The Emperor slowly strangled the former Wizard. With his last ounce of strength Lee managed to conjur up a magical energy blast from both of his hands, which he thrust into the Jiang Shi’s chest. It ultimately did nothing however but singe the monsters robs. Lee was too weak to use the full power of his magics, and as the Wizard felt his life slowly slip away, he could see a hideous smile form on the Vampires face. It was almost as though the Vampiric Emperor could remember the Wizards betrayal in life. With its strength the Vampire could have snapped Lee’s neck like a twig in an instant, but it seemed to be savoring every second of its old friend’s torment.
Lindsey and Kirsten tried to pull the beast off of Lee, but it’s strength was virtually limitless compared to theirs. After Lee fainted, Lindsey grabbed a large block of wood and tried to pull the Vampire back by the throat with all her strength, but again the Vampire didn’t even react to her presence. Suddenly however the monster jumped backwards in pain, as sparks flew from its chest. Lindsey and Kirsteen turned around to see Professor Fang standing where the Jiang Shi had been with a glowing sword.
The former Emperor retreated as the Professor continued to slash at the bloodsucker, landing two more strikes across its chest, which knocked the Emperor flat on his back. Kirsteen tended to Lee, whilst the Professor handed both Lindsey and Kirsteen similar glowing swords.
“What is that?” Kirsteen asked.
“I enchanted a few of the guards swords that I found on the floor, with a very basic Jiang Shi repellent. It’ll only last for a few minutes before the swords go back to normal however, lets use them wisely.” The Professor said confidently.
Both Lindsey and the Professor stabbed their swords into Emperor as the Demon jumped back up to face them. Neither stabbed too deep however as the sword could become embedded in the Vampires thick flesh. The Professor instead made a swing for the Emperors neck, which the monster only barely managed to dodge.
The Emperor looked absolutely terrified. In its short time on this earth, the Demon that possessed him wasn’t used to pain. The Vampire jumped back a few more feet into a wall, almost cowering like a frightened animal. The Professor and Lindsey confidently moved towards the Vampire brandishing their swords, when suddenly two of the corpses behind the Professor and Lindsey instantly rose up and tried to grab them. Lindsey noticed it in time and stabbed her Vampire in the stomach, whilst the Vampire behind the Professor sunk its claws into both of his shoulders, and lifted him over its head before throwing the Professor back across the room, to three more corpses that soon rose as Jiang Shi around him.
“Damn I forgot how crafty these Demons could be.” Lindsey said as she realised the Emperor had lured them to corpses it knew would rise as Jiang Shi.
Lindsey was now left to face three Vampires by herself. She repeatedly slashed at the three Demons as they tried to strike at her. She even managed to slice the fingers off of one of the monsters. As she backed away however, one of the corpses, a young maiden behind Lindsey suddenly rose up and grabbed her in a bear hug. Lindsey however still clutching her sword, was able to stab the Vampire in the leg causing it to release her. One of the Vampires then tried to jump Lindsey in the confusion, but she stabbed her sword into the bloodsucker’s eye. She stabbed her sword in so deep that she had trouble pulling it out. It was only because of the Vampire itself that threw her several feet backwards that she was able to pull the blade out. Kirsteen and Lee meanwhile were both preoccupied with holding off five more corpses that had risen as Jiang Shi around them.
“How many of these things are there.” Kirsteen said as she nervously held her sword up to the bloodsuckers.
“All of the corpses in this room that haven’t been completely torn to pieces no doubt.” Lee said grimly. “They want to create as many as they can.” Lee said as he looked round with regret at the corpse of the woman he had once loved. He picked up a sword and parted her corpse’s head from its shoulders.
“I couldn’t help her before, but at least I can save her from becoming one of them.”
Kirsteen slashed at the Jiang Shi as they drew closer, but each time the monsters were too quick for her and backed away before she could land a hit. Lee meanwhile was able to conjur up an energy beam that knocked one of the Jiang Shi off its feet and sent it hurling backwards into a near by pillar, though it did no lasting damage to the beast.
