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Warlock 3 - City Of The Dead

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 1 (v.1) - The Black Cat

Submitted: October 30, 2017

Reads: 3341

Comments: 16

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Submitted: October 30, 2017

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It was night, the silvery moon shining full in the black sky. There were no clouds, revealing thousands of shimmering stars scattered across it like a blanket, some larger than others. The shadows of birds raced past, squawking loudly as they passed a gloomy village, its streets plagued by an eldritch layer of mist. The moonlight couldn’t break through it, the only light coming from the candles in the windows of the small shacks that were huddled closely together, their wood damp and rotting.

From atop a small fence, an old, shaggy black cat hissed loudly, staring into the shadows of an alley. Startled, it fled, leaping down from the fence and disappearing into the fog. It raced towards a tall barn-like structure, scurrying through a broken plank of wood and into the building. The loud sound of clashing glasses and chattering people filled the air, a crackling fire burning in the center. Rushing past the feet of many people, the cat leaped up onto a bar, sitting calmly and licking its paws.

The room was filled with people all dressed in old, dirty rags, most of which looked like they had been sewn back together a fair few times, differently colored patches spread all over the cloth. A fire burnt brightly in the center, a hog suspended above it with an apple wedged in its mouth. A lot of the people were staring at it as it cooked, wide-eyed and drooling. There were also a few dogs in the room, sitting under their owner’s tables. Some yapped quietly as they watched the cat that had just entered as others just sat there in silence. One old man was sharing his glass with his beloved animal friend, chuckling as the mongrel chugged down the mead.

An old woman then waddled over, placing a collection of glasses onto the bar and then proceeded to roughly pet the cat as it growled quietly, glaring at her as she mumbled quietly to it, spitting through her missing teeth, a giant wart on her chin. Her face sagged like old robes, several other chins below her first. But then, the cat jumped to its feet, its fur spiking up as it hissed loudly, glaring behind the woman. As the cat leaped down and fled, she sighed irritably.

‘’Excuse me’’ came a quiet voice.

The woman flinched, but turned around and glared at a small girl, her hair dark brown, falling down past her waist. She was smiling brightly, her emerald-green eyes shimmering, reflecting the light coming from the fire. This girl looked rather strange; she was wearing a black colored tunic, tied at the front with many lace-like strings, the collar tight and hugging her neck. A very small blue gem earring was visible in her left ear, shimmering through her hair locks. There was a purple hiltless sword at her left side attached to her black belt which was tied around her waist, attached to her black trousers. She was also wearing dark brown boots which came up to her knees, mud on their soles.

‘’What do ye want?’’ the old woman croaked, eyeing the girl harshly.

She frowned slightly, but kept her smile, ‘’um… I’m looking for a Mister Reeves’’ she said, ‘’I heard he comes here a lot’’

‘’What does a small girl like ye want with an old git like that?’’ she asked, turning around and starting to wipe the glasses she had collected with a small dirty rag.

‘’Oh… He’s just a friend of a friend’’

Scowling suspiciously, the woman placed the glass she was holding back down on the table and turned back around, staring at the girl again. But then, she peered behind her, noticing a small group of people sat at a table in the far back looking over at them, ‘’you’re not from around here, are ye, girl?’’

She shook her head.

The woman turned back around, muttering to herself. Before the girl could say anything else, the old lady picked up several of the glasses and waddled away, the black cat leaping out from under a table and following her.

 

All of the people here were so standoffish, so strange. This woman was the first out of everyone in the bar to actually speak back to her, but she had been of just as much use. Irritated, the girl turned around and walked over to the table in the far back where a small group of colorful people were sat, several bottles on the table. As she slumped down beside them, they all looked at her expectantly.

‘’Well? Did she tell you anything?’’ called a smaller girl, her hair slightly darker, also falling down past her waist. She was dressed very similar to her, but there were no sleeves on her tunic. Her eyes were wide and very bright blue, gazing at the girl as she sat down.

‘’No, Thea’’ the girl mumbled, a stroppy look on her face, ‘’I don’t think he’s gonna show’’

‘’Kathrina, ‘’ one of them called, ‘’he will show. Luka’s never wrong, remember?’’

She frowned, staring at him. He had short light brown hair which was spiked on top of his head, the back falling to just above his shoulders. He had a blue scarf wrapped around his neck, a lighter blue headband hugging his forehead. There were three silver earrings in his left ear lined one after the other. He stared at her with his hazel eyes, an assured look on his face.

