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Fandom Castlevania: Humanity [Closed]

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Lucyfer

I'mma Die On Top
Tulcea was where Cho reigned supreme as part of Dracula’s army. Traveling from Japan had been a long journey, and she had no castle like Dracula did, but she had still made good timing, which was why she’d been ordered to one of the territories within Romania to oversee his forces and make sure they were prepared to move beyond Tulcea when more night creatures began to arrive.

For that, Dracula needed more bodies for his forgemasters.

He only had so many demons from hell; the rest would require the work of his forgemasters. Cho did not understand the power they held, nor did she find she truly cared, so long as they were on their side. Dracula seemed to trust them, but Cho had her doubts. What human would, really, want to destroy all of humanity?

Even Cho wondered how a good an idea it was as she held court in Tulcea, robed in a red kimono and a golden belt. She did little to blend in with the people of Romania, even if she spoke their tongue. She was making a game out of her role among them, knowing they were all doomed. She was bored after all.

In her court back home, she’d be entertained with fights and bloodshed, at least.

She had found new ways to go about entertaining herself here. The humans didn’t need to know it was all utterly hopeless yet, so she fed them pretty lies about how they could survive and watched them prove how truly wretched they were when under that kind of pressure. She had asked for a sacrifice this time – a child, because of course, no parent would willingly part with a child.

Cho hadn’t willingly parted with her own daughter.

Yet she knew other humans would try to force it. She knew that eventually, one would be brought before her.

So when one of her attendants alerted her to the arrival, she went to what was passing as her ‘throne room’ in a house she’d taken over, and took a seat, before they were let inside. Her nose wrinkled in disgust immediately, understanding immediately why this child was brought before her. She had half a mind to reject the lycanthrope, for that reason, and for being too old – although she hadn’t specified age.

However, she decided not to do so immediately – seeing this play out would be interesting, and lycanthrope weren’t to be killed on sight, according to Dracula’s orders. Another powerful ally who had reason to hate humans would be useful – and someone who could deal with the likes of some of Dracula’s other allies would also be useful. Cho wasn’t looking forward to a reunion with the likes of Godbrand.

Cho pointed at the girl, one long nail extended, “You bring this whelp before me, and think this is sufficient?” Her Romanian was heavily accented, further indication she was not from the area, but she assumed it was still understandable. No one else had too much trouble with it yet.

~***~

Jars littered the counter where Alina worked in the fading sunlight, candles illuminating the dimming home. The Witch of the Woods had gotten off to a late start for her plans with syrups, but she’d been distracted with setting up wards that did not shun her familiar, but would shun the likes of the night creatures she’d heard were soon to come this way.

The red-head didn’t assume they’d overlook her, simply because she was already soul-bound to a demon. As far as she understood it, demons would take whatever meal they could, even at the expense of another of their kind.

She stirred sugar and lavender into a pot she had over the fire, letting the sugar dissolve, and bringing it to a boil. She heard the light footfall of the demon, returning to her house in the form of a white cat. Alina did not glance her way, until she felt arms wrap around her shoulders, and felt her chin rest upon Alina’s head. She tried to look up, of course, but it was a rather futile endeavor.

“You’re going to have a visitor soon,” Ishara said, voice as low and sweet as a siren’s. “Carmilla,” she added.

“Oh, really?” She didn’t seem that phased, “I wondered how long until one of them came to see me. I was expecting Lenore.” Though Alina had never met any of them, she heard enough rumors of them from the townsfolk who did visit her, always warnings, of course, concerns that one day the vampiresses would grow tired of humoring her presence and run her off. She supposed that was finally today. “I hope I can at least finish my syrups. You don’t think a vampire would appreciate syrup, do you?”

She didn’t have blood on hand to offer. She was going to be a rather poor host in that regard.

Ishara laughed, a rumbling in her throat, but she gave no answer, simply shifted back to the white cat, and found a perch high on one of the bookshelves to settle herself, to watch.

Thankfully, Alina did have time to finish her syrup, and pour it into two of the waiting jars to cool off so it could be used. She’d found that making a sugary lemon beverage, and mixing it with lavender, was quite delectable. Perhaps not the best use of her immortality, but if she was going to eat, she was going to enjoy it – might as well put some of her time towards delicacies.

