(Chapter III In the Brink of Darkness)

          The black shadows stirred around D's stiff body. His arms were stretched away from his body in the form of the holy cross, chained at the wrists and bound to a rock hanging above his head. The blade in his chest coursed through his heart, past his spine and buried it's tip into the rock behind him.
          The beating of his heart had been still for minutes now. The shadows of death closing in on his mind and soon his body. The parasite cringed.
          "This cant be happening. D? Snap out of it! How many times have I told you to do that? You listened then! Why arent you listening now? Oh God! Could this really be? Could I really be attached to some rotting corpse miles below the surface of the Earth!? Jeez, I sound like a lunatic! D! Wake up!"
          D's body trembled by only the parasite's movement in his left hand. His chest was black from dried dead blood and the floor below stinged with drying plasma. The sight was horrifying to the parasite. All of D's blood now flooded the floor and trickled down the rock steps of the cave.
          "This isnt good. What have I done to deserve this? I taught the boy everything I know and I know a lot. I know enough to keep things like this from happening to him! And now here we are. Miles from nowhere. I hope Carla's having fun."

          Of course, yards down the decrepit piles of stalagmites and stalagtites in the dome-like tomb of the Mistress, Carla wasnt having any fun. Wallace was at wit's end and standing next to her dying body watching helplessly as the blood poured from her pale body.
          Carla gasped as the last few drops of blood escaped from her wrists and down the twisted tubes to the sarcophogus below. The demon inside the cement block began to writh and moan, letting out ancient screams from a stretching body enclosed in the tight box for a century.
          "Please, let me go. Take me from here. I cant die like this!" Carla had begun to cry when Wallace started to descend down the steps of the altar. He stopped, hearing this proclaimation from the dying woman he had unknowingly kidnapped from her uncle's grasp.
          "I'm sorry, Carla. She is too strong for either one of us now. There's nothing I can do." Wallace closed his eyes and jumped from the altar to the floor below. He crashed, knees first, into the hard rock floor. He cringed holding his knees, feeling the delicate bones inside grinding against muscle fibers. He didnt care whether he broke every single bone in his body or not. He wanted to die now. He wanted to know the tight embrace of death as it held him inside it's bleak cavity, travelling down into the depths of hell.
          "The hunter, Wallace! You can still help him!"
          "He's too human to withstand what I did to him. He kills with that blade and with that blade I have killed him. Nothing can bring him back to save you!" Wallace was too afraid now to leave the cave knowing he would have to pass by the rotting corpse of the vampire hunter in the hallway.
          Tears welled up in Carla's eyes.
          The Mistress was standing close behind Wallace, watching him leave quietly.

          A tight breath escaped the vampire hunter as he hung in the grips of death. Saliva mixed with his own blood dripped from the corner of his mouth to his bare pale chest. The ends of his black hair had started to turn a withering grey. The parasite knew he was dying.
          From his last breath the hunter uttered a single word followed by the frailest of phrases, "Father, uhh..hhhelp....me."
          His body had turn stone grey, the black pupils of his eyes appeared a milky white. His body sank in relief when he finally let go of life. The chains tore at the delicate skin underneath his wrist but still suspended him from the rock above. The blood of the dampir had soaked into the cave floor and what little fresh blood was left had turned black.
          The cave's atmosphere was dry and cold, but the sudden whipping of wind through it's corridors made it's small parasite-like inhabitants a little uneasy. The wind rushed through every orifice of the cave, stripping the massive grotto of it's slick wet film that protected the small inhabitants. A glowing light followed the wind carefully through the cave feeding off the parasites and evil that lived in every dark corner of the cavern.
          Lightning flashed around D's limp body, the wind ripped through his hair and found it's way through the deep slash of his wound. The light had slipped in between the blade and the lacerated flesh, feeling it's way through the clotted blood and dead organs the sword had penetrated. The glowing light flowed out of D's back and surrounded the rest of the protruding blade. Slowly and carefully, the blade fell back through the path it had made through D's heart. The curved gigantic talon fell to the floor, it's metallic sound echoing inside the cave.
          The hunter's eyes started to flutter as the light reentered his body and pushed him back against the rock he remained chained to. Finally, the chains broke and fell to the floor at his side. His body was suspended by the light and the wind had become a furious rage. His sharp fangs had grown back to the small canines they were before. The blood that had soaked into the cave floor emerged from it's resting place, liquifying solidly once more, and seeped back into it's master's body.
          The parasite sighed in relief as D slowly regained strength in his body. D stood on trembling legs waiting as the blood flooded his body once more. He held himself tight with both arms as the ache of the light forged through his chest. The light had emerged from his eyes and gathered itself in front of him.
          D, hunched over and breathing heavily, reached out with a quivering left hand to touch the form that wavered in front of him. The parasite opened it's mouth and swallowed the remaining glow from the light and the wind that breezed around D's body.
          The hunter stood face to face with the figure of a man in the light. Glowing red eyes and a smile brighter than the sun formed on the figure's brightly lit face.
          His father was always listening.

