Hollowgrounds was being consumed by flames. There was no human soul in there. Every vampire seemed to have disappeared.
In the throne room, Raven was standing in front of his father who was gravely wounded, missing an arm and bleeding constantly while he was laying his back on a wall while sitting on the floor. Raven had a worn out black coat filled with holes and his entire attire was almost filled with holes. His face was filled with cuts that soon were being healed.
"That's pretty good. I mean it wasn't that good, but not too bad either. It was definetly above avarage." Said Raven as he was removing fire from his coat. "Don't you have anything to say. You are pretty quiet."
"…What do you want to hear it from me? For me to beg to mercy?" Said Vladmir in his last breath. "I have nothing worthy to say to you. Ungrateful child."
"Ungratedful?" Asked Raven. "I do not remember anything worthy to be grateful to you as well. All I was to you was a tool for your own selfish desires. Such was the same for my other siblings."
"...You're right." Said Vladmir.
"Yeah, and...Wait." Said a confised Raven. "Did you just agreed with me?"
"I always feared that the day were you would try to kill me. I just didn't predicted that would mess things this badly." Said Vladmir. "I just acted the way I did, because that how vampires are. Selfish creatures that only think for themselves. How many lives have we sacrificed just so we could live? No different than parasites. It had been like this ever since the end of the Immortals. And now....there you are changing things again. Maybe for the better or worse."
"Well now that is a philosophical side of yours I never knew you had." Said Raven. "Well I don't care if it will be better or worse. All I care is how things will go my way. That's all."
"Heh! So you are just a selfish jerk aftar all."
"I try. Now if you excuse me I have a world to destroy it. And then put another one. Like putting a house down and building a way cooler house. And even put a casino inside."
Raven turns away and walks outside.
"I'll have you die a slow death, old timer. You won't give me the satisfaction of killing you with the look of despair so I'll just let you suffer as your empire crumbles away. Farewell." Said Raven.
"...Raven, wasn't it?" Said Vladmir. "You will never win."
"...What?" Said Raven as he stopped walking.
"I don't know what you want exactly, but you will fail. I am not saying this to stop you. But I know already you will fail. When my mother failed her role I went to a different path from what she had intended. But I ended being a far bigger failure. And you...Your path is not that different from me. There will always something or someone to keep the order in this world in check. And a chaotic being like you will be stopped sooner or later....All that awaits in your path....Is Defeat."
"....Thanks for the warning." Said Raven, facing his father a last time before fading away.
As the time passes, the room starts to perish. The ceiling crumbles and a stone falls on the throne and destroys it.
"...I never liked that chair." Said Vladmir as he hopeless stays fallen.
Then some sort of image starts to appear in front of him. It was a foggy humanoid image that slowly took form.
"Am I hallucinating?"
Then the image came closer to him and it turned into a ghostly apparition of Topazia's that kneeled next to him.
He extends his arms and Topazia holded his hand. Then Vladmir grabbed her hand with both of his hands.
"So at the end you were the one I would think at last. It has been quite a lot of time ever since I was this happy in seeing you. As the time passed I stopped seeing you as a woman even when the other three perished. What I have done to you...You didn't deserved it. I hope we can be together somehow...My Queen."
The floor starts to collapse and the whole room is destroyed. All of the Hollowgrounds is now reduced to ashes.
In the next morning, at Mians. Alex woke up earlier to prepare himself for a trip. He wore his coat and hat and carried his large suitcase behind his back. When he went outside he saw Johnnathan in the yard looking to the morning sky.
"Now this is a surprise." Said Alex. "You usually isn't this up."
"Oh. Hi dad." Said Johnnathan in a melancholic tone.
"What's the matter?"
"It's just...I don't know."
"Does it involves your not-girlfriend?"
"It seemed to me you two were getting along well."
"How do you possibly know that?"
"Well...we didn't fight or anything, but...I have this feeling...that I might never see her again."
"...Heh. See? That's what happens when you don't leave the friendzone early."
