Living Nightmares and Bloody Kisses

/ By -Serenity- [+Watch]

Replies: 17 / 4 years 344 days 13 hours 42 minutes 29 seconds

Allowed Users

  1. [Allowed] Falling_Leaf

[center [pic]]

Bran Castle. Located in Romania on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. This castle has become a hot spot for tourists from all over the world. But no one describes it as it’s true name. No. It’s known as Dracula’s Castle.

This castle was rumored to be haunted. Many claimed that there were spooks that came out at night. Of course, everyone thought it was just a way to give tourists more bang for their buck. To make things even better, the company that runs the tours decided that doing night tours would be a great addition. At least two or three times a week, the castle would be opened up for night tours. The full and new moon nights were always open. Everything seemed fine until one night, things began turning deadly.

During a night tour about 100 years ago, something unusual happened. A group of tourists were going in for the midnight tour. About halfway through the tour, it had begun to storm heavily out. The sky had been completely blacked out by clouds and light was limited severely. With only flashlights and a lantern to see, the castle was dark and very eerie. Lightning and thunder made the place even scarier.

As the tour went on, people would trail behind. But they never seemed to catch back up. By the time the tour was over with, several people had gone missing. The castle was closed down for more than a month as it was searched from top to bottom but not a soul was found. Nothing was out of place. The missing people were presumed dead. However, that was just the start.

As the months passed by, more and more people would go missing. There were no screams. There was no blood. There was no struggle. It was as if the people just walked off casually. But there was something off about it. Some people were seen walking off as if in a daze only to disappear and never to be found again. This happened for a number of years before it all stopped. No more people went missing and things seemingly went back to normal and the incidents were deemed forgotten. However, rumors began to spread.

Today, one rumor lives on. That rumor states that there is a spook that lives in the castle, one that will lure people away into the unknown depths of the castle. Some even say it is the work of Dracula himself. This rumor became a part of the eeriness of the castle. People dressed as spooks would come out during night tours to give everyone a really good scare. Many would even recreate the incidents from a century before by having actors in a group and they would just wander off and seemingly disappear without a trace. It was a brilliant tourist gag and people loved it. However, something was about to change and a true spook was about to reawaken thanks to one lone woman.

[center [pic]]

This woman is a young archaeologist. She studied old buildings and their history. She was also a supernatural researcher but that was just a side hobby to keep her busy. This girl recently went to Romania to study castles there. One castle in particular intrigued her. That castle was Bran Castle. She did hear of the rumors that spread about the castle but didn't really think much of them. She wanted to know more about the building but there wasn't going to be any true information during the day. She had to go in at night but she was given only one way in and that was to go in with a tourist group during a scheduled night tour. This frustrated her to no end but she still waited. That is, she waited for her chance to sneak in on a moonless night and finally see what secrets the castle held. Everything will change when that one girl gets into the castle one night and finds a hidden door to an underground dungeon. And at the end of that dungeon is a sealed door with strange markings on it and the walls around it. It is the one door that should have remained closed. Upon opening the door, the seal releases from both the door and the coffin, The girl unknowingly reawakens a monstrous nightmare that changes both her life and the lives of everyone else forever.

[center [b From Past to Present]]

Born in 1431, Vlad has become widely known as one of the most frightening people and eventually gained the name Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Tepes due to his methods of slaughter. At the time, he believed that God does not reward prayer but wants mortals to show their faith visibly. His belief was expressed by a silver cross he always wore.

He went up against the Turks but eventually his troops were defeated and his homeland was set ablaze. Vlad was imprisoned and was to be executed. Feeling abandoned by God, he abandoned God in turn. In a moment of perfect despair, he drank the blood from his scorched and besieged homeland and became a vampire. After accepting the darkness, his silver cross shattered. Since then, Vlad was known as Dracula, the Prince of Vampires. He had migrated to a new location further south to Bran Castle and took it for himself. He continued his terrifying ways for centuries after.