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          The hunter ran lightning fast through the cave's dark corridors leading down to the Mistress' tomb below. He had his sword unsheathed when Wallace's limp body landed stone cold in front of him. D walked closer to the man and realized he had been drained of all blood. Ahead, D could hear the haunting laugh of the Mistress. She was alive!
          D stepped inside the tomb and was relieved to see Carla down on the floor, stirring listlessly. The hunter ran to her side and propped her up on his knee. She smiled dearly at him.
          "I'm okay. Lucky for me I had a big breakfast this morning, " she laughed and fell unconcious. The parasite writhed and pushed D to his feet. The Mistress stood in front of him, baracading the door with her deep elusive shadow.
          "Leaving so soon, hunter?" The Mistress said with a deep voice, inaudible for most but the hunter heard her just fine. She had the grace of a great cat and the eyes of a snake. Her long black dress hung in waves around her body. Her black hair curled into waves down her back and around her shoulders. Eyes and lips the color of the blood red that trickled into her sarcophogus.
          D could feel her glare penetrating his winter white flesh. He lifted his head and returned the same look of hatred and hostility. He could tell she had not absorbed enough blood from Carla. Her red eyes wavered with blackness and the hellions that still possessed her soul.
          His mind flashed back to when Wallace fell at his feet. Wallace had tried to take Carla from the altar but only got so far. The Mistress had pulled Carla from his grip and flung her to the floor. Before he could reach the door of the tomb, the Mistress lunged at him with a snake-like antenna that pierced deeply into his back and with the mouth of a octopus, sucked and drained him of his life.
          "You think you can stop the transformation, hunter?" Her heavy breathing was like that of a cobra's hissing, stinging the air she shared with the woman and the dampir.
          Suddenly the tables turned, as she walked slowly around the hunter, eyeing him with a hunger from a monsterous appetite.
          "It's been so long, hasnt it hunter? So long since you've tasted blood." She grinned with a twist in her red eyes. She was close to the hunter now, staring into his blue eyes, searching for an answer. "So long since you've tasted a woman."
          She lifted a silky white hand to D's face when his left hand snatched it up quickly.
          "You're too quick to touch, Mistress." D released her hand and as he did she pulled back, shifting the black skirts of her dress around the floor. She backed up against the door and watched the hunter unsheath his sword. Carla had awakened suddenly and sat behind the hunter on the floor watching in horror as the Mistress' eyes changed from red to a glowing yellow.
          The Mistress lifted her hand releasing a series of lightning hot sparks towards the hunter. D jumped from left to right, watching as the sparks skidded by his feet on the floor. Carla ran screaming to the sarcophogus and hid behind it watching the two creatures of the night battle it out.
          "You dance well, hunter. Let's see how well you fly!" The Mistress snapped her fingers sending out a bolt of electricity towards D's torso. The electrified blaze hit D so hard he tumbled backwards but then felt himself being lifted skywards. The vibrant beam held him there several feet above the Mistress. She laughed as she intensified the grip of the beam. D reacted with a loud groan, he could feel his insides beginning to explode. The beam heated up his body like the pilot light in a furnace. His anger grew and his fangs lengthened.
          The Mistress stopped laughed and released the beam. D fell high from the ceiling to the floor, crashing hard against the limestone. D had landed on his back which, to him, felt like a million knives stabbing him all at once.          
