Disclaimer: Do I really have to mention that I don't own Castlevania? If I did, we would have gotten to see Julius curbstomp Dracula, the storyline would have been neatened up a bit, and Dracula and Alucard would have just HUGGED already after the reveal in Lords of Shadow 2.
Summary: Lords of Shadow Continuity: AU to Mirror of Fate and Lords of Shadow 2: Trevor wasn't the only one that had the truth of his parentage kept from him by the Brotherhood.
Gabriel shivered at the voice coming from the old man's mouth, as it sounded nothing like Volpe's. It was lower, raspier, and it sounded just a bit like Gabriel's own. He didn't want to think of the reason for that. What was the castle hoping to do with such an old body? Did it really think it would be able to handle -
Volpe's body suddenly twisted and contorted, and Gabriel had just enough time to be amazed that the man's spine hadn't snapped under the force of the movement before he had to cartwheel away to avoid a shower of blood that spewed forth from the man's mouth.
"I will never let you go!" he snarled as Gabriel landed on his feet. "You belong to me!" He reared his arm back, as though he was going to throw something, but the limb suddenly morphed into a larger version of the blood ropes as it flew across the distance between them. Gabriel backflipped to avoid it, and it slammed into the floor where he had been standing, breaking the stone floor and sending stone chips flying.
Gabriel leaned on one hand for balance, and he was forced to jump to his left as the possessed man lashed out again. Well, if the castle wanted it to be that way, then so be it. He threw out his arm and called his Shadow Whip to him, and his blood seemed to sing as it responded. Volpe smiled at him again as several skeletons, bearing swords and shields, rose up from the pool and began to walk towards him.
"Our Lord is trying to leave us. We mustn't let him escape."
Gabriel swung his whip forward as Volpe retreated to stand against the opposite wall, and the glowing, black streaked blood rope caught two of the skeletons in a single swing, shattering their bones and causing them to crumble to the floor. There was a strange howling sound, and small blood pools seeped out from under the piles of bones and crept across the floor and rejoin the larger pool that was still centered around Volpe's feet.
Movement out of the corner of his eyes made him raise his arm up just in time to catch the blade of another skeleton in his hand. He wrenched the weapon away and kicked it in the middle of its rib cage, which sent it scattering across the floor, but it simply reformed and stood back up. An overhead swing of the Shadow Whip cracked in the center of the chest area, and this time it shattered like the previous two, and the blood pool went crawling across the floor.
With the remaining skeletons too close for the Shadow Whip, Gabriel dismissed it and summoned the Storm Sword. Lightning crackled and tingled across his hand and up his arm, as he blocked a skeleton's swing and quickly decapitated it. Lightning arced out from the blade, striking the body. The bones glowed with heat for a moment, and the boom of thunder rattled the windows as it exploded into a cloud of ash that drifted down to the floor. A shrieking blood pool went skittering across the floor, but Gabriel had no time to worry about it as he vanished into a cloud of smoke and embers to dodge a dual attack from two other skeletons. He reappeared a few feet away and threw lightning out from his hand towards them. Thunder roared in his ears as bone chips were sent flying across the room, and he turned his attention back to Volpe.
The possessed man made a growl that no human throat could produce, and dozens of blood ropes rose up from the pool around him and raced over towards Gabriel. Gabriel vanished into a cloud of bats and darted several feet away, reforming in front of the portcullis that led to the next room, as the ropes slammed into the floor where he had been. Shredded fragments of the worn carpet and pieces of the stone floor erupted around the impact, and the ropes retreated back to Volpe.
. Moans and cries emanated from the walls around him, and like it had a few years before, blood began to run down the walls and drip from the ceiling. It oozed across the floor towards him, and he looked around for an escape route, only to see that there wasn't one. The walls were hidden behind curtains of blood, and the floor was barely visible here and there, except for a wide circle around where he stood.