Centuries later, in 1897, Dracula had faced Van Helsing and his entourage only to end up defeated and his servants killed. Before he was able to recover from the blows, he was sealed in a hidden dungeon under Bran Castle. A coffin was placed in the farthest cell from the main door against the back wall and Dracula's unconscious remains were placed inside. The coffin was then closed and sealed shut. A blood seal was placed on the coffin in the shape of a cross and a larger, more powerful one was placed on the door of the cell in hopes that it will keep the vampire physically asleep forever. However, forever is just a pipe dream.

About 17 years later, the seal was still holding strong. Even though he was physically sealed, mentally and spiritually he was left to wander. It wasn't long till he began doing something quite strange. Dracula was using the mirrors throughout the castle to see, making multiple red eyes shrouded in black appear in the glass. It was then that he discovered that humans had began trespassing in his home. This irritated him. He became almost angry when he learned of people coming in at night. However, his burning rage was put out when he realized they thought he was dead and gone. As these intrusions kept up, he became more restless and decided to try something to deter these humans away from his home.

On a stormy night of a full moon, he decided to do something about this but without his physical body it was going to be tricky. With his mirror trick, he began to lure people to their deaths in hopes to stop the intrusion of his home. But it didn’t work. Even after the month long investigation, it had no effect. No matter how many people he killed off, they just kept coming. A couple years later, he had stopped killing but never stopped watching, making red eyes shrouded in black appear in every mirror the tourist pass by. At least that way, he was able to keep up with the times. Sort of..

Now, Dracula still remains in eternal sleep about 100 years after his failed attempt to deter humans from his castle. However, a single lone girl is soon to discover his prison after several nights of visiting the castle and unknowingly awakens the legendary vampire upon opening and breaking the seal that was placed on his prison door. Life had an unknown future now.

[h3 Vampire Factoids]
*Vampires are considered as just a myth but they are real. The reason for this is because vampires have learned to hide themselves from humans and go undetected as they hunt down victims.

*Vampires do not burst into flames in sunlight. They just avoid it out of discomfort or dislike.

*Crosses don’t have an effect on vampires. Blessed silver bullets or other weapons have deadly effects on vampires. However, this is effective against weaker, fledgling level vampires. They have no lasting effects against the stronger ancient vampires.

*The only known ancient vampire is Dracula. However, there is potential for other older vampires but not quite as old as Dracula himself.

*Vampire blood can have regenerative effects on life healthy humans, the extent of which depends on the severity of the wounds as well as the energy level of the vampire. Life healthy means that the human is not close to death and could easily recover from non-lethal wounds.

*Non-virgin/same sex humans do not become ghouls when bitten by a vampire and virgin humans do not transform into a vampire when bitten. To become a vampire, the human must be near death and then be given vampire blood by either drinking it or having the blood dripped over a freshly bleeding wound, usually a fresh bite from the vampire. Otherwise, a vampire bite is just another bite and their blood has no transforming effects to life healthy humans.

*Some humans can have resistance to a vampire’s hypnotic powers to some degree but not complete immunity. The stronger the vampire the more powerful the hypnotic power is and those with resistance can only resist hypnosis up to a point before it fully takes effect. Very rarely is someone born with the ability of complete immunity to a vampires powers no matter their strength. Most people, if not all, who are vampire resistant do not know they are.

[h3 Rules]
*Don’t ditch.
*Use proper grammar. Mistakes here and there are understandable as we all make some but try not to let it happen every line.
*Please make dialogue easily noticeable from normal text. I have bad eyes and would like to be able to easily tell without having to look twice.
*Please take your time with posting. I’d like to see vibrant posts. I’d like to see one post minimum per day and preferably no more than three per day.
*Romance is possibly a part of this story but it won’t come into play till way later. This means no instant romance. Adult(sexual) scenes are to either be taken off site or time-skipped.
*Real images preferred. However, I will accept realistic painting if of good enough quality. Keep in mind this is a modern setting. Also, try to keep images unique, something that isn't commonly seen.
*Make your character unique. That means no Mary-Sue’s. She is going to have flaws like every other human being.
*ES rules apply.