          The Mistress lifted her arms up towards the ceiling watching as the ghastly white skin turned black and grew out like spikes on a thorn bush. The pupils of her eyes, sharpened like a cat's eye and her tongue was forked and flipping out of her mouth like a slick red flame. Her entire body had become snake like and it wriggled back and forth across the limestone floor. She had become a giant black cobra with long thick fangs aching with venom.
          D stood up against her. The snake-like being seemed to smile at him. It seemed to the parasite that D had smiled back but instead he took with his blade a mighty force into the snake. The blade of the sword was forced out by the powerful muscles of the skin. Still smiling and this time, probably laughing, the snake spun around D with ferocious speed.
          The snake's tail flipped around D's legs as he ran behind it. But he wasnt quick enough. The tail moved fast and sent the hunter sailing through the air. With a swift choreographed movement, the hunter landed back on his feet.
          The snake hissed, "Good show! After this, I wish to hire you as my courtyard monkey!" The giant black tail swished again at the hunter's feet but this time he was faster as he jabbed his curved blade into the tail, sticking it to the floor below. The snake screeched and writhed forcing its own tail to separate from its body. Blood sprayed from the severed tail of the snake.
          The snake spread out it's hood and flicked it's tongue at the hunter. Sharp red eyes peered down at the lone dhampir. The attack came quick and suddenly. The snake flew head first at the hunter and at the moment, the snake's nose caught the sharp side of the dhampir's blade. The sharp blade spliced the snake in two and then with a quick spin, D sliced the snake into fours.
          The snake's limp limbs went cold white again. Behind him, the Mistress gasped.
          "I was wrong about you, hunter!" D turned around only to see the black blood of the snake crawling in around him. The liquid seeped up on top of his boot and crawled up his legs. D couldnt move. The Mistress had him surrounded in a tar-like fluid.
          "I'd like to see how you get out of this!" The black fluid covered him almost completely, immobilizing him and draining his energy. D tried to move his arms but the black fluid was too strong. As the blackness streamed up towards his eyes, his anger rose. A loud tremendous roar escaped his mouth and the black fluid around him quivered. The Mistress' eyes widened.
          "Wha..What are you doing? I'm too strong for you! This cant be happening!"
          The black fluid fell from the hunter and splashed onto the floor drenching the Mistress. She screamed and howled as the blackness burned her skin like a thousand suns. She was killing herself with her own weapons. She wiped at the blackness as it burned blisters onto her skin. A scent of blood and acid lingered in the air. The hunter drew closer to her, watching as she cowered before him, her eyes fixed on his glowing blue pupils.
          The hunter made a mad dash with his sword towards the Mistress' head. With one quick swipe, her head was severed from her neck, leaving a smoking stump that gushed with blood from it's arteries. The rest of her body began to liquify and spread away from the hunter. Before the liquid could get away, D opened his left hand and let the parasite swallow the rest. The head of the Mistress was looking up at the hunter with cold red eyes. Slowly, from her neck up to her chin, her head also began to liquify.
          "How dare you, hunter. Who are you?" she said as her lips liquified into a disgusting black fluid. As the blackness spread, D opened his left hand. The parasite's mouth emerged once again from the palm of the hunter's hand and swallowed what remained of the Mistress.

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Chapter 4
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