The Circus Master: The Curse of Lakos: Part 2: The Vandals

It would all start when the Circus of Czas came to Lakos. The Circus of Czas literally popped up over night just outside of the town. No one had even heard it come in the middle of the night.

The next morning however trumpets were blaring, and the Circus Master was standing outside the Circus shouting “COME ONE COME ALL, SEE THE CIRCUS OF CZAS, WONDERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD AND BEYOND, COME FOR A NIGHT YOU’LL NEVER FORGET!”

The Circus Master was a large, colourful figure. He stood about 6 foot 5 inches, had long, flowing curly black hair, wore a purple top hat, a frilly shirt, and a pink frock coat, with multi coloured striped trousers, and odd coloured shoes.

No one in Lakos practically even knew what a Circus was. They had certainly never seen one before, and they were all completely taken aback by this giant colourful tent, bigger than any building in the town, that had suddenly appeared out of almost nowhere, with its colourful characters dancing around.

The town of Lakos had become wary of strangers after their dealings with Mestron, but the Circus Master’s charm and humour would manage to win over the locals enough for the Mayor himself to let the Circus be allowed to perform for one week.

The Circus despite having a massive tent, had only half a dozen performers. These included aside from the Circus Master himself, Coro the Clown, a strange, hairy beast man called Keyro, a small, pale Chinese boy who was inhumanly strong. This boy was never given a name by the Circus Master. He was simply referred to as the Strange Boy. The Strange Boy would always hop on both feet rather than just walk and he never spoke.

There was also a 7 foot tall, green skinned, bald man who had what looked like a metal arm named Keptis, and a relatively ordinary (compared to the other performers), beautiful dark haired slightly older woman named Janice Ryan.

Their act would open with the Circus Master performing various tricks, including vanishing in a puff of purple smoke and appearing behind an audience member.

Janice would then pull out of the tent, these two huge black boxes that would play out strange music to the bewildered crowd unlike anything they had ever heard before.

She would then pull out a massive black box, with a glass window on the front of it. It looked as though there were people, and even whole landscapes inside the box.

Janice would then using a small, handheld device control the figures. In the screen there was everything from giant Dragons, to people in strange clothes attacking one another with strange weapons that could strike a man dead from a distance, to monsters that defied description to the locals. Each night would of course bring different images on the screen and different music from the box.

Keptis and the Strange Boy would then emerge and compete for who was the strongest. They’d crush stones, said to be made of the hardest substances, and even lift members of the audience over their heads. The Strange Boy would always win much to Keptis’ frustration.

Keyro would then spread his wings, before flying over the crowd. His appearance terrified the crowd, but not more than Coro’s act.

Coro would emerge from the circus first as a clown before suddenly morphing into various other monstrous forms that would terrify the audience.

The Circus naturally soon became the talk of the town. Everyone was desperate to see its spectacular tricks and visuals, though obviously there were many who worried that the Circus performers were Warlocks just like Mestron and even asked that they be kicked out of Lakos.

Ultimately however most people were too enchanted with the Circus to even care and whilst it was only intended to be there for 1 week, it ended up staying for over 4 weeks.

Just when it seemed like the Circus of Czas would never leave, one of the locals would be found out in the woods with his chest ripped open.

The Circus performers were the first suspects of course, but no one had any evidence it was them. Still more and more people began to turn on the Circus, and fewer turned up every night. Yet for some reason they still insisted on staying.

Sadly whatever had killed the previous local would soon claim its next victim. Ashlei’s little brother Malcolm. The two had gone to the Circus together. They were its biggest fans in the village and didn’t miss a single performance. Ashlei did think from the start that they were Warlocks, but she didn’t think that meant that they were evil.

Sadly however on that fateful night when coming home from the Circus, Ashlei and Malcolm were approached by a strange woman for help who looked as though she was crying. The woman was bent over and her face was in her hands seemingly sobbing.

Malcolm, ever the gentleman approached her, and put his arms around the young seemingly troubled woman to comfort her. Malcolm assured the woman that whatever was wrong it would be okay. Just then however the woman lifted her face up. Her face was green, her eyes were bright red, and her fangs were long and sharp. Malcolm tried to pull away in horror, but the woman’s grip was strong and worse, her finger nails started to elongate into razor sharp talons that started to dig into Malcolm’s back.

Ashlei ran towards her brother, but before she could do anything the two of them vanished in a puff of purple smoke, just like how the Circus Master appeared and disappeared before each act.

There would be a wide search for Malcolm for the next two days before his body was found stuffed in a tree. His chest had been torn into just like the previous victims, though he was also covered in scratches, bite marks and other gruesome wounds. It was obvious that whoever, or whatever had killed him, had made Malcolm suffer greatly first.

Naturally suspicions fell on the Circus again, but to a greater extent. Ashlei knew that they had something to do with it. The woman who had murdered his brother had vanished in exactly the same way as the Circus Master did every night.

She went from being their biggest fan to disrupting their performances every night. She’d scream at them that they killed her brother, and that they were monsters. She’d even throw chairs at the Circus Master, demanding that he tell her what he really was.

She’d always be escorted soon after her protests of course, and after a few nights she realised how pointless her actions were. Instead Ashlei sought the only man in town who could deal with the Circus before it killed again. Mestron.

Ashlei approached the former Warlock’s cell window and at first Mestron of course told her to leave him alone as always, but once she told him of her brothers death then he started to listen.

Ashlei told him everything about the Circus and how the woman and the Circus master had both vanished into puffs of purple smoke. Mestron knew that both of them based on this description, as well as the green face, and talons of the creature that attacked Malcolm,  were Vandals.

Specifically they were of the Hetcha breed (there were many different types of Vandals. These Vandals were the most common throughout Europe. Their teleporting powers, as well as their great strength made them dangerous opponents. They were also completely immune to many forms of magic too.

They still could be destroyed however in a variety of means. Decapitation, a wooden stake through the heart, fire, and they could also be weakened by holy items too. They were vulnerable to many of the standard Vampire and Vandal weaknesses.

Ashlei begged Mestron to help her kill these monsters. Ashlei felt guilt at what happened to Malcolm. So many people had warned her that the people in the Circus could not be trusted, but she thought they were just harmless Warlocks like Mestron himself.

Mestron whilst a broken man, still wanted to help Ashlei and so for the first time in 5 years he used his great magical powers to break free from his prison.

Mestron and Ashlei together in the middle of the night whilst the rest of the village slept, headed for the Circus, determined to make the freaks there pay.

When they arrived, Mestron tried to blast the tent doors open with his magics, but he didn’t even make a dent in it.

Whilst he was a little rusty from having spent so long in his cell, Mestron knew that there was no way an ordinary tent could withstand his magics. That was all the proof he needed that something sinister was afoot here.

Just then the Circus Master materialised behind both Mestron and Ashlei. Waving his stick in the air, he furiously demanded to know what they were doing here.

Wasting no time however, Mestron using telekenisis was able to tear a piece off a tree behind the Circus Master and shot it at an incredible speed towards his heart.

The Circus Master managed to catch it however with his superhuman reflexes and quickly darted towards Mestron before the latter could react. He sent Mestron flying through the tent doors with one shove of his hand.

Whilst they were open Ashlei quickly followed her friend through them. There was nothing she could do to help Mestron of course, but she wasn’t going to leave him at the mercy of these Circus freaks.

When Ashlei got inside the Tent she was startled at what she saw. The walls looked as though they were made of stone, as did its floors. There was also a fountain in the middle of the room, as well as a giant screen, similar to the one Janice had used in her act, but much bigger at the other end of the room, which sat in front of several strange looking chairs.

On the other end of the room meanwhile was what looked like another giant silver box, surrounded by several more chairs, alongside what looked like an inanimate man made of metal. All of the walls were littered with paintings and book cases and sculptures. At the back end of the room was a giant bunk bed that had 6 beds.

Ashlei tried to help Mestron up, but they were both surrounded by all the performers from the Circus, as well as the Circus Master, who walked calmly through the doors and shut them behind him.

“Well, well what have we here” he said in his somewhat posh, high pitched voice. “A Warlock it seems. Are you what we were sent here for? You don’t look very impressive to me, but appearances can be deceiving.”