This was probably why she’d become an open secret with the children of Styria.

Even if their parents still fretted over any sweet being poison, or thought she was trying to fatten the children up to eat them. ‘Hardly.’

She heard the alarms of her wards in her own head, meaning an intruder, and by the time the vampiress would be able to see the door, Alina would be waiting just outside of it, white lacy skirt and simple blouse, little intimidating at all about her appearance, though she assumed the woman with the white hair wasn’t as foolish as to think that. Witches may not have the same abilities as Speaker Magicians, but they had magic all the same.

And a demon right behind them.

“Good evening, Lady Carmilla. To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?” There was nothing fearful, nor accusatory. It was an honest curiosity.

Sceo Sceo
 

Lucyfer

I'mma Die On Top
Cho observed without moving from her seat as the little lycanthrope broke away from the man who must have been her father and made a run for it. She didn’t get far, before it became painfully obvious she wouldn’t be getting anywhere, Cho’s guards moving in the way. It elicited a small titter from Cho, who did rise from her seat as the man moved off to fetch his wayward daughter, who evidently wasn’t willingly sacrificing herself, and knew all too well what it meant. Unlike a younger child, who likely would not have fully understood the hardship ahead of them.

It was his only daughter.

His only child.

‘Where is your wife?’ A question worth asking, but perhaps she’d get a more interesting answer from the child. Nonetheless, she said, “It must be a tragedy to lose both child and wife,” as if she cared. It was an assumption that, she knew if it were not true, must hurt all the more in a way. The mother was not here, which meant she was ignorant, inconsolable, or worse – did not care.

“I suppose this tragedy will suffice, for now, although the disrespect in offering me someone so old will not go forgotten. When next I ask, I will expect better tributes.” Perhaps his wife, when she learned their name, and their status as living, or dead.

Or perhaps some beloved child in particular.

She didn’t pay that much attention, though. These people were not in her court, and never would be. Her court was going to be terribly boring, soon, unless she chose to turn a few into vampires. Or perhaps, lycanthropes.

“Go.” She ordered him. “Now.”

Though before he began departing, she would already be walking forward towards the one forced to kneel. “Rise.” She would dictate, though if it came to it, she was more than willing to help in the fashion that her father had lowered her down – hair was useful for making people move as she liked.

~***~

Carmilla had no fear in her approach. Unlike others who dithered on the ground, she came right up to the steps, standing level with Alina. Well, as level as a vampiress of her height could be, at any rate. Alina wasn’t going to let that bother her, though. Many things had ceased to bother her since the day she was nearly killed.

It seemed the vampiress had been called to heel, to work with the King of the Vampires in whatever he was doing with the night creatures. Ishara spoke of genocide, but didn’t vampires need human blood to drink? Perhaps they could survive on animals. Or each other. One of the mysteries to continue unraveling.

“I daresay the King of Vampires could have any use for a witch; from what I hear, he may despise us for giving his wife a bad name,” it was something about his wife being burned that start this.

Demons did enjoy their gossip.

“That’s not to say I am not interested,” she gave a wane smile, and finally gestured towards her door, “I think this kind of conversation is better had inside, though,” she wasn’t as concerned with prying ears, since her alarms hadn’t gone off of other approaches, but nonetheless, it would at least be more comfortable. “I’m afraid it’s rather modest, you’ll have to forgive any unintentional insult,” she added as she led in, “if you drink anything besides blood, I’d be happy to offer you a drink. I have plenty of teas and sweet drinks.”

She wasn’t sticking her neck out here.

“But I’m not looking for any reward – unless this is going to turn into a threat to evict me if I decline,” always possible, she supposed. Carmilla may have wished to come in sweet, but Alina knew it could deteriorate to threats if she so chose, and Alina quite liked the location. She supposed she was bribable with promises to keep her property. No use denying that and giving Carmilla the weapon; it should at least take the edge off any threats if she knew it was coming.

Sceo Sceo
 

Lucyfer

I'mma Die On Top
The man said not a thing, but left in shame. It was obvious in his gaze, and in the look that the daughter sent towards him on his way out. This was a betrayal, obviously. If there had been resentment between them before, it had not escalated to this point until now. A look different, but no less upset, is given to Cho as she stops to take in the stranger before her.