Kathrina nodded at him as he tried reassuring her. He was right. Luka’s information had never been wrong, but the man they were looking for was supposed to have been at the bar hours ago. They had spent all this time waiting for him, but there was no sign of him. As convincing as Harley’s words were, she was starting to think that maybe, this one time, Luka had failed them.

Irritated, she looked over at Logan who was snoring loudly, his head rested on his rather irritated-looking brother, Joe. His hair was a lighter color than Harley’s, but it was so long it piled up on the table. There had been a piece of string keeping it collected, but it had come loose. Joe was tapping his fingers on the table, staring ahead at one of the burning candles. As always, Logan had drunk himself to sleep. It was no surprise, though. They had been waiting for so long, she was thinking about falling asleep herself.

Harley leaned forward onto the table, sighing quietly as he poured another glass of mead, watching lazily as the brown liquid flowed into the glass. Although he had done his best to convince the others that this man was going to show, he was so convinced himself. Ever since they had arrived here, something had felt strangely off. All of the people gave them strange, evil stares, muttering under their breath. He didn’t like this place, something was unsettling him.

 

But then, the door flung open, the thick mist from outside flowing in followed by a harsh, freezing breeze. The cat hissed loudly, watching as a cloaked man walked in, a cane in one hand and a bottle in the other, stumbling as he entered, slamming the door behind him. However, no one seemed at all startled by his entrance, still chattering to each other, laughing and drinking.

The group stared as the cloaked person looked their way, hiccupping loudly.

‘’Seriously, that better not be our man’’ Thea mumbled, sitting up and resting her chin on top of Kathrina’s head.

Watching him drag himself towards them, Harley chuckled, ‘’I think it might be’

‘’You’ve gotta be joking’’ she grumbled.

From across the table, Octavia giggled quietly, staring at the man as he stumbled forward, tripping over his own feet. He crashed into the table, staring vacantly at them all as they glared back.

Slowly, he stood up straight and removed his hood, revealing his wrinkly face, several warts and scars on it. His eyes were a deep, dark blue and pupil-less – A Seer. His hair was grey and greasy with what looked like pieces of fluff dangling from a few of the locks. He grinned, no teeth in his mouth at all.

‘’Uh… Reeves?’’ Kathrina asked unsurely.

He turned his head and looked down at her, ‘’ya?’’

‘’You’re the one Luka told us about?’’ Joe frowned, doubtful.

The man nodded, pulling out a chair from under the table and sitting down, ‘’God only knows why ye want to know the things ye wanna know, but I get paid if I tell ye’’ he grumbled, leaning forward and snatching Harley’s glass just as he was about to drink from it.

Kathrina frowned, sitting up straight, uncomfortable.

‘’So, what do ye wanna know?’’ he asked, gulping down the stolen drink.

They all looked at Kathrina expectantly. She rolled her eyes, irritated that she always had to be the one asking questions. She shoved her sister off her back and glared at the old Seer. He didn’t look like the kind of person to have what they came for, but she didn’t doubt Luka. He had sent a messenger bird yesterday informing them to meet a man by the name of Reeves, explaining that he would tell them what they needed to know. If he truly was the right man, there was no time to lose.

She cleared her throat, ‘’well, we’re after any information on a man named Alucard’’ she said quietly.

Reeves frowned at her, ‘’Alucard? I was told by this Luka fellow that you wanted to know about Vampires – There’s a city not too far from ‘ere that’s run by the buggers. Only reason we don’t get ‘em here is because the village was sanctified by the priests years ago. Ain’t no Vampires, Demons or Werewolves getting in ‘ere’’ he chuckled.

‘’Alright… Well, do you know anything about this man?’’ she asked impatiently.

He shook his head, ‘’his name sounds familiar – That city, I am sure I heard it there’’

‘’The city plagued by Vampires?’’ Thea asked, fiddling with her long hair.

‘’Ya, I think – But ye ain’t planning on ‘eading over there are ye?’’

Harley snatched his glass back, ‘’what’s it to you?’’