Whilst she was distracted, one of the Vampires grabbed Kirsteen by the neck and lifted her off the ground. Kirsteen with all her strength swung her sword down into the monsters hands, severing them both. She then stabbed her sword straight into the Vampires heart, creating a small explosion that hurled it several feet across the room, taking the sword with it.
The other four remaining Vampires soon closed in on Kirsteen, but Lee sent them all back a few feet with an energy blast.
The Professor meanwhile had managed to fend off the three Vampires that had cornered him, even slicing one of the Demons heads off with with one swing of his glowing sword. He then headed for the Emperor who he tried to do the same too, but the Vampire grabbed him by the hand and threw the lesser Vampire into the two Jiang Shi behind who were advancing on Lindsey. The Professor simply bounced off of the two beasts however, causing one of them to turn round and begin throttling him. Lindsey seeing the Professors plight slashed the Jiang Shi that was closing in on her in the throat, before stabbing her sword into the Vampire that was grabbing Professor Fang. This time however she simply heard a snapping sound, with the Vampire not even reacting to her strike.
Lindsey looked down and saw, much to her horror that her sword, which was no longer glowing, had broken in half! As she looked round, Lindsey saw the magic on the Professor’s sword had worn off too.
The Professor struggled to break free from the Jiang Shi’s inhuman strength, but with the help of Lee who fired an energy beam into the beast that he was able to escape.
Lindsey, Lee, The Professor and Kirsteen all gathered round each other as more and more corpses in all directions began to rise as Jiang Shi. There must have been over 30 of the bloodsuckers in the main hall, and more were emerging from rooms on both the ground floor and balcony above.
The exit was completely cut off. Twelve or so of the Jiang Shi stood between the time travelers, the Wizard and the front door, with the Emperor being among them.
The Jiang Shi were unlike anything Kirsteen had ever seen on her travels with the Professor and Lindsey so far. The Zombies had been on the level of animals, whilst those trapped in the Abyss were more pitiful. Even the hideous winged Demons she had faced at least had some intelligence. These beasts however were nothing but sheer rage and bloodlust. They constantly kept hissing and snarling, baring their yellow, sharp fangs and clawing at their intended prey. Some of the bloodsuckers even fought with each other they were so desperate to get at the fresh blood. Kirsteen could barely stand to look at the Jiang Shi. The idea that anyone could be reduced to this horrified her more than anything else she had seen.
Lee tried to hold the monsters off with his magics, but there were too many of them. The Professor frantically tried to enchant an axe he had found with the anti Jiang Shi magics as the monsters closed in on them from all angles.
“I don’t mean to hurry you Professor but.” Kirsteen said in panic. Just then the blade of the axe lit up and the Professor swung it at an attacking Jiang Shi, parting its head from its shoulders.
“We can’t get out the front, there’s too many of them that way.” Lee said. “We’ll need to get upstairs.”
“We can fight our way out.” The Professor said confidently as he ran to attack the Jiang Shi. He managed to decapitate another one of the Demons and drive a few more of them back, before the Emperor himself grabbed the axe from the Professors hand. The Emperor placed his hand around the glowing blade. Though it burned his flesh horribly, the Vampiric emperor eventually crushed the blade to pieces, before backhanding the Professor back across the room into Lindsey, Kirsteen and Lee, using the same burned hand it had crushed the axe with.
“On second thought.” The Professor said as Kirsteen helped him up.
“Maybe a less direct approach is needed.”
The foursome ran up a near staircase to the balcony above. There was only one Jiang Shi at the top of the stairs as the others had jumped off the balcony to get at the fresh blood below. The Professor and Lee, using their magics together were able to throw the Vampire over the edge of the stair case into the Jiang Shi below. Once they reached the top of the stair case however, more Jiang Shi began to pour out of every room and corridor.