Gabriel looked around him, and then he looked back at Volpe as the old man gave him another teeth baring smile, and he realized that he would have to at least break the possession, if not kill the man outright, to get away. It likely wouldn't hurt the castle, but it would hopefully at least distract it some.
The feel of something running up his leg pulled his attention away from his former mentor, and he looked down to see the castle's blood climbing up his legs. He kicked out, splattering it away, and he summoned his Storm Sword and ran across the room, straight for Volpe.
"Do you really think you can destroy me, Gabriel!" the castle said though the man's mouth. "I have existed on this plane for hundreds of years, and once I have you back in my grasp, I will continue for hundreds more!"
Gabriel closed the distance and raised the sword to strike, but blood rose up in front of him, acting as a barrier. Gabriel swung, and the blade cut into it, but it suddenly felt like he was trying to cut through a tree trunk instead of liquid.
"Do not fight, Gabriel! It is hopeless! You belong to me!"
Gabriel growled and raised his left hand as he pulled the sword back. Lightning arced from his finger tips and split into multiple bolts as it raced for the barrier. Thunder shook the entire room, and debris rained down from the ceiling as the lightning burned holes in the blood wall, producing small puffs of smoke in the process. The holes though were quickly filled in, and Gabriel snarled as the castle laughed on the other side.
"I will never let you leave!"
Movement out of the corner of his eye made Gabriel look to his right, to see more blood rising up from the floor, and he spun around in place to find himself surrounded.
"You are mine, Gabriel Belmont!"
The blood wall began to curl over at the top, and Gabriel vanished into a cloud of bats and flew straight up, but the walls rolled over and crashed down on him before he could escape. He was slammed to the floor as the weight of the blood crashed down on top of him and pinned him, and he felt the dozens of small forms being crushed under the pressure. He returned to human form and shrieked in pain as smashed bones made themselves known to him. The castle laughed again, and Gabriel felt it trying to pry his mouth open as it looped around his wrists and ankles again. It was going to drag him down through the floor again.
God, help me! he thought as he struggled to shake it off. This can't happen again!
There was a sudden heat from his chest, under his clothing, and the red darkness around him was blown away by a brilliant white light that was painful to look at. The castle screamed, and the weight pressing down on him vanished. He gasped as he leapt to his feet, and a quick look around showed that the blood had retreated, leaving a empty circle of floor around his feet. He placed his hand over the warmth, and he could easily feel the shape of the crucifix under his tunic.
He spared a quick glance upward, "Thank you." and then he summoned his sword and turned his attention back to Volpe.
"You cannot defeat me, Gabriel." The old man said as he sank down through the blood covered floor. Laughter echoed from the walls, and Gabriel turned to see the man reappearing in the center of the room. The sword vanished as the Shadow Whip responded to his call, but the tip of it bounced off another blood barrier as the laughter continued. "You will give me what I need! No matter how hard you fight, I will have you in the end!"
Gabriel snarled as he recalled the whip, and he stood and watched as Volpe was surrounded by blood, which blocked any attack he could make. A glance to the side showed that the doors were still blocked off, as were the windows behind him. How was he going to get through? He reached down into the wellspring of power that he had inherited from Laura, that he had stolen from the Forgotten One, but there was nothing.
There is more. There has to be more! I know you're there! He felt something deep within him, something that he had been unable to reach before, stir at the call, and he reached for it and pulled. Barely a second later, something powerful and burning with heat and power rose up within him, and Gabriel threw back his head and roared as he felt his body shift and change. He felt the floor drop away as he flew up into the air, and red lightning crackled around him. When it stopped, he found himself hovering in the air, flapping two large wings to stay aloft as black smoke and glowing red embers rolled off of him. He couldn't see himself outside the tips of his wings, but it was clear what he had become.
He stared down at Volpe on the floor below, and Gabriel could see the black dragon that was him reflected in the man's red eyes. Gabriel grinned as smoke puffed out between his teeth, and he shrieked as he rose into the air before diving down on the possessed man. Heat boiled up his throat, and fire erupted from his mouth, and the castle screamed in agony as it rolled across the floor and covered Volpe where he stood. The blood burned away under the intense heat, and Gabriel released his hold and returned to normal just as he reached the floor.