Offended, Reeves sat up, ‘’damn place is infested with those buggers – Ye gon’ die if ye go anywhere near that place’’

 

Kathrina stared at Reeves as he bickered with Harley. For some reason, all of a sudden, she was starting to feel strange. A strong nauseous feeling had abruptly taken over as well as an overwhelming dizziness. Confused, she looked around, trying to distract herself from it, but it was getting worse. The heat from the fire turned into something unbearable; although it was far away, it was like it was right in her face, burning her skin. She looked over at the cat, watching as it cleaned itself. But she couldn’t concentrate on anything.

Slowly, she started looking around at whatever her eyes could find, staring at the old woman as she collected more glasses, watching as people entered and left the bar –

‘’Kathrina?’’

‘’Huh?’’ she flinched, turning around, noticing that everyone had fallen silent, staring at her.

Thea frowned, ‘’what’s wrong?’’

She stared at her sister vacantly, her words echoing through her head as the nauseous feeling became worse. Now, she was finding it hard to breathe, the hot air drowning her as she sat there.

Harley leaned forward, ‘’Kathrina?’’

Startled, she turned her head and stared at him, ‘’I… I just need some air’’ she insisted, quickly climbing to her feet.

‘’I’ll go with you’’ Thea said.

‘’No’’ Kathrina denied, ‘’I’ll be fine, just keep talking to Reeves and get whatever you can. I’ll be back in a minute’’

‘’Are you sure?’’ Joe called.

Kathrina nodded, turning around and rushing towards the door.

Watching her leave, Reeves frowned, ‘’what’s wrong with that one?’’

 

Not too far away from the village, the group's ship was docked in a small harbor. Standing on the quarter deck was Elijah, leaning against the fence, his arms folded in front of him and his eyes closed. Once again, he was napping, neglecting his responsibility to guard the ship. The fact that the village was sanctified had angered him; being unable to accompany Kathrina was making him anxious, so he decided to take a nap to escape from such feelings.

But he wasn’t alone. Leaning against the foremast beside each other were Tsunami and Alpha, both of them glaring up at Elijah, watching him from the small distance. They glared at him with their black soulless eyes, irritated. The two of them were even angrier about having to stay behind; they hated that man with a passion and being stuck with him was far more than unsatisfactory. True, he was asleep, but they knew the second he woke up he’d be throwing insults at them. Either that or he’d take his frustration out on them.

However, such a thing wouldn’t end in his favor anymore; Tsunami now had Are’s curse, just like his brother, which made him far stronger than before. He now had the ability to take on a Demon form, gaining wings and incredible healing powers. Even without being in the Demon form, he was incredibly strong. It seemed that Elijah was actually aware of the fact. Since they had left Japan, he hadn’t tried to start any kind of conflict with him and the only reason Tsunami could think of to explain such a thing was that Elijah was afraid. It was, after all, now two against one and he really didn’t stand a chance against him and his brother.

Just then, Alpha jabbed his elbow into Tsunami’s side, ‘’yo, you think he’s actually asleep or just pretending to be?’’

Tsunami turned his head and glared at his brother’s curious face, ‘’what does it matter to you?’’ he grumbled.

He shrugged.

They fell silent again.

But then, Alpha jabbed him again, ‘’yo, what’s your bet – scar-face one against scar-face two – Who would win?’’

Irritated, Tsunami glared at him again, ‘’seriously?’’

He grinned and nodded.

Sighing quietly, he shrugged, ‘’I don’t know – Opus is an Elemental, we don’t know how strong he is and Elijah can use the weapon that kills Elementals, so who knows?’’

‘’Lame’’ Alpha grumbled, staring out at the sea behind them.

 

Up on the quarter deck, Elijah frowned slightly, his white tousled hair shuffling slightly in the breeze. The deep scar that cut down the right side of his face hadn’t healed at all. It was still there and just like the lock of hair that fell over his fringe, he hated it. But there was nothing he could do about it.

Slowly, he opened his eyes and turned his head, glaring down at Alpha and Tsunami as they mumbled to each other. He had heard every word they said, but he couldn’t be bothered to retaliate. The pair of them took whatever chance they got to try and irritate him, but he was smart enough to know not to react. He knew he didn’t stand much of a chance against two Ares Demons at once. Also, he had been sternly told by Kathrina not to start anything with them or she’d scold him.

He smiled slightly; just thinking about her made him happy. But then, he realized that he was becoming distracted, losing his focus. He had been using his Demon sensory abilities to keep track of the group; now without his Psyche-Jikato, he was forced to rely on his other senses. Concentrating, he closed his eyes again, focusing, listening –

‘’Yo, scar-face – ‘’

Both startled and irritated, Elijah stood up straight and glared at Alpha, ‘’what?’’ he growled.