“You’d know all about that wouldn’t you. Monster! Why did you kill my brother!” Ashlei screamed back at the Circus Master.

“I assure you” he said calmly “I haven’t harmed anyone in this town my lady. I am here to protect you all.”

Mestron laughed “You might be able to dupe these people who’ve never seen a real Demon, but I know what you are. You are a Vandal. You’re no better than a Vampire at your core. You’re a monster, a sick twisted, vicious”

The Circus Master interrupted Mestron with a punch to the face sending him crashing to the ground.

“I’m not offended” the Circus Master said. “I just wanted to test you to see how dangerous you are. You have power, but from the looks of things you haven’t used it in a long time. You’re clearly not what we were looking for. You’re a wreck.” He continued whilst twirling his stick.

He then turned to Ashlei. “You can both go now, but don’t come here again. We have a very important mission here trying to track the real killer.”

Neither Ashlei nor Mestron were convinced however. “If I wanted to kill you I could. I’m not here to harm any of you. I don’t expect for people of your time to believe that a Vandal could be a hero, but at the very least you can see that I’m not quite as much of a monster as the others you’ve undoubtedly met.”

“So you admit to being a Vandal then” Ashlei said.

In response the Circus Master elongated his finger nails into the standard Vandal talons, whilst his skin also went green and his teeth elongated into fangs. “Yes I admit it. In some ways its been a blessing and a curse for me. I’m a monster no doubt about that, but I can control it. I learned too many years ago.”

The other performers gave The Circus Master a look. “I really don’t think he’s interested in hearing all of this. We certainly aren’t for the 1000000th time” Janice said in a dry tone at the back.

The Circus Master gave her a look, but then said somewhat reluctantly. “Well its not like they’re going to believe me anyway? You’re right, lets send them on their way.”

Just then however the Circus Master was alerted by the sound of screaming villagers from outside. As he peered through the “tent” doors he could see a mob of angry villagers gathered around the Circus, some of them wielding pitchforks.

“Oh great more people we’re trying to help, trying to kill us .” sighed Janice from the back.

“Don’t worry I’ll deal with it” said the Circus Master as he went out to face his admiring public.

“What is the meaning of this” he said having morphed back into his human form. The Circus Master spoke with an air of authority hoping he could intimidate the crowd, but instead it riled them up even more, and one actually threw a bottle at his head, though he managed to duck.

“We don’t want you and your monsters here any longer. We know why you came here. To free that cursed Warlock whose already brought this town so much misfortune. He’s no longer in his cell. I’d wager you’ve got him stashed in there, along with the rest of your freaks!” Barked the Mayor.

The Circus Master responded with “So this is the thanks I get for bringing a little bit of joy to this dreary town. Honestly just one night ago you people were” The Mayor interrupted “I’ve never liked you. I only let you stay here because of public demand, but it was obvious to me from the start that you were using magic, and now I have all the proof I need to get you out of Lakos for good”.

Mestron and Ashlei could overhear what they were arguing about from inside the tent. Mestron turned to Ashlei and started to whisper to her.

“We can get him. They all think I’m in cahoots with that Vandal. If I burst out of the tent now they’ll lynch him.” Ashlei was shocked “You can’t be serious? They’ll kill you too!” Mestron knew that however, and that was part of why he wanted to do it. He said quietly to Ashlei “I should have died with my people years ago. If I had, think of how many more people would still be alive. Your brother included”.

Before Ashlei could protest, Mestron using a blast of magic sent all of the other performers flying through the air, and bolted out of the front doors.

The Circus Master stood in shock. He knew that Mestron was stupid, but he didn’t think he was suicidal. Mestron shouted “this man is a Vandal. An undead monster that feeds on the souls of the living and this Circus isn’t a Circus at all!” Mestron pulled the tent doors open revealing the inside which looked more like the hall of a castle than a Circus, with Ashlei, surrounded by the other performers.

“They’ve captured the McKay girl after killing her brother, stop them” screamed an older woman at the back. The mob ran towards the Circus doors but Coro managed to instantly drive them back by suddenly morphing into what looked like a gigantic reptillian, bipedal monster that stood about 20 feet high. The monster roared at the villagers who were so terrified that at first they couldn’t even move, but as soon as it roared a second time and began to walk slowly towards them, the villagers all ran away without exception.

Coro then morphed back into his Clown form and and he along with all of the other performers and even Ashlei cornered Mestron.

Normally the Circus Master was very erudite, well spoken and gentlemanly, but here he was so angry that he started cursing at Mestron.

“What’s wrong with you? You crazy bastard! You could have yourself killed along with the rest of us!”

Mestron responded with “I’d die 10000 times to take out one Vandal! You’re scum every single last one of you.”

The Circus Master realised that nothing was going to convince the Warlock that he was there to help them.

“I don’t blame you for hating my people. We’re mostly a rotten lot. I’d wager that it was my kind that brought you to the state you are in now? Still I am here to help and I don’t have time to convince you. So I’m going to to have get rid of you for a bit.”

And with that Keyro and the Strange Boy grabbed Mestron by each arm and dragged him back into the tent and threw him to the back, just in front of the bunk beds. Mestron of course tried to struggle free, but their strength was unlike anything he had ever dealt with.

Ashlei ran after them and begged the Circus Master not to harm him.

“Don’t worry” The Circus Master said softly. “I’m not going to hurt him, I just can’t have him getting in the way.” He then turned to Coro who instantly conjured up a Vestiga beast. Vestiga’s were ancient monsters said to have been killed off during the Trajan wars centuries ago. Mestron had only heard about them in myths and legends from his own kingdom.

He knew that even at his best he wouldn’t stand a chance against this beast so he stayed very still as the monster slowly cornered him against the beds. Even though Mestron wasn’t exactly eager for his life to go on, the Vestiga’s were said to kill their victims in the most agonising ways imaginable. They had a grissly habit of eating their victims skins first!

The Vestiga was about the size of an African Elephant. It had 4 legs, whilst its body was long, yet sturdy. Its skin was scaly and thick, whilst there were massive spikes all along its back, and above its shoulders. Its head was short, squat and toad like, though it had two massive horns above its eyes. It had no mouth however on this head, but it had three heads on the end of each of its three tails, all which were raised. Each of these heads had massive mouths, with huge razor sharp fangs, a long tongue and one red eye each which could shoot fire.

The Vestiga’s also had virtually limitless strength, far above that of most Demons, and their skin was almost completely indestructable.

Ashlei pleaded for the Circus Master to let Mestron go, but the Circus Master responded with “You think you can get through to me? If I was really the monster your friend claims I am would you bother? I promise you he will come to no harm. Once we’ve saved you all, we’ll be out of your hair for good, but until then he has to stay here. Question is, do we have to lock you up too?”

Ashlei backed away a little. She didn’t know what to make of the Circus Master. He didn’t seem evil, though of course his charming, gentlemanly demeanour was most likely an act. Nevertheless he did seem genuine when he said he didn’t want to harm either her or Mestron, yet here he was summoning Demons to seemingly eat Mestron!

“Are you going to feed me to that, that thing too”? Ashlei said trembling in fear.

“I’m not going to feed either of you to it, but I need to know if you are with us or against us. You can help me find the real monster out there. If not you’ll have to be contained.”

Ashlei looked at Mestron cowering in the corner from the Demon. “I have no choice. I’ll have to stay here with my friend. Even if you are trying to catch the real badguy, I couldn’t possibly just leave him at the mercy of that thing.”

“You are a very brave young lady” The Circus Master said to Ashlei. “I only hope one day you can see that we are not monsters, but until then”. He snapped his fingers, and the Vestiga instantly turned its attention towards Ashlei. The monster started to circle her. Mestron instantly sprung to his feet, ready to try and fight the Demon. He knew it would be pointless, but maybe he could buy Ashlei some time. As soon as the monster turned its attention back to Mestron however he froze. It didn’t take long for that brief spurt of adrenaline to wear off when he looked into the faces of the Vestiga again.

Still Mestron did his best to try and lure the monster back his way, but unfortunately Ashlei did the same thing. Neither was going to turn their back on their friend even in the face of this monster.