[h3 Beware of the following]
*Mild to moderate cursing
*Blood, gore, death and violence
*Moments of mature romance
*Temporary insanity and other sudden personality/emotional shifts
*Sudden bursts of rage

[h3 Character Skeleton]
This is not a first come first serve. I’d like to be able to see how well characters are put together and how well you comply with the image rule. Also note that I want to let the full extent of your characters life and personality come out as the story moves forward. Her flaws and fears will be exposed along the trip as well. I will do the same.

Please note that your characters job and side hobby has already been chosen. However, I might allow a minor hobby if it works well with the story.

[b PuppetMaster -]
[b Image -]
[b Name -]
[b Age -]
[b Place of Origin] -
[b Personality(basic) -]
[b Bio -]

[+red [b If you have read everything and would like to apply, send me a PM with any questions you may have about anything stated above. If you still want to join, send me a completed skeleton and I will review it. The most I can do is say ‘no’. Remember, this is [u NOT] a first come first serve.]]


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Roleplay Responses

[font “Arial” Adrea searched the darker corners of the room. Her eyes straining to see even the smallest of differences to the place from last night. Adam, meanwhile, had gone back to snapping pictures after his little show of making the sign of the cross.]

[font “Arial” She had just moved her gaze from one particularly dark corner when two little pinpoints of red appeared. For a moment, just a single moment, she thought it was from a hidden camera she had missed during the night, but then the pinpoints of light winked out and back on. This sudden disappearance and reappearance caused her to take half a step back. A tingle of fear wormed its way into her heart, making the internal organ beat just a bit faster than normal.]

[font “Arial” [#16821c “Ne craint pas l'obscurité…”] Adrea mumbled to herself. She did not copy Adam’s early motions, but her left hand lifted to her chest to grab onto something hanging around her neck. The familiar feeling of her grandfather’s Talisman acted as a grounding agent. The necklace, with its strange inscription to ward off evil, had an instant effect on slowing the beat of her heart back down to its normal pace.]

[font “Arial” Adam looked away from the lens of his camera at Adrea’s mumbled words. [+red “What was that?”]]

[font “Arial” The woman took a step back before turning her back on that corner of the room. [#16821c “It was nothing. Just a bit of my mother’s language.”]]

[font “Arial” [+red “Ah!”] He nodded as if he understood perfectly and went back to his job of documenting the layout of everything in the two rooms down in the bowels of the disturbing castle. [+red “I’m sure whatever you said was quite meaningful then.”]]

[font “Arial” [#16821c “More like a walk down memory lane to a scared little girl being told that monsters do not exist, and they most certainly did not live in her closet.”] Adrea kept her voice low while she ran a thumb over the inscription of the talisman. Never before had she needed to feel its protective energy as she did in that moment.]

[center || ||]
[font “Arial” Adam and Adrea spent a few hours down there before finally calling it good. They used the same rope that she had the night before to haul themselves back to the brightness of the above world. A group of officers was waiting at the top for them, and the moment Adrea was safely in the upper room of the castle, she was forced against the wall. Never before had she seen so many people so angry. A lot of words were being said in a very quick manner that left her confused and simply swept up in the emotions of being placed under arrest. It wasn’t until she was sitting in a hard chair in a gray room with two burly looking officers that she was finally able to piece her mind back together enough to pay attention.]

[font “Arial” [i “Who sent you?”] The first officer, a man with a receding hairline and bushy mustache leaned over the metal table to stare directly at her with a certain intensity in his eyes.]

[font “Arial” Adrea looked at Bushy Mustache before glancing at his partner leaning against the wall with thick arms folded over a thick chest. [#16821c “I don’t understand.”] Her attention flickered between the two with confusion. [#16821c “What do you mean?”]]

[font “Arial” [u “We know that you are not officer Karen Cornea,”] the second officer spoke from his spot against the wall. [u “You have to understand...”]

[font “Arial” He paused as if waiting for something. [#16821c “Adrea Marsili,”] she supplied him with what she knew he wanted. She wasn’t dumb, just confused.]

[font “Arial” [u “Ms. Marsili, then.”] He pushed away from the wall and came up to the first officer, who was still leaning intimidatingly over the table and patted the other male on the back. He took the seat across from her and waited for his older partner to sit as well. [u “You can call me Officer Petrescu,”] again he patted the other male on the back. [u “And this is Catargiu.”]]

