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- A Bloody Tale -

"Camazotz recognizes his children from afar... Those who are empowered by night and weakened by light shall never belong to the world of the Living. The shadows will be your guards, the lust will be your only mistress, and Transylvania shall be your holy land,  and so help you the Devil himself..."

XultĂșn, Guatemala...

Anael was still shocked, looking at Melchior without believing in his eyes. He looked at Mr. Zelaya, who lied dead in the ground, with his body seeming thinner, unhealthy and paler. He then looked at the responsible for this - Melchior.

"I...I couldn't control myself, Anael..." Melchior mourned. "Please..."

Melchior's chin and lips were full of blood, of Mr. Zelaya's blood. Melchior had murdered an innocent man in order to quench his thirst. The Welsh Guatemalan removed the Heart  of Guatemala of his neck and put it in his right hand, using its power to make it float.

"I wish it wasn't true, Melchior..." Anael said with his eyes closed. "I really wish you didn't become the monster you are becoming..."

The liquid Shaman-Stone glew more and more intensively; when Anael half-opened his eyes, looking at Melchior with a serious countenance, the Heart was ready to be used.

"Quetzal Healing..." Anael casted.

The light became an enormous quetzal, which involved Mr. Zelaya in an energy bubble and took him away, slowly raising him to the sky. As Anael spoke, the bubble gained more and more speed.

"I wish Kimi's power was enough to stop Camazotz's power over you, Melchior... Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to fight your vampirism now... Nevertheless, I won't abandon you. We will study your problem, and we will find a solution to it..."

The energy bubble then disappeared up in the sky, and Anael made a pause before talking back to Melchior, who had the saddest countenance Anael had ever seen in his life. The Heart lost its glow and stopped floating.

"...Before someone dear to us perishes."

Anael looked at the sky and realized it was about three - the Sun would kill Melchior if he went out of that alley. The Welsh Guatemalan conjured a black coat and threw it to Elemental Alchemist.

"Here, take it." He said. "And please clean your face. We do not need to see the evidences of you crime."

"Ok..." Melchior sighed, putting on the coat and standing up. "Anael... Will you tell the others?"
Anael looked at him with anger, but gave him no answer. Instead, he walked away followed by Melchior.

"What the hell am I?" Melchior thought. "Why me? Why? Am I not miserable enough? Haven't I suffered enough? Why, Gods, why?"

The two Knights walked until they found the others, meeting them at the bus. Anael commanded the driver to leave them there, for they would walk their way to the newest railway station in Guatemalan - the Royal Guatemalan Railway of Santiago.

As Anael went to buy the tickets with Kaiser and Maya and Altagracia went elsewhere to buy food, Kimi and Thalas sat near Melchior to ask him a couple of questions.

"We need to talk." Thalas said serious.

"What do you want?" Melchior asked indifferently.

"Mr. Zelaya." Kimi said. "What happened to him? I know you are involved somehow."

"Indeed." Thalas agreed. "I've got to tell you - Maya and Altagracia still don't know, and I have no intentions of telling them now. Unless you are looking for trouble, I suggest..."

"I killed him." Melchior said interrupting Thalas. "I killed him because I was thirsty... I... I thought... I thought I was joking, you know? When... When I... Pierced his neck with my teeth... I realized... I wasn't."

"Oh God..." Kimi whispered frightened. "That cannot be happening..."

"What's wrong with you?!" Thalas screamed angrily, holding Melchior's neck as if he wanted to smother him.

Elemental Alchemist got scared and hissed at Thalas, showing his teeth to him, forcing the French Guatemalan to back off. Melchior's eyes had a weird, bloody-red glow. He stood in that intimidating pose for a while; when he realized he scared Thalas, his countenance became sadder and he stopped showing his teeth. He slowly came back to his place and tried to hide his face from his friends.

"I am so sorry..." He whispered. "I am so sorry..."

Thalas looked at Melchior with pity; never in a million of years he would thought he would see Melchior so sad and gloomy, without his mischievous smile and funny speeches. Anael and Kaiser arrived there right afterwards with the tickets in hand.

"The train will leave in half an hour." Kaiser said. "What happened between you?"

"I'd rather not talk about it." Kimi said with a discrete smile. "This is something we'll work on later..."

"Fine them..." Anael said, sitting near Thalas. "Well, the girls are coming with some nice things for us... Let's try not to kill anyone, right?" That last sentence was clearly directed to Melchior, who nodded affirmatively.