“Jesus Christ how many of these bastards are there.” Kirsteen said in despair.
“It’s what the Jiang Shi always do. They’ll kill as many as quickly as they can to create an army. It’s part of why they’ve become Apex Demons.” Professor Fang said.
Lee tried to hold as many of the Vampires off as he could, but it was no use. The Professor with nothing to lose jumped on one of the Jiang Shi coming down the main corridor. Catching it by surprise he managed to push the Vampire into a nearby wall, but with one punch the Jiang Shi smashed the Professor backwards into another wall. The blow would most surely have killed the Professor were it not for his Vampiric constitution.
Still he bought Lee enough time to knock the Vampire the Professor was fighting off its feet with a quick blast. It was the only Vampire down that particular corridor, and so whilst the Vampire was temporarily down, Lindsey, Kirsteen, Lee and the Professor ran down the corridor, with a horde of bloodthirsty monsters in pursuit.
The foursome were forced to retreat to the very top of the castle where the Emperor and Empress’ room was. The only way out, as far as they knew was a window at the end of the corridor. It was a huge drop below however, one that would kill Lindsey and Kirsteen under normal circumstances. Fortunately Lee could use his magic to slowly lower them to the ground, but the Professor still went ahead to see if the coast was clear below.
Outside of the window, the Professor could see there were dozens of Jiang Shi in the garden hopping aimlessly around whilst several more were heading out of the palace gates and into the village.
“We have to stop them.” The Professor said.
“They’re making their way to the village. If they reach there the entire kingdom could be in danger.”
“What can we do now.” Lee said. “I warned them, I tried to, but now they will pay the price.”
“Maybe if you, you know didn’t try and kill them they’d have listened to you.” Lindsey said.
She was soon interrupted by the moans of more of the Jiang Shi hopping up the stair case after them.
“We’re trapped.” The Professor said as he tried to think of way past the Jiang Shi below. Suddenly the wall just ahead of them opened and a young boy stepped out. It was the Emperors son.
“Please you have to help my mother.” The boy who had heard them arguing, said tearfully.
The foursome followed the boy into the passage and shut it behind them. Inside they saw the boys mother lying on the floor.
“Its the Empress.” Lee said. “She caused all of this.”
The Professor sat next to the Empress and chanted a quick spell which healed her. The Empress was then jolted awake. She instantly recoilled in disgust at the sight of Lee.
“Keep away from my son you monster.” She said as she pulled her son towards her.
“I only ever wanted your husband. I wanted to end this plague before it could begin, but you stopped me. You have the blood of all those people on your hands not me.” Lee fired back.
The Empress offered no defense. “I know, I know.” “I don’t deserve to live after this.”
“You won’t.” Lee said with an almost perverse glee.
“If the Vampires don’t get you the people of your own kingdom will for what you have unleashed.
Two Jiang Shi’s claws suddenly came bursting through the wall behind them.
“They’ve found us? How.” The boy said.
“Its our friend here, and me.” The Professor said. “They can sense magic from a mile away. Its just about the only thing that can harm them, so it sends the monsters into a fury. We have to go.”
The time travelers, the Wizard, the Empress and her son headed down the stair case before the Vampires tore down the wall and fled into the garden below.
Outside lay the body of the guard the Empress had been forced to leave. His head had been ripped clean off by the Jiang Shi that had attacked him, and his guts had been ripped out. One of his arms had also been ripped off and his heart appeared to have been torn out too. The Jiang Shi in its ravenous fury had left little of him.
“At least we won’t have to worry about him getting up.” Lee said callously.
Suddenly five more Jiang Shi emerged from behind the trees forcing the six reluctant travelers to flee the garden, sealing the gate behind them.
In the woods outside, the Professor, the Empress, her son, Lee, Lindsey and Kirsteen could see the village whose people were fleeing and panicing in the streets as the Jiang Shi descended on them.
“All is lost.” The Empress said as she held her boy.
To Be Continued