Lindsey and Lee had managed to make their way to the centre of the village. They had left the mother and son they rescued on the roof of a large building. They weren’t happy about leaving them, but they felt it was better than dragging the villagers through the hordes of blood thirsty Vampires in the streets below.
They had managed to make their way past the crowd of Vampires below by using Lee’s magic to briefly hover themselves over the crowd until they were a good distance away. It took a tremendous amount out of Lee however and Lindsey had to carry him to down a nearby alley, until he could get his breath back.
Sadly however when they finally did reach the centre of the village it appeared that Lindsey and Lee were too late. The fire had spread through a large part of the village, killing any villager the Vampires didn’t get to first. Many of the Vampires meanwhile ran around frantically covered in flames, roaring. They didn’t appear to be in any pain however. Instead they were more angry at the lack of humans around.
“We’re too late.” Lindsey said with regret. “Those monsters haven’t left anyone alive. I’m sorry.”
Just then the Wizard and the time traveler heard the sound of someone screaming. As they turned around they saw a young woman calling for help out of the window of a burning building.
Unfortunately however several flaming Jiang Shi had also seen her too.
“No, no, no I told you repeat after me.” The Professor screamed at Kirsteen.
“I told you I don’t speak Chinese!” Kirsteen fired back.
“Well English is not my first language you know, but I learned it fluently. I’m only asking you to repeat a few words.”
“I thought the magics in this vessel were supposed to translate every language? Why doesn’t it just translate what I’m saying to Chinese? Also how do I know you learned English fluently, you could just be hiding behind your magic?”
“The translation spell’s just an illusion. You have to say the words. I told you, we both need to say them at the same time to channel the spell to the paper.”
“Why doesn’t her majesty do it? She speaks the language and this whole thing is her fault?”
“I told you I am not touching those magics.” The Empress said. In reality she was worried that the magics would expose that she had been infected by the Jiang Shi and they would kill her. She just had to hope that she could use her people’s hatred of magic to bluff the old Vampire.
“We don’t have time to convince an Empress. Come on repeat after me.”
It took her another few minutes but finally Kirsteen was able to get the pronunciation right. As the Professor had told her, pronunciation was everything!
The spells started to appear on the 15, small thin sheets of yellow paper the Professor had laid out.
The spells still appeared in Chinese to Kirsteen.
“Why haven’t they been translated.”
“It told you that’s just an illusion. A translation spell is most basic, weak form of magic. These enchantments are among the strongest. They have to be to tame a Jiang Shi.” The Professor said as he stuck 13 of the yellow pieces of paper on either side of his coat. He handed the final two to Kirsteen and the Empress.
The Empress was at first reluctant to take it, but the Professor insisted.
“I’m not sticking them all on myself! Besides if you’re cornered or get separated from us, you can make the first Jiang Shi that attacks you into your loyal servant. It’s either that or you can wait here until we’re done, which considering as Kirsteen pointed out, this is all your fault, are you going to let your people down again?” The Professor said firmly.
Not wanting to draw attention to herself, the Empress snatched the spell from the Professor. Fortunately it didn’t have any effect on her, at least not yet.
“Remember only use these on the largest and strongest Jiang Shi. I’ll try and get the Emperor.” The Professor said as he hurried to the teleporter.
The Empress meanwhile tended to her son.
“I’m only going away for a short while. You need to stay here. You’ll be safe, just don’t touch anything.”
The prince for the first time responded.
“I don’t hate you. Everyone blames you for this, but you were just trying to save father. Please don’t leave me. I can’t lose you too. I don’t care about the kingdom, please mother don’t.” The boy pleaded with his mother. Sadly she knew that no matter what happened she would have to leave her son. She hugged him one last time and promised her boy that she would be back.
Who would look after her boy? The Wizard, the Vampire? Would her people blame her son because of her actions? Even if he was allowed to continue on as the Prince how could he deal with the responsibilities? As callous it may have seemed, the Empress had to put those thoughts out of her mind for now. There may not even be a kingdom for her son to live in. For once she would have to put the good of her people first above her family.
In the forest below, the Professor, Kirsteen and the Empress could see the Jiang Shi all gathered around one small area.
It was the ghost woman. Even though the bloodsuckers couldn’t see her, they could sense her presence. The ghost hadn’t moved an inch the entire time she was so terrified.
The Professor used the distraction to creep up on one of the Jiang Shi. The Vampire noticed the Professor however when he got nearer, but as soon as the monster lunged at him, the Professor placed the paper on its forehead, stopping the brute in its tracks. The Professor then shouted out a spell in Chinese, causing the Jiang Shi he had placed the spell on to glow white before it then spun round and begun attacking the other Vampires. The Professor’s Jiang Shi batted another of the monsters to the ground, and restrained the one closest to him long enough for the Professor to place another piece of paper on its forehead. The Professor then chanted his spell again, placing this Jiang Shi under his control too.
The Professor’s two Jiang Shi started to fight with the others, whilst he would take another two of the bloodsuckers by surprise and place two more enchantments on their foreheads.
During the confrontation, Kirsteen would attempt to jump one of the Jiang Shi, but the Vampire easily deflected her attack and pinned Kirsteen to the ground, knocking the spell out of her hands in the process.
