The last of the Professor’s Vampires had been overpowered by the wild Jiang Shi. The villagers had long since given up trying to fight the bloodsuckers and were now blindly fleeing.
The Professors Vampires had fought to the end, and they had taken down dozens of the wild Jiang Shi, but ultimately they were simply outnumbered by the wild Jiang Shi and the villagers were of little to no help. Still at the very least the wild Jiang Shi’s numbers had been dwindled to a mere 20 or so, though that was still more than enough to rip what was left of the village to pieces.
The wild Jiang Shi cut off the exit to the forest and gathered together to chase down the surviving villagers who were forced to flee back into the burning ruins. The monsters however were suddenly stopped in their tracks by the sight of their former pack leader, now standing with the Professor and the others, who emerged from the sea of fleeing, helpless villagers.
The Emperor was completely under the Professors control. Despite his greater strength, all of the Jiang Shi were just as vulnerable to the Professor’s magics.
The Emperor jumped into the crowd of wild Vampires who almost all backed away in fear from him.
One of the Vampires tried to stand up to its former master, only for the Emperor to punch a hole in its chest and then tear its head clean off.
As the other Vampires fled back to the forest in panic, the Emperor chased them down and tore several more of the bloodsuckers apart.
A few of the villagers were distracted by the spectacle and started to cheer on the Emperor which soon drew the attention from the rest of the fleeing civilians.
“I knew that evil would never consume him. Our Emperor is far too strong. He shall use the evil to destroy itself.” One of the villagers cheered.
“Let us not forget who it was that brought this down on us.” Another said.
The Emperor slew another 5 of the Vampires before the rest scattered into the woods, except for one bloodsucker who quickly ran past the Emperor and grabbed a young girl who had become seperated from the rest of the crowd.
The Vampire held its talons up to the terrified childs throat as the Emperor advanced towards him.
“Stop” The Professor commanded which caused the Emperor to halt instantly.
“Clever little bloodsucker” Lindsey said.
“Please, please, don’t let him hurt my baby.” One of the villagers begged. In her panic her child had been swept up in the fleeing crowd. She had tried to find her, but in the stampede she was almost crushed.
“Don’t worry. I promise we won’t let that monster harm her.” Lindsey said reassuringly, whilst the Professor rolled his eyes.
“Honestly I do wish she wouldn’t keep promising things she can’t deliver.” The Professor said to himself.
“How are we supposed to get her out of that Vampires clutches.”
The Vampire holding the child hopped back a few more feet, still clutching the child in its talons. Every time the Professor, Lindsey, Kirsteen, Lee or the Empress would make a move forward, the Vampire would stop and thurst its claws back up to the terrified childs neck.
Suddenly however the Vampire started to claw at the air behind it. It was Asika. The Ghost was still terrified of the Vampires, but ultimately she was even more scared of just being left in this state forever. She had followed the Professor and the others out of the castle. Even if the Vampires did manage to destroy her spirit, it would still be preferrable to being left as a Ghost, able to still see, but unable to ever interact with the world again she thought to herself.
As she tussled with the Vampire however, her old fears started to come back. Still Asika managed to distract the beast long enough not only for the little girl to get away, but for the Professor to impale the Jiang Shi through the chest with his enchanted sword, killing the beast instantly.
“Come we have to stop them escaping into the woods or we’ll never find them.” The Professor said.
Out in the forest the Professor with the Emperor in tow quickly cornered three more Jiang Shi against a small tree.
“I don’t know if any of you can understand me.” The Professor said.
“If you can I just want you to know that I take no pleasure in this, but it has to be done. Emperor destroy every single Jiang Shi here.”
The Emperor started to tear the lesser Vampires apart. Some of them tried to fight back but it was hopeless. The evil had been brewing inside the Emperor for so long that his power was many times that of the rest of the Jiang Shi.
One of the Vampires meanwhile silently headed back to the village. This Vampire had realised that the Professor was controlling the Emperor through the yellow paper. The creature was barely capable of any kind of advanced thought, but it had still been able to work it out when fighting the Professor’s Vampires, when the Vampire accidentally tore the paper off of one of their heads. Even with their more animalistic nature, the Jiang Shi still had limited cognitive abilities. This Jiang however knew that it couldn’t just walk up to the Emperor and rip it off his head, so it quietly crept back into the village to get something that could help it.