Unfortunately however neither were able to lure the monster away as it could monitor both of them with their three heads.

The Circus Master and the others then left, but not before he told Ashlei and Mestron to do nothing and they would be okay.

Back in the Lakos, the townsfolk had returned. Gathered in the town square, they were naturally angry and humiliated at having been scared away so easily.

The Mayor, standing at a podium was trying to calm the crowd, but of course no one would listen to him. The Mayor had fled just as quickly as anyone else after his big talk to the Circus Master, and the only people who did even notice him, quickly shot him down as a spineless coward. All of the townsfolk were blaming each other for not doing all they could to fight the Demons.

Just then however the Mayor was finally able to catch the crowds attention, simply because he screamed in horror at what he had seen in the distance.

At the top of the largest church in the town, stood a hideous monster, holding the dead body of a young girl, no older than 18 years old.

The monster had green skin, red eyes and massive razor sharp fangs, just like the monster that had taken Malcolm, though this was a male however. He had the same long claws the Circus Master had on the end of his finger tips.

The monster roared at the townsfolk and then laughed at them, before throwing the corpse of his victim right into the middle of the crowd. The crowd scattered around the body of the young girl, who had a massive hole in her chest just like Malcolm and the previous victim.

The girls mother ran towards her corpse and started sobbing, but within a flash, the same monster that had killed her daughter, suddenly appeared behind her in a puff of purple smoke.

Before she could react, the monster rammed its claws straight into her chest. The mother screamed out in pain for help, but once again the villagers were too scared to do anything, save one, a large, burly looking farmer who tried to strike the monster with a pitchfork. The monster however with one swipe of its claws sliced the mans pitchfork in half, and then with another swipe took his head clean off.

The monster then pulled its claws out of the woman’s chest whose lifeless body dropped to the floor next to her daughter. The monsters body glowed for a short while after  killing its victim, before it turned to the crowd.

The beast barked at the cowering townsfolk. “I don’t just kill you. I can destroy your entire soul. But tonight I’m feeling generous. I’ll let you live, well most of you” he said as he glanced down at the two women he had already butchered. “If you give me the book.”

The Mayor was petrified to his very core, but he didn’t want to let his people down again. He knew what book the monster was referring to. The one that Mestron had brought to this town, and that had created two similar abominations. The Mayor knew he couldn’t hand it over to these fiends. Think of the horrors they would do with it.

The Mayor barely able to speak he was so scared said “P-please I d-don’t know what you, you are talking about, but we are a simple people and we don’t have anything”.

The monster responded by calmly saying, whilst smiling to reveal its fangs “I hope’d you’d say that. Now we get to do this the hard way.”

Just then dozens and dozens of similar monsters appeared in puffs of purple smoke all around the town square. The monsters walked slowly towards the terrified villagers who all began to huddle together. The men stood in front of the women and children. Some of them held their pitchforks as weapons, others tried to reason with the monsters to no avail.

The monsters suddenly charged at the villagers. Though many of them did fight back it was hopeless. Even the strongest man in the village was flattened by the beasts in a manner of seconds, whilst their pitchforks, even when one of the villagers was lucky enough to strike a monster, did nothing.

The Mayor staring down at the chaos in the streets below nearly fainted in horror. He had to turn away. His thoughts turned to one thing. His seething hatred of Mestron. “We should have burned him at the stake the minute he set foot in this town” he thought. Just then the Mayor felt a cold hand place itself around his shoulder. He turned around slowly, trembling with fear to see the original monster standing there, smiling with sadistic delight.

He tried to run, but the monster quickly grabbed him by the throat and hoisted him to the air.

As the Mayor struggled and kicked pointlessly the monster spoke. “I’ll ask a second time. Take me to the book or else this entire town will die screaming!”

The Circus Master, and the rest of his “performers”were making their way through the woods to the town. A lot of them had lost faith in the mission. “I can’t see what’s so important about this little place. Its in the middle of nowhere in a pretty unremarkable time, and we’ve been here for 4 fucking weeks. She clearly made a mistake.” Snapped Janice.

“Trust me. She never makes mistakes. She’s governed by the laws of time itself” said a frustrated Circus Master. “I understand this isn’t the most exciting place we’ve ever visited, but there is obviously something big happening here. And remember even we can’t predict what the future holds. For all we know we could just be here to stop the great, great, great grandfather of the most important person who will ever live not fall victim to a Vandal.”

“Oh god” Janice thought to herself. “He loves going on these big pompous speeches about time. Why’d I give him an excuse.” She was almost relieved when suddenly a Vandal emerged from the bushes wielding a sword. “Finally, something to do, and I don’t have to listen to another lecture.”

The Vandal did not attack the performers however. It believed that the Circus Master being a Vandal himself was more or less on their side in trying to get the book, though it couldn’t quite figure out what his plan was.

“I don’t know which sect you are with, but we are both after the same thing, to get that book. Honestly though I don’t know what’s been taking you so long?” When we saw there was one of our own here, just waiting to act we assumed that there must be more to this town than meets the eye. Didn’t stop us from snacking on some of the locals mind you, but still I’m sorry we can’t wait any longer. Please tell us what you know about these people.”

The Circus Master saw a golden opportunity. These Vandals had obviously never even considered that one of their own might not be a monster like them and actually be here to protect the people of Lakos.

There were many Vandal groups scattered across Europe and not all of them were in communication. In fact some of them were rivals. The Vandals that had been sent here knew that the Circus Master was not among their group.

Rather than risk provoking a fight with possibly another faction (who could have units all over the country) and alerting the town, they hoped to simply wait for the Circus Master to deal with whatever threat there must be in Lakos, before then moving in and taking the book for themselves.

However they had been kept waiting for too long, having arrived just a week or so after the Circus Master, that they just decided to act. They would never have even guessed that the Circus Master was looking for them. He had been unable to find the Vandals in the 4 weeks he had been there, as the monsters had kept hidden in the woods using a cloaking spell. The Vandals had access to some of the most powerful magics as they had enslaved or turned Witches and Warlocks all over Europe into members of their own kind.

The Circus Master had suspected once he knew it was Vandals (after the first attack) that they were using a cloaking spell, but he had been unable to find a way to expose them. He had to be very careful when using a spell to locate them, as it might have alerted the Vandals that he was trying to find them. The Circus Masters resources were also scarce in this primitive age too.

The Circus Master said back to the Vandal.

“I can assure you the magics in this town are very dangerous. Even with all of the Witches that we have dealt with, these people are more than a match for us. I suggest we move with extreme caution.

“Its too late” said the Vandal in response. “We got tired, tired and hungry so we’re attacking them now. Honestly it seems like you were overestimating these people. The attack seems to be going smoothly. These people don’t seem so frightening to me?”

“Trust me” the Circus Master said “You haven’t seen them in action. We need to see your commander now.”

The other Vandal agreed, though he was a little unsure about taking the others to see his commander.

“You really want to bring them along? I mean I can’t promise that the commander or the rest of the team won’t eat them”.

The Circus Master looked back at his team who were clearly offended at the suggestion a couple of third rate Vandals could even harm them and said “I think they’ll be fine.”

Back in the “Circus” meanwhile Mestron and Ashlei were both too scared to move at the sight of the Vestiga who wasn’t actually advancing on them, but every time either of them even flinched it would let out a deafening roar.

Mestron knew he couldn’t let this go on for much longer. Whilst they were cowed by this abomination, the town was most likely in danger from the monsters who ran this “Circus”, Mestron thought to himself.

Mestron felt ashamed with himself. Here he thought he was letting his fear rule him to the point where he was going to abandon Lakos, just as he had Muraca. Well not again Mestron vowed as he worked up the courage against this abomination for the second time. This monster would kill him in the most horrific way possible, but he told himself it was a small price to pay to let Ashlei escape and help Lakos against the Circus Master.

Mestron scream for Ashlei to run before he jumped straight at the Vestiga’s body. To both he and Ashlei’s shock however, Mestron just went tumbling straight through the monster and crashed onto the floor.

As he looked up Mestron could clearly see that the monster was nothing more than an illusion, a ghostly image that couldn’t even harm the smallest insect scurrying along the floor beside them!