With her fierce green eyes, it wouldn’t be hard to pick her out of a crowd.

Cho reached out and would make sure the girl’s gaze stayed up by placing a nail under her chin and holding it up. She wanted to get a good read on her emotions, on who she was – perhaps even who she could be, “What is your name, child?” She asked, adding, “and do you know what you are?” Perhaps she wouldn’t understand the question, even if she was aware that she was a lycanthrope. A sacrifice would be an apt enough answer, as well.

To avoid that kind of obvious statement, “Not in your relation to me.”

Perhaps the change had been recent, perhaps she had not even undergone her first change, though the scent of mutt mixed with her own so well that Cho assumed it must have been a part of her for a while, and not something inherited from her father. Possibly the mother, though that seemed unlikely.

Certainly, the father would have just signed his death wish, if that were the case.

~***~

As Carmilla denied a drink, Alina would not pour her one as she went to her small reserve of chilled drinks. Ice wasn’t hard to get her, storing it not too difficult, but making sure she didn’t freeze things – that was the thing she was still working on. At least this time she’d succeeded in making sure the granatus didn’t freeze – this was a special enough occasion to drink it, and she would join Carmilla at the table once she’d poured herself a bit.

She wasn’t surprised Carmilla knew something of plight; if she knew about Dracula, certainly Carmilla heard about things within her own kingdom. ‘Something you don’t seem interested in.’ No, calling his war effort ‘silly’ certainly implied disagreement.

‘Good.’

The offers of things were tempting in their way, there was no denying it. Carmilla read the space well – with its books, dried herbs, and various questionable artifacts, Alina had taken her interests and newfound abilities in stride. Perhaps her problem was a simple lack of impatience.

Well, that, and lingering apathy. “What sort of aid are you looking for, my lady?” was that the appropriate title? Well, Carmilla could correct her. She hadn’t shown offense at just being ‘Lady Carmilla’ earlier, so she assumed it wasn’t too offensive, at any rate.

She still didn’t quite understand how vampires, titles, and Styria even worked, really. She hadn’t made a point to get familiar with those things.

Sceo Sceo
 

Lucyfer

I'mma Die On Top
Minamino was a Japanese name. Arguably, so was Sen, although Cho would not be surprised if it was a name used outside of Japan, as well. It seemed to be the case here, as she presented herself with clearly non-Japanese features. Sen also knew what she was – or thought she knew, not hesitating with offering both tidbits of information, if in the wrong order.

Cho dropped her hold.

She was amused with that question about being killed – or turned into the church. As if Cho would ever work with the church. “Is the church still lingering in this area? I thought I had slaughtered them already,” every cleric, every altar boy, every man, woman, or child too devout to leave it behind, who thought it would protect them from the wrath of Dracula – and by proxy, her.

“If you give me no reason, you need not die. You are a lycanthrope, not human,” she spoke that in Japanese, simply to see if Sen would understand the tongue, or if she was so far removed from it, that she didn’t know the language. She would have to learn, if she stayed around, of course. Cho despised using Romanian among her own court.

Language of the vampires or not, she was still proud of where she came from, and who she was. Dracula couldn’t take that from her. She was fairly certain Dracula wasn’t even Romanian, anyways, though much of his own history was shadowed and obfuscated, even though he wasn’t that old.

One day, it was like he’d just appeared.

~***~

Carmilla sought to go right into the lion’s den, and overcome it. To what end, it was easy to guess – but how many times had Alina let guesswork ruin her? Enough to be wary still as she sipped her beverage and let Carmilla explain herself, calling out evidence of poisons in Alina’s care. It wasn’t all sweets, and it brought just a touch of a smile to her lips. Yes, she knew how to poison humans.

And vampires. She’d had to look into that given her neighbors. The obvious plan was to be poison herself, and a fast acting one at that. It was only a pity she couldn’t use something as easy as holy water. It didn’t burn her on touch, but drinking it caused a terribly purging. “I can do it,” there was no doubt whatsoever in her tone.

She could do many things.

“And you’ve insinuated enough that you seem to believe Dracula’s little war is not to your advantage. I don’t agree with it, either,” she wasn’t sure if she was still classed in his human category or not, but either way, she didn’t approve of killing children en masse. She had a soft spot. Several, really, but that was the most obvious one.