[font “Arial” Adrea nodded. The urge to reach for her talisman rose up, but her hands were cuffed together and they couldn’t lift but a few inches off of the table. [#16821c “Okay. So what’s the catch?”]]

[font “Arial” Petrescu laughed at her words. [u “I knew you were a smart one. The boys owe me a drink.”] Even Catargiu’s mouth twitched. [u “Well, Marsili, since you’ve been pretty complacent so far, I’ll be forward with you. Officer Cornea suffered a severely broken nose early this morning delivered by you.”]]

[font “Arial” [#16821c “How do you know that?”] She asked, her confusion was clearing up the longer they spoke, but it was still there.]

[font “Arial” Catargiu actually did smile now. It wasn’t a friendly smile, but it wasn’t one that caused her to panic. [i “Dash camera. After locating the car and finding one of our fellow agents knocked out with a rather impressively swollen nose, we decided it would be a good idea to view the footage.”]]

[font “Arial” [u “It was an impressive punch, but still. You struck an officer and then impersonated her. Those actions, I hope you understand, could be considered an act of war. We just want to know who sent you and why? Was there something you were looking for in that castle?”]]

[font “Arial” Adrea switched between looking at the two, understanding clearing its way through her brain. She had to fight the twitch of her lips as it attempted to work itself into a smile. [#16821c “Boy are you guys going to feel dumb after you hear this one.”]]

[center ||]
[font “Arial” The room was mostly quiet as Adrea took to packing her clothes into her bag. After explaining everything she could to the officers, Petrescu and Catargiu, they had all laughed and joked about the incident. Of course, all of that stopped when Adam Cornea opened the interrogation door and said that she was to be released immediately. Now she was here, in her little hotel room packing her things because she was told to leave on the next plane bound for the UK.]

[font “Arial” She gave a final shove on the lid of her suitcase and closed the clasps. With a heavy sigh, she sat on the edge of the bed and looked about the room she had claimed as home for little more than a couple of days. Like every hotel room she left, a small twinge of sadness took root in her chest. For years she just moved from one room to another, never quite settling in because of her job. This time would be no different. It was just another room in another spot around the world.]

[font “Arial” Adrea gave one last look before standing up. She had to go soon. There was a long ride on a bus she had to take before she could make her flight, and if she was to make it on time, she needed to leave within an hour. An hour to say goodbye.]
  Adrea Marsili / Falling_Leaf / 2y 28d 14h 41m 13s
[size12 The conversation at the entrance of the cavern seemed to fascinate him. It seemed they had eyes for figuring out mysteries. The way people did things today was completely different from the days Vlad came from. If someone was accused of a crime, it was usually immediate punishment. Vlad was often the one to punish them and it wasn’t always pretty. In fact, it was very, very gruesome if not downright cruel.]

[size12 The threesome spoke of various things. Footprints, the rope, why the door was even there in the first place. They spoke as if they knew what they were talking about and yet, they had no clue. Well, at least the two men were blind. The girl had more knowledge about the place than anyone there. After all, it was her that unlocked the door and broke the seal. It was her that returned the monster his power. It was her.]

[size12 The conversation ended and one of the men left to do things elsewhere. It seemed the girl and the remaining man was going to head down into the grimy depths to investigate further. And down they went.]

[center ~~~]

[size12 Vlad had waited till the pair reached the bottom. Moving too soon would expose him and he wasn’t ready to reveal himself to the girl just yet. He wanted to get her on her own in a place where no one could see before approaching her. He wanted her to be the start of rebuilding his empire.]

[size12 Once it was safe to move, Vlad moved into the tunnel quickly and silently. He stayed just far enough where the shadows were thick and close enough to not have use his power to see or hear. He shrouded himself with shadows along one wall, listening and watching intently.]

[size12 The conversation seemed to start off when the male pointed out he knew the girl was trying to be someone else. It seemed he knew from the start the girl was not who she was trying to play. The man, although polite, was even daring to expose her.]

