Warlock 3 - City Of The Dead

Reads: 10135  | Likes: 71  | Shelves: 78  | Comments: 289

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

Chapter 16 (v.1) - 'Lurkers'

Submitted: November 21, 2017

Reads: 160

Comments: 7

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 21, 2017

A A A

A A A

From the trees behind the Ghoul, a small pack of others emerged, their twisted, mangled bodies covered in blood and puss, snarling loudly as they ran to their pack-mate’s side. Above, Alpha hesitated and stopped descending, coming to an abrupt halt as the one Ghoul turned into a group of at least seven, all of them glaring at the group who were still on the ground. They were all stood behind Elijah who had his arm held out defensively. Tsunami had joined them, holding his sword out, staring at the monsters with the same frightened look everyone but Elijah had.

Elijah gripped the hilt of his sword again and quickly pulled it from its scabbard. He held its long, huge blade out to the right, glaring at the Ghouls as they screeched loudly. Harley pushed his way through the crowd and stood beside him as Kathrina backed away, holding out his own sword. Logan wielded both of his as Kathrina pulled hers from its holster. Octavia had no idea what to do; she wasn’t a fighter, so she had no weapon. Joe and Thea wielded their swords too, unsure of what to do. It seemed that right now, they were still waiting to see if the Ghouls would attack.

‘’What do we do?’’ Harley asked sternly, still glaring at the taunting Ghouls.

‘’Ghouls are like wolves; they work as a pack. There is usually a leader, so if we can find out which of them that is, we can kill it and the rest of them will flee’’

Logan then joined them, ‘’do you think the one that came out alone could be the leader?’’

He shook his head, ‘’no, the leader would never expose itself like that. He is hiding among them, probably because he knows we are looking for him’’

‘’Is there any way to tell him apart from the others?’’ Kathrina asked.

He glanced back at her and then glared back at the Ghouls, ‘’he may look less Human than the others’’

‘’Less? Are you joking? None of those things look anywhere near Human!’’ Tsunami exclaimed.

‘’Just look’’ he instructed, glaring over at the Ghouls as they snarled and growled, also waiting to see who was going to make the first move.

As the group started eyeing the Ghouls, Harley became distracted. He was standing over a strange Human-looking head, but it was alive, staring at him. He looked down at it and frowned as it blinked, quietly chattering its jaw. He scowled in disgust, watching as it started gurgling, a strangely excited look on its mangled, green face.

Disturbed, he slowly lifted up his foot and stomped down on it – it squelched and exploded violently, green goop spraying everywhere as he grunted in revolt -

Suddenly, the ground started chirping, the sea of green and yellow goop starting to tremble. The group stared in confusion – the Ghouls started screeching in what seemed like agony, collapsing, rolling around on their backs, trying to escape from something. It looked like they were being attacked, but there was no enemy or creature in sight! They were screaming, clawing, trying to get away – but from what!?

The chirping became louder as the Ghouls screams slowly faded, their lifeless bodies falling to the ground, even more mangled than before.

Confused, Harley lifted up his foot and stared down at the crushed head as the goop clung onto his boot, stretching out like glue. He grunted and tried flicking it off, but it wouldn’t –

Startling all of them, explosions of green and yellow goop suddenly erupted from the ground all around them, the chirping becoming louder after each burst. They all gripped their swords tightly, looking around frantically, but there was still no sign of anything-

‘’Go and see if you can see anything from above’’ Elijah instructed, looking over at Tsunami, ‘’and scold your shit brother before I do!’’ he growled.

 

As Tsunami’s wings appeared on his back, he sped up into the air to join his brother.

Everyone else grouped even closer together as the explosions continued, unsure of what to expect.

But, just then, from the sludge, the mangled Human-like corpses started rising. They looked like they had been put together by some mad scientist, some with arms sticking out of their chests, legs where arms should be, some without heads and some with more than one. The green goop was spewing out of their bodies like lava spilling from a volcano, splashing down onto the ground below.

Elijah looked back at Opus, ‘’any idea what these things are?’’