Before the Vampire could sink its fangs into Kirsteen’s neck however, the Empress was able to surprise it from behind and place her spell over its forehead. Kirsteen then grabbed her spell and managed this time to place it on the head of a Vampire that was just about to pounce on the Professor from behind, whilst he was too busy admiring his own handiwork. Kirsteen and the Empress then chanted their spells taking control of their Vampires.
Within a matter of minutes all of the Vampires in the area had been placed under the Professor’s control.
“Brilliant” the Professor shouted excitedly.
“Now we have a fighting chance.”
“Not really” Kirsteen bemoaned.
“We have what twelve Vampires? There are probably hundreds of them in the village by now.”
“I told you, all we need is the Alpha. If we can surround him with this lot, we’ve won. “
“Also we may have some extra help” The Professor said as he snapped his fingers, causing a young woman to appear.
“Oh that’s right I forgot only I can see her.” Well trust me there’s a Ghost lady there.
“Please I don’t know what you want with me but.”
“I’m sorry, there’s no easy way to tell you this, but you’re dead.”
“Those monsters they killed you. Take a look at this Vampire.” The Professor made a young female Vampire walk forward and lifted the yellow paper up, but not off, revealing its face to be that of the Ghost lady’s herself.
“It’s me, I know that. Those creatures, they created a copy of me. I am not dead, I can’t be.”
“Your spirit has left your body. It’s trapped in a limbo. It can potentially happen to any life form, but thankfully most of the time the soul passes on. Sometimes there can be genetic cause for the soul lingering. Ghosts they say run in the family. Sometimes magics can be used to keep a soul here, sometimes if there has been a great magical upheveal like what’s happened here, the spirits of people can be affected. I suspect that we’ll be seeing quite a large proportion of ghosts in this area over the next few centuries. I can help you move onto the next life, all I ask is that you help me first.”
The Ghost lady had stopped listening to the Professor. She had instead become focused on the Empress, who she tried to attack in rage.
“You caused this. You brought those monsters down on us!” The Ghost lady screamed as she tried to grab the Empress’ neck only for her hands to phase through.
“I told you, you’re a spirit. You have no physical presence in this world. That doesn’t mean you can’t help us. Please I don’t expect you to fully understand it, but you can help us stop those monsters from hurting anyone else.
The Ghost lady looked at her nearby surroundings. From here she could see the tree she had tried to climb up in a futile attempt to escape the Vampire. It was beginning to sink in, even if she couldn’t admit it yet.
“Why can’t they see me.”
“Most Ghosts are in a state of denial after death. Their subconscious affects their ectoplasm and makes them invisible. As time goes on, many ghosts become secluded and insane and isolate themselves further. There are magics that can fix it and make you visible. The Jiang Shi meanwhile can always detect souls. Like their cousins the Vandals they can even tear them apart, though they don’t feed on souls like they do. I can use stronger magics that can make you invisible to them. If you’re willing you can help us restrain the Emperor. I won’t force you too. There is still a chance the Jiang Shi can find you, even with the spell, and if they do, you’ll be gone forever.”
“My name is Asika” the Ghost lady said.
“I’m only 20 years old.” She continued after a short pause. “I suppose the only good thing is that I’m not leaving anyone behind. My father and my brother were both killed in that awful war, whilst my mother passed away a few months ago. I have no one else. I didn’t have the time and now I never will. Its not fair.
“I know it’s not, and I wish we had found you earlier, but you can make the monsters that did this to you pay. End their evil now before it spreads across your land.”
“What can I do? I can’t even touch anything.”
“With my magics you can help. I could force you to help with the magics if I wanted, but don’t worry I won’t. It’s up to you if you want help us or not.”
“Help, help, please” the woman screamed from the burning house. An entire crowd of Jiang Shi had gathered below and several of the bloodsuckers ahd begun to crawl up the side of the burning building.
“You have to help her.” Lindsey said.
“What can I do?”
“You can use your magics to teleport her out of the window.”
“I told you using those magics for an extended period of time wears me out. I’m still not completely.”
Lee was interrupted by the sight of one of the Jiang Shi creeping up on the young woman from behind.
Without a seconds delay Lee used his magic to pull the woman out of the window before the Vampire could grab her by the throat.
Lee however struggled to hold her in the air and as he slowly carried her over the crowd of the Vampires that had gathered below, he began to weaken until he dropped her into the horde of bloodsuckers.
Lee almost fainted from the strain whilst Lindsey ran to the crowd of Vampires in a futile attempt to help the girl. Within a few seconds however the Vampires had swarmed the girl and started to tear chunks out of her flesh. Lindsey knew it was pointless and walked away slowly and quietly from the gruesome sight to avoid drawing the monsters attention.
Suddenly however the Emperor descended with a lightening speed from one of the rooftops beside Lee. Lindsey called out to the Wizard to try and rouse him but it was no use. The Emperor quickly grabbed Lee and jumped back across the rooftops.
Unfortunately Lindsey’s call to Lee had alerted the other Vampires too her. Having just barely finished tearing the young girl from the burning house apart the monsters quickly circled Lindsey, trapping her.
To Be Continued