The floor around him and Volpe was bare, with the blood burned away, the carpet burned to ash, and the stones melted, smoking slightly, and glowing from the heat. Volpe was nearby, and he was aflame from head to foot, writhing, and screaming in his own voice as he burned. His clothing burned away, and his skin dripped off of him like melting was. His eyes burst from the heat, and Gabriel winced and averted his gaze.
The flickering light danced across the floor and blood covered walls, and Gabriel resisted the urge to cover his ears in a futile attempt to block out the screams as they echoed through the empty space. The overpowering, sickly sweet stench of burning skin and hair forced him to swallow to stop himself from being sick as the screams began to weaken. The light of the flames died down as the screams came to a stop, and Gabriel finally looked back towards where the man had stood when the other's heartbeat ceased.
The charred remains of William Volpe were lying on the floor in the center of the room, burned beyond all recognition. Gabriel slowly walked over to him, and he swallowed a few times as his stomach twisted at the smell. The man's eye sockets were empty, and his mouth was opened in a silent scream, and Gabriel turned his head and was sick on the floor. Blood steamed and hissed as it splattered to the still hot stones, and his stomach heaved once more before he was able to stop. He wiped his bloodied mouth with his sleeve and spent a moment to catch his breath. With Volpe gone, hopefully he would be able to slip out. Already the blood was receding from the walls, and he stumbled away from the corpse towards the front doors.
Where do you think you're going?
Gabriel froze in midstep as the moans and cries came from the walls again, and blood quickly poured down to cover them once more. He spun around when he heard something move behind him, and he gasped and took a step back to see Volpe's blackened and shriveled corpse standing up. Was he going to have to burn it again? Was this the castle's power?
He swore the corpse grinned at him, and then it began to... He shook his head as he stared, scarcely able to believe what he was seeing. The burned remains of the skin began to peel back on itself from the head down, but instead of bone underneath, there was a pulsing red mass. More of it was revealed as what was left of Volpe peeled away and fell to the floor, where it was seemingly absorbed by the blood that had crept back up to cover the cooling stones. The surface of it then bulged upward, and the pulsing red shape that had been inside Volpe's body uncurled and straightened.
It was... Gabriel wasn't sure what it was exactly. Several bloody tentacles rose out from the mound bulging up from the floor, and as the... thing stood up, he could see that the tentacles extended up to almost twice his height, connected to an armless torso formed from blood soaked bones, sinew, and muscle. There was no skin that he could see, until it raised its head and looked at him.
Images from half remembered nightmares raced through Gabriel's thoughts as he laid eyes on what was before him, and he took a few steps back as solid white eyes met his own. The face around the eyes resembled him greatly, but here and there he spotted subtle resemblances to Volpe as well. Black, blood drenched tentacles that nearly reached the floor formed the hair, and they flailed about as he stared. Unlike the rest of it, the face had skin, but it was nearly colorless, which caused the multitude of spots and splatters of blood to stand out sharply in contrast. The chin was covered with blood, and more of it dripped from the mouth.
"I had hoped to have you under my control by now." it said, and Gabriel shivered once more at the voice. It sounded very much like his, but it was lower, harsh, and grating in his ears. "Holy beings make things so much more difficult, don't you think?"
"Who are you?" he asked as he looked up into that white eyed gaze that had once tormented him in his dreams.
"I am the one that was summoned to this castle long ago. I am the one that fed from those that brought me here, drawing upon their hate and their anger, until they turned on each other. I am the one that encouraged the torture of those once imprisoned here in the name of learning. I lured the dark queen here to feast off of the suffering that she and her children brought. And I convinced you to stay hidden within the castle walls when I saw what you could give me." He leaned down to leer at him. "I am your future, Gabriel! And I will not be denied!"
"No! That will not happen!"
