Warlock 3 - City Of The Dead

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

Chapter 15 (v.1) - A Ghoulish Discovery

Submitted: November 20, 2017

Reads: 106

Comments: 5

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Submitted: November 20, 2017

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Out on the ship’s deck, everyone was rattled by the fight that had just broken out between Elijah, Tsunami and Alpha. It had come to an abrupt end after Kathrina jumped in, but they were all certain that the three of them were most likely going to go at it again pretty soon. People like them didn’t stop until someone was dead.

Thea grabbed her sister’s shoulders as she walked over to her and started shaking her, ‘’do you see what I mean now?!’’ she exclaimed, ‘’he’s an uncontrollable- ‘’

Kathrina shook her head and sighed quietly, ‘’just forget it, Thea. He was just- ‘’

‘’Just what?!’’

‘’He was just being protective’’ she said calmly.

But Thea was far from calm, ‘’protective? Of what?!’’

Just then, Alpha leaned in and smirked, ‘’apparently, my brother walked in on them while they were… well, you know’’

Angered, Kathrina raised her hand and slapped Alpha’s face, ‘’no one asked you!’’ she growled.

Startled, he stumbled back and held his hand over his now red face. He scowled angrily, but turned around and walked back over to Tsunami who was leaning behind the foremast, his hands still trembling with anger. The wounds on his face had already healed and he had cleaned the blood from it.

As his brother leaned beside him, he glanced over at him, ‘’what the hell was that?’’ he asked quietly.

Alpha frowned and looked over at him, ‘’what was what?’’

‘’White-hair: how’d he beat us like that?’’

He shrugged and sighed irritably, ‘’I dunno, maybe he’s hiding a lot more than we thought’’

‘’Like what?’’

Again, he shrugged and leaned closer to him, ‘’he’s addicted’’

‘’To what?’’

‘’Blood’’

Tsunami frowned and turned to face his brother, ‘’blood?’’

He nodded, ‘’yeah, I caught him feeding on Kathrina yesterday and honestly, it doesn’t look good – for either of them. You do know what happens to a Demon that relies solely on blood as sustenance, right?’’

Staring at his brother, he shook his head, ‘’well, let’s hope we don’t see it’’ he smirked, prodding his brother’s shoulder as he turned around and walked away.

 

Thea shook her head violently, still holding onto her sister, ‘’he’s dangerous! Why can’t you see that?!’’

‘’He’s not dangerous!’’

‘’He almost killed Tsunami!’’

‘’He was protecting me!’’

‘’From what?!’’

Kathrina went to answer, but then fell silent and sighed. Thea was right. Elijah was dangerous, and he could have killed Tsunami or Alpha if she hadn’t jumped in and stopped the fight. There was no need for a fight. A single punch was expected, but a full-on battle? It wasn’t like him. Either Tsunami had hit back and started it, or Elijah had lost control of his anger again. She didn’t want to blame anyone, but Tsunami should have knocked before entering; his sudden burst entry had startled both of them, especially Elijah and it had caused him to spring into some protective/defensive mindset. He couldn’t help that; his being a Demon heightened those emotions and instincts incredibly.

She frowned and glanced back at the door, waiting for Elijah to come back out. She was going to have to have yet another stern talk with him. It seemed that her council had been helping a lot, but obviously not enough. He remained a lot calmer when it came to other people and civilians, but when it came to her, he was still the same. If anyone so much as looked at her, he’d glare at them so evilly that they would eventually leave the room. She knew he was only being protective, but it seemed to be a little too much now. She needed to get him to understand that he didn’t need to be so defensive.

Sighing, she looked back at her sister, ‘’yeah, I know. He needs to stop being so defensive all the time’’

Shocked by her agreement, Thea shook her head and blinked quickly, ‘’what?’’

‘’I’ll talk to him, tell him to calm down. He’s probably gonna come out of there ready to fight again, so I should go to him before- ‘’

Suddenly, the cabin door clicked loudly and Elijah stepped out, closing it loudly behind him. Everyone fell silent and watched as he walked over to the edge of the ship, staring down at the docks below. He then glared over at them and when his eyes met with Tsunami’s, he scowled angrily.

But then, he lifted his right arm from under his cloak and pointed at him, ‘’you, lead the way’’

They all stared blankly at him, but Tsunami shoved his way through the crowd and stormed over to him, holding the hilt of his sword.

Afraid that they were going to end up fighting again, Kathrina went to rush to them, but to her surprise, Tsunami walked past Elijah without so much as an evil glare. He harshly hit his shoulder with his own, but Elijah just responded with a quiet snarl, letting him go.