The Emperor soon cornered another 4 Vampires, whilst the Professor, Lindsey, Kirsteen, Lee and the Empress meanwhile still searched frantically for more of the bloodsuckers who were now cowering in the woods. Up ahead Lee saw one of the creatures had become stuck in the swamp outside the village. It was buried up to its waist, though the more it struggled, the more it was pulled under.
“Poor soul” Kirsteen said.
“Can’t we do something? I’m not saying we should help him, but can’t you put him out of his misery?”
“I’m afraid not. I’d have to throw this sword straight into his heart from here which I could do, but we need all the weapons we can. We could try and pull him out, but he’d probably try and kill us anyway. As callous as it may sound it is one less Vampire to worry about.”
Within a few more seconds the Vampire sunk beneath the sand completely much to the time travellers horror, whilst the Empress meanwhile was more focused on her husband. Whilst she hated seeing him in this state, in a way she was happy that his last act was to protect the kingdom he had sworn to die for.
Just then however she suddenly noticed one of the Jian Shi in the distance holding a flaming piece of wood. It was the Vampire that had returned to the village. It had ripped a piece of wood off of one of the flaming houses, which it then hurled at the Emperor.
The Emperor’s clothes instantly caught fire, and whilst he did not react at first, eventually the flames spread their way to the paper on his head. The Empress tried to run to stop the fire but it was too late and within a matter of seconds the paper had burned off. The fire from the torch also began to spread its way through the woods behind.
The Emperor then quickly turned around and instantly headed for the Professor and the others, his body still ablaze.
The only way forward for the Professor and the others however was through the swamp, and worse, the three remaining Vampires in the woods around the Emperor soon started to follow him again.
The time travellers stood their ground however, and Lindsey, the Empress, the Professor and Kirsteen all tried to attack the Emperor with their swords. The Vampire managed to dodge every one of their blows, but at least they kept him distracted for the time being. Lee meanwhile used what little magics he had to push one of the Vampires into the other two. Whilst they were down on the ground he then stabbed his enchanted sword straight through one of the Vampires hearts, and decapitated the other as it rose up.
The Vampire that had freed the Emperor however had wisely remained at the back, and it hopped backwards towards the blazing forest where it tore another piece of burning wood from a tree and hurled it at the Wizard knocking him to the forest floor. The Vampire then started to slash the Wizard over and over again. In his desperation Lee called to the others for help, but unfortunately he only distracted them long enough for the Emperor to grab the Empress and sink his fangs into her throat.
Lindsey tried to intervene, but the Emperor with one bat of his hand sent her flying backwards into the swamp.
The Professor tried to strike the Emperor down, but when he tried to swing his sword, the Emperor knocked it out of his hand and into the swamp too.
“Go help Lee now” The Professor said to Kirsteen.
“But what about”.
“Go now!” He shouted.
The Professor picked up the Empress’ sword and tried to strike the Jiang Shi again, but the monster simply threw the Empress’ seemingly lifeless body into the Professor, who he then proceeded to beat viciously.
The Professor tried to fight back, but not only was his strength no match for the Jiang Shi, every time he struck the beast he would simply burn his hands on the fire.
Lindsey watched in horror as the Professor was easily overpowered. She tried to break free from the swamps pull, but it was hopeless. Just as all seemed lost, Lindsey felt something pull her up with a tremendous force. It was Asika.
As Lindsey was hoisted up she grabbed some of the quick sand and threw it at the Emperor, drawing his attention away for a few moments. The Vampire stood in confusion at the sight of Lindsey hovering in the air, seemingly by herself, and the Professor quickly used this opportunity to thrust the Empress’ sword into the Emperor’s chest.
The Emperor let out a scream and the mini explosion from the sword burning him, sent the Vampire hurling ten feet into the swamp to beside Lindsey, though unfortunately he took the sword with him.
The Emperor pulled himself a few feet through the swamp. He still sunk like the others, but his greater strength helped the Vampire to resist the pull for longer and even move about in the swamp.
The Emperor grabbed onto Lindsey’s legs as she was almost pulled free and tried to drag her back down.
Asika tried to pull and pull, but the Vampire held on tight. The Professor meanwhile stood powerless at the side. He desperately racked through spells he could use to hurt the Vampire in his mind, when suddenly the Empress used her last ounce of strength to hurl the body of one of the dead Jiang Shi onto the Emperor which caused him to let go of Lindsey and sink into the quicksand.
The Empress then collapsed into the Professor’s arms.
“Is he gone for good now?”
“Yes he is.”
“I’m going to become one of them soon.”
Before the Professor could even finish the Empress pulled her knife out and stuck it straight through her heart. She wasn’t going to make the same mistake again.