"Do not resist it, Gabriel! We are destined to be together!"
Gabriel said nothing; he only summoned the Storm Sword, and the creature laughed as it suddenly sank down towards the floor. The mound split open, and the creature dropped into the gaping maw just before it closed, and the entire mound stood up, revealing its true form.
Tales and stories of giants ran through Gabriel's mind as he stared up at the massive creature that was easily three times his height. The body was misshapen, with limbs of different sizes, one shoulder higher than the other, a hunched back, and a small bare skull for a head. Muscles bulged and rippled under what appeared to be skin – it was hard to tell under the blood that coated it completely.
The voice that sounded so much like his own laughed, and Gabriel vanished into a cloud of bats at the creature raised its arm and brought it slamming down onto the floor. He jumped over the blood wave that rolled across the floor in response but was unprepared for that same wave to return to its source. He yelped in shock as he was knocked to the floor, and several blood ropes rose out of the pool to try to grab him. There was another flare of heat from the crucifix around his neck, the creature let out out a pained shriek, and the blood ropes slithered away.
Gabriel pushed himself to his feet, resummoned the Storm Sword, which he had dropped during the fall, and ran through the ankle deep blood towards his target. It leapt up into the air and dropped heavily back down, which resulted in another blood wave, but Gabriel leapt over it and somehow will himself to hover above the floor as he used the sword to cut several deep gashes in the creature's side as the wave rolled under his feet.
The thing threw its arms out and then curled in on itself. Gabriel planted his feet against its side and used it as a jumping platform to launch himself away from it as its skin ballooned outward, forming dozens of spikes that would have impaled him had he stayed there. He landed with a splash in the blood that covered the floor, and he quickly jumped to his left to dodge the creature's massive left fist as it smashed to the ground.
"I can do this forever, Gabriel!" the thing taunted. "You will tire soon enough, and then you will be mine!"
Gabriel had no time to respond as it began to follow him around the room, slamming it fist into the floor as he darted around to dodge it. He wasn't sure if he would survive such a blow, and he wasn't too keen on finding out either. It stopped following him after a few moments, but he kept moving away to try and clear some breathing room. It jumped again, and the blood wave rolled out to him. He leaped over it, hovered in the air as it rolled back, and as he landed, he brought the Storm Sword slamming down to the floor. Lightning streaked out from the tip of the blade across the floor, and the blood smoked and steamed as it went. The lightning crackled as it reached the creature, and the castle shrieked again as it climbed up the misshapen leg, burning holes as it went, before it dissipated.
Well, if that worked so well, Gabriel realized, and he repeated the maneuver as the creature began to close the distance between him and it. Multiple lines of ightning raced across the surface of the blood, but Gabriel was forced to break off the attack and jump away when a massive arm swept the floor where he had been standing. Said arm swept right into the path of the lightning, it crackled up the arm and into the shoulder, and the creature abruptly dropped down to the floor. The maw opened up, and the bloodied head and torso reappeared.
"It is futile, Gabriel! Give in to me!"
Gabriel ignored the taunt as he released the sword and summoned the whip for its longer reach. An overhead swing brought it cracking down against the creature's face, and it reared back for a second before it threw its head forward and spewed blood out in front. Gabriel dodged to the side to avoid it, but it rotated to face him, which forced him to keep moving to avoid it. The blood shower after a minute or so, and Gabriel paused to ready his next move, but the creature pulled its head back again. Something began to tug at his hair and clothing, and Gabriel realized that he was being dragged forward. He quickly sent the whip flying towards the thing's face again, but his aim was off, and the blow landed against the chest instead. Still being pulled forward, he leapt up into the air and let the whip fly free as he flipped forward and dropped to the ground. The end of the whip slammed hard into the creature's head, which finally forced it to break off its attack.
"I will consume your soul, drop by drop!"
It spewed blood out at him again, and Gabriel darted behind it and landed a few more hits with the Shadow Whip, before the thing yelled, sank down to the floor, and was swallowed up by the large golem, which then stood up and resumed attacking.
