moment to work past the swell of emotion that comes with the shared memories in his head. There's a blur of motion from the vampire sitting across from him, but when he jerks his head up, there's only a glass of water held in a clawed hand. Trevor barely hesitates before he takes it and downs it in one gulp, quickly returning it with an automatic murmur of thanks.
Blessedly, Dracula remains silent, content to watch him struggle through his words, rather then interrupt. The fucker.
"He said he needed my help to change that," Trevor continues, raising his head to stare resolutely at the vampire. "He told me he was from the future, that he came back to stop them from burning his wife-"
The lines on Dracula's face are tightening the longer he stares at the vampire and as he continues to explain. There's something about his presence that sharpens and the red in his eyes deepens and his gaze burns as it settles heavily on him. Trevor keeps speaking, no matter how much the fear rises in his chest and the memories scream in the back of his mind. His hands are fisted against his ribs and he can feel his heart beating fast and he really hopes Dracula won't snap and kill him.
"-and it had to be me because I helped his son kill him when he went insane and decided to murder all of humanity in some sort of weird plan to kill himself and apparently this qualifies me to go to his past self and explain all of this shit."
Trevor closes his mouth with a click. He licks his lips and speaks, even though his voice wavers.
"So this is all your fault."
Dracula before him now, is in no way the same vampire that opened the front door for him ten minutes ago and got a glass of water for him two minutes ago.
He's inhumanely still, visibly radiating rage and bloodlust and Trevor sits as carefully as he can even as he can feel himself tremble. He hates himself for being unable to ignore the visions and voices in his head, because Dracula is entirely terrifying in a way he's literally never seen before (except he remembers this rage, remembers it clawing up his chest and throat-) and it's getting harder to breath.
He doesn't dare reach for his whip, still laying on the table, barely a foot from his reach.
An instant later, the vampire stands abruptly and takes two gliding steps to Trevor's side before he folds himself into a kneeling sort of position so Trevor's about eye level with Dracula. Which- Dracula. Kneeling. If he had a stake, his chest was literally right there.
(He barely musters the nerve to feel offended, but going by all those bedtime stories his m- he remembers, he wouldn't get that far.)
The vampire is entirely pissed off and so help him, if he's going to start talking about how he's lying and that coming to Dracula's castle to tell stories is brave-
If the vampire doesn't believe him, he's going to be so very pissed.
"He put his hand over my eyes, and I saw," Trevor interrupts, gritting his teeth as he forces himself to stare into a crimson gaze.
Adults usually shut their mouths when someone offers proof. He wasn't that much older in the visions then he is now so the hand-memory thing can't be something he isn't familiar with, so he'll probably do something like that again and then everything will be fine.
Dracula pauses, just as Trevor knew he would, his eyes sliding closed only briefly, hesitating (he knows, he knows exactly how much the vampire doesn't want to see this, but there's duty-) before he raises both his hands, wavering in his resolve only but a moment.
Trevor doesn't flinch when Dracula reaches for him.
He's a Belmont. He has a duty.
The vampire's hands cup his cheeks on either side, thumbs brushing his cheekbones as he leans over to stare deeply into human eyes and Trevor startles at the touch, his fingers already curling around Dracula's wrists before he realizes he's moved.
Trevor takes a breath, a moment before-
His vision fades to black, a woman's scream ringing in his ears.
When the boy- when Trevor falls forward into his chest, Vlad's arms automatically wrap around his small frame. The child's breathing is stuttered and there are tears sliding down his thin face.
There are tears on Vlad's face as well, his own breath is a shallow thing and he can feel the hollowness that has crept into his heart.
The grief comes first, the way his heart crumbles in his chest, every breath hurts and it feels as if he's lost something so precious and essential that he's forgotten how to live without and only now realized he can't live without it.
Rage is next, burning through his veins, hellfire and magma, and he can feel his eyes bleed red to match it. How dare they-
How dare they burn his wife-his Lisa- like she was nothing? Like she was evil?
Lisa is- Lisa is so kind, and caring, and she looks after whoever comes to her door and they-
Humans were vile and petty and so very stupid, and Vlad-
A breath on his neck as the child shifts, a pained noise escaping his mouth, and Vlad stills.
No, not all of them. Not all humans. His Lisa was good. This Trevor was good, a Belmont. This small boy, a child, who had lost his family so recently, who had looked on his future self and offered his help. Had extended that hand out to him even after he discovered who exactly had asked for it, despite the fact most humans would have run screaming or tried to kill him. Despite the fact that the boy was a Belmont who had more reason then most to react violently first and question later.
Vlad sighed heavily, lifting a hand to remove the last traces of tears from his face.
"Of course it was a Belmont," he murmurs to himself, gathering the child closer as he started to tremble in cold or distress or a combination of both.
Lisa wanted him to walk among the humans, wanted him to know them. To give them a chance.
He would not offer those who resided in Targoviste a chance….but perhaps….he tightened his hold on the boy, rising to his feet and striding towards the door.
He would offer the chance to this boy, who had braved his wrath to warn him of what was to come. This Belmont was certainly different from the others- yet so much the same- one along the likes of Lisa and her strangeness when compared to other humans. Vlad found he rather liked strange humans, and he owed this particular one a debt he wasn't sure he would ever be able to repay.