"It's not everyone that gets a wife in the first day like you dad."
"It didn't exactly took a day, but I guess I did took the correct path early."
"Whatever. You have a ship to take, right? You better hurry."
Alex went to the gate of the house and opened it. He then looked back one last time and saw his son's sad face again.
"...Damn, I got soft." He said to himself. "Johnny!"
"Do you wanna come along?"
Later at the town, Alex was walking alongside Johnnathan that had a backpack with him. Soon they come across Elma walking in the streets.
"Oh my." Said Elma. "I wasn't expecting seeing little Johnny this early."
"Yeah, I am taking him for a trip." Said Alex.
"A trip? Don't you have a meeting in Zaratraz today?"
"Yeah. I mean, if they are forcing me to go at least I could take my son to I don't know, eat some ice cream or something."
"It was about time for you to take this boy for some fresh air."
"The mountains have a lot of fresh air, miss Elma." Said Johnnathan.
"But youngsters must expand their horizons while they are still young." Said Elma.
"Like Drake?" Said Johnnathan.
"Leave your brother out of this!" Shouted Elma.
"Alright, alright. Johnny, the adults need to talk. Can you go to the docks ahead of me?"
Johnnathan dashed ahead.
"What do you wanna discuss it, Alex?"
"I confirmed my suspicions. This girl Johnnathan has been seeing out is a vampire."
"Oh. Have you looked at her."
"Yeah. About the same age as him, I guess. Pretty cute as well. Possibly Higher."
"I see. Well, Johnnathan is certainly safe. It's more difficult to a vampire to kill a Hybrid than a Werewolf as they say."
"I don't know. Being close to a vampire is not really a good thing."
"Never stopped you, didn't it?"
"I guess. I mean, it was easier when Drake was born, but...It never ends well."
"Nothing end well, Alex. Everything ends someday, sooner or later. So there is not a bad end or a good end. It just ends."
"If my job taught me something is that vampires are very pitiful creatures. Ruby once said to me that an endless life is the same as an endless fight."
"Makes you think if she went away satisfied don't you?"
"Yeah. But anyway, I still wished she was still here...By the way Elma, can I ask you a favor?"
"If something happens to me...take care of the house."
"It's the least I could do."
He waves goodbye and heads to the docks. After a while after boarding the ship, Johnnathan was at the deck looking at the waves of the ocean that passed through the ship's route.
"Do you like the sea?" Said Alex who appeared behind him.
"It's pretty nice." Said Johnnathan.
"I always thought it was weird for someone living in a place next to the sea to spend most of his time in a mountain."
"It's because our house is in the mountains...jackass."
"It never prevented you to go to town you know."
"I only have too little time to enjoy. I rather stay where is more calm."
"Speaking like a teenager. The angst kind of one."
"Changing the subject, why do you think Drake became a pirate?"
"Beats me. That boy was always a trouble magnet."
"And you? Why did you became a Hunter?"
"I didn't choose because I wanted. I just happened to be pretty good at killing. That's all."
"You sound like it's no big deal."
"Because it really isn't it. By the eyes of the vampires I am just some sort of psychotic murderer. I guess even your mother would see it like that when you think about it. But then again, it was because of them that I became what I am today."
"Do you regert it after everything?"
"Of course not. It's not everytime one is a father of a Hybrid. Two even."
"...One day...I'll have a ship of my own."
"And what you are gonna do with that."
"I'll go wherever I want to go."
"...Just don't get yourself roped with trouble like your brother."
A sound of something splashing on the water sounds next to them.
"Hey!" A voice of a girl came from below the ship. There what seems to be a girl with a short sea green hair in twintail style that also had red fish fins coming out of iti was floating in the sea.
"Can any of you gentlemen tell me in which direction is Mians?" Said the girl. Johnnathan and Alex pointed at the direction they came without saying a word.
"Thanks!" The girl happily swimmed at the direction they pointed and leaped into the sea revealing a fish tail for legs.