[size12 It was definitely worth following them down. Vlad was finally able to learn the name of the one who freed him. Adrea. A beautiful name. It was interesting to know how she got to Romania. It was a bit odd that she was down here in the dark bowels of a castle instead of sightseeing in the sunlight. It seemed Adrea just couldn’t leave her job alone for too long. After all, a place like this had to be discovered eventually.]

[size12 Now that Vlad was free, he was able to see the very seal that kept him contained for so many years. He was impressed. The man asked for the light to be on a particular spot. Indeed there was something etched into the stone. It was placed to be hidden yet in the open. The girl explained about the tracks and said to call off the dogs. She then spoke of the seal and the latin words that were placed as the key to unlock it. She explained it to the man as if it was a common thing. Just another hole in the wall. But the man seemed skeptical, asking if it was just a joke. She told him otherwise.]

[size12 When the man learned that the girl was not kidding, he reacted as if Adrea just spoke of the devil. Maybe he knew the history of the castle and of the king that ruled it. He was clearly afraid and that made Vlad smile. It was more a snarl, just a curl of his lips, than it was a smile. A fang peeked out from between those pale lips. This was entertaining.]

[size12 Vlad was considering leaving but something told him to stay. He watched the pair, eyes intent on the girl. Adrea turned slowly, looking back into the tunnel as if she was expecting to see something there but saw nothing but the darkness. There was something in her eyes that said she felt something was off. The something wasn’t right. She was right to feel that way. There was a monster lurking in the shadows. Vlad had to choke down a laugh, closing his eyes to calm himself down. He was one excited monster.]

[size12 Vlad decided to let her have the tiniest of peeks that someone was indeed down there with them. He was quite far from the pair, too far for anyone to see him even without him shrouding himself in a cloak of shadows. Humans just didn’t have that kind of eyesight. He let the shadows thin but not not disappear. He opened his eyes, his red eyes giving off a tiny crimson glow. His eyes appeared more like a couple laser pointer dots in the darkness but as he blinked, it showed they were something more. He wanted only Adrea to see. The other man seemed too afraid to really notice but he knew she would. She found this place with the tiniest of clues thanks to the nature of her job.]

[size12 It was all just a matter of time before she noticed and revealed the monster.]
  Vlad / -Serenity- / 2y 305d 15h 21m 4s
[font “Arial” Adrea, Adam, and the investigator stood just outside of the tunnel that had been opened last night. [+red “None of the castle’s staff knows where this leads to or why it appeared so suddenly.”]]

[font “Arial” [+blue “Blue prints?”]]

[font “Arial” [+red “Nothing in the early floor plans or the renovations.”]]

[font “Arial” [+blue “Anyone go inside?”]]

[font “Arial” The investigator shook his head, but Adrea was nodding. [#16821c “There’s footprints going both down and up. Also, there’s a rope coming from down inside.”] She hesitated in moving closer to the tunnel, feeling as if she shouldn’t be back here so soon. She could also feel Adam watching her in that disturbing way he had from the very start. Trying to ignore both feelings at once, she knelt down to stare at the footprints as if she was really curious over who had made them.]

[font “Arial” [+red “So someone from last nights party, possibly the victim, made a little stop in the dark creepy basement.”]]

[font “Arial” [+blue “Unlikely,”] Adam joined Adrea on the floor. [+blue “The vic was wearing shoes and had size six feet. Whoever went down there was barefoot and looks to be about a size nine.”] They shared a look between one another. [+blue “There might be a possible second body around these grounds. Get everyone back into their cars and call the cadaver dogs. There might not be anything to find, but better to be safe than sorry.”]]

[font “Arial” [+red “What about you and Karen?”]]

[font “Arial” [+blue “We’re going to take a trip down the spooky tunnel. Probably no cell service, so have fun up here.”] Adam stood up and held out a hand for Adrea to take hold of. [+blue “Ready to get dirty?”]]

[font “Arial” [#16821c “I guess so,”] she grabbed hold of the offered hand. [#16821c “Hope you’ve got your big boy pants on.”]]

[center ||]
[font "Arial" Adrea kept an eye on Adam as he searched the cavern she had discovered the night before. Unlike then, she refused the itch to touch everything, even with the latex gloves the crime investigator had given to her. Adam seemed to have no problems with it though. Of course he was careful to not disturb anything that could be important.]