The old man shook his head, a rather worried look on his face, ‘’we must defeat them, or I fear we may end up like those Ghouls’’

‘’No shit’’ Elijah mumbled.

Then, he stepped forward, gripping the bottom of his sword’s hilt with his other hand and pulled, separating it into two swords, one in each hand. He held them tightly as they started glowing, flames abruptly exploding from the blades. As they caught fire, he exhaled deeply and glared at the incoming group of strange, mangled corpses.

He looked back at them all, ‘’Logan, Harley, Joe, protect Octavia and the old man. Kathrina, Thea, you two join me’’ he instructed.

They all quickly rushed to their assigned places and waited, swords ready.

‘’Tsunami said fire kills them’’ Elijah said, looking down at Kathrina.

She looked up at him for a few moments, but then understood what he was hinting. She didn’t want to shift, she wanted to prove she could be of use as she was. But if fire really did kill these things, he had asked her to fight at his side because she could create a lot more fire than he could, but that was in her dragon form. Stubborn and irritated, she rolled her eyes and slipped her sword back into its holster. Then, she quickly shifted, the black smoke surrounding her. A few seconds later, it cleared, and she emerged in her black feathered dragon form.

Thea looked over at her shifted sister and quickly sheathed her own sword, also shifting. She emerged from a cloud of black smoke that had surrounded her too, but her dragon form was quite different from her sisters. Kathrina was what was known as ‘The Black Phoenix’, an extremely rare and powerful Teshika shifted form. Thea had a standard form; still black in color, but she was scaled instead of feathered. Her wings were like that of a bat, similar to Alpha and Tsunami’s. Her horns were long, thin and sharp whereas Kathrina’s were curved in several places.

Stretching her wings, she glanced over at Kathrina, but then turned her attention the creatures which were now just moments away from reaching them.

Elijah gripped his swords tightly and glared at the creatures… waiting… for the right moment… the right moment to –

‘’Now!’’ he instructed.

On his word, they burst into action –

Thea rushed to his left, immediately pouncing forward and tearing into one of the creatures with her jaws, tearing its body in half as it groaned and growled loudly.

Kathrina leaped to his right, tearing one in half as he swung her paws forward and as its body fell to the ground, she opened her jaws and sprayed black flames all over it, her Tekashime-Jikato pulsing brightly in her eyes.

Between the two of them, Elijah also sprung into action, hold both his flame-covered swords in front of him as he rushed towards one of the creatures, forcing them both through its rotted chest, yanking them to each side and watching as its corpse split into three parts, fire starting to grow on it from his blades’ impact.

Taking down another, Thea leaped up into the air and rained down a mirage of orange flames onto the defeated and incoming corpses, watching as they screeched when the fire touched them. They fell to the floor like melting wax, bubbling into a goop and joining the sea of sludge already on the ground. As she landed back down, she held her head forward, opened her jaws and started spraying fire ahead, mowing down any of the creatures headed her way.

Her sister did the same, spraying black flames everywhere as the creatures fell to the floor, slowly turning into nothing but green and yellow slime, bubbling like hot, melted metal.

Elijah continued cutting them down with his swords, each of them catching fire as the blades touched their rotted bodies. They, too, melted down into goop, leaving no trace at all.

It didn’t take very long for them to defeat them all, their small team being perfect for this kind of situation.

As Kathrina and her sister started burning the remaining fallen creatures, Elijah wandered over to the pen and stared down at what was left of the Ghouls. Their bodies were nothing but bone now, not a single sign of there ever being flesh on their bodies. It looked like they had fallen into a river of piranha’s and then had been chucked back out again after the fish had had their meal.

He frowned cautiously, unsure of what had done this. It couldn’t have been those creatures, he would have seen or heard something. Whatever had killed them was silent and obviously extremely deadly -  it could have also been what had woken the creatures up. He wasn’t sure, but he didn’t want to stick around to find out.

Frowning down at the Ghouls one last time, he turned back around-

‘’Harley?!’’ Logan suddenly yelled.