“What I do not understand is what you hope to gain by going there,” as she said it, the white cat jumped from its perch to the table, gave Carmilla a look, and then jumped to the floor to curl up down there. Alina didn’t even bat an eye; demons really were like cats, sometimes they just wanted to announce themselves for no good reason. “Are you hoping to usurp his allies for something just as foul?”

Sceo Sceo
 

Lucyfer

I'mma Die On Top
Sen understood.

It was a wonder, although Sen did not respond in Japanese, it was evident she understood, and so Cho would continue the conversation in Japanese. She would not yet force Sen’s tongue to speak it; she had some small sympathy for the girl who asked if the church folk would be hurt, when she was so afraid of them. There was no reason for Sen to care, and yet, she did. A weak trait, and yet Cho was smart enough to recognize something else in it – Sen could be made to care for her.

Sen could be concerned for her safety, and that sort of power – especially in going to Dracula’s castle – would be useful. She didn’t trust all of his generals, and she’d been alive long enough to understand vampires were as ambitious as humans…just slower. They had longer lives. Many were willing enough to wait.

Perhaps not Carmilla – her short life told plenty of her story already, one that Cho should be wary of. She had not long been a vampire before she had killed her sire, and not long been a vampire before she had an entire region under her command, with three others. Cho still didn’t know if Carmilla had made them, or not.

It didn’t matter right now.

“Not for long,” Cho answered, “their pain will be short,” she knew better than to humor the church with a long life, no matter how she despised them. They could be surprising. She still hardly understood how they empowered water. Water was already a terrible weakness in rivers, but to empower it so they could just throw it upon someone and cause burning harm? Terrible. “You know where they are hiding if you know they are hiding.”

Or so Cho assumed. “Tell me what you know, little Sen,” she encouraged, “They are your own enemy, and set to perish no matter. Just as your wretched father is set to perish with everyone else.” There would be no preventing that. “That is the command of Dracula – but not for lycanthropes.”

Assuming Sen still did nothing to offend, of course.

~***~

It was simple. It was believable. Carmilla wanted to keep what she had, and perhaps add on to it. If her whims shifted and changed along the way, Alina would not find herself terribly surprised. There was already something obviously rather…well, whimsical wasn’t the word for someone such as Carmilla, but something akin to it. It was in the way she played at exhaustion – she wasn’t someone who was all that content to stay still.

She’d likely be more comfortable pacing Alina’s home while speaking.

Or so Alina assumed, while she sat contentedly in her chair, and observed, little nuance, little reaction. She had trained herself all those years ago, thanks to her own history. It wasn’t a terrible old man, but a man all the same who thought too much of himself, and saw his god-given dick as reason enough for all that.

She didn’t really want her life dictated by anymore of them, either.

“I believe you have satisfied my concerns about your own desires here, and for the important parts, ours are aligned,” and she would be prepared to consider what changes followed, “I have one logistic concern, you cannot answer, but I trust you will not mind if I seek it.” She glanced down to the cat. “Forgemasters,” she posed it with that beginning, “can they do anything to you, Ishara?”

Though she could have answered as a cat, Ishara stepped back from the chair, and let her form shift. Human – but not quite – was the form. Pearl skin that caught any light and shone, shivered, with a set of warm honey eyes, and deep, mahogany hair that fell in waves all the way to her hips, the demon was beautiful – all the more to be deceptive, of course.

Clad in a dark dress that left arms bare, and legs visible through slits, she answered with a lilting, “No,” and an amused quirk of her lips as she rested her arms once more around Alina’s shoulders and drew her back against her own chair. Golden chains at her wrists clinked together, some of Alina’s stoicism fading to mild irritation with the demon’s penchant for closeness.

“They may only control what demons they create from damned souls, nothing more than that. But that’s still quite a bit of power to go against.”

Alina nodded, “Then we should have no issues joining.” She didn’t ask the demon’s opinion about it. Ishara had reminded her, too many times, that her will was a command. The odd life of a familiar – yet she seemed happy to be on earth, rather than hell.