[font "Arial" [+red “So,”] Adam’s voice brought Adrea’s full attention towards him as he snapped a picture of the stone slab in the first chamber. [+red “Who are you, really?”] He snapped another picture from a different angle. [+red “Don’t bother lying to me. You may look like Karen, but you aren’t my sister. So if you don’t wish for me to blow your cover…”] His words trailed off, leaving her to use her imagination.]

[font "Arial" Adrea held up the flashlight to give Adam better lighting for his pictures. There was no point in doing anything but helping him out at this point while indulging him with a bit of a story. He was being nice enough to give her a chance to avoid trouble after all.]

[font "Arial" [#16821c “Adrea Marsili,”] she admitted.]

[font "Arial" [+red “French,”] He moved away from the stone slab, Adrea following him so that he could see where he was going. She was slightly confused by how he could know that. [+red “You have some of the characteristics in your face.”] He provided as he started taking pictures of the walls.]

[font "Arial" [#16821c “Obernai, France.”] He grunted in response, waiting for her to keep talking. [#16821c “I’m an archeologist that had been stationed in Wales. Happened to see a certain commercial and decided to take a vacation. With a bit of local help, I got Into the party last night.”]]

[font "Arial" Adam looked away from what he was taking an image of. His eyebrow lifted up slightly. She couldn’t be sure but she thought she saw a hint of amusement behind his look. [+red “Hell of a choice for a vacation spot. Please shine the light a bit more to the left. I see some kind of carving in the stone and I’ll need to get a translator for it.”]]

[font "Arial" Adrea did as he requested. [#16821c “Yeah, just so you know, you can call off the search for a second body. Those tracks coming in and out were mine.”] He glanced back at her, this one shorter than before. [#16821c “Also, no need for a linguist to check it out. It’s Latin. The words translate to ‘A drop of blood to break the seal. Now arise, the king of the world.’That’s how the second chamber was opened.”] She shrugged as if it didn’t matter.]

[font "Arial" [+red “You’ve got to be kidding me.”]]

[font "Arial" [#16821c “Afraid not. It isn’t like I knew the whole wall was just going to move and reveal a whole other part of the castle.”]]

[font "Arial" Adam surprised her by tapping first his forehead, his chest, and in turn, both sides of his chest. It was familiar to her. An image of her mother bowing her head to ask for forgiveness from a higher being crept into her head. She was about to question his motive for making the sign of the cross when a chill crawled over her spine.]

[font "Arial" Slowly, she turned to look over her shoulder. Her skin felt like it was suddenly charged full of electricity and she half expected something to jump out at them, but when she turned around fully, there was nothing to see. Yet, she now felt the prickle of something watching her with an intent that she felt couldn’t be good. One word crept into her mind at that time. It was a word she used often as a kid and her mother would tell her never existed. Now more than ever, that word clung to her, and she knew there was no other word to fit what she was feeling.]

[font "Arial" There was something evil down there with them.]
  Adrea Marsili / Falling_Leaf / 2y 308d 17h 17m 55s
[size12 It was worth being out while the sun was so high in the sky. However, the humans were quite a nuisance. There was only one the man was interested in. The others were just walking blood bags. From the shadows he watched the humans like a lion watching a herd of zebra or antelope. However, everyone was equal game when the lion looks for the weakest link. It made the man so much deadlier. But no one knew that.]

[size12 There was movement nearby and the man disappeared before anyone could spot him. He traveled to another part of the castle where he could see out a window. He did make sure no one was around before he manifested himself from the shadows. He peered out the window, careful to keep the shadows around him to conceal his presence. There were plenty of people around down below that could have easily spotted him and he was cautious man. The man smirked as he watched the people move about. He seemed amused.]

[size12 From his position, he was able to see part of the driveway that lead up to the castle doors. He was also able to see part of the clearing where his kill was left. His expression changed to hold a bit of something that wasn’t quite anger. He was a little irritated that the body was so easily found but then again, if it wasn’t found, the woman that released him wouldn’t have come. With that thought, he was almost glad. He fixed his expression to be blank as he continued to watch below.]