Kirsteen meanwhile had arrived to see the Vampire standing over Lee’s beaten and slashed body. Just as it prepared to land a killing bite on his throat, Kirsteen stabbed it in the back. The Vampire reached out and grabbed her by the arm, but she pushed her sword in deeper and deeper until the Vampire let go. Kirsteen then pushed the Vampire back away from Lee and slashed it several more times. Rather than stay and fight the Vampire quickly ran through the flaming woods behind, knowing that Kirsteen couldn’t follow it.
Kirsteen pulled Lee away from the fire which soon spread through the most of the nearby forest.
We need to get back to the ship. My magics can repel the flames but we have to hurry. Asika you can’t come with us, but you should be safe here. Thank you , thank you”
The flames soon forced the Professor and the others to retreat to the teleportation site before he could finish properly thanking the Ghost. On the ship the Vampire was able to whip up a quick spell which put out the fire below before it spread to the village.
The Professor, Lindsey, and Kirsteen would return to the forest to search for the surviving Jiang Shi. In some ways that was easier than the task Lee had ahead of him.
Lee had to tell the prince that his mother had not made it. It was decided that it would be better coming from Lee, as even though he had been an enemy to both of the boys parents, the prince still knew Lee and had been friendly with him at some point.
“Where’s mother? Please tell me.”
“I’m sorry son. She died saving all of us. She was a hero to the end.”
Lee’s kind words didn’t sooth the blow for the boy at all.
“Was it, was it that thing that took over my father that killed her.”
Lee didn’t answer. How could he? Still his silence told the boy everything he needed to know, and the young prince collapsed in the Wizard’s arms.
The prince bore the Wizard no ill will. He realised that if Lee had had his way all of this suffering could be avoided. The boy however also understood his mothers reasons and bore her no ill will either.
Sadly however the rest of the kingdom would not be so forgiving to the late Emperor’s family.
The kingdom’s capital lay in ruins and Lee would be forced to take over, with the Prince being too young. The survivors in the capital championed Lee to be their new ruler after the bravery he had shown against the Jiang Shi. Whilst the Wizard was reluctant at first he realised he had no choice, as he had a far greater knowledge of the supernatural than anyone else in the kingdom.
The last of the Jiang had managed to escape in the fire and confusion despite The Professor, Lindsey and Kirsteen’s best efforts. On top of that there were various other survivors who were infected and would turn over the next few weeks. Though Lee would do his best to try and stamp out the last of the Jiang Shi, the monsters would continue to terrorise the countryside for many more centuries to come and make many more of their kind. They were never able to attack the captial again however, as Lee made sure every civilian knew the weaknesses of the beast. Some Jiang Shi would even be tamed by the magics Lee learned from the Professor and used to protect the cities, but the kingdom would never regain its former protection from the supernatural. Not only would they have to continue to deal with more Vampires, but various other Demons and Supernatural creatures would soon begin to flock to the kingdom once they learned its magical defences were down. Lee would also have to deal with many more spirits and ghosts caused by the magical upheavel too.
Akira meanwhile would decide to stay by Lee’s side. After the Emperor’s defeat, Akira had helped to rebuild the village during which she began to see how her powers could help people. Far from being able to see the world but not interact with it, like she had initially believed, Akira saw that she could influence the world to a greater extent than ever before. She refused to let the Professor exorcise her, though he would leave her with the secrets of how to do so if she ever changed her mind, and she would come close several times as the years rolled on. Still ultimately Akira would continue to help Lee battle the Vampires and other threats to the kingdom for many centuries to come.
Arguably Lee’s biggest obstacle was to arrange a funeral for the Empress. Most of the survivors were against it, but Lee felt he owed it to the Prince who he would look after as his own son. Sadly however the Empress’ grave would be vandalised many times over the next few decades.
The Professor, Lindsey and Kirsteen would stay for a few months to help Lee get settled in as the new Emperor, before quietly slipping away back to their ship.
Lee had not wanted them to leave at all. He felt that he could only protect the kingdom properly with the three time travellers help, but sadly they were needed elsewhere in another time and another place.
Lee would continue to rule as the Emperor for many more centuries to come, with his magics allowing him to remain immortal. Unfortunately his reign would later end under horrific circumstances, but the immortal Wizard would always stand guard over the kingdom regardless of whether he was its ruler or not.
The Professor, Lindsey, and Kirsteen will return in The Dark Side of the Moon later this month. For now I am going to take a short break from this series and the Circus Master whilst I get this blog in order.