Elijah watched from where he was standing as everyone quickly crowded around the spot he had left the others standing in. Kathrina and her sister had quickly shifted back and also joined them. He could see that they were all worried, so he morphed his two swords back into one and slipped it back into its scabbard as he raced back over to them.

 

Kathrina crouched down beside Harley who had suddenly fallen to the ground, a startled and almost petrified look on his face. He was trembling, muttering, but couldn’t say anything.

‘’Harley?!’’ she called, staring at him.

He stared back, clear panic in his eyes-

‘’What happened?’’ Elijah asked, pushing his way through the crowd.

She looked up at him and shook her head.

‘’He just dropped!’’ Logan explained, a panicked look on his face.

Elijah stared down at him, unsure of what to do. He looked around for any signs of something that may have attacked him, but there was nothing! There were no wounds on his body from what he could see and there couldn’t have been anything in the air otherwise everyone else would be in the same situation.

Tsunami also watched as he landed with his brother, their wings disintegrating. Harley was starting to thrash violently, everyone falling into a panic as they looked around for something that might have caused his state – but then, he remembered – last night, one of the Werewolves had fallen just like he had, thrashing and whining – the other wolves had started viciously tearing at it and eventually it seemed to be fine. He looked around, trying to think, but then –

‘’It… It might be something inside him!’’ he suggested, panicking.

They all looked at him in total confusion.

‘’What?’’ Elijah growled.

‘’I saw it happen to one of the wolves last night!’’

Elijah frowned at him, but before he could accuse him of lying-

‘’M-M-my arm!’’ Harley yelled painfully, thrashing violently, ‘’I-I can feel it!’’

Quickly, Elijah crouched down over him and ripped his sleeve, revealing his arm, but it looked fine! There was nothing – no cut, no mark – But then, he quickly reflected on what Tsunami said…

‘’Hold him still’’ he said calmly, pulling a dagger from a scabbard hidden on the back on his belt.

Without delay, Logan held Harley’s shoulders as he continued to tremble and trash, grunting and groaning in pain. He held his eyes shut tightly, trying to deal with it.

Then, Elijah firmly wrapped his hand around Harley’s arm just below his shoulder and breathed deeply, trying to concentrate. He held the dagger just above his skin, staring intensely at it. Then slowly, he started moving it up from his wrist, starting to curve and moving it around rapidly like he was following something, waiting –

TCHH!!!

Harley yelled painfully as Elijah forced the dagger into his bicep, holding it in place, but it seemed like something was trying to fight against the blade, making him struggle and grunt. But he wasn’t going to let up. Quickly, he twisted the blade to the left, making Harley yell again, blood pouring from his arm. But then, he relaxed, sighing in relief as Elijah stopped moving the blade. However, it wasn’t over yet. There was clearly something in his arm and it needed to come out.

He looked at Logan, ‘’hold him’’

‘’Yeah, I got it’’ he assured.

Elijah frowned, but then held up his left hand, his claws barred. Then, before anyone could question him, he held out his thumb and index finger and abruptly dug them into the cut he had made in Harley’s arm with his dagger which was still embedded in him. Harley yelled again as Elijah dug his claws into the wound, guiding them down the blade. He arched them, gripping something that had been trapped by the blade and then yanked harshly-

Harley yelled again, but then slowly relaxed as Elijah removed his claws from his arm, something held between them. He didn’t, however, remove the blade. He knew already that he had pierced an artery in his arm and if he removed the blade, Harley would bleed to death before Opus could heal him.

He held up his hand and everyone stared at what he had just picked out from Harley’s arm – it was a small, purple insect! It looked like a cockroach, but was covered in spikes. It was still moving its legs, chirping quietly, much like the chirping they had heard before the creatures attacked.

‘’What the hell is that thing?!’’ Alpha cringed, backing away slightly.

Grunting in disgust, Elijah held it up to the old man, ‘’got somewhere to keep this?’’

Opus nodded, opening his coat. He pulled out a small glass jar and opened it, allowing Elijah to drop the chirping insect into it and as he did, he abruptly closed it, stuffing it back into his coat.

Then, Elijah looked back down at Harley who seemed a lot calmer, ‘’Harley,’’ he said, ‘’Ne! Harley!’’