"Was that..." Said Johnnathan.
"Mermaid? Yeah. Pretty rare seeing one far away from the North Pole." Said Alex.
"Will she be alright?"
"Don't worry. She may be about your age, but she is a Sea's Ruler. And I guess she is a Shark as well."
"It's how they call those Mermaids that have one human parent. They tend to cover great distances at a young age. That's because they don't think twice in eating a sea creature on the way.
"Have a human parent makes you do that?"
"I mean, every thing in the sea eats everything smaller than them, but only the Sharks have the courage to do it for some reason."
"So she is most likely a shark. I guess I can relate to her somehow."
"She probably didn't spent most of her life in a mountain though."
"Haha. Very funny." Said Johnnathan sarcastically.
After a short trip, they arrive at Zaratraz. A fortified island with a whole city over it. It was a neutral territory that served as some sort of link between Blitzreign and Drakland. Everytime some sort of diplomatic meeting between the two nations this place is chosen for negotiations. It is also next to a prison tower where the worst criminals from all over the world goes.
The ship arrived at the island's docks and Alex and Johnnathan unboarded it. The two of them walks across the streets filled with civilians and soldiers. A large tower could be seen at the distance connected by a bridge. It was the Black Gaol, the world's largest prison.
"It sure is crowded here." Said Johnnathan.
"Good part of them are merchants from Drakland and Blitzreign. This place also works as an outpost. They pass here and trade some stuff or sell it. Then go away. " Said Alex.
"You sure know your stuff."
"It's one of those things when you travel to place to place. Anyway, I am going alone from here. Here a little of pocket money. When I come back we go to Liampool for Lunch. How does that sounds?"
"It's great! We should buy souveniers too!"
"Right. Elma sure would love a clock. See ya, kid. Don't get in trouble."
The father and son wave goodbyes to one another and Johnnathan went alone to a food stand.
"Hmm...What does they sell here?" Said Johnnathan as he looked it up. It was crepes. He never had a crepe once. He paid for a Tuna Crepe. But before he could even bite a stray cat snatched away. He gets paralyzed by the disappointment and holds himself to not cry.
"That was unlucky, huh?" Said a young woman behind him with her her face hidden by a hood covering her head and shoulders.
"Here." She hands him a similar crepe to him.
"Thanks lady! I will pay you back later."
"No need for it." Said the young lady.
As Johnnathan walks away enjoying his food, the woman gazes at him from afar and suddenly gets a weird look.
"What is this weird vibe I am getting from that boy? And..." She looks far to the horizon. "What is this dark cloud approaching the city.
Far away hidden in the clouds, a giant black flying with the figurehead of a dark bird was slowly approaching Zaratraz. It was Raven's ship, the Death Crow. Inside it was like a military base with hallways and numerous rooms. In one of those rooms there was Noir putting a silver gauntlet in his arm. He was wearing a dark blue shirt, black pants and a pair of boots. In his neck there was a purple scarf covering his mouth.
"Hey brother, looking good!" Said Moonlight wearing a neon green dress reealing her left leg. "But then again, you would look good even dressed like a sloppy."
"I have no interest in what other thinks." Said Noir still focused on his gauntlets.
"Now, now. As the most perfect of us all, you have to care about your image." Said Moonlight.
"That's why. I do not need to be reminded of that."
"Well, aren't you modest. You see I took great pleasure in seeing you taking out all of those snakes that wanted to snatched you back in Hollowgrounds. Those dirty vampires should have know that you are just too good for any of them!"
"Don't misunderstand. I just did what I did so you wouldn't discount your frustration on them."
"Oh. How sweet! You were thinking of your little sister when you were killing them. I knew you cared."
"Uhhh....Excuse me?" Said Evening who just appeared. "Raven is calling everybody."
"Is he already done?" Said Noir. "It's already on time."
"Things are about to get interesting. Aren't you excited Eve?" Said Carol.