He snagged the whip, ignoring the bite of the holy weapon easily, and set it coiled atop the boy's chest. He frowned at the slack face turned into his chest. The boy was too light, too pale. Vlad could feel the outline of his ribs and his spine through his clothing. His worn, ripped and stained clothing that didn't provide enough protection from the cold, never mind the rain or wind.
He'd need to fix that.
First things first, Vlad thought as he glided up the stairs leading to the family wing of the castle. A warm bath, then clean clothes.
He summoned a shadow beast and sent it to call for Lisa. Regardless of his actions, how brave a Belmont child must have been to brave his castle, it was quite obvious the boy feared him. Having a human, especially a woman, would be beneficial. Considering the memories suggested Trevor's future self was quite close with Adrian and also that he had witnessed the aftermath of her burning, Vlad was certain the boy would react positively to her.
(-I helped his son kill him when he went insane and decided to murder all of humanity in some sort of weird plan to kill himself-)
Vlad's arms tightened around the boy. Adrian was so much like his mother. To protect the weak, the few innocent, he could certainly imagine his son would oppose his plans. Immortal as he was, the vampire was aware of the acknowledgement of his desire to not outlive his wife. This was proof he would not survive long, nor that he would have the will.
That his actions would force his son to enact such a plan….he would not think on it. The shadow beast would return with his wife, she would be standing before him shortly and he would put proper safeguards in place to ensure something like this would never happen.
Lisa was spending some time with Adrian in the marketplace of a demonic village when a raven swooped down. One of her guards reached up his arm, offering a perch, and when the raven landed, he took the rolled up paper from it's talons.
Her guard's horned head tilts as he reads over the contents. His wings rustle behind him and as he finishes, the message bursts into flames and the demon quickly bent down to speak quietly into Lisa's ear.
"Lady Tepes, your husband requires your immediate return to Castlevania."
Blonde hair glimmers in the sunlight as the small human woman whirled around, alarm spreading over her face. She reached out, settling a hand on her son's shoulder, as he straightened to attention.
Zgripțor's wings rustled, limbs shifting as he turned and gestured for the carriage that brought them here. Fortunately, the driver saw it and instantly directed the mounts closer.
"Your immediate return, Lady Tepes. That is all the information I have received," Zgripțor said quietly, carefully curving his horns away from fragile human flesh.
"Mama, let's go."
Adrian wasn't worried, his guard wasn't reacting to a nearby threat, but simply to his Papa's summons. Thus whatever concern that was raised, probably wasn't one in response to a nearby danger. He simply tugged on his mother's hand to get her moving back to the carriage.
Lisa went along easily, relinquishing her hold on the basket of purchases to another guard, an inhumanly thin creature with a mouth full of teeth.
She couldn't help the concern that rose in her chest. Vlad was the Ruler of Castlevania, he was Dracula. But he was also her husband and she couldn't help worrying about him. Regardless of his strength, his skill, the vast amount of knowledge he held, she was still waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Many supernatural creatures objected to their union, and while Vlad reassured her none would ever touch her, humans had a saying, that someone is always better then you.
She feared for the day should that someone come and destroy her family. Her methods of healing was science, not magic, but demons, devils and unclean spirits still wandered the Earth. Magic was real and practiced. To accuse someone of witchcraft easily brought the Church down on their heads and would end in a burning.
Such barbaric practices, ensured by the Church to keep the people ignorant and dependent.
The familiar burn of anger rose up in her breast, but Lisa held it for a moment, acknowledged it and let it go, returning her focus to her son. Adrian was watching as the landscape flew up, the carriage traveling through shadows and magical paths so that their journey to Castlevania was made in all due haste.
Vlad didn't bother with changing the boy's clothes on his own and simply called forth his magic. He pulls the material from what the Belmont's already wearing, only without all the filth. It reforms around the human and the vampire kneels there, simply looking.
The water from the bath is murky, having washed away dirt, blood, and several other things he didn't wish to dwell on. The boy was remarkably healthy for someone not eating regular meals and not getting the required amount of rest for a human of his age. He was thin, with lean muscles, half healed wounds, and the visible stretches of badly healed burns.
Those were the worst, although were a great many scars on his body. Too many for a boy of scarcely fifteen, if that.
Most were from burns, teeth and claw, some from blades, but his back was nearly covered in marks. He recognized all of them, the whip marks and burns being the most prevalent. Vlad is disgusted at the savagery of humans towards one so young.
The lines on the boy's face make him look exhausted, stress and strained. There is something like grief in the curve of his mouth and his body trembles as his breath hitches. Vlad gently rearranges the boy and pulls his cloak off, wrapped the warm fabric around Trevor, watching as he relaxes into its folds.
Lisa should be returning soon, along with Adrian.
Until then, Vlad gathers the boy once more into his arms and heads for his study. The room is already warm and somewhat familiar to the Belmont child. He will simply leave him to sleep on the couch. His wife would be a welcome voice in their decision on what to do with him.
A part of him already knows, both what he desires and what his wife will agree to, but in any relationship, communication is important.
Especially when dealing with a grieving, human child born into a family of hunters bringing tidings of the future from his dead spirit. Which his future self decapitated.
Vlad sighed even as he settled Trevor onto the couch.
Such a small human, for such a rather large situation.
Of course it was a Belmont.