He didn’t respond.

’Ne!’’ Elijah growled, slapping his face.

‘’Huh!?’’ he growled, opening his eyes and looking around, a dazed look on his face.

Elijah sighed in relief, ‘’I pierced an artery in your arm’’ he said calmly, ‘’the old man is going to have to heal the wound with the blade still in it, then I will remove it. Understand?’’

Harley nodded, breathing unsteadily.

 

Kathrina watched as Opus crouched down beside Elijah and proceeded to begin healing the wound on Harley’s arm. Then, she turned around and turned her attention to the huge mess. Most of the ground was still on fire, but the flames were dying down. It had all happened so quickly, and it looked like they had burnt all of the creatures, taking away any chance they had of finding out if they were linked to Alucard.

As Elijah yanked the blade from his arm, Harley growled angrily. He watched as Opus healed the wound completely.

‘’So, anyone mind explaining why all this crazy shit is right outside of a city?’’ Alpha asked, looking at them all cluelessly.

‘’Looks like Alucard is getting sloppy’’ Elijah called as he stood up, slipping his danger back into the scabbard on the back of his belt.

They all looked at him strangely.

‘’What’s that supposed to mean?’’ Tsunami asked.

‘’Some guy told us that Alucard protects the city from things like these’’ Kathrina said, ‘’I would have thought he’s have people out here dealing with this, but I guess not’’

Tsunami rolled his eyes irritably and looked over at Opus, ‘’can that bug help us find Alucard?’’ he asked impatiently.

He frowned at him, ‘’I am not sure… I will have to further examine it – but I can sense a void magic within it. This may very well be what was causing such a feeling within the castle’’

All of their eyes lit up with hope.

‘’Well, great, let’s get the hell out of this creepy forest’’ Alpha suggested.

Opus nodded, ‘’yes, I will need time and some apparatus to examine this critter’’

‘’Fine’’ Elijah said, ‘’you lot head back, but I am going to stay here and see if I can find out what these creatures are’’

‘’Suits me’’ Alpha mumbled, starting to head back towards the trees.

Logan and Joe helped Harley to his feet and started following Alpha.

‘’Will you be alright by yourself?’’ Tsunami asked, expressing an unusual concern.

He glared at him and nodded.

‘’I’ll stay’’ Kathrina said as she let go of her sister who was trying to lead her to follow the others.

‘’But- ‘’

She silenced Thea, ‘’I’ll be fine – go and help Opus; you’re the only one out of them that can use fire so if the thing tries to burrow into anyone else, you can kill it’’

Pulling a stroppy face, she stomped her feet down and reluctantly followed Opus, Octavia and Tsunami as they followed the rest of the group back into the forest.

 

Now alone, Elijah reached for Kathrina’s hand and puled her towards him, ‘’are you okay?’’ he asked, looking down at her.

She nodded, ‘’yeah, I’m fine. But we should get to examining these things; the sooner we find out what they are, the sooner we’ll be able to tell if they can help us find Alucard’’

Letting go of her hand, he nodded and started walking around, looking for a more intact corpse. This place was still making him feel disgusted, but it looked like the only place they had actually found anything useful. He trekked through the sludge and glared down at each severed body part, but none were intact enough to be able to tell what they were. He frowned and grunted angrily, getting impatient.

But then, Kathrina called, ‘’Elijah, over here!’’

He sharply turned his head and stared over at her. Then, he quickly walked over, glaring down at the mangled corpse of what looked like a Human sinking into the sludge. It was moving, twitching its arms every now and then, gurgling and chattering its jaw as it looked at both of them frantically.

They both looked at each other unsurely, but then Elijah slowly crouched down, staring closely at the creatures exposed head, most of its body buried under the goop. He moved his hand over its face, but it snarled and snapped its jaws shut, trying to reach out and grab him, but he snatched his hand away before it could.

‘’Well?’’ Kathrina asked, staring down at him and the creature.

‘’It looks like some kind of… Ghoul’’ he said slowly, eyeing it closely.