"Uh...Yeah, sure. Whatever." Said Evening in a hesitant tone.
On the deck of the ship, Raven was alongside two regular vampires wearing red coats with hoods with the image of a black raven on the back. In front of him a human man was on his knees. He approaches the man and turns his right hand into a crimsom claw.
"Tell me." Said Raven to the man. "What is your name?"
"...Phil." Said the man. "At least that's what they told me."
"I see..Welcome to the family, Phil!" He stabs him with his claw and Phil's skin starts to become pale and a coat magically appears around his body.
"So then...Phil. How do you feel?" Said Raven.
"How do I feel?" Said Phil while looking at the other vampires.
"...I feel that guy over there is looking at me funny!" Shouted Phil before he leaped through the other two and started to fight one another.
"Maaan. Look at them go. Daddy is proud of you all!" Said Raven.
"When it was me, I would get scolded at the next second" Said Blanc who appeared wearing a white jacket and a black shirt. "Anyway, any idea how you are gonna control all those misfits?"
"Do not worry. Since my blood are now infecting them, it will be a walk in the park to hold those dogs on a leash." Said Raven.
"But didn't you always said that you should do whatever the hell you want or something?" Said Noir who arrived alongside Evening and Moonlight.
"Aha! Well, I did say that. But you see I am not really forcing anyone here, honestly. All I did was put a bit of influence into their soul. They can still act on their own will. But since they are a bit part "me" then I have certain privileges above them."
"So if someone betrays you it's like betraying themselves. Is that what you said it?"
"Pretty much. But you see...I wouldn't trust myself at a certain degree. Anyway what about Nightmare and Chill?"
"Nightmare was sleeping and Chill was....munching his helmet for some reason."
"I see. Let leave those two be. Moonlight, could you look for Zaratraz."
"Anything for you, Raven." Moonlight picked a small telescope between her bosom and looked it up. "I can see it....About 20 or so kilometers from here."
"Your eyesight is way more amazing than before sister." Said Evelyne.
"Alright then." Said Raven who snapped his fingers that called a pair of vampires carrying a giant black harpoon. "Tell me when we are about 10 or so kilometers."
At Zaratraz, Alex went to a grand hall at the center of the city. There he climbed all the way to the top floor where he took a deep breath in front of a large door.
"This might sounds weird coming from someone who lives in a mountain, but....I hate stairs." He enters the room and finds a long table. Also there were two other man dressed in noble clothes with one spotting a brown beard and a crown and the other long blond hair and a golden mask covering his eyes. They were the King of Drakland, King Stewart and the Emperor of Blitzreign, Emperor Lenard.
"I was wondering if you actually would appear and I'm not gonna have to pull you by the hair, Alex." Said Lenard hostily toward Alex.
"You never said that when I risked going to Circa or Mox to kill one or three Higher Vampires and sometimes a Chimera. How is it doing, Stewart?" Said Alex as he was sitting to a chair close to them.
"Do not address me or Stewart so casually, Alex!" Said Lenard.
"I do not mind, actually." Said Stewart.
"Now then." Said Alex. "What is that you wish to discuss in particular, Lenard?"
"Didn't you figured out already? If you are here then it couldn't be anything other than dealing with Vampires." Said Lenard.
"Usually I am not called for a conference like this." Replied Alex.
"Let's say I was thinking of a large scale operation here." Said Lenard. "And I would like Drakland to have an ear as well."
"Interesting." Said Stewart. "What do you have in mind?"
"An all-out assault on Hollowgrounds. Eliminate the vampires once and for all." Stated Lenard.
"...Was that a joke, Lenard?" Said Alex. "I am not really laughing at it."
"I expected this initial reaction, but hear me out." Said Lenard. "There is a reason why just now I proposed this just now. I already managed to develop enough military resource to crush them all. And with everyone's help our victory is next to certain I believe."
"Sounds like you don't need me at all then." Said Alex. "After all, I am just one guy."