Then, he followed Tsunami as he walked down the steps and onto the dock.

‘’Let’s go’’ Kathrina said as she looked back at everyone, quickly rushing to catch up with them.

The group followed her as she quickly walked down the steps and caught up with the two of them, walking beside Elijah.

He glanced down at her, but didn’t say anything. He didn’t know what to say. Usually, he’d have reached for her hand and be holding it, but he wasn’t sure if he should. She was clearly both mad and upset that he had started a fight again after promising her that he wouldn’t. He wanted to apologise, but what use would that be?

Glancing down at her again, he sighed, ‘’Ka- ‘’

‘’Let’s go, sister!’’ Thea sang, skipping past as she grabbed Kathrina’s hand and pulled her forward, walking beside Tsunami as everyone else joined them, leaving Elijah to walk behind them all by himself.

They all followed Tsunami in silence, leaving the docks and walking through the busy streets. They turned onto many different paths every couple of minutes, some deserted, others packed with people and some with two or three shady-looking people hanging around in them. Just like they had seen the previous day, there were Vampires in the shade and allies drinking from the Humans, paying them before disappearing back into the shadows.

 

Tsunami gradually lead them to the part of the wall that he had climbed over last night, but now that it was day time, there were armoured guards standing in the towers on top of the wall. If they tried climbing over in broad daylight, they’d most likely be apprehended and whoever was in charge here would probably have them arrested which would cause problems for all of them.

He sighed and stopped, ‘’this is where I climbed’’ he said quietly, making sure the guards above couldn’t hear.

Harley leaned on the wall and also sighed, gripping his right arm tightly, a pained look on his face.

Logan stepped forward, ‘’so, why is it that we’re here? Why did we follow you?’’

‘’Yeah,’’ Thea called, still holding Kathrina’s hand tightly, ‘’you never told us why we came out here’’

Just then, catching up with them, Elijah made his way through them and stood beside Tsunami, ‘’he found a lead – There was a creature within the castle… ‘’ he paused and glanced back, staring up at the guard who had started walking in their direction, ‘’this way’’ he grumbled, walking through the crowd again.

They quickly followed as he started walking, following the wall. They walked until they reached the docks again, the wall ending just before the shoreline.

Elijah stopped and turned back to face them all, making sure that there was no one else around, ‘’there is a possibility that Alucard has been trying to create his own Elementals. If you can get a closer look at these creatures,’’ he said as he pointed at Opus, ‘’then you can confirm whether our assumption is true or not, yes?’’

Opus nodded, but frowned, ‘’you believe that Alucard has tried to take the void magic from within him to make more of himself?’’

They all looked at Tsunami.

He shrugged, ‘’yeah, it’s the only thing that makes sense. Either that or that creature was Alucard, but I highly doubt that’’

‘’So, what? Are we going to hunt for some creature?’’ Thea moaned.

Tsunami shook his head, ‘’no, I already know where they are’’

Kathrina then frowned, ‘’wait a moment’’ she said, ‘’what exactly are these creatures? What if more turn up? We can’t just go in there without knowing what we’re dealing with’’

Harley nodded, ‘’she’s right – tell us what they are’’ he said, looking at Tsunami.

‘’I don’t know what they are’’ he admitted, ‘’all I know is that they don’t die’’

‘’They don’t die? The hell does that mean?’’ Alpha mumbled.

‘’It means exactly what he said’’ Elijah said, ‘’they do not die. He tore the head off one, but it got up and walked away, correct?’’ he asked, looking over at Tsunami.

He nodded, ‘’yeah, it just got up and left its head behind like it didn’t even need it. But the Vampire that almost killed me told me that fire kills them’’

They all looked at each other in shock.

‘’A Vampire almost killed you?’’ Harley asked.

‘’Yeah, but that doesn’t matter’’ Tsunami groaned, ‘’we need to get to these things so Opus can tell us if we’re right or not’’

Before anyone else could comment, he stormed past them and stepped into the sludge, walking around the end of wall to the other side. Alpha abruptly followed as did Octavia and Opus. Logan, Joe and Harley went next, all of them grunting angrily as their shoes sunk into the sludge, the sea brushing at their soles as they disappeared to the other side.

Glaring Harshly at him, Thea watched as Elijah went to follow them-

‘’Wait’’ Kathrina said as she grabbed his cloak.

He stopped and looked back at her, but then looked over at Thea.

Thea looked angrily at her sister, ‘’let’s go, sister’’

‘’I’ll be right behind you’’ she smiled.

She grumbled quietly and walked around the wall, disappearing.