Sceo Sceo
 

Lucyfer

I'mma Die On Top
The clerics here always seemed full of heresy and blasphemy. It was pathetic, and Cho shook her head, but took the information down. She would have a hunt that night to finish them off, but she intended to be a part of it, so she wouldn’t send anyone immediately to do so. She didn’t think anyone here was going to go warn them off.

Her vampires certainly didn’t care about any clerics.

As Sen realized what the rest of her words meant, Cho let a soft laugh part her lips, as she shook her head, and then smiled serenely, “It will spare them my wrath, for a time,” she answered, “but Dracula, king of vampires, has chosen to exterminate all of humankind,” she wouldn’t assume Sen knew who Dracula was.

She may be in Romania, and speak Romanian, but Cho assumed he was only a monolith among hunters and vampires. The general riff-raff likely knew very little about him. Most probably didn’t even think he was real, if they did know about him. “It’s disappointing. I find humanity to be rather entertaining, but I suppose I can gather as much entertainment from trained bears.”

She didn’t sound that upset, and she wasn’t.

Although she had been timeless and changeless for a while, she wasn’t seeing how this would truly impact her life. Not yet. Sure, it would empty her court – but there were other non-humans out there. Animals. Lycanthropes. Witches. Demons.

She’d have her entertainment. “Your father will receive what he deserves, in due time, and know what a fool he was in his last seconds.” Something like that would have cheered Cho.

~***~

There it was. The restlessness. The pacing. Alina was not surprised that Carmilla was immediately prepared to move on. She wasn’t here to continue with small talk or anything like that. She’d had a mission, and now she had succeeded in it.

Alina hummed at the question, glancing around her home. It was organized chaos. She’d be sad to leave it, assuming it was to be for a while. Some of the plants were going to die. “I can be organized in a couple of hours of all my necessities,” she answered, rising, if only to maintain some illusion of that same haste. That, and she’d finished her drink.

She’d have to wash the cup out before leaving, too.

“I do not suppose you know anyone good with plants?” She asked, although she could always regrow them, “I have a few that will die with a long absence, and they were difficult enough to grow here in Styria.” Her home wasn’t exactly forgiving to anything that wasn’t an evergreen.

Ishara wouldn’t speak, though she wouldn’t revert to cat form, either, as she went to one of those poor cursed plants, the small strychnine tree, not yet large enough to go outside and survive the cold snap. It was from a climate usually much warmer than this, but it would manage like any other tree – let it leaves fall in the winter, and pick itself back up later on.

Ishara wouldn’t be staying with the plants.

Carmilla’s invitation included her, whether she desired it or not.

Sceo Sceo
 

Lucyfer

I'mma Die On Top
There was sorrow in the child’s eyes, and Cho could guess at why. Even if she might have hated her father, the wound was still new, the betrayal not yet overcome with years of hatred, only a moment. Perhaps it was for a mother, or a friend, that she worried, but there was naught Cho would do to take the words back, their execution hanging in the air with only the question of ‘when’, not ‘if’ above it.

The Inquisitors would fall far sooner.

Rather than plead, beg, or cry for any loved ones, Sen meekly accepted their fate, and her own, wondering if there was anything that she could do – now trying to speak in Japanese rather than Romanian. It was not perfect, it was slow, but Cho understood it even where some practice was clearly needed.

Which made what she could do a bit obvious, in a way.

“You will be entering a new life in my court, you can begin to familiarize yourself with it,” she clapped her hands lightly twice, and as if materializing from air (though not really) a dark-haired vampire garbed in black and gold stepped forward at the wordless command. “See her cleaned, and then begin to inform her of what is expected, Haruto.”

He gave a deep inclination of his head before his sharp eyes met with hers, “Come along, whelp,” he found no need to be courteous right then, until a sharp slap that drew nails over his cheek reminded him he was still in the presence of Cho.

Blood dripped down his cheek, falling from her nails, as she reminded, “She is not a human member of the court, Haruto.”

He swallowed hard as his back stiffened, and he nodded, his look at Sen kinder…though not a kindness that truly met his eyes, as she was now the reason for him being slapped, in his own mind. Not his misstep into rudeness.

His command would remain the same – that she come along, before Cho would leave to deal with the forces of the inquisition.

~***~

Alina didn’t overlook the lapse, and when Carmilla left, she sighed. “Your plants are going to die.”