"Your help is more then welcome." Said Lenard. "For things to go smoothly as possible, I request you to take command of the operation. Fight alongside our army as an acting general."
"You know, most people would tell the details first." Said Alex. "What is this accomplishment you had anyway to say you found enough resources to wage war against them? Maybe you don't wanna ruin the surprise? Or maybe you fear that someone might steal it from you?"
"Those are redundant details." Said Lenard. "What is it matter is that we can finally end this with one last crusade after 500 years. If you fear something about not having enough vampires to kill then do not be assured, because the reward will give you two lifetimes of a healthy and good life."
"...Heh. What a waste." Said Alex as he lifted from his chair and grabbed his scythe. "I'm out of this Lenard."
"What?" Replied a slightly annoying Lenard. "Do you have any idea what you are saying?"
"Yes. After all I was thinking of retiring of this Vampire Hunting bussiness anyway." Said Alex as he was leaving the room. "Thanks for everything!"
"Now wait just a second!" Said Lenard as he slammed the table with his fist. "Are you saying the Red Demon himself is quitting?! Are you nuts?!"
"No." Replied Alex. "In fact I was never so sane in all my life. It's time to me to settle down and stay next to my son."
"Oh? You have a son?" Said Stewart. "Who is the mother anyway?"
"Don't change the subject, Stewart!" Shouted Lenard. "And what about it your late wife, Alex? Don't you feel a drop of revenge in your heart?"
"The vampires that killed her are gone. I am satisfied." Said Alex. "By the way...You have been awfully quiet Stewart. Is there something you wanna share?"
"....I received a word before leaving it." Said Stewart. "And I apparently you were already beaten to it."
"Huh?" Said a confused Lenard.
"Hollowgrounds is already destroyed. It seems that Vladmir's own children betrayed him and killed everyone." Said Stewart. "A group of refugees appeared in Drakland. Women and children. All the men were sired by Prince Corvus. Not only that, he destroyed the entire city and left in a black ship."
"That's...Impossible." Said Lenard.
"Come to think of it..." Thought Alex, "Johnny did say he had a feeling he would not see Evelyne ever again...Is this a coincidence?"
"What are you thinking about it?" Said Stewart.
"Nothing." Said Alex. "It just...If they aren't in Hollowgrounds anymore then they might be scattered around the world now, right? That just makes tracking them more troublesome."
"My thoughts exactly." Said Stewart.
"This can't get any worse." Said Lenard.
"It is about to get worse!" Said Raven aboard on his ship far away from them with one of the harpoons in his hands.
"....Why did you said that?" Asked Noir.
"I was in the mood for some reason." Said Raven bending his body ready to toss the harpoon. "By the time I throw this, the age of the Old Vampires will end. And then a new age, cooler and smoothier will rise. The age of the Rogue Vampires!"
He toss the harpoon and it flies straight at Zaratraz like a missile. Back at the hall, Alex senses a chilling sensation from behind and turns back.
"What's the matter?" Said Stewart.
Alex then opened his suitcase and took a retractable scythe. A harpoon comes piercing the wall and Alex deflects it upward.
"What was that?!" Shouted Lenard.
"It seemed like an attack." Said Stewart. "But I don't see any reason for that."
"Could it be....Vampires?" Said Lenard.
"Vampires don't act like that." Said Alex. "It's something else...or they have some other objective."
Back at the Death Crow, Moonlight was seeing Zaratraz through her telescope.
"So?" Said Raven. "Have I done great?"
"Well.." Reolied Moonlight. "It seems for some reason the trajectory was redirectioned."
"Is that so?" Said Raven. "Well then. How about we get this party started? Fellas..."
With the snap of a finger, several Rogues appeared to the deck.
"Let's do a prison break!" Said Raven who after the order pointed at Zaratraz and they all turned into black and red clouds of mist, flying all the way to Zaratraz.
Back on the city, people have noticed the large harpoon that flew to the hall. Johnnathan was watching it as well.