Ashlei could only laugh at how they had been duped. Even Mestron for the first time in a long while laughed a little about it. “My big noble sacrifice ended up up making me look rather silly” He said.

“At the very least we now know that these monsters aren’t as powerful as we thought. They really are just smoke and mirrors.” Mestron said more seriously as he hoisted himself up.

Ashlei was still unsure about the whole situation. If the Circus folk were really monsters, why did they leave them with an illusion that could never have done them any harm? Still if there was even a chance that the Circus Master had anything to do with her brothers death then she had to find out.

Mestron and Ashlei headed out of the tent and down towards the village. In the distance they could see flames coming from the buildings of Lakos and hear the sounds of people screaming for mercy, as well as the Vandals cackling in sadistic delight. Mestron almost fell to his knees in despair. It seemed that nothing could escape these monsters and their cruelty, not even Lakos which had remained untouched by the outside world for centuries. Mestron felt it was all his fault. If he had just left then the war between the Vampires and the Vandals would not have been brought here, but fortunately unlike before Mestron didn’t let his guilt overwhelm him.

It simply made him more determined to make up for his mistakes than ever before.

The Vandals had convinced the Mayor to take them to the book. Their commander promised that he would call off the attack on the town if he gave him the book. Of course the Mayor didn’t want to give in to these monsters, but the attack on the town was unlike anything he had ever seen before. Even the Vampiric corpses were nowhere near as savage as the Vandals.

Having to wait in the shadows for so long had made the Vandals even more vicious. They were tearing people apart in the streets, burning houses down and throwing the people who fled from them back into the flames.

The Mayor knew the Demons most likely would not keep their word, but sadly there was nothing else he could do to stop the slaughter.

The Mayor took the Vandals to the Church. The beasts were able to enter it, but it weakened them considerably (though they still were able to overpower the Mayor due to their greater numbers.)

It was easy to identify where the book had been buried in the Graveyard. The earth around it had completely rotted away into a black tar that was slimy to the touch.

The leader of the Vandals searched through the black slime with his claws and managed to dig the book out. He was having trouble lifting it, he was so weak from the Church’s power, but he was still absolutely ecstatic. “Finally we have it. You have no idea the good you have done the world” he said to the captive Mayor. “Now we can finally rid ourselves of their filth forever. You can’t even begin to imagine the danger those freaks pose to all of us. You’re a hero” he laughed in the Mayors face.

The Mayor however couldn’t take it anymore. He had no idea what the book was, but he knew that it could turn men into the most heinous monsters and he couldn’t let it fall into these creatures hands. He could see they were weaker, but even then he was scared to act. There were ten of them surrounding him, and they all had massive talons that looked like they could slice his head off no problem. Still he knew he had to strike now while the monsters were weak.

Of course the great irony was the book was probably safer in the claws of these monsters than anyone else. Whilst they were in their own way every bit as bad as the Vampires, this was probably the one good act the Vandals were about to do for the world, that the Mayor was going to stop.

Reacting quickly the Mayor kicked the Vandal commander in the stomach. Old as he was, the Mayors kick had more power to it than he had hoped. The Vandal was so weak on holy ground that it was sent flying backwards into a grave with the book flying out of its hands.

Wasting no time the Mayor jumped and grabbed the Book. As he turned around however he saw there was no escape with the 9 Vandals standing completely around him.

Their leader hoisted himself up. “Fool I would have let you become one of us as a reward for giving helping us destroy our enemies. Now I’ll make a trophy out of your spine!”

Out of options the Mayor in desperation started reading aloud from the book. Under normal circumstances he would have been too terrified to even go near the Church because the book was there, but he hoped that maybe he could summon its dark power to destroy them. He foolishly thought that if he was the one reading from it then he could control it. It would end up being the biggest mistake of his life.

The leader of the Vandals screamed at him to stop “YOU STUPID FOOL YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE UNLEASHING!” But it was too late.

All it took was a few passages, and the power from the book enveloped the Mayor. It twisted both his body and his soul, and just as it had done to so many before, it turned him into the first of a new species of Vampire within in a matter of seconds.

The Mayor’s body grew to be larger in both height and weight. His clothes even burst. His skin turned completely white, and yellow puss began to spurt out of parts of his body. His eyes went completely blue, whilst green slime began to dribble its way out of his mouth. His upper canines also grew into massive razor sharp fangs, whilst his hair fell out in clumps until only tiny little bits of hair remained.

He roared at the Vandals who all tried to teleport away instantly, but the Mayor somehow blocked their ability to teleport. The Holy Ground also didn’t seem to be affecting this new breed of Vampire at all. The Vandals were as trapped and helpless against the Mayor as his townsfolk had been against them.

The Circus Folk made their way to the towns square in the middle of the chaos. There the Circus Master stood on the Mayors stage and yelled to get everyone’s attention. The crowd turned silent, and all of the Vandals turned their attention to the Circus Master, with many of the villagers too scared to try and run away.

“We need to get out of this town at once” The Circus Master said. “You fools are all in the most terrible danger. They will kill you all!”

The Vandals all responded by laughing. “These pitiful excuses for creatures. I’ve never seen anything like them. They don’t even attempt to fight back. I don’t why you took so long to act, but you can clear off. We’ve got this covered now.” Shouted one Vandal at the back, as it was literally holding the severed head of a victim.

The Circus Master turned to Coro who instantly knew what to do. Coro using his powers of illusion summoned up a gigantic vision of a 40 foot monster named Werstika.

Werstika had been a legendary monster who enjoyed keeping humans as pets. Under his rule he would generally mistreat his “pets”, but still he nevertheless would always protect them fiercely. His power exceeded that of most other supernatural creatures on earth, but according to the legend, a mass army of Vampires and Demons united against him and were eventually able to tear Werstika to pieces, after which they then feasted on the town he had protected for more than 200 years.

However according to other reports the monster still roamed the earth, with many Vampires and Demons having claimed to have sighted him. He became something of a monsters monster, with even the Vandals organising many hunts to find him with no success.

Werstika had bright yellow, scaly skin, a gigantic blue sail that ran from his head down to his back, webbed feet and long, bony fingers that ended in razor sharp claws. His face was somewhat Ape like, though his mouth was filled with massive fangs and a long pristine like tongue which writhed between them.

The Vandals began to cower whilst the villagers ran away as fast as they could.

The Circus Master spoke. “You’ve heard the stories. I tried to warn you all. This town is under the protection of Werstika, one of the most feared Monsters of all time. I was trying to find a way to convince him to give us the book, but you idiots had to barge in here. He’ll kill us all for what you did to his pets.”

The Vandal who had previously spoken out was now on his knees (still unknowingly holding the severed head.) He pleaded and begged.

“Oh great one please forgive us, we are just simple beasts who were just trying to survive. We took no pleasure in this” he said just before throwing the head away.

None of the other Vandals were much braver. They were practically all on their knees begging the imaginary monster to show clemency. The Circus Master spoke again “I think its best if we all left Lakos right away and never returned. Werstika knows our kind only too well.”

Some of the Vandals wondered why Werstika had not already attacked them? According to the stories, anyone who even touched a hair on one of his pets heads would be met with the most brutal punishment. Here they had just butchered dozens of them, literally tore their bodies to bits and consumed their souls yet he was just standing there? Some of them suspected that there was more to this, but they were all at least too scared to test that out.

Sadly however they wouldn’t have too. Mestron and Ashlei had made their way into the village. Mestron had already slain three Vandals by the time he made it to the square. (These Vandals had been picking off the people fleeing from the sight of Werstika.) Once Ashlei and Mestron made it into the town square they both knew the giant monster was an illusion. Sadly if only Mestron had bothered to listen to what the Circus Master had been saying then he would not have been so foolish. He still believed that the Circus Master was a monster and that he had summoned up an image of Werstika to scare the villagers.

He hoisted a piece of rubble up using his telekinetic powers and hurled it towards the illusion. It passed right through it, and when the rubble crashed on the stage behind, it distracted Coro long enough for the illusion to vanish.

The Vandals stood up enraged, sheathing their claws and baring their fangs. The Circus Master looked scared as he began to back away, as did his team behind him.