Alina shook her head, and made her first business writing a letter providing instructions with descriptions of each plant, and what they needed, for whatever soldier Carmilla tried to keep in charge of her plants. She didn’t have much hope, but she knew it was better than nothing. She’d pin the note to its place with a crystal on the table, before moving on to pack.

Naturally, the artifacts of her job were packed, from the mundane mortar and pestle and ingredients, to the more curious crystal balls, to the truly enchanted – small blades, wide-rimmed bowls, and the like, all of which were quite useful in her arts from spying to poisoning. She’d yet to obtain a magic mirror, but she had plans to try and make one, one day.

Passing through time and space would have been useful to keep her plant alive. ‘Don’t spy on the poor soldier too much.’ Obviously, she would. She set up a regular mirror to peer through from afar.

Magic ones didn’t need another mirrors around to look through. They just…did.

Clothing, and more mundane goods, were packed as well, and by the time Carmilla’s men had arrived, she was prepared. Ishara resumed cat-form, and padded along after them to the carriage. It was only there that Alina reluctantly gave up her bags for them to put away, before she’d accept the open-door invitation to the carriage.

Something Ishara hadn’t hesitated with at all, jumping in, and finding a space under the bench to rest.

Once in the carriage and the door shut, she did take a look around, curious that none of Carmilla’s so-called sisters were with her, but more curious, “How long of a journey is it?” certainly not quick, which led to another question, “is this…actually good protection against the sun?” the curtains were thick, certainly but it seemed like if cloth was good enough, a heavily robed vampire could go about as they pleased.

Sceo Sceo
 

Lucyfer

I'mma Die On Top
Most lycanthropes that Cho knew had trouble staying to their human forms on a full moon. She had expected much the same with Sen. She had also expected to lose a man or two that night, as many lycanthropes also lost their minds – and even if Sen didn’t, it was a convenient excuse to get back at her court of vampires.

Sen was aware of the bloodshed and death by now.

Yet, there seemed to be no wrath within her. She was either quite skilled at hiding it, which Cho doubted, or her heart was simply that large. Not the best quality for someone reviled by humanity. It wouldn’t win Sen any love amongst the humans.

They had quickly grown to hate her, too, even not knowing what she was. She wore Cho’s colors and dressed now as if she were from Japan. Many believed that Sen was now a deciding force behind who lived, and who died.

Cho could only imagine the humans had already taken justice out of her parents.

Yet, nothing happened.

A cool two hours after the dark had fallen, and there was no chaos, no ruckus – nothing! Cho eventually turned back inside her makeshift home, and sought Sen out, not bothering with knocking before opening the door to the room that housed her.

She saw no change. Save Sen slacking on her studies, of course. “Sen, do you not change under the full moon?” Perhaps it was another that impacted her? Vampires differed by the moon they were born under, among other factors. Cho knew her form of mist was a blessing of the moon she was born under.

~***~

Carmilla didn’t appear terribly enthused about the journey, it was painfully obvious in her annoyance. Though another person, or perhaps just another time, would have amused Alina with that obvious show of dramatics about a journey, she kept a calm visage as Carmilla explained what the loose plan was.

This had been drawn up rather hastily, although Alina imagined Carmilla had her role imagined in it for a little while, at least.

And the carriage was clever. Alina smiled a bit at seeing the sliding shutter that would keep the sun out – unnecessary in the moment, but no doubt soon to be necessary given Carmilla had visited her early in the night, and some time had passed since then. ‘I assume the comfort of the drivers, as well.’ They had to be human, or at least, not vampires.

Did Carmilla have other vampires with her for this trip? This carriage would get cramped during daylight hours. Alina hadn’t looked to see where those guards would go.

Alina shook her head at the question all the same, smile still there, “No, time hasn’t concerned me for a while,” she rarely had concerns about time any longer, even if she was new to this immortality thing. It was already easy to stop being concerned when she lived away from other humans on a daily basis.

Although perhaps she should have kept a book on hand. Would that have been rude? “Merely curious. I’ve done most of my traveling by foot, so I didn’t know what to expect from horses.”

Not that she knew how long this journey would take by foot but…likely significantly longer than a few days. Even excluding Carmilla’s issues with the sun.

Sceo Sceo
 

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