"What was that? A stunt?" Said Johnnathan while finishing his crepe. Then the mist clouds appeared and turned into Rogue Vampires that started to bite and kill the people before they could even be in panic.
"Bloody hell! What are those?!" Shouted Johnnathan. "Vampires? They seem kinda off."
One of the Rogues tried to sneak behid Johnnathan, but he quickly picks a shovel and smashes his face before he could get him, knocking it out cold.
"...I am still pretty effective." Said Johnnathan as he sprint to the hall. "I need to find my father!"
Meanwhile, Alex and the rest where travelling through an underground passage scouted by heavily armoured soldiers.
"Damnit! I should have brought my own army!" Said Lenard. "I don't feel very safe being guarded by your men, King Stewart."
"You are the one who didn't deployed soldiers in Zaratraz in the first place." Said Stewart. "And Zaratraz's soldiers are too busy outside as well."
Then several Rogues appeared from behind. Alex reacted fast and already sliced one in half. One conjured a sword and atacked Alex.
"Huh. That's new." Said Alex as he dodges it and sliced the Rogue in half and procceds by slicing the rest.
"Well, technically he used to work for you, isn't Lenard?" Said Stewart.
"And I hope he still do." Replied Lenard.
"...That's odd." Said Alex as he see the Rogues still struggling to fight back. "Usually they all die with a wound like this. Are those really vampires?"
"Yes and No." Said a voice coming right in front of them who was revealed to be Noir.
"...That one looks different." Said Stewart.
"The vampires you just saw are know as Rogue Vampires or just Rogues for short." Explained Noir as he summons his claws. "Vampires whose bodies were altered to harness more Dark Magic than what their bodies were limited to. Of course there are some undesired side-effects for the weak-willed. Such as the progressive loss of logic. Of course I am not one of those."
"You..." Spoke Alex. "You must be the Harbinger of Disaster isn't it?"
"You know me?"
"Of course I do. The Third Prince, Wagner Lecardre is very well-know in the Vampire Hunting bussiness. I heard rumours that everytime you appeared, your victims would die so fast that they couldn't see you coming. As if a strike of bad luck caused a disaster fall upon them."
"So that's the origin of that disgusting epithet, huh? I swear, humans always tend to exagerate when they faces against a force they cannot surpass. Oh well...I can already see by that giant gardening tool of yours that you might be the Red Demon, isn't it? Fancy seeing you here."
"Honestly I do not believe it either."
"Rumurs said that the blade of your scythe was bathed with so many vampire blood it gave a blood red colour to it. And I know bloodstains when I see one."
"I feel like we are being ignored here, Lenard." Said Stewart.
Honestly, I do not care about you two." Said Noir. "I merely came here because I found this secret route rather interesting. But you Red Demon....You do interest me!"
Noir vanishes and appears right behind Alex to cut him with his claws, but he quickly ducks and pushes him back with a swing of his scythe.
"Magnificient." Said Noir. "I made sure to make any noise, but you somehow noticed my presence."
"Lenard...Stewart..." Said Alex. "You two go ahead. I'll deal with him."
"Are you sure?" Said Stewart.
"You two are easy targets for him." Said Alex. "Just tag along with your guards and go!"
"Just for your informartion, I am not going ahead because you told me so." Said Lenard as he and Stewart went away.
"Do you honestly believe out there is safe for them?" Said Noir.
"There is no way I can fight against someone like you while protecting them."
"Aren't you a selfish bastard."
Back to the streets, the young woman that gave Johnnathan his crepe is fighting of the Rogues with a bow that didn't had strings, but it shot arrows made of a yellow light. Everytime an arrow hit a Rogues, their whole bodies were pierced like a large spear passing through them, killing it in the process.
"Those vampires...Why they have so many malice and hate....than usual." Said the woman as a Rogue sneaked behind her.
"Ah!" Shouted the woman as she was saved by Johnnathan who was passing through and hit the Rogue in the face with a shovel.
"Now we are even!" Shouted Johnnathan as he kept going to the hall.