“Well okay the Werstika was just a lot of smoke and mirrors, but did you consider this?” And with that the Circus Master lifted up his stick which suddenly shot fire out of it that consumed several of the Vandals, with the rest scattering.

The Circus Master then unsheathed his claws and jumped through the air into the Vandals and began fighting them. He was both faster and stronger than any of the Vandals there and sliced any who came near him’s heads clean off!

The other Circus members meanwhile also joined in the fight. Janice despite not having any powers, was able to hold her own against the Vandals. They had super strength, but she had years of training and experience in fighting opponents much stronger than her. The Vandals had been used to picking on hapless villagers that could barely defend themselves meanwhile.

Janice used two wooden machetes she kept in in two holsters to fight the Vandals. She would use them to both impale and decapitate any Vandal that came near her.

Keptis meanwhile used a flaming sword to cut down any Vandal that came near him. Despite his massive strength and size, Keptis moved just as quickly as Janice. Keptis also did not actually have any real superpowers like some of his other teammates. Much like Janice, he was as strong and powerful as he was only through years of training and experience.

Coro meanwhile proved that his only power was not just in illusions. He leaped through the air with tremendous speed and landed on top of a Vandal whose head he tore off with his bare teeth, which had morphed into long, yellow, razor sharp fangs! Strangely he seemed to move on all fours, with the pupils in his eyes also growing larger and turning pitch black. He growled at the Vandals who backed away a little and, then the Clown began slobbering at them before spitting at the nearest Vandal.

The Vandal exploded with rage, and against its better judgement lunged at Coro with its claws. Coro suddenly reared on his hind legs and flipped over the Vandal. He then grabbed it by the back of its throat, and pulled down on its shoulder until it tore the soul suckers head off.

Coro then turned around to the other scared Vandals. Seeing that they were terrified, he started to taunt them. He did a little dance and twirl, before blowing a kiss at and winking at them.

The Vandals tried to surround Coro and then strike at once, but the “clown” was too good for them and started to jump over the Vandals, punching kicking, and tearing a couple more’s heads off. One Vandal however managed to get a lucky strike in with a scratch down Coro’s face which caused him to double back in pain and fall to the floor.

The Vandal then jumped on top of Coro and stabbed its hand into his chest. Coro screamed out in agony, but his strength was already depleting as the Vandal was slowly sucking out his life essence.

The Vandal was a little taken a back by what it was absorbing from its victim. “WOW I’m a soul sucking Demon, and even I have trouble believing you exist. You’re not even from this world. Once I suck out your soul, I will be the leader here. No one will dare..”

Before he could finish however, Keyro grabbed the Vandal and flew away with it. After flying over the town with the helpless Demon, Keyro threw the monster on a piece of wooden rubble from a burned down house, which impaled the Vandal through the heart, killing him instantly.

The Strange Boy meanwhile was both faster and stronger than any of the Vandals there. He jumped onto one Vandals back and dug his claws into the monsters neck before tearing its head off. He then flipped over two other Vandals, and grabbed one by the back leg.  Pulling it down on the ground, he sunk his fangs into the creatures back leg, and using his teeth and his claws, pulled its leg clean off!

As the other Vandal ran towards him, the Strange boy charged at it holding the leg and ran it straight through the Vandal soldier. As the Vandal staggered back in pain, the Strange Boy jumped onto the Vandal and sliced off his head with its claws, before flipping backwards through the air and landing on the Vandal whose leg he had torn off’s back.

The Strange Boy dug his talons into the Vandals shoulders and started biting frantically at his throat and back. Eventually he bit at the Vandals throat enough times that its head came off!

Mestron and Ashlei couldn’t believe what they were watching. The Warlock had been so sure the Circus folk were monsters, but here they were seemingly risking their lives to protect the people of Lakos? They probably just want the villagers for themselves, he thought, still for now at least he would fight alongside them. The Vandals were the bigger threat.

Mestron jumped into the fight, and used his magic to scatter a large crowd of Vandals who had cornered the Circus Master. One of the Vandals had managed to knock the Circus Masters stick out of his hand, whilst the rest of his team were too distracted with their own Vandals to help him.

Mestron staked a few of the Vandals who were on the floor before they could get up, but another grabbed him from behind. Fortunately however the Circus Master returned the favour, and saved Mestron by slicing the monsters head off with his claws.

The two former enemies, standing back to back were now surrounded by Vandals, but fortunately it was nothing they couldn’t handle. .

“Now do you believe me that we’re here to help” said the Circus Master as he dodged the Vandals attacks whilst slashing back at the monsters with his claws.

“Maybe?” Said Mestron. “Or maybe you just want these villagers for yourself?”

“Oh god dear boy do I need to kill every Vandal on earth to prove I’m not like the others. You’ve already botched one of my plans to get rid of these bounders. We were on the brink of convincing them the most powerful Monster of all was protecting this place which would have made them flee, and tell their masters to never come back. Now we’ll not only have to do it the old fashioned way, but the Vandals will just keep sending more and more when they hear its just a couple of us freaks protecting this village. You’ve doomed Lakos!”

Coro meanwhile had not recovered from his ordeal. If he had been an ordinary human then not only would the Vandal have killed him, but it would have crushed his soul. Still Coro was struggling just to stand, and a few of the Vandals he had been fighting were now beating and taunting him.

“Not so cocky now are you, you freak.” Screamed one Vandal as it kicked the Clown in the stomach. Keyro was trying to help Coro, but every time he tried to fly near the Vandals they were able to bat him away with their claws.  Keyro didn’t give up however. He managed to grab onto one of the Vandals, but before he could pull it into the air, another Vandal grabbed his legs from behind. Keyro struggled to get free but his strength was no match for the two monsters who managed to pull him to the ground, with one of them slashing at his wing with its claws.

Ashlei had obviously not joined in the fighting. She wanted to kill all of the Vandals, but she knew she wouldn’t stand a chance. Still looking at Coro and Keyro struggling against the soul eaters she felt she should do something. She shouted over to Mestron, but unfortunately he couldn’t hear her. Ashlei decided to distract the Vandals hopefully long enough for Coro and Keyro to escape. Unlike Mestron, Ashlei had no doubt about the Circus folk being heroes now.

Ashlei ran at one of the two Vandals that was now beating and slashing Keyro whilst he was on the floor. Catching it off guard, Ashlei sent the monster crashing the ground, and it distracted the other Vandal long enough for Keyro to grab the beast from behind. Despite the wounds on his wing, Keyro managed to fly whilst holding the Vandal who he threw into the other Vandals that were standing over Coro, knocking them all down.

With lightening speed, Keyro then grabbed Coro and flew him into the air to safety from the Vandals.

Unfortunately however the Vandal that Ashlei had charged into managed to grab her before she could get away. Holding her by the neck, the monster shouted loud enough to draw everyone’s attention.

“NOBODY MOVE OR I’LL RIP HER SOUL OUT OF HER BODY!” Mestron and the rest of the Circus folk stopped, except for the Strange Boy who was still slashing at a Vandal whose back he had jumped onto. However one shout from The Circus Master caused him to stop, though he still hissed his blood stained fangs at the Vandals.

“My god, it looks like you actually care what happens to these peasants. Those Circus freaks must have you under some kind of spell. Fear not brother Vandal, once they are all dead you’ll be free.” Said the Vandal to the Circus Master, as it clutched Ashlei’s throat tighter.

Just then however a breed of Vampire, a Nelapsi, one of the most ferocious of all Vampire breeds appeared beside the Vandal clutching Ashlei. It was obviously another illusion conjured up by Coro, but still it was enough to throw the Vandal long enough for Ashlei to struggle free and run. Keyro then flew Coro into the Vandal which knocked him over. Though Coro was weak he managed to sink his fangs into the Vandals neck whilst it was one the floor, and with one bite he took the soul eating Demon’s head clean off, whilst the fighting between the Vandals and their enemies resumed.

In the middle of the fight Ashlei tried to run for safety, but she as she managed to make it to the other end of the square she saw a repulsive figure standing on the Mayors stadium, holding a severed head.