 

Watching her leave, Elijah stepped out of the mud and moved closer to Kathrina, waiting for her to explain why she had stopped him. He was sure she was about to scold him, but he knew he deserved it. As he stopped in front of her, she let go of his cloak and stared up at him, a despondent look on her face. He stared back, unsure of what to say or think. It was clear that he really had let her down this time.

But then, she pulled a sweet smile and reached up to his face, placing her cold hand over his left cheek which was slightly bruised from where Tsunami had hit him, ‘’are you okay?’’ she asked quietly.

Slowly, he smiled and placed his hand over hers, closing his eyes, ‘’now I am, yes’’

‘’Did you get hurt?’’

He felt her pulling her hand away, so he let go and opened his eyes, gazing down at her as she stepped back slightly, still staring at him. He really had upset her. It made him angry, but not at her. He was furious with himself for getting carried away again. All he had to do was walk away, but he hit back again and again and the whole thing turned into a nasty fight. He might have even hurt Harley; he had shoved him away with such force and might have even slashed him with his claws. He had seen him gripping his arm and he looked to be in pain too. He felt awful. What had he done?

Saddening, he looked down at the ground and shook his head, ‘’no’’

‘’Liar’’ she smirked.

He smirked too, but didn’t look at her. He couldn’t face her.

Kathrina stared at him as he looked down at the ground; he was clearly upset too, but not because of what he had done. She knew he was only acting like this because he knew she was upset with him. If he did feel guilty, it was only guilt for making her feel the way she did. She could tell him to apologise to Tsunami and Alpha and he would, but he wouldn’t mean it. She could tell him to refrain himself from starting another fight and he’d promise he would, but he wouldn’t be able to keep to it. No matter how much she tried, he always got into trouble and most of the time it was because of her. Someone would look at her the wrong way and he’d threaten to gouge their eyes out and the battle of insults would end in a fight. She didn’t know what to do anymore.

She looked over at the wall knowing that everyone was waiting on them. She didn’t want to keep them waiting, but she didn’t want to join them until she was sure Elijah wasn’t going to do anything stupid.

‘’Elijah’’ she said, looking up at him.

He immediately looked down at her, ‘’yes?’’

‘’I can’t keep telling you to stop fighting with people,’’ she started, ‘’nothing I say will keep you from being what you are. We all know that you can’t help it sometimes, but there is a line. If you end up killing anyone I care about – including Alpha – then I won’t forgive you’’

Then, before he could say anything, she walked away, heading for the wall. He watched as she disappeared behind it, a sharp pain cutting through his chest. Her words had hurt, but he deserved it. She was right, as always. He might actually end up killing either of those brothers one day and if he did, he now knew for a fact that she wouldn’t forgive him. That was something he couldn’t live with. So, he was just going to have to try and bear them.

He sighed quietly, trying to keep himself from overthinking it. Then, he turned around and slowly followed.

 

On the other side of the wall, Kathrina stopped and stood beside her sister. They were standing beside the wall in a small clearing, the mud beneath them slowly swallowing their boots. It was cold and silent; the only sound came from the wind racing through the leaves of the huge forest ahead of them. There were so many trees that not a single ray of light could break through, the forest consumed by a complete darkness.

It was strange; there was no birdsong, no sign of any animals running around within the forest at all, no insects chirping, no wolves howling. It was just… Silent. An ominous feel lingered in the cold air, making all of them feel slightly cautious about following Tsunami within.

They all looked back at Elijah as he trekked through the mud and stood just behind Kathrina, also glaring at the forest ahead. He, unlike everyone else, wouldn’t have a problem seeing in the darkness, but this time, he wasn’t leading.

He frowned and glared over at Tsunami who looked rather reluctant to enter the forest, ‘’ne,’’ he called, ‘’do you actually remember where you left these things?’’

Irritated, he sharply turned his head and glared back at him, ‘’yeah… Well… Not exactly’’ he mumbled, slowly looking back ahead into the forest.

‘’Did you bring anything to track them with?’’ he asked, starting to become impatient.

Tsunami looked back at him again and reached into his pocket, ‘’yeah, this, but I’m no good at- ‘’

Elijah snatched the ripped piece of blood-stained cloth that Tsunami pulled from his pocket as he walked over to him. He glared down at it as he held it between his thumb and index finger, letting it float in the wind, a disgusted look on his face. It was old and dry, but it might still be useful. He was used to tracking through blood when it was fairly new and not that of a walking corpse, but he had to try. It was the only lead they had gotten since arriving.

With much obvious reluctance, he pulled it closer to his face and inhaled slowly and quietly. Still holding the cloth to his face, he stared into the forest, looking from left to right every couple of seconds, trying to pin point the direction the newly acquired scent was coming from.

