“It’s no use. Whatever that devil poisoned me with, even the most powerful magics can’t undo its effects.” The Emperor said as he embraced his tearful beloved.
“There must be something. After all you’ve done for this kingdom, it’s not fair.”
“Thousands of other young men lie dead on that battlefield. I’m lucky that I was able to spend even a short time longer with my family. It’s up to you now. You must.”
The Emperor suddenly clutched his sides in pain. “I don’t have much time left. Please I want to speak with our son one last time.”
“Don’t say that, there is still.”
“No my love, there is no hope. You must find a way to kill me now. I can feel the poison of the Demon growing within me. If you don’t act fast, the kingdom, everything we fought for could end.”
“Ah Kirsteen my dear. I was looking for you. We’ve reached our next destination.”
“Really already? That was quick.”
“Well the journey’s are unpredictable. It is a time machine after all.”
Kirsteen was still having trouble taking in what she had seen in the Abyss. She knew now after visiting that nightmarish place that she would never be able to get her old life back, but strangely enough she wasn’t that upset. There really was nothing waiting for Kirsteen back in the 20th century. Her family were long gone, and all of her friends had turned their backs on her. Even her career had been in taters. Kirsteen also quite liked what the Professor and Lindsey had told her, that after her “death” she was remembered as a legend for centuries to come. “Unlike most others I’ve lived long enough to enjoy being a dead legend.” She had joked to the Professor.
Still Kirsteen wasn’t sure what to make of her new life here. The monsters were terrifying enough, but now she knew if she made the slightest little mistake, she could end up trapped in that hell like those other poor souls. There were times where Kirsteen felt so scared and trapped she just wanted to scream for help. She knew it wouldn’t do her any good with the Professor. Most of the time he seemed rather indifferent to her.
Lindsey meanwhile Kirsteen felt she could trust. There had always been a somewhat more warm and caring aspect to Lindsey, but sadly since their last adventure she had been somewhat closed off.
Even the Professor hadn’t spoken to her much since their trip to the Abyss, as he knew there was nothing he could say.
“Please be a dear and fetch Lindsey would you, I have to prepare.”
“Where have we landed?”
“Earth. Many thousands of years in your past. The teleporter will take us to China specifically, though I’m afraid I don’t recognise the name of the kingdom. It appears to have been lost to time. I’m sure we’ll find out why soon enough.”
“Yeah I can’t wait.”
Kirsteen found Lindsey in her room, absorbed in one of the few books left on the ship.
“I know I’ve been on this ship long enough to sense it. You will one day too.”
“I hope not. No offense.”
“None taken. It’s really not that great a life is it? Even with a time machine you still wish you could go back and do things differently.”
“Lindsey I don’t know what to say. I can’t imagine how hard this is, I’ve been through loss myself.”
“So have I. This isn’t just losing someone Kirsteen. I abandoned her Kirsteen. She was my friend and I left her to rot in that place forever.”
“There was nothing you could have done. I know that now. You can’t change history.”
“I’m sorry Kirsteen.” Lindsey said as she put her book down. “I haven’t even thought about what visiting the Abyss must have done to you. To finally learn that you might never see your home again.”
“It’s okay. As strange as this all is. I’ve made peace with it in a way. There wasn’t much for me back there. No friends, family, career. Looking back on it I don’t even know what I’d do if you put me back there. “
“Maybe this is the best place for you after all then. I was actually in a similar position to you when I first joined. I’d lost the people I cared about and didn’t really have anything waiting for me back home either, but I had the Professor for support.” She continued. “I’m sorry I’ve been so self pitying this entire time. Like it or not we are sent on these missions by a reason and the only way we can get through them is we support each other.”
The Professor waited patiently by the teleportation chamber, dressed in his long flowing black cape and red frock coat. The Professor underneath his somewhat cold, hard exterior was deeply worried about Lindsey. In many ways the old Vampire viewed Lindsey as the daughter he never had. He didn’t contrary to what she thought dislike Kirsteen. He was just a little unsure of whether or not she would ever fit in. She was his first companion who had been forced on him by the time vortex himself. He also hadn’t been eager for another companion after what had happened with Hilioma.
“Lindsey, Kirsteen what took you so long.” The Professor said in an awkward, jovial mood. Lindsey however wasn’t really in the mood for his usual humour and spoke straightly with the Professor.