It was the Mayor himself, or rather the monster he had become, who was holding the head of the former commander of the Vandals in one hand and the book of Khastran in his other. The Mayor threw the head right into the middle of the fighting crowd to get their attention.

The Mayor now stood over 7 feet tall. He was a truly repulsive sight, with his bloated frame, and the yellow puss bursting out of parts of his body, and the green slime dripping from his mouth.

“You call yourselves freaks?” The Demonic Mayor said whilst spitting green slime everywhere.

The Vandals were all terrified. Most Vandals could take most Vampires in terms of strength, but this Vampire was the first of its kind, and therefore far stronger than any regular Vandal. The first of each breed was always the strongest.

The Mayor proved to be very fast despite his enormous size. He jumped straight into the middle of the square. Turning to face the Circus Master, he said to him. “I always hated your act and I’m going to make you suffer as much as your audience did.” He then squirted puss from his hands onto the Circus Masters chest which burned right through his clothes and skin. The Circus Master had never felt pain like it before. He fell on his back right away and screamed and writhed on the floor.

The other Vandals all instantly turned and ran, but the Mayor chased after them. He appeared to possess at least some limited telekinetic powers as he was able to life some of the Vandals in the air. Some of them he threw out of the square and crashing through buildings, others he started smashing into each other. The Mayor also used these powers to stop the Vandals from teleporting away as well.

Whilst he was throwing the Vandals around in the air, he was also attacking them on the ground too. The Mayors Vampiric strength was so great that he was able to punch a Vandals heads clean off. Some he would pin down with his foot however and then tear their arms clean off.

Some of the Vandals foolishly tried to fight. They knew they couldn’t outrun him, so they had no other choice. Their claws barely made a scratch in the Mayor massive flab, and the tiny scratches they did make healed instantly.

Keryo, Janice, Keptis and even Mestron had all gathered around the Circus Master who was still screaming in pain, with the puss still eating its way through his chest! The Strange Boy meanwhile had jumped on the Mayors back and started biting at his neck. The Mayor however tossed him off like a flee, but the Strange boy got up and hopped on both feet back towards the bloated bloodsucker.

He fared better against the Mayor than any of the Vandals, being able to dodge the Mayors blows and the puss he squirted at him too. The Strange boy was even able to knock the Mayor on his back a few times, by leaping onto his face and slashing at his eyes.

The Mayor however would always recover and simply bat the Strange Boy away again. Eventually he managed to blast the Strange Boy with his puss when the Demonic child tried to jump on him straight on. The Strange Boys skin began to sizzle and burn, and he screamed in pain, but he did not let the pain cripple him like The Circus Master. He just snarled and jumped at the Mayor again, but the Mayor easily batted him off, and this time used his telekinesis to lift the Strange Boy into the air and then throw him half way across the entire town.

The Circus Master managed to stagger back onto his feet. The puss was still eating its way into his flesh, but he managed to overcome the pain for now at least. “I loved this frilly shirt you cad!” he shouted at the Mayor, as he staggered towards where he had dropped his stick.

The Circus Master managed to pick it up and fire on the Mayor. The fire seemed to weaken him more than anything else, and for the first time the Demonic former Mayor actually screamed in pain.

The Circus Master kept firing at the Vampiric Mayor with his stick and just as it seemed to weaken him as he feel to his knees, the Mayor used his telekinesis to snap the stick in half, as well as throw Keptis’ fire sword to the other end of the square.

The Mayor was badly burned and barely able to stand. Still he terrified everyone else in the square. Keyro and Keptis were the first to charge at him, but he managed to send both flying backwards with his fists.

Janice tried next to hurt the Mayor. She was able to dodge his attack, but when she tried to stab him with her wooden machetes they both just got stuck in the Mayors chest. The Mayor managed to grab Janice and tried to bring her towards him for a kiss. Janice felt like throwing up the closer she got to that hideous green slimey mouth., and the heinous stench that came from it.

Janice’s saviour would ironically come in the form of a Vandal who jumped on the Mayors back, causing him to drop Janice, allowing her to crawl away. It had been a long while since Janice had backed down from a fight, but she knew it would be pointless to try and fight this monster one on one. She needed to rethink her tactics.

The Vandal had attacked the Mayor obviously not to help Janice, but just because he incorrectly thought he saw an opportunity to jump the former Mayor.

The Vampire instead squirted his puss into the Vandals face causing him to fall to the ground, holding his face and screaming in agony. The Mayor quickly put the Demon out of his misery by pulling out one of the wooden machetes Janice had rammed into his fat, and stabbed it into the Vandals chest.

The Mayor then turned his attention to three more Vandals, who were clearly too scared to do anything against him. Sensing their fear, he zeroed in on the lesser Demons, one of whom was a woman. Whilst the two male Vandals tried to run away, again the Mayor used his telekinesis to lift them both up and throw them across the town until they both landed in a building that ironically the Vandals had set on fire, where they both burned to death.

The Mayor then grabbed the female Vandal and just as he tried to do with Janice, forced a kiss on her before throwing her into the Vandals, Coro, Keyro and Mestron who were attempting to attack the Vampire.

The female Vandal screamed and clutched her insides which began to rumble. She begged for help, but there was nothing anyone could do. Even though they knew the Vandals were monsters the likes of Mestron, and even The Circus Master couldn’t help but pity her.

Just then the Vandal woman started to vomit green slime, exactly like the slime that had dripped from The Mayor’s mouth. After the slime she vomited up a large grey ball, before crumbling into nothing but ash.

The ball then began to metamorphose into a stick thin, bald headed, razor toothed, grey skinned, monster with long, thin yellow eyes with no pupil. The monster was covered in dark filth, and the stench was overwhelming. Ashlei who had obviously kept to the sides, literally began to choke, it was so strong and foul.

One of the Vandals tried to stab the Monster, but a hole appeared in the beasts body which the sword went through. The monster then grabbed the Vandal and opened its mouth wide enough to fit the Vandals head inside! It then bit the Vandals head clean off and swallowed it in one bite.

The Vandals and the others slowly surrounded the new Monster, having almost forgotten about the Mayor who stood at the back laughing at how helpless they were at this new abomination he had created. Keyro was the first to strike. Swooping in from the sky, he managed to grab the monster in his talons, but as he lifted it into the sky, the monster turned into a form of grey liquid and crawled up Keyro, covering him completely, before slithering itself down Keyro’s throat.

Keryo crashed to the ground after almost choking on the monster, but as his friends ran to help him, when he looked up, Keryo’s eyes were now bright yellow with no pupil like the monsters, and his teeth had grown into massive fangs and his finger nails into huge talons.

He instantly headed for Keptis and lifted the giant of a man through the air like a ragdoll before throwing him through a small house at the end of the square. The force at which the possessed Keyro through Keptis was so great that it caused the entire front of the house to collapse, after which the rest of the house fell on top of Keptis (fortunately its occupants had fled in the middle of the fight between the Vandals and the Circus folk.)

Keyro then returned to the square where he grabbed a Vandal and flew it into the air. He held the soul sucker upside down by its legs and pulled them on either side until he split the Vandal in two, right down the middle.  He threw the two pieces to either side of the square. Like all Vampires this creature as well as its “father” the Mayor seemed to take a particular delight in killing Vandals.

The possessed Keyro zeroed in on the mere 10 remaining Vandals who were cornered on one end by Keyro, and by the Mayor on the other, both laughing at how scared and small the Demons now seemed.

The Circus folk and Mestron surprisingly came to the Vandals aid. As much as they hated the monsters, not only where the Vampires the bigger threat, but they also couldn’t bare to see any creature die in the horrifying, and humiliating way the two Vampires would surely kill them.

Janice and Coro tried to distract the Mayor whilst Mestron and The Circus Master went after Keyro.

Coro who was still weak tried to summon up an illusion of another fearsome monster that even Mestron seemed unfamiliar with. This beast was one that Coro had encountered on his travels with the Circus. It was the most frightening thing he could think of. A Mesortic Beast, it stood about 9 feet tall, and its body appeared to be made of fire. It had a gigantic head with green eyes, as well as 6 arms all of which had hands with 12 fingers, which ended in stone, green claws. It had no legs however, just a fiery tail.