"He took it down in one blow....I see boy. You are...."
Back on the underground passage, Alex was fiercely fighting agaisnt Noir. He swung his scythe pushing back Noir as he was dodging the attacks.
"Splendid, Red Demon!" Said Noir. "The way you move your weapon...It's like an extension of your own body."
"My son says the same." Said Alex as he pushes back Noir with a strong swing.
"You know, Red Demon." Said Noir. "I fought on the battlefield many times for centuries. I faced warriors like you, but you exceeds my expectations even with this new body of mine."
"What do you mean by warriors like me?"
"In general, I don't find humans interesting. But one time or the other I come across someone who actually have my attention. I am talking about those who honed his battle instincts to the point they can keep up with their enemies just by detecting their killing intent. You might have passed through of hardships, huh?"
"Can't say I haven't."
"A vampire would never reach that level like an human you know. It may took years for you, but a vampire may pass even a thousand of years without developing those said instincts. It's one of those privileges of the weak they talk about it."
"And I believe you must a rare exception as well. You have those instincts as well, right?"
"Yes. It took about 3 centuries."
"Of all the vampires I faced...You are by far the most problematic."
"That's a problem you know. I know of two others who are certainly more of a challenge."
"Just my luck...But I don't intend to go down without a fight!"
"Well said it!"
Noir sprinted at Alex who had his scythe ready to attack, but suddenly Alex feels dizzy and started to cough up blood. That made Noir stops midway.
"Urgh....Not now." Said Alex who was on his knees.
"....I see." Said Noir who stopped and crossed his arms. "It's a pity."
"It seems I was too late. I can see you are not in top position. You certainly aren't the same Red Demon from way back."
"And why would you care?"
"I told you I am unlike those savages vampires you are used to it. I refuse to kill someone who isn't healthy in the first place. A true combat must be fight with honor. That's just the way I am."
"I was certainly not expecting to hear that from one of Vladmir's sons."
"Say whatever you want. I already cut ties with him anyway. But it does give a bad taste in my mouth."
"Whaaaaaat is going on here, little bro?" Said a voice from far away. It was Raven with his sword bathed in blood.
"Now what do we have here?" Said Alex struggling with the pain.
"Hmm? Why is that human there not dead yet?" Asked Raven.
"I do not kill anyone that can't fight back." Responded Noir. "Even if it is The Red Demon."
"The Red Demon you say?" Said Raven when he looked at Alex grasping his scythe with a fierce look in his eyes. "Oh well..."
Raven turns into mist and teleports himsef in front of Alex, kicking him in the face and sending him flying towards a wall.
"What the hell?" Said Raven as he grabbed Alex by the neck. "Is he really the Red Demon?"
"I wouldn't lie to you, would I brother?" Said Noir.
"Brother?" Said Alex. "Are you...Prince Corvus by any chance?"
"You heard about me, huh?" Said Raven as he drops down Alex.
"You....Magnus...And Wagner." Said Alex. "You three are often know as the most know vampires in the records...Magnus, The Unstoppable. Wagner, The Harbinger of Disaster. And finally you, The Crow Prince. Cough!"
"....Pfft! KAHAHAHAHAHA!" Raven laughed hysterically. "Is that how they actually call us? We should get out more. And here I thought Deathbringer was a cheesy epithet. But honestly well thought on mine's. It was...actually pretty clever."
"What are you doing here anyway?"
"Oh, nothing much. It just....you guys have a lot of people stuck on that tower over there and I thought maybe I could use them somehow?"
"The prison....You don't mean...."
"Yes! I thought that maybe I could help with the rehabilitation. That sort of stuff."
"How many people do you think you have sired, damnit?"
"Hey, I need to start my world changing plans somewhere. But speaking of which...You don't look so well aren't you?"
"So what if I am not?"