“Kirsteen tells me we’ve arrived back on earth.”
“Eh yes, China I believe. It’ll be good to go back to the motherland. I don’t think I’ve visited my home country in over 100 years.”
The trio teleported down to a large forest. A few miles up ahead they could see a large castle looming over a city, whilst a river flowed next to them, straight into the center of the city. It was bright daylight, but there didn’t seem to be anyone around.
Lindsey started taking pictures of the beautiful countryside on her phone.
“I’ve always wanted to go to China.” Lindsey said as she snapped as many pics as she could.
“Come on the city is where we’re needed.” The Professor said.
“How do you know?”Kirsteen asked. “How do you know that what we’re doing is the right course of action for history.”
“Instinct my dear. Thanks to the advanced magics of the ship I can sense when events are supposed to come together and when we’re on the right path and when we’re not. The city is where we need to go.”
As the three time travelers wandered through the woods, little did they know they had been spotted by a hunter who had seen them arrive in a ball of blue light.
“Wizards, there have been so many of them in the last few weeks. All trying to fix the Emperor.” The hunter thought to himself. “The Empress has bled the kingdom dry paying for these charlatans. This one seems to be the real deal though.”
“Bring me the Emperor now” The Wizard said as he brought several villagers to their knees with his magic.
“Please I beg you don’t harm my boy.” The mother of one of the villagers the Wizard was holding hostage cried.
“I don’t want to harm anyone, but you have no idea what the Emperor will become. If he is not dealt with now, we’ll all be in danger. If he really cares about his own people then he will show himself now.”
The Emperor would have been more than happy to sacrifice himself, but sadly there was no way the Empress would let him, even if he could. This was not the only Wizard to try and kill the Emperor in the last few weeks. Dozens of Wizards had been brought forth from various kingdoms to try and cure the Emperor, who was beloved by not only his own kingdom, but by those around him for leading the battle against the renegade kingdom of Hissain. It was during the final battle against Hissain however that the Emperor had become infected by the evil that now threatened to claim his life.
Initially many of the most powerful Wizards and magic users from the various kingdoms were only too happy to help the Emperor (though various charlatans would also come along, claiming to have a cure.) A few who had examined him however, had subsequently attempted to slay the Emperor. They were ultimately always repelled by the other Wizards who remained loyal to the Emperor.
This Wizard however, Lee Sian Ye, had actually fought with the Emperor during the battle against Hissain and had known him for many years, yet he had been the most determined to slay the Emperor from the start. He had actually tried to kill the Emperor the night he had returned home.
“Tell the empress if she does not bring her husband down here in ten minutes, I will kill every single one of my prisoners.” The Wizards magics started to tighten around all 10 of the villagers he was holding.
“Do you hear me Empress! How many people will she sacrifice for your husband who is already damned!”
The Professor, Lindsey and Kirsteen reached the gates of the city.
“Ah yes.” The Professor said to the two guards, struggling to think of a reason to let them in.”
“We are humble travelers here to do some business, if you don’t mind.”
“The only people the Emperor is interested in seeing are magic folk” One of the guards said. “If you don’t have any magic please leave.”
The Professors face light up. “You’re in luck.” He said as conjured up a small energy ball in his hand. It was the most basic magic, nothing but a glorified party trick, but it was enough to get them in.
Once inside the Kingdom, the Professor could see several people fleeng in terror.
“Looks like we found what we came for.”
The trio ran towards the square where the Wizard was holding the prisoners hostage. Various guards had attempted to shoot the Wizard with arrows, but he had managed to deflect them, though doing so had appeared to take a strain.
As soon as the Professor arrived in the square the Wizard could sense his presence.
“What are you”. The Wizard said in an almost frightened tone.
“I could say the same to you” The Professor joked.
The Wizard released his prisoners and focused solely on the Professor. He fired an energy blast at the Professor, which the Vampire was able to dodge. The Professor then leaped at the Wizard, only to be blasted backwards into a nearby house, whilst Lindsey and Kirsteen tried to help the prisoners escape. The Wizard soon noticed them both however and started to choke Lindsey and Kirsteen with his dark magics.
“Servants of evil, you shall die alongside your inhuman master.”
To Be Continued