Vampire - 2: Antagonist

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Fantasy Realm

First among a collection of tales.

It is a world plagued by an ancient evil. Vampires have long preyed upon humanity and some use those lacking the "Gift" for sport. But sometimes the hunters are those that should be feared the most. A cloaked man enters the arena... and none could have envisioned the power he possessed...

Long ago, the two most powerful clans of vampire waged war upon each other until one was ultimately wiped out. And their queen was never heard from again…

Vampires are beings of immense power that haunt humanity, but some will tell you that those who hunt these predators are often far more terrifying…

It is known as the Hundred Stone. No one knows where it came from nor why it is counting, but it actively lists the one hundred most powerful vampires in existence, each given a number based on power. Collectively, these beings of terror are known as the Counted. But there is one clan of hunters that specializes in the extermination of those listed upon the Hundred Stone, and they go to baffling extremes to get their mark…

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I have one equal… and no more…

A man lay lifeless within the marsh, ancient fortress looming above. The cloaked figure knelt and pulled a card from a pocket of his coat. It was an invitation to the Trials of Oddere. Every year, a hundred humans were chosen to battle for their lives. The ten survivors would receive the “gift” directly from the host. But one of the competitors just went through a last minute change, and this year was not going to be anything like the previous.

“Welcome children of the day!” a man greeted with a bright smile.

His skin was as pale as fresh snow, while his eyes glowed a bright red. He had a full head of white, yet his body, dressed in a formal black suite, appeared no older than a man of twenty years. But Oddere had been hosting these events for several decades now, with the first occurring around the time he first became listed as one of the Counted.

“One hundred chosen children have come forth and answered the call! One hundred loyal children to the true elite! But only ten shall join the glorious army of night! Become one of the ten!”

He swung his hand through the air and the gathered crowd seated around the wall cheered. They were men and women with the same colorless skin and the same blood red irises as Oddere. Each was dressed as though they had been invited to high class theatre. The fortress was shaped like a dome and a massive arena stood in the center, where one hundred competitors now stood.

“Begin!” Oddere shouted.

“There will only be one survivor within these halls this day” the cloaked figure muttered beneath his breath.

Five minutes later…

I have one equal… and no more…

There were probably just as many vampires in attendance as there had been human competitors, yet the entire hall was baffled by the massacre that they had just witnessed. Ninety-nine competitors lay slaughtered across the stone floor, with a single cloaked man standing among the center. He wielded a single blade that had taken the color of crimson. Oddere was furious.

“I said there was to be ten survivors, not one!” he screamed.

The others among the crowd actually looked terrified. Counted or no, he would still choose to reprimand this swordsman?

“Be quiet” the cloaked man spoke back in his low and calm voice. “Lord Oddere, 47th among the Counted. What a pathetic and insignificant number. And the way everyone deliberately concentrated into a single locale. I swear, this is by far the easiest job I have had in a long time.”

He raised a hand and pulled back his hood, revealing his slender face, dark eyes, and black hair tipped white with bangs that gently fell across this forehead. The man wore a cold and merciless gaze that sent shivers through the crowd. Some actually screamed out loud and stood to exit the premise, even risking the day, upon seeing the man’s face. Oddere was startled by both the survivor’s words and the reaction from his invited guests.

“My lord!” his retainers shouted as they rushed to his side. “That is Fair of Clan Seitell. He is one of the most dangerous vampire hunters to ever live and has personally ended many among the Counted.”

“But he brought his blade against his fellow humans” Oddere responded confused.

“He is not like the others my lord.”

Five minutes later…

I have one equal… and no more…

Only two men remained within the ruined fortress. The ceiling was shattered and rays of light shone through, brightening the arena and burning the corpses of slain vampire. Oddere was practically defenseless as he sat on the ground, pushed against a wall. A mix of both terror and disbelief etched his features. Even being listed among the Counted, one of the hundred most powerful vampires in existence, he knew there was nothing he could do against this hunter.

“You are stronger than the 1st of the Counted. You have to be!”

“Both Reign Finn and myself have individually disposed of a 1st. The current is nothing special. So how I view you should be obvious. Farewell.”

Far from the shattered dome, viewers watched as the 47th name on the Hundred Stone was crossed out and then erased by an invisible hand. Fifty-three names then began to shift up one spot, and a completely new name appeared next to 100. He was a vampire hunter, the ace of Clan Seitell, and a human. No one, not even the man himself, would guess that the name Fair Airenn would one day be etched next to the number 1 on the most ominous stone tablet in the world…

The first tale concludes, but the events of this world continue…


Submitted: April 29, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Wil S. A. Stories. All rights reserved.

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hullabaloo22

Very well-written. I'm looking forward to reading more.

Wed, April 29th, 2020 6:46pm

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Thank you! More will come!

Wed, April 29th, 2020 12:20pm

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