Darkness rising

We rode silently through the night. Our horses trotting side by side, apart from the occasional glances we did speak a word to each other. He was afraid that I would change his mind while I was afraid that I would offend him.

His face said it all. He had made up his mind. No matter what I said would not be able to change him. I looked back, the stakes at the border of Wallachia could still be seen. The beacons gave enough light to see the bodies impaled on the stakes. We reached the end of the forest and there it loomed. The dark mountain. The horses would not go any further, as if they could sense the evil nearby. We had to go the remainder on foot.

We dismounted and made our way towards the mountain. I had to do it now. This was the last chance I had.

“Brother?”, I called out to him. He turned.

“Are you sure, you want to do this?”, I asked him.

“What else do you want me to do? Do you understand my predicament Walker? I am surrounded by a horde! I have saxons pressing on from Transylvania, the Ottoman Empire wants me to fight their wars for them and further up in Hungary, Corvinus wants my head! How can fight all of them at once?”, he replied.

“I will fight for you brother. You know nothing can harm me. I will crush all of them for you.”

“How long would you be there? Wallachia is my kingdom Walker, it has to be who protects it. You have been a good friend, a brother even, but this is my battle”.

“Still this is madness brother. I know what resides there, I may not know what it promised you. But you will never be the same after this, once you do this, you can never return. You think you can control it, but no, it will slowly work it’s way and control you”, I shouted.

His face was I’m passive as he replied. “I must do what I must. Forgive me. But promise me one thing. Promise me that if I ever lose control, if I ever become a danger to others, you will end me! Will you?”

I merely nodded. Words failed me. With that he bid me farewell and made his way up the mountain. Before he entered the cave, he looked at me one last time. I waited at the foot of the mountain.

Moments later, I heard a guttural scream. It was primal and in pain, and it did not sound like anything a human could make. I gripped my sword tightly. Something huge and winged swooped out of the cave. It flew towards Transylvania.

This was the day my friend Vlad the Impaler, Prince of Wallachia became the monster that people call Dracula.

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