Ten minutes later, Maya and Altagracia arrived at the place with sandwiches, sweet pastries and sodas. They were all ready to go; Anael commanded the group to enter on the train, giving each Knight a ticket.

They entered into a wagon divided into large squares which would support until ten people - since they were seven, it had a nice space for them. They all entered, and Anael was the last to enter, closing the glass door.

"Well, we'll arrive in Guatemala City in approximately eight hours. It's plenty of time for us to rest..." He gave everyone a smile, specially to Melchior, who had fallen asleep.

"I'll close this curtain..." Thalas said, closing the curtain near Melchior. "Well, what have you girls brought to us?" He asked, sitting near Maya and giving her a shy kiss.

"Well, let's see..." The Honduran replied, grabbing one of the paper bags in order to show Thalas. "We have bread, sandwiches..."

She gave the others food, and they began talking and playing. On the meantime, Melchior was sleeping, visiting a hostile, mysterious place - his own mind.

***

In his dream, Melchior was flying over the alpine forests of a Scandinavian country. He saw the icy-blue rivers flowing gently as it molded the landscape nearby; the snow carpet was decorating the woods in a gentle mourning of winter.

That landscape made the Salvadorian smile, amazed with such beauty in front of him; then, he saw himself led to another part of the forest, which seemed darker and scarier, as if he was in the middle of a horror story.

"What's this?" He asked.

He landed on a dark glade, which still had grass in it. Melchior looked around with a curious, yet distrustful countenance.

"I do not like the looks of this..." He whispered.

Then, he noticed the night was beginning, and the sun was going away faster than he thought; he closed his eyes and smiled, for he felt stronger by the moonlight. Then, he heard a noise behind him, when he turned around, he saw a woman.

She was tall, approximately 180 centimeters height, thin with wide hips and white-skinned; her hair was short, straight and red-haired, and her eyes had a dark pink glow. She was wearing black lipstick in her superior lip, a dark scarlet gown, a pair of dark pink gloves with a fabric attached, which passed behind her. She looked at Melchior with a threatening countenance.

"You..." She hissed with an anger countenance. "I thought you would never make it..."

"What?" Melchior asked, scared.

She gave him an evil smile and raised her right arm to the sky, conjuring an enormous  sphere full with black energy, which she threw against Melchior, who was defenseless; he got hit by the sphere, and his body was severely injured.

He was not bleeding, for he was a vampire;  he looked at his foe, who was walking slowly towards him.

"You... Are my worst nightmare..." She hissed with anger, raising her right hand, casting an enormous black energy sphere.

"Who are you?!" Melchior shouted as he tried to stand up.

The woman did not answer; instead, she threw the sphere against Melchior, who was defenseless. He saw his body being injured in several different ways. He screamed in the most painful way he ever did, and, at that moment, he woke up.

"Oh god!" He whispered, breathless. "Oh god..."

He looked at his friends - they were all sleeping. Melchior sighed and stood up, looking at the moonlit sky. They were about to arrive in Guatemala City, there was no doubt of it.

"I don't think Anael will let me stay much longer in his house..." Melchior thought as he walked on the aisle, looking for the end of the wagon. "I don't blame him... No one would ever want a vampire nearby..."

When he reached the door between wagons, he stopped to look at the full moon. He had the saddest countenance one would ever bear.

"None would want me nearby..." He thought.

"A vampire, you said?"

Melchior heard a majestic male voice behind him. The Knight turned around and he saw a pair of bloody red eyes in the darkness.

"I can't believe it..." The creature said. "You had made it, after all..."

"W-who are you?" Melchior asked slightly frightened.

The creature came out of the darkness. He was a tall, muscular, slightly copper-skinned man with approximately two meters in height. His hair was straight, black and short, similar to Melchior's.  Elemental Alchemist could see the fangs coming out of that man's mouth, and he had no doubts regarding his identity.

"Are you..." Melchior started, scared.

"My name is Ushuriel." The man said politely. "And yes, I am a vampire just as you are..." He smiled mischievously at Melchior. "I cannot believe it... You've made it, after all... I never thought I'd see you again..."

"What are you talking about?!" Melchior asked, confused.

Ushuriel was about to answer when he saw something in his right forearm. It seemed to be a light green tribal mark.

"Oh, she's calling me back..." He said. "Well, I have to go... Melchior."

Before Melchior could ask anything to Ushuriel, he disappeared in the darkness, leaving Melchior alone with his thoughts.

"What was this all about?" He thought. "Well, if he is also a vampire... I've found someone who can help me out! I'll search for him!"

To Be Continued...

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