"You know, ever since I heard about you I dreamed of fighting you once. But now I can see that you suffered terrible wounds to the point you look crippled compared from what I heard. Hell, from what I heard you could easily be a Hybrid, but it's a sweet surprise you are a human. So what do you say?"
He turns his arm into a crimsom coloured claw.
"Wanna join my pirate crew? We could use a guy like you. You would become a fine Rogue." Said Raven.
"...Hahaha....So funny. I can't think of any alternative here. I'm so desperate that I'm laughing." Said Alex.
"I am not forcing you or anything. You know I can be quite nice. For example I just passed through Lenard and Stewart in the way and I just killed one of them. Because I really wanted one of them to tell the story."
"...It was Lenard?"
"As a matter of fact, yes."
"Awesome. Hated that guy."
"So...what is your answer?"
"You know....I have a son, you see....Two, in fact. I really...wish that neither of them saw me as a vampire."
"Hmm....You seem pretty chilled about it. Aren't you afraid on letting them alone in this cruel world?"
"They are tough....I guess....They are tougher than me."
Alex then looks at Raven with a smug in his face.
"So go ahead and kill me already, you bastard!"
"Well said it!"
Raven pierces Alex's body with his claw and drains all of his blood making his body slowly turning blue.
"Urgh....This is....Not that painful at all..." Thought Alex. "Did you...suffered like this as well....Ruby...."
Alex then closes his eyes and dies.
"So that's how the Red Demon ends."
"The Red Demon ended years ago, I'm afraid."
On the way back, Johnnathan was on the underground passage following the way his father passed.
"Let's see...father wasn't up there so he might be around...huh?
From a far distance he saw his father's corpse.
Then he looked more far and saw Raven facing the opposite direction with his hand filled with blood. At that moment Johnnathan knew what happened. He killed his father. His eyes turned ominous and his face was stern and serious. A dark aura covered his body as he slowly approached him.
On the way he picked up his father's scythe and jumped to strike Raven with a swing of it, but at the last moment Raven was able to hold the scythe's blade with his bare hand. He turned away and looked at Johnnathan.
"Oh? It's you."
Raven then sliced Johnnathan with no hesitation. Johnnathan fell unconscious.
"A Hybrid boy? Do you know him?" Said Noir.
"Somehow. It's a long story."
"I didn't even see him coming. Hybrids are still a threat it seems."
"It wouldn't be fun if it was easy, right?"
"Anyway, why was he here in the first place?"
Raven looked at Alex one more time.
"...I think I might know."
The two of them leaves the scene. After a while Evening appeared and saw Johnnathan laying around.
She rushes to his side turned him over. She cut her palm and dropped blood on Johnnathan's mouth.
"Come on! Come on!"
She puts her ear on his chest and starts hearing his heartbeats.
"Ah! Good. He is okay."
She then hugs him putting his head on her chest.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
She cries a little bit and kisses his forehead. After putting him down she leaves. A while later Johnnathan wakes up.
He then see his father laying next to him.
He then struggles to get up and leaves the place. He looks back to his father again dead on the floor.
"Why are you smiling old man?"
He reaches the end of the tunnel and arrives on the city. It was all ruins. The sun was setting and the twilight sky arrived. Johnnathan sat on a pile of rubble and looked at the sky as he slowly cried.
He gets frustrated and curls on a ball.
"Kid?"An anthropomorphic bird with red feathers and brown panties adress him."Are you alone?"
"There is certainly no one else here, right?"
"Why is there is an Acquilla here? Are you on an errand?"
"You could say that. Where are you from, kid?"
"Want to me to take you there. I hope you aren't afraid of heights."
"No. I have no relatives anyway...Well, there is this brother of mine who is kind of infamous."
"Brother...Infamous...Mians....Boy, are you Johnnathan Highlander by any chanche?"
"How do you know that?"
"Your brother, Drake Highlander is my captain."
"Wanna me to take to your brother? My name is Shadewing by the way."
He extends his arm to him and Johnnathan then reaches his hand.
"....Ouch! The talons!"
END OF PROLOGUE