Whilst the Vandals instinctively cowered at the sight of the monster (despite knowing that it was an illusion.) The Mayor was not scared at all. He simply spat his green slime at the illusion, which went right through it and landed on the hand of a Vandal on the other side. The Vandal let out a scream as the slime ate its way through his hand.

His fellow Vandals came to his aid at first but one of them soon saw a yellow eyes, similar to the creature that had possessed Keyro, appearing in the burn marks and cuts on the Vandals hand. His hand also began to swell and it suddenly grabbed another Vandal by the throat and squeezed it so hard, the blood began to spill out of the Vandals mouth.

Another Vandal drove a stake through the infected Vandals heart killing it instantly. Unfortunately however the dead Vandals hand still burst and 5 small creatures similar in appearance to the one that possessed Keyro appeared. These creatures grew to roughly 3 feet tall, and they instantly pounced on the Vandal that had staked the infected Vandal. They overpowered him in seconds and started biting him. They tore chunks out of flesh, pulled his arms and legs off, and started biting into his neck which eventually took his head off.

In under half a minute all that was left of the Vandal was a few scraps of bone and flesh. The monsters immediately turned to the remaining Vandals whilst the Mayor focused his attention of Coro and Janice.

With his illusion broken, the Mayor attacked Coro, and grabbed him by the throat. Janice however rammed a gigantic wooden 2 by 4 she had picked up from the house that Keptis had been smashed through, straight into the Vampires back.

Sadly however despite ramming it with all her strength, the board just became stuck in the Mayors back.

The Mayor turned to face Janice, laughing. It pulled the stake out of its back and threw it back at Janice who caught it. It was so unscared of her, that it goaded Janice into attacking it with the 2 by 4 again. Janice charged at the Vampire, but this time she went for his testicles! The Mayor screamed and doubled back in pain, with the board still sticking out from his crotch!

Janice then jumped through the air, landing on the monsters flabby chest, before ramming a stake into the Mayors eye and kicking him in the face which sent the Vampire crashing to the ground on his back.

Janice then pulled the stake out of his crotch and stabbed it back into the Mayors chest. This time however Coro helped her and used his strength to try and push the stake into the board.

The Vandals meanwhile having been keeping one eye on the horrible, Vampire children creatures who were slowly advancing towards them, and one on the fight between the Mayor and Janice went to help their former enemies. As the Mayor was weakening in focusing on Janice and Coro, he had begun to lose his concentration on the Vandals and they were now able to teleport away.

The Mayor’s strength was greater than Janice, Coro and the Vandals combined however and he was able to stop them from stabbing it straight through his chest, though the more they persisted the harder it was even for the Mayor to hold it up.

One Vandal jumped onto his chest and started slashing at the Mayors face with his claws. He actually hurt the Vampire, but the Mayor managed to spit the green slime from his mouth right into the Vandals face. The Vandal fell backwards into Janice, Coro and the others knocking them all off of the Mayor who rose up instantly, screaming in both anger and pain.

He pulled the stake from his eye, and ripped the wooden board from his chest. With blood dripping from his crotch, he screamed at Janice that he was going to make her very, very sorry.

The Vandal he had spat in the face of meanwhile’s head began to swell, and swell, to the point where it grew bigger than its entire body which it soon detached from. The Vandals hair also fell out, his skin turned blue, and yellow eyes started appearing all over his head, whilst his mouth grew massive. His headless body meanwhile crumbled to dust.

The floating, monstrous head then turned on his fellow Vandals, who found that they once again could no longer teleport. As they turned to run from the head however, the horrible, Vampiric children started to jump on them and bite into the Vandals.

The flying head meanwhile managed to catch up to one of the fleeing Vandals and with one bite, it swallowed it whole.

Janice and Coro managed to dodge the Mayors strikes meanwhile, as well as the slime he kept spitting at them, and the puss her kept firing at them from his hands.

The two kept looking for a weakness. The monster had to have one. They just had to be patient and careful in their attacks.

Just then Keptis suddenly caught the monster unawares, and stabbed his fire sword into its chest.  In all the confusion the Mayor had forgotten about Keptis much to his regret. For the first time as a Vampire, the Mayor actually ran away.

With Janice, Corro and Keptis closing in on him, the Mayor used his telekinesis to pull the flaming sword out of his chest and fired it at Janice. Keptis however pushed Janice out of the way before it impaled her and grabbed it.

With his telekinesis, the Mayor tried to pull it out of Keptis’ hands, but Keptis was able to hold onto it, whilst Janice and Coro both jumped onto the Mayors chest and kicked him at the same time sending the Vampire on his back, and breaking his concentration over the sword.

Keptis then jumped through the air wielding the sword and tried to decapitate the Mayor while he was on the floor, but the Vampire managed to swivel to the side and quickly jumped to his feet, striking Keptis before he could react, and sending him crashing to the ground. Keptis however, still clutching his sword, whilst on the ground struck at the Vampires legs and actually managed to slice them both off from the shin down.

The Mayor let out a piercing scream, which instantly attracted the attention of the floating, monstrous head. The head flew towards Janice and just like it had done to the Vandal, it opened its mouth and engulfed her.

Janice however was able to stab a stake into the monsters tongue when she was in its mouth, which prevented it from swallowing her, though the beast still closed its mouth to prevent her from escaping. It was clenching its teeth from the agony it was in.

The inside of the monsters head was nothing more than a never ending darkness apart from its tongue which ended just a few feet behind her. Janice couldn’t see anything else, but she could hear the screams of the previous Vandal that had been swallowed.

Keptis and Coro’s attention was naturally drawn to the head, as the Mayor pitifully crawled away.

Keptis started slashing at the monster but it was too fast for him. Janice meanwhile, whilst clutching onto her stake started to kick at the monsters teeth from the inside. The teeth were strong but Janice didn’t give up and she managed to kick several of the teeth out. The monster overcome with the pain in its teeth and tongue let out a scream, and Janice seizing her opportunity jumped out of its mouth. Though she barely made it out as the monster snapped its jaws shut instantly and nearly took her legs off.

Whilst Keptis ran towards the head, the Vampiric children headed towards Janice and Coro. The Vandals had managed to defend themselves from the monsters in the interim, but they hadn’t been able to kill any of them, as the monsters were just too fast.

One of them jumped on Janice, overpowering her, and knocking her to the ground, whilst another attacked Coro. The Vandals this time headed towards the Mayor, who was still crawling away. They picked up broken pieces of wood and rubble, still keeping their distance so he couldn’t spit his green slime on them. As they surrounded him and waited for the right moment to strike, the Mayor suddenly flew over the monsters and into the air.

He was using his telekinetic abilities to hoist his own body into the air, though it was difficult, at the very least he was able to get out of the Vandals reach.

Janice meanwhile was wrestling with her Vampiric child. She tried holding its head away from her but its strength was too great despite its size, so she tricked it. She let the Vampire try to bite her, but just as it went in for her neck, Janice pulled out a stake and rammed it through the Vampires chin and the top of its head. This did not kill the Vampire, but it allowed her to overpower the Vampire as she turned the tables on it whilst it was in pain, and pinned it to the ground. She then pulled at the stake in its chin, until eventually she took its head off.

Coro meanwhile having regained his strength, was able to overpowered the Vampire child that had attacked him and managed to give it a taste of its own medicine by biting its head off.

The remaining three Vampiric children backed away slowly from Janice and Coro. For the first time they were scared and some of the Vandals who had been keeping an eye on the fight took advantage of the situation.

One of the Vandals jumped a Vampire child when it wasn’t look and pinned it to the ground. He then with two quick slashes of his claws took the monsters head off.

The other two Vampiric children fled but one of the Vandals managed to catch another one off guard. The Vandal literally sliced its tiny adversary to pieces with its claws.

The final Vampiric child was dealt with by the Strange Boy who had returned. Faster and stronger than than the other Vampiric child, the Strange Boy beat him to a pulp before tearing his head off effortlessly.

Keptis meanwhile was still waiting for the right moment to strike at the flying head. The creature was fast as well as powerful. One mistimed moment and he could end up suffering the same fate as the Vandal it ate whose screams he could still hear whenever it opened its mouth.