She frowned, ‘’but they look like Humans’’

‘’Maybe something in between’’ Elijah suggested, reaching into his cloak as he frowned, noticing something on the creature’s face.

He pulled out his dagger from its scabbard behind him and slowly moved it towards the creature’s face as it snapped and growled, trying furiously to break free from its sludgy prison. Elijah scowled angrily, but harshly wedged the blade into the creature’s mouth, turning it on its side and opening its jaws, watching as it gurgled and started angrily attacking the blade with its black tongue, green slime spraying all over it.

‘’See that?’’ Elijah asked, frowning in disgust as the creature started spitting slime all over his hand.

Kathrina leaned forward and stared closely, noticing two fangs on the top row of the creature’s teeth, the rest of them Human-like and rotted – ‘’a Vampire?!’’ she exclaimed.

Yanking his blade from its mouth, he grunted in disgust and stood back up, flicking his dagger irritably as the slime sprayed off onto the ground, ‘’looks like it – or something between Human and Vampire’’

‘’How is that even possible?’’

Clicking his dagger back into its scabbard, he stared down at the creature, ‘’Tsunami said that Alucard was apparently trying to make something ‘better’, so these things could possibly be the result of his labour’’

She frowned doubtfully, ‘’these don’t look like they’re a better of anything’’

He slowly looked around, listening as the gurgling became louder, ‘’Lurkers’’ he said.

‘’Lurkers?’’

‘’It is a word that describes someone or something that just hangs around without reason or purpose. I think that is the best way to describe these… things’’

She nodded slowly and looked around, ‘’so, they’re failed Vampires?’’

‘’Yes, it looks like that’’

‘’But, why?’’ she asked, looking up at him, ‘’why would Alucard want to do this?’’

He shrugged, ‘’perhaps the old man can tell us that- ‘’

Suddenly, the same chirping sound that had come from the insect they pulled from Harley started coming form the creature below them, startling them both. They watched as the Lurker shook its head violently, gurgling and spewing slime everywhere, rolling its eyes around in its head.

‘’We should get outta here’’ Kathrina said, starting to back away.

‘’Agreed’’ Elijah said, swiftly picking her up in his arms and started speeding away as the ground around them started erupting again, the chirping becoming louder.

‘’I can walk, you know’’ she grumbled, looking up at him as he raced through the trees.

‘’That may be so…’’ he breathed, looking back to make sure they weren’t being followed, ‘’but we will escape quicker this way’’

She frowned angrily, but didn’t disagree. She remained silent as he continued to carry her through the forest, his eyes glowing brightly in the complete darkness. Then, he suddenly, leaped to the right and abruptly to the left, leaping right again and then as he leaped left one last time, they burst out from a tree top – he then leaped forward and landed on the city wall, stopping for a moment to catch his breath, crouching down.

But then, he sharply turned his head to the right and as he turned back to face forward, Kathrina noticed a rather panicked look on his face. But before she could ask what he had seen, he leaped down from the wall and continued carrying her through one of the deserted streets. She could hear what sounded like people chasing them, their armour clanging together as they moved – were the wall guards chasing them? She wasn’t sure, but by the look on Elijah’s face, it was clear something was.

‘’What’s wrong?’’ she asked as he skidded around onto another street, looking around frantically.

‘’Guards’’ he said, ‘’here’’

He curved into a gloomy alley and let her down, panting from the chase. She went to peek around the corner, but Elijah grabbed her arm and pinned her against the wall. Startled, she went to question him, but the sound of approaching people silenced her.

‘’This way!’’ some called.

Elijah then moved his face towards Kathrina’s neck and whispered, ‘’do not move, they will just see me as a Vampire’’

She frowned, but did as he said, turning her head away from the alley entrance.

Just then, a small battalion halted at the entrance, staring down at them, grasping their shields and spears tightly.

Kathrina’s heart started racing – were they going to be caught? Why were they even chasing them? Was it illegal to cross the walls or something? What would happen if they were arrested? She started to shake slightly, unsure of what was about to happen –

Suddenly, Elijah turned his head from her neck and glared over at the guards, hissing viciously.