From behind Opus, Harley frowned and called, ‘’what are you doing?’’

Kathrina walked over and stood beside him, ‘’he’s tracking’’

He looked down at her, ‘’tracking?’’

She nodded and looked back over at Elijah, ‘’it’s a thing Demons can do; they can follow a scent for miles’’

Fascinated, he nodded and also looked over at him.

Then, she looked up at Harley, ‘’how’s your arm?’’

‘’My arm?’’ he asked, looking down at her, perplexed.

‘’Yeah, I know you tried to stop him from fighting Tsunami and got hurt in the process. Did Opus heal you already?’’

Harley frowned and nodded, ‘’yeah, he did. It still hurts like a bitch though’’

 

‘’This way’’ Elijah suddenly called, shoving the cloth back into Tsunami’s hands.

As he started heading into the forest, everyone followed, sticking close together. The second they entered the forest, everything started to get a lot more daunting; the cold air quickly became even more bitter and the silence seemed to swallow them up, keeping them from talking to one another. They followed in silence, looking around cautiously.

Kathrina slowly caught up to Elijah, walking beside him. He glanced down at her and as he did, she gazed at his brightly glowing eyes. It had always fascinated her how they glowed in the dark without reflecting light. She smiled, and he slowly smiled back, still obviously unsettled by what she had said to him. She wanted to start a conversation to ease the tension the entire group was obviously feeling, but she had no idea what to talk about.

But then, as they curved around a tree, Elijah said, ‘’I sent my brother a message’’

‘’You did?’’

He nodded, ‘’I hope he will respond soon. The sooner we find out who this group of people are, the sooner we can get to hunting them ourselves’’

‘’Is that really a priority?’’ Harley called.

‘’How can you say that?!’’ Thea exclaimed as she glared back at him.

‘’What Harley meant to say was: should we not be focusing on our mission to kill the Elementals? The answer is yes, but if these assassins continue to come after Kathrina, they will disrupt our mission. If they somehow manage to kill her, not only will we be one sword wielder down, we will be two’’ Opus called from the back, ‘’there is doubt in my mind that Elijah will separate from us and make it his priority to seek and destroy every person involved, most likely killing their families, as well. He will also most likely kill those of us who opposed his decision. Am I correct in assuming this?’’

From looking at Opus, they all turned to look at Elijah.

Glaring back at him over his shoulder, he frowned, ‘’damn right I will’’

They all stopped for a moment as Elijah started looking around, a confused look on his face.

Kathrina frowned, ‘’how long will it take him to reply?’’

Starting to walk forward again, he shook his head, ‘’it depends where he is. He did not tell me where he was headed the day we left Japan, so I will just have to wait’’

‘’How do you know he’s still alive? Ain’t he out there somewhere tryna gather information on these guys we’re after? What if he gets killed? How would you know?’’ Alpha called in a rather sly tone.

Pushing a branch out of his way as he walked on, he sighed, ‘’my brother is not an idiot, like you. He will not die. And if he did, I would just know’’

‘’You say that about everything’’ Harley called, ‘’it’s always ‘I would just know’, you never fully explain anything to anyone. It’s not very intelligent, is it?’’

‘’The only thing that is not intelligent is angering me to a point where I want nothing more than to- ‘’

‘’Elijah…’’ Kathrina growled.

He looked down at her and calmed down, ‘’stop asking questions’’ he called.

 

After a few long moments of silence, the group came to a slow halt, standing in the tree line. Ahead was what looked like an old farm stead, a collapsed house at the far end, the clearing surrounded by brown picket fence, most of which was covered in blood and other mess. There was a pen beside the house filled with several mangled corpses, flies swarming around like huge black clouds, the loud buzzing echoing around the entire area.

All of them except Elijah, Tsunami, Alpha and Opus pulled their hands to their faces in disgust, staring at the depredation ahead. There were corpses of animals and Humans everywhere, most of which were missing body parts. Some were cut into several different pieces, others mangled beyond recognition and some looked like they had just been dug out of graves. There were headless horse carcasses piled up in the middle of the farm beside a cracked well, many smaller carcasses thrown around them. Human arms, legs and heads were scattered everywhere too, a strange black goop oozing from their bodies, the round coated in a yellow and green sludge as well as the torn-out insides of the corpses.

‘’This… This is disgusting’’ Thea gagged, trying to keep herself from throwing up.

Elijah looked over at Tsunami, ‘’is this the place?’’