Thinking his chance had arrived, Keptis swung his sword at the monster, but it still managed to dodge him, and opening its jaws, scooped up Keptis. Just before he disappeared down its mouth however, he swung his sword onto the top of its jaw, cutting right through the Vampires upper teeth and head.

The monster screamed and as its jaws widened, Keptis jumped out and flipped backwards, still holding the flaming sword. He cut through the beasts head backwards from the upper jaw up, until he cut its entire head in half.

Mestron and The Circus Master meanwhile tried to remove the Vampire from Keyro. The Circus Master managed to jump using his super strength onto his possessed team mates back and managed to wrestle him to the ground and pin him down with his claws.

Mestron attempted every exorcism spell he could remember. Sadly none of them worked. This was a new breed of Vampire unlike anything he had ever faced before.

Keyro eventually managed to wriggle free and attempted to fly away, but the Circus Master managed to grab onto his foot. Still Keyro didn’t give up and actually pulled the Circus Master into the sky with him.

Mestron however was able to fire a magical blast at Keyro causing them both to fall to the ground.

Before Keyro could get up again The Circus Master took his chance and stabbed his claws into Keyro’s back. He couldn’t afford to wait for Mestron to work his way through potentially thousands of exorcism spells to try and find the one that worked. Vandals had the power to phase their hands through their victims bodies and remove their souls without killing them.

They’d do this sometimes as a bargaining chip to their victims relatives and as a way of keeping people in line.

However The Circus Master had obviously never bothered to practice this power, and one tiny little mistake could kill Keyro.

Mestron came to his aid and pinned the possessed mutant to the ground with his magics. Mestron however suddenly prepared to attack the Circus Master when he saw that he appeared to be feeding on Keyro’s soul.

“Don’t worry. I would never hurt him or any member of my team. Trust me, I’m trying to ge this thing out of my friend” The Circus Master said, and for the first time, Mestron trusted the Vandal.

The Circus Master phased his claws into Keyro’s body and grabbed the Vampire’s soul. The monster tried to hold onto Keryo’s soul too, and at first The Circus Master nearly pulled Keryo’s soul out as well it held on so tight.

However The Circus Master managed to squeeze the Vampires soul in his talons to the point where it couldn’t hold on any longer, and he pulled it safely out of Keyro’s body.

The Vampire didn’t give up however, and as soon as the Circus master had pulled him from Keyro’s body in the shape of a small grey sphere, then it turned into a liquid and began to run itself up his arm.

The Circus Master paniced and tried to rip it off, but when he grabbed the liquid with his other arm it began to envelope it as well.

The Circus Master fell to the floor writhing as the liquid crawled over his body. Fortunately Mestron used his magic to pull the beast off of the Circus Master. It hadn’t possessed him yet, so he didn’t need to use anything as complex as anti possession spell. All he needed to use where his telekinetic powers to rip it off the Circus Master without touching it. After pulling it off of The Circus Master, Mestron forced the beast to assume its original form.

Mestron struggled to hold it in place however as the monster thrashed and kicked. As it quickly began to pull free from his control. Janice tried to stake it whilst it was vulnerable, but one swing from the monster sent her flying. Keptis tried to grab it from behind, but the monster, now basically free wrapped its arms and its legs Keptis. Its head also spun round, and its mouth opened wide enough to enclose around Keptis’ head!

Fortunately before it could close its mouth and bite Keptis’ head off, Mestron using his magical telekinesis lifted up the stake Janice had dropped and rammed it into the Vampires heart killing it instantly.

The Mayor who was using all of his power just to keep out of his enemies reach knew he was beat. All of his minions were dead, and no longer had the strength to take them all on, and the sun was about to rise which he instinctively knew was one of his few weaknesses.

“You win now, but I will be back, and I will liberate the people of Lakos. Too long have we skulked in the shadows. I will make them into creatures like me and we will claim this land as our own.” He then used his telekinesis to pull the book of Khastran into his hands before flying into the woods away from the oncoming sun.

After he was gone, the Vandals, the Circus folk and Mestron and Ashlei gathered together in the square, which was now littered with bits and pieces of the bodies of Vandals, humans and Vampires.

None of them felt like fighting anymore except ironically Ashlei. One of the Vandals that had survived the fight was the one that had killed her brother Malcolm. She wanted to tear its spindly, stinking body to pieces, and make it suffer like it had made her little brother suffer.

Sadly however Ashlei knew that she would have no chance against the monster. She didn’t want Mestron to kill it however. For what it did to Malcolm, Ashlei was damn sure she was going to destroy this monster herself. She just needed to wait for the right moment.

The Circus Master was the first to break the awkward silence. “Its funny isn’t it. We don’t know whether to thank each other for helping with that monster, or get back to trying to kill each other again. Personally I think that it’d better for us to pull our resources together against that thing. He’ll probably kill us all anyway.”

They all looked at the Circus Master as though he were insane. “Just when I thought you were one of the good guys.” Grumbled Mestron. “Believe me I hate working with these monsters as much as you do. In their own way, they are just as bad as the Mayor. Still he is much more dangerous than all of them put together. In fact he’s one of the most dangerous creatures even I have ever faced. The Mayor is clearly why we were sent here. He is the first of a new and incredibly dangerous breed of Vampire. A breed that can even infect Vandals. If he does create more creatures like him then the consequences for the future of the world could be dire. We need to kill him now before he turns anybody else.”

The female Vandal that had killed Gordon, whose name was Rosita spoke. She had clearly assumed leadership of the remaining Vandals. “What makes you think we want to work with you? You killed dozens of our comrades. Okay they were useless bastards anyway, but still the smaller our clan is the less influence we have!”

“Well I don’t know but seeing you cower at the sight of a couple of Vampire children like little bitches doesn’t make me think you’ll do too well against the new super Vampire in town.” Snapped Janice.

Rosita and the other Vandals knew the Circus folk were right but they had a hard time admitting it. “Okay fine. For now we’ll work together, but afterwords I’m going to make you all suffer.” The monster caught a sight of Ashlei and smiled at her. “Just like I did to her little friend.” Mestron blasted Rosita in response with his magic. She jumped up, her claws unleashed and her fangs bared, roaring and ready to strike.

“This alliance is going to go swimmingly” thought the Circus Master as he rubbed his forehead in frustration.

Before Rosita and Mestron could fight it out however, a horde of angry villagers wielding pitchforks amassed at the other end of the square.

“I knew it, they are all in cahoots. That Warlock, the Circus freaks, and those soul eating monsters. Burn them!”

The Circus Master quickly stood in front of the rest of his team. “I know it looks bad, but trust me. There is a far worse monster out there that wants to kill all of you, and we are the only people who can stop it.”

“You expect us to believe that!” Shouted one of the angry peasants “Actually no I don’t. How about you let us go and we’ll never bother any of you ever again?” said the Circus Master in response.

“Right we just let you go so you can slaughter us all in our sleep” said another villager.

“We don’t want to kill you. Look around. Look at the bodies here. Plenty of Vandals and Vampires. Who do you think killed all of them? Plus if we wanted to kill you we would just do it. Look at how easy it was for those monsters before. Now there’s fewer of you.” Said the Circus Master in frustration.

Some of the villagers began to back away, whilst those who remained were trembling with fear.

“Please, just don’t hurt us, we just want to be left alone” said an old woman at the front of the ever diminishing crowd, scared out of her wits.

“Don’t worry we won’t” replied the Circus Master as he turned and gave Rosita and the Vandals a look.

“Okay fine. We won’t hurt your little pets. For now” sighed Rosita as she and the other surviving Vandals teleported away in puffs of purple smoke.

The Circus Performers then went back to their tent without any resistance from the towns folk. Mestron and Ashlei left with them. Many of the towns folk yelled after Ashlei that she couldn’t possibly go with the creatures that killed her brother, but she ignored them.

Mestron was still not sure if he could trust the Circus Master. His very existence challenged almost everything he had ever believed in. Yet much like Ashlei, after having seen him and the others in combat he could no longer view them as monsters. Still he wanted to know just what the story was behind this so called Circus.

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