"I will extinguish your humanity!"
The golem planted one hand against the floor, and Gabriel yelled as he was hit straight in the face with a blood spray from the thing's mouth that knocked him down onto his back. He quickly jumped back to his feet just in time to see it slam its fist into the floor once more, but no attack appeared. Seizing the opening, Gabriel darted in, and too late her heard the sound of something breaking the surface behind him.
Ropes shot up out of the floor and wound tightly around him, trapping his arms at his sides and hoisting him up into the air. Immediately he felt the strength in his limbs vanish as it began to drain his power from him like it had before.
"You can't defeat me! We will be as one!"
Gabriel slumped down in the tight grip that held him, and a smaller rope appeared and tried to get into his mouth.
"You will be mine!"
He turned his head away and a glint of light caught his attention. The crucifix, free from his clothing swung out as he turned his head, and the small silver object touched the rope trying to get into his mouth. The creature howled, and the ties loosened as strength began to return to his body. Gabriel wrenched one arm free, grabbed the crucifix and pressed it down against the largest rope that bound him. The creature screamed and released him, and he dropped down to the floor. He looked down at the silver object for a second, and then he looked up towards the ceiling.
"I will have you, Gabriel!"
You know what you must do, Gabriel.
"Yes," he whispered, and he dodged another blood rope that tried to grab him and streaked forward. He planted his hand with the crucifix in it against the creature's body and whispered a single phrase:
The room went silent for a moment and everything stilled, but then there was a horrendous scream that came from everywhere around him as the room lit up with light that was painful for Gabriel to look at due to its brightness. He shielded his eyes for a few seconds, and when it cleared he opened them again to find the massive golem lying still on the floor as the blood receded. The creature that bore his face was standing there, slumped over as though gravely wounded.
Finish it, Gabriel.
He reached up, grabbed one of the blood slimed tentacles that made up the creature's hair and pulled it down to his level. The thing made no move to stop him, and it seemed to be dazed. He pressed the softly glowing crucifix into the thing's forehead, and its skin smoked and sizzled, but it made no move to escape. Words of a old spell, one he had been taught as a teenager in case he ever needed to use it, came back to him easily, and he tightened his grip on the "hair" in his hand and began.
"Christus Vivit, Christus Regnat. Christus ab omni malo te deficit. Maledecit et Excommunicati daemones. Invirtue istorum factorum Dei nominum."
The hair in his hand jerked, and white eyes rose up to meet his. "You cannot destroy me. I am forever."
Gabriel ignored it, and white light began to shine out from under his hand as he continued. "Mesias, Emmanuel, Sohter, Sabahot, Agios, Inchiros, Athanatos, Jehová, Adonai," The light brightened, and the demon shrieked in pain and tried to get away, but it seemed rooted to the spot. Gabriel pressed harder against its head as the light brightened.
"Ubi, fuerint haec nomina, ei digna Dei, praecipimus vobis, atque ligamus vos ui non habeatis."
Light exploded out around them, and Gabriel heard the castle scream again as what blood remained was blown away. The demon in his grip screamed and thrashed about, smoking in the holy light, and Gabriel smiled faintly in satisfaction. Power crackled around him, filling him to the brim, and he could see the aura that surrounded him, like it had years ago when he had banished Satan. The hairs on the the back of his neck and on his arms stood up as he continued the chant.
"Potestatem per pesten, nec per aliquod, quodeumque maleficum nocere ei, incantationem neque," A faint roaring filled his ears, steadily growing louder, as God's power, called by himself, flickered across his skin, and he felt giddy with relief that He had answered, despite everything.
Was there ever any doubt, Gabriel?
No, Gabriel thought, He was always there, even when I didn't want to believe it. Forgive me, my God, for my anger.
He thought he could see the archangel's smile. There was never anything to forgive, child. He understands. Now finish it.