He nodded slowly, staring at the mess. He had no idea how ugly it looked until now. He had been here at night, so most of it wasn’t visible, but seeing it now in the clear daylight made him feel sick. It really was like something out of a nightmare. What had happened here? Was this some kind of nest for the monsters that had been festering here?

Then, just as Elijah went to step out from the treeline, Tsunami threw his hand forward and stopped him, slamming his arm against his chest.

‘’Do not touch me!’’ he hissed, throwing his arm away angrily.

‘’Shut up!’’ he snapped, ‘’there could be more – I swear some of them got away last night’’

He was furious, but he fell silent, thinking about everyone else’s safety.

‘’You use fire, so have it ready. If any of these things show up, torch them’’ Tsunami instructed, looking at him.

Glaring at him, Elijah gripped the hilt of his sword to show he was ready for anything.

Then, Tsunami slowly stepped out from the treeline, looking around cautiously. Everyone slowly followed, still staring at the mess in disgust. The smell was overwhelmingly revolting; the strong scent of rotting flesh gave them a nauseating feeling, so powerful that it was making them gag. The only people who seemed to be unaffected by it were the three Demons and Opus. Kathrina wasn’t gagging, but she still had the same sickened look on her face, covering her mouth and nose with her hands.

As they moved closer to the centre, a strange gurgling sound suddenly erupted from all around them. All of them looked around cautiously as the sound became louder and more constant.

‘’Don’t worry, it’s just their heads’’ he called, ‘’the Werewolves tore them apart last night, so they’re not any threat’’

‘’Just find one for the old man’’ Elijah growled impatiently.

He glared at him, but broke off from the group as they stopped and started looking around for a more-intact creature.

‘’What the hell is this?’’ Alpha mumbled, kicking up a puddle of the goop, watching as it splashed back down onto the ground.

‘’Your guess is as good as ours’’ Harley mumbled, pressing his boot down into the sludge, grunting in revolt as it squelched and churned.

‘’I think we should just burn everything and get out of here’’ Thea called nervously as she looked around.

Kathrina nodded, ‘’I agree, this doesn’t feel right. So many… dead things. It will attract Ghouls’’

‘’If any Ghoul comes within a mile of this place, I will know’’ Elijah said in an assuring voice, looking down at her.

Alpha then scoffed, ‘’well, that’s a lie, ain’t it?’’

They all looked back at him and watched as he raised his hand and pointed. Slowly, they looked in the direction that he was pointing in –

‘’Shit’’ Elijah whispered, taking his hand off his sword hilt and grabbed that of his wakizashi, ‘’do not move or make any kind of noise’’ he instructed, holding his other hand out in front of Kathrina.

Ahead, standing inside the pen was a disgusting monster. It was standing on all fours, its body twisted and mutilated. It looked like a dog, but it had a Human face, ratty, matted hair tangled around its mangled neck. A spine was visible breaking out through its back, twisting around its left side and cracking out its left back leg to form a tail, no flesh on it at all. It skin was pink and bloody, boils and cuts all over it. There were huge, razor-like talons on its dog-like feet, an odd number of toes on each paw. It was staring right at them with its black, empty eyes, one of its eyelids sagging. Its jaw looked Human, but it was spit down the middle, a long, black tongue spewing out between where it split. The teeth in its jaw were human and so was its nose. One of its ears were Human, but the right one was tall, pointed and twisted like an elf’s, but much longer and smothered in blood.

As it snarled quietly, all of them froze, even Tsunami. They stared right back, waiting for someone to state a plan.

‘’What… What is that?’’ Logan asked quietly.

Gripping his wakizashi’s hilt tightly, Elijah leaned forward slightly, ‘’a Ghoul. The smell of rotting flesh attracts them like blood does a Vampire’’

He gulped, ‘’um… Alright… Well, what do we do?’’

‘’Nothing’’ he said sternly, ‘’he should see that he is outnumbered and leave’’

‘’And if he doesn’t?’’ Harley asked, also gripping the hilt of his own sword.

‘’If he does not, then I will take care of it’’

Alpha scoffed, ‘’yeah, right. You know what? I’m gonna save you the trouble- ‘’

‘’No!’’ Elijah yelled, but it was too late.

Before anyone could try to stop him, Alpha’s wings formed on his back and he leaped into the air, flying towards the ghoul as it screeched loudly, the sound like that of a distressed horse, eerie and deafening. It echoed around them as they stood there, watching as Alpha zoomed down towards it.

Suddenly, a collection of the same screech came from the trees, panicked birds fleeing from the forest behind the Ghoul. Alpha had just made a huge mistake.

 

 


© Copyright 2018 Kathrina Csernis. All rights reserved.

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