When the Sky Cries Silence
Chronicle 1
The Wayward Child Returns

By Ruby Silphyre

Chapter 11
Ashes to Ashes

D was running again, partially because he wanted to get to his destination faster, partially because he wanted to get away from the two chasing after him.

They had taken a carriage and traveled out into the vast fields that was his fathers land, and then up the hills where the temple was located. For an hour, they were riding, until they came to the temple. A giant pyramid like structure with four columns on each corner, made of solid gold and agate. Images were sculpted out of the relic and filled with emeralds and sapphires. D could not take the time to gaze at the beautiful creation, now; his mind was too busy to care.

The dhampire had jumped off the carriage just as they approached the temple, before the horses had even stopped, twisting his right ankle, but that didn't stop him. He ran off into the temple before Dina and the symbiote had a chance to react.

"D! Stop!" Dina shouted as she jumped out of the now still carriage and watched the outline of her brother as he darted off. Her hair danced in the air as the cold, strong mountain wind lifted the brunette waves with its persistent howling voice. "D... Please!"

The symbiote floated out behind her, looking a bit shaken up. He looked at their transportation to examine the damage the monsters had done as they attacked the carriage on the way there. Luckily, Dina, Angelo, and the symbiote where able to fight the beasts off. He shuttered at the slash marks from claws, teeth, various weapons, and the spilled blood all over the carriages surface. The horses had been attacked as well; one was taken from its reigns and carried off. The other three survived, but were not unscarred.

"Princess..." Angelo muttered, still clutching the reigns of the horses in his pale, clawed hands.

Dina looked up at him. "Wait for us." She said, then turned and began to run after D with the symbiote close behind her.

D staggered down the halls of the enormous temple, skimming his eyes over the endless hieroglyphs that were carved into the walls, ceilings, and floors. This temple was an endless maze filled with nothing but the hieroglyphical depiction of Velour's history. It would probably take forever to find what he was looking for, but D knew, he had to find it.

He had slipped into some of his own clothes before taking the trip to the temple, leaving his armor and weapons behind, as they would be too heavy to carry in his condition. Now, all he had with him was his shirt, pants, cloak, and a pair of sandals, which weren't his, but they were easy to get on and off.

The dhampire felt around the hieroglyphs with his hands as he stumbled down the endless corridors. His muscles ached and his bones felt as if they would shatter inside his body. The pain wasn't pleasant, but he wouldn't let it stop him. He could hear his sister calling out to him, looking desperately for her brother in the maze of agate and gold, but he never called back. If he had his way, he would have come alone.

An eternity passed, and finally, he found it. It was easy to pick out because of the pair of giant red and yellow orbs carved into the walls. He examined the area carefully, running his fingers over the hard surface. D went through the images again after being unable to find the inscription he was looking for. He looked one more time, closer, but still nothing. The dhampire slid down into a sitting position, his aching legs giving way underneath him, and closed his eyes. He couldn't believe it wasn't here. It was perhaps the most memorable, shameful, disturbing moment in Velour's history... that was probably why. It would figure they, the governors of the vampires, would try to make their leadership look perfect by covering up their own dark deeds. Even Dracula, with his strong grasp of right and wrong and beliefs in sincerity, wouldn't want it to be known.

D wasn't sure how long he had sat there, in the mass of sketched memories. After a while, a long while, he heard the steady tread of gentle footsteps as they strode down the hall towards him. He didn't move until the footsteps stopped, just a few feet away from him. The dhampire opened his eyes, but didn't look up at his father's tall figure.

"...How did you know where I was?" D asked.

"Ohh... I walk these halls all the time. And I had an idea of where you might be." He looked down at his son. "D..." The vampire said softly. "Please don't be too--"

"Be silent, vampire filth!" The hybrid blurted, unexpectedly.

Dracula froze, then watched D tremble as he slowly brought himself to his feet.

"Perhaps... you should talk to the oracle?" The vampire king suggested.