All of the guards flinched, their armour clinking loudly.

‘’Our apologies!’’ one called, bowing down before turning and rushing away.

Watching them all leave, Elijah sighed deeply and stood up straight, letting Kathrina go.

‘’I guess this time I should be glad some people cannot tell a Demon apart from a Vampire’’ he grumbled.

Moving away from the wall, she looked up at him, ‘’why’d you run? I expected you to fight your way through them’’

He looked down at her and smirked, ‘’you would have loved to see that, would you not?’’

She stared at his face and frowned, ‘’whatever’’ she mumbled, ‘’but why were they chasing us?’’

‘’I gather people are not allowed over the walls’’

‘’Yeah, we saw exactly why’’ she mumbled.

Elijah frowned and realised something, ‘’people are not allowed past the walls… what if the reason for that is Alucard, not the Lurkers and Werewolves?’’

She looked up at him and frowned, ‘’you think he’s out there or something?’’

‘’It is a possibility. All of those creatures had to come from somewhere – a lab, a castle – what if that lab is where Alucard is?’’

Kathrina nodded slowly, ‘’yeah… You’re right… We should head back out there and look, right?’’

He shook his head, ‘’there will be no need now that the old man has that… thing. Once he determines what it is, I may be able to use it to track Alucard’’

‘’And then we can kill him and leave this creepy place’’

‘’Agreed’’ he smiled, looking down at her, ‘’we should get back to them’’

Then, he grabbed her hand and started walking out of the alley as she followed.

 

Meanwhile, back on the ship, everyone was sitting on the deck apart from Opus and Thea who were below the deck examining the insect Elijah had torn from Harley’s arm.

It was already late afternoon and the people were slowly starting to disappear back to their homes. The bell still tolled every now and then, the seagulls above squawking loudly, swarming around like flies over a corpse. Another ship had recently moored in front of theirs and there was a rather loud group of foreigners singing loudly in their strange language.

However, apart from the chatter from other people, it was pretty peaceful. The waves below crashed gently against the ship and the breeze was light and not too bitter which was surprising as it was the middle of winter. Everyone was enjoying the calm, but it was about to come to an abrupt end –

BAM!!!

Everyone jumped in total shock as a cloaked man descended from the main mast and landed on the deck with a loud THUMP!!! Another man landed beside him, also cloaked.

They all reached for their swords defensively-

‘’Who the hell are you?!’’ Tsunami called, wielding his sword and pointing it towards them.

But there was no immediate response. Instead of talking, the first that had dropped turned around to face him, slowly raising his hands. He grabbed hold of the hood covering his face and slowly pulled it off…

Tsunami lowered his sword slowly, ‘’y… you?’’

The man laughed quietly, ‘’ah, I see that you do not remember me. I would say that that hurts, but then I would be lying’’

They all stared at him in surprise; his hair was a dark red and very long, just like Logan’s. It was tied loosely at the bottom with black string, waving around gracefully in the light breeze. His eyes were light green and pupil-less, his skin bright like an Arikarin’s. This man was no stranger.

Then, the man behind him also lowered his hood, revealing a pair of blueish-grey eyes, thin Human-like pupils in them. His hair was short and styled rather ridiculously on top of his head, spiked and curved upwards. It was dirty blonde and it looked like he took very good care of it – for a man.

‘’This is my trusted ally, Merek’’ the redhead said as he held out his hand to the blonde man.

Slightly irritated, Tsunami dropped his sword back into its holster, ‘’yeah, great. Why are you here?’’

He frowned, ‘’I received a message. I hear you have come face-to-face with members of The Red Rakshasa’’

They all looked at each other strangely, still unsure of when and where this had all come from. But then, they all turned their attention to the stairs leading down to the dock-

‘’Luka?’’ Elijah called, letting go of Kathrina’s hand as they stood on the top of the stairs, about to step aboard.

The redhead instantly turned around – ‘’brother’’ he smiled, holding out his hand.


© Copyright 2019 Kathrina Csernis. All rights reserved.

Chapters

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

More Fantasy Books