‘’Wow, someone’s grouchy’’

Elijah scowled evilly, losing his patience already, ‘’do not call me that’’ he hissed.

Alpha grinned spitefully, ‘’call you what? Scar-face?’’

He growled quietly, clenching his fists.

‘’Whatever – Shouldn’t they be back by now?’’ he asked, losing the sly attitude.

Sighing, he leaned back, ‘’any time now. They are still in the bar’’

Grumbling quietly, Alpha leaned back on the wheel and sighed impatiently. All he wanted to do was leave the ship and get on with their mission, tired of all the waiting.

Closing his eyes again, he started concentrating again…

 

Kathrina coughed violently, slamming her hand on the wall beside her as she leaned over, unsure if she was going to throw up or not. The nauseous feeling wasn’t ceasing and it was making her feel awful. There was a sharp pain tearing at her stomach, her legs starting to feel weak as she stood there, staring down at the cobblestone ground.

She had no idea why this strange sickness had suddenly come over her; a harsh headache followed the dizziness, causing her to feel disorientated. She didn’t know what to do – It was becoming harder to breathe as she coughed again – Suddenly, she dropped to her knees, so dizzy that she couldn’t tell where she was, sitting on the ground.

‘’Kathrina!’’ came a distorted voice.

Confused, she looked up, watching as a blurred figure emerged from the fog. Slowly, she looked up at him, realizing that it was Elijah, staring down at her with his light green eyes, a worried look on his scarred face.

‘’Elijah?’’ she asked weakly, ‘’w-what are you doing here?’’

He put his arms around her and helped her stand. As he did, Alpha and Tsunami came running out of the fog, both of them irritated.

‘’What’s wrong?’’ Elijah asked quietly, turning her around and staring at her pale face.

She shook her head, confused, ‘’I… I don’t know. I was talking to Reeves and all of a sudden, I just started feeling… Weird’’ she explained, burying her face in his coat as she hid under his cloak.

Elijah frowned, just as confused as she was, but then looked back at Alpha and Tsunami, ‘’go and get the old man’’ he instructed.

‘’Ugh, why?’’ Alpha grumbled lazily.

He scowled at him, ‘’something is wrong with her!’’ he growled, ‘’go and get him!’’

‘’Fine!’’ Alpha growled, storming off and entering the bar.

Tsunami slowly walked over, looking down at Kathrina as she hid in Elijah’s cloak.

She looked at him and frowned, but then looked back up at Elijah, ‘’you can’t be here – The ground is sanctified, they’ll come after us’’

‘’I’d like to see them try’’ Tsunami mumbled.

‘’Do not worry,’’ Elijah said quietly, ‘’once we have the old man, we’ll head back to the ship’’

Kathrina smiled, but as she did, the nauseous feeling suddenly became so much worse – Sure that she was going to throw up, she shoved Elijah away, turned around and –

‘’Oh, that’s nasty’’ Alpha called, appearing behind them with Opus.

As she threw up, Elijah frowned, unsure about how he should react. Slowly, he placed his hand on her back, waiting for her to stand back up.

‘’What’s the problem?’’ Opus asked, seemingly oblivious to Kathrina’s sickness.

Pulling her back under his cloak, Elijah turned around and glared at him, ‘’Kathrina’s sick’’ he growled, ‘’do something about it’’

Opus frowned, leaning forward and staring at Kathrina, ‘’yes… This place is not a good place to do such a thing… Shall we leave?’’

Aggravated, Elijah picked up Kathrina in his arms and started carrying her away, heading back towards the ship. The three of them followed, muttering quietly.

Alpha leaned closer to his brother, ‘’that old man they were talking to in there looked like some- ‘’

‘’What do you think is wrong with her?’’ Tsunami interrupted, concerned.

Opus shook his head, ‘’I do not know. I will have to look at her closer to find out. It is the winter season, so it might be a cold of some kind’’ he assumed.

Following Elijah, they quickly headed for the ship, worried about what might be wrong with Kathrina. It was strange how she had suddenly fallen ill; no one had become sick throughout the entire journey, so it came as a great shock to them that someone had and that someone was Kathrina who they all greatly cared about. Whatever was wrong with her, Opus would find out.

 



© Copyright 2019 Kathrina Csernis. All rights reserved.

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