D turned to him and gave him a questioning look.

"If its counsel you're seeking, perhaps she can give it to you."

"I don't want any counsel..." He muttered skeptically. "I don't need someone else to tell me what to do."

"Xaria doesn't lie, D. Let us go to the altar room. It's not far from here." Dracula said, curling his fingers around the dhampires arm and began, more forcing him then, leading him to their destination. D was too weak to protest.

They rounded a few corners and walked through a few halls before coming to a pair of large golden doors and entered. The room was an enormous chamber with walls that stretched up all the way to the top if the temple. This was the center of the structure. All of the walls were slanted diagonally with a pair of stair steps on either corner of the walls, like bleachers, but this was no sports park, nor group seating. Covering the bench-like structures were thousands and thousands of gold statues, each standing straight up with a gentle smile on their faces and holding a white candle in their hands, which were cupped in front of their chests.

D stopped after he passed the doors, which slowly closed behind him, and looked up at the immensely large room's tall ceiling and realized that, after all his time living at Velour, he had never actually seen this chamber, but he did know what it was. This was like a noble's graveyard. All of the nobles who passed on were buried in individual tombs under and around the temple underground, and instead of tomb stones, they had these statues. Once a noble reaches about twenty, a statue is made of them. They always made them when they were youthful to symbolize the eternal life granted to them after death. An exact replica to be stored, then put up here in remembrance of the one who had passed away. This kind of burial was extremely expensive, however, so it was only available to the wealthy. But Dracula, being the man he was, made sure that even the poorest of peasants had a decent burial in the main cemetery. His belief in equality is something that has made him so commendable. But that didn't change D's perspective.

The dhampire remembered when he had his statue made and wondered for a moment if they still had it. Knowing his father, they probably did.

He jumped slightly in surprise as his thoughts were broken by a hand that rested on his shoulder. "She is in her chambers... Down that way." Dracula said pointing directly in front of them to a pair of double doors at the top of a stair case at the other side of the gigantic golden room.

"She's not even going to let me in..." The dhampire said reluctantly.

"We shall see." Dracula muttered. "Go."

D began to step forward, but the vampire king grabbed his arm. "Take your shoes off." He ordered. "This land is holy ground."

The hybrid huffed, annoyed, at the comment. He didn't like it when people talked about spiritual vampire whatnot, it was nonsense to him. Nevertheless, he did what he was told and slipped the sandals off.

He then pulled his cloak around him and started forward towards the doors. The gold floor was warm under his feet and his cloak gently flowed behind him as he took steady steps passed the rows and rows of statues. His eyes strayed from the dhampire's path to see other, people who had come to see their deceased loved ones or pray to the ancestors for guidance, but he never turned his head. There were only a few people there. In the past, Dracula had many people following under his rule, millions in fact, now they had dwindled to only a few hundred. Most people of the world didn't even know the ancient vampire was still alive. Though if they did, they would probably try to kill him.

D left the last step of the staircase behind and stopped in front of the doors. He didn't want to see the oracle at all, he really didn't. The dhampire didn't seek answers because he didn't have any questions. Yet, something was bothering him and he felt strangely compelled to walk through the doors. Whatever this... feeling was, it must be important, he thought.

He lifted a hand to push open the door, but, to his surprise, before he could even touch it, the door slowly began opening. It wasn't the fact that the doors could open without being touched that surprised him, it wasn't uncommon for things to start moving by themselves in a place like this, it was the fact that this was her door, the door to the oracle's chambers. D knew that the door only opened to someone whom she had something to say to. Perhaps the dhampire had been wrong.

The hybrid hesitated before entering. When the doors closed the room was pitch black. His pale blue eyes began to glow to offer him a little light and boost his nocturnal vision. Then, suddenly, there was a flash and the room filled with bright light, and D soon found himself gazing up at the image of the great oracle.

"Prince Victor, I presume..."

Chapter 12
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