Gabriel looked through the bright, powerful, beautiful white light that surrounded him and the castle demon. It's head was melting under the weight of the power he was channeling through his body and down into his hand. The structure groaned and shook under the strain, and Gabriel smiled as he felt God's love fill him his soul, and he finished the chant.
"In anima, nec in corpore!"
Power, bright, white, holy exploded in the room, and Gabriel felt himself flung away from the demon as it screamed again, but this time the scream did not stop. He landed on the floor against a wall, and he clapped his hands over his ears in a useless attempt to block out the sound as the scream continued. The voice began to change, going from his to something that reminded him of the Forgotten One's voice, to something that made his soul shiver in fear. It sounded otherwordly, a sound that no human ears were meant to hear, and it echoed around the vast space as the castle began to shake on its foundations.
Get up, Gabriel! The castle is collapsing!
Gabriel stumbled to his feet and put his hand against the wall for balance, but suddenly that was wasn't there anymore, and he felt debris pelting him on the head. He opened his eyes to find the exit, but he immediately shut them again as the light from the spell had not faded, and he couldn't see beyond it. Nor could he hear the sounds of the village below through the screaming, which was starting to fade, as though it was being drawn away.
Hands came down lightly on his shoulders. "Come with me, Gabriel." came the archangel's voice, and he nodded as he was led across the shifting floor to safety. The power of the spell was fading, as was the light, but Gabriel still kept his eyes closed and allowed himself to be guided across the hall towards the exit. Behind them, the screaming continued to fade, until it vanished entirely, like someone had closed a door upon it, and the demon's presence vanished. The light vanished with it, and Gabriel felt his knees give out from under his as the power between him and God was cut for the moment, now that it was no longer needed. The angel kept him on his feet though, and when he finally opened his eyes, he found that he was outside in the courtyard under the clear night sky.
"Thank you," he whispered as the grip on his shoulders faded, and he sank to his knees, shaking.
You're welcome, Gabriel. Catch your breath, but you don't have long to rest. Cecil will have his hands on Trevor soon.
"That's a full day away if I move as fast as I can, four days if I don't. How am I going to get there quick enough?"
Because you can fly, child.
Gabriel nodded, and he climbed to his feet and looked up at the sky. He reached down into himself for the power he had found earlier, felt his body shift and change, and he launched himself into the air with a roar as the castle collapsed into a pile of rubble behind him, its voices forever silenced. With a beat of his powerful wings, he sprang aloft and then he was off, flying towards the compound, towards Trevor.
A/N 2: Fiat lux – Latin - "Let light be made" or more commonly as it's known. "Let there be light."
Here's a humorous little omake, courtesy of Orionali, who gave me the idea.
Gabriel dodged another blood rope and cursed to himself as a blood wall rose up between him and Volpe, preventing him from reaching the man. If the Storm Sword couldn't cut through it, and the Shadow Whip bounced off, what was he supposed to do?
"Gabriel!" came the archangel's voice from somewhere nearby, accompanied by running footsteps. "YOU FORGOOOT THIS!"
Huh? Forgot what? The question was answered when something small and bronze colored came sailing through the air, and he stared stupidly at it as it came down and thunked him solidly in the middle of his forehead. "Ow!"
"YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO CATCH IT!"
Gabriel rubbed his forehead as he reached down and picked up the small metal object. It was a talisman of some kind, of a dragon curled up and glaring up at him with red jeweled eyes. What was he supposed to do with this?
"CRUSH IT IN YOUR HAND, YOU NITWIT!"
Oh... Gabriel looked at it, and then he squeezed his hand into a fist, crushing it. Immediately something dark and powerful rose up within him, and he roared as he rose up into the air. He looked down at Volpe and saw his reflection in the man's red eyes. He had become a dragon. A dragon!
"NOW ROAST THE SON OF A BITCH!"
Oh right, yeah that was important. With a shriek he dove down, breathing fire that rolled across the floor
This was sooooo awesome!Everything: 5 -- Everything: 7
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