[size12 Only moments passed when there was movement that attracted his attention. He saw a figure move near the edge of the clearing. All he saw was the hair at first but when it moved, he saw it was the girl. He smirked again upon seeing her. She was the only one he had eyes for. He didn’t care about her but still he wanted her. His kingdom was destroyed and now that he was revived, he would rebuild it. He would build it bigger, stronger so that no one would dare try to challenge him again.]

[size12 As he watched the movement within the clearing, he saw another person running through the trees. He watched and moments later, the group began to move out of the clearing, the girl going with. The man had a thought that they were heading for the castle. Perhaps they found the entrance to where his prison once was. It was likely they did but he didn’t care. He moved so he wasn’t leaning against the stone and turned away from the window to go elsewhere. He began to walk down the hallway. However, ‘walk’ wasn’t quite accurate. The man’s silent stride made him seem like he was gliding across the floor. He moved like a dancer, all grace and full of seduction even with the long robe on. In the past, despite being very obviously male, even the men would stop and stare. It was one of his weapons to attract his prey. The man smiled big enough to flash a dainty fang and then he was simply gone.]

[size12 When he reappeared, he hid himself near the room that he was released from, concealing himself in the shadows themselves. No one would know he was there. No one knew there was anyone watching their every move. It was a risk to take but he was a master of hiding. He was not called the Prince of Darkness for nothing, after all.]
  Vlad / -Serenity- / 2y 341d 10h 47m 10s
[font “Arial” Adrea drummed her fingers on the steering wheel. Looming high above the hood was Bran’s castle. She was second guessing her idea of impersonation. She wasn’t a criminal, had never been one, but doing what she had just done was enough to land her in prison. That, and for some reason the castle seemed even darker now than it had during her last two visits. It was still early noon even, but she could feel a darkness of sorts blackening the air and making it hard to breathe.]

[font “Arial [i Tap Tap~]]

[font “Arial” She jumped and broke her unwavering gaze from the front window. [b “Sorry ma’am, but you can’t park there.”] A young male with the word police written on the front of his jacket was peering in from her right, the same side of the car that she was currently sitting on. [b “If you don’t mind parking further up you can join the rest of the spectators, but we are currently waiting for…”]]

[font “Arial” His voice trailed off as Adrea flashed him the badge that she had taken. He tipped his hat towards her and apologized for his indiscretion. The officer lifted the handle on the door, popping it open for Adrea to get out. So far everything was going quite well for being a spur of the moment kind of thing. The door was held open for her to climb out and then closed by the rookie officer. [#16821c “What’s your name?”]]

[font ‘Arial” [b Liam,”] his voice held a defeated note behind the admittance of his name. [b “Please, follow me.”] He directed her with a wave of his hand. They both ducked under the crime scene tape and made their way towards a line of trees.]

[font “Arial” Whiskey colored eyes danced around in their sockets as the two humans went single file down a precarious trail meant for security guards to walk the castle grounds. [b “We’ll have to go off the trail from here.”] The young male spoke over his shoulder to Adrea. [b “Please watch your step, and prepare yourself ahead of time. It’s a mess.”] She wasn’t completely sure if he was talking about the outdoors being a mess or if he was trying to warn her about the sight of where the woman had been discovered.]

[font “Arial” Keeping balance out here was nothing compared to the decline that she had gone through not even twelve hours previous. It leveled out rather smoothly as they reached another set of crime scene tape that was lifted up for them by yet another officer. [b “This way ma’am,”] she was directed again by Liam’s hand waving her in a certain direction that led her towards a rather tall but thin, gangly looking guy with wire-rimmed glasses perched on the edge of his nose. As they approached him, the thin man lifted his head from staring intently at an area of dirt that had been clearly disturbed.]

[font “Arial” Adrea found herself in a sudden battle of gazes. Only after a good five minutes did their locked sights break apart. [+blue “You may go now, Liam. I can take care of it from here.”] Without another word, Liam was gone from her side, leaving her with the latest stranger in a long line of them. [+blue “The woman’s body was found just over there,”] he jerked his chin towards the largest group of people standing around. [+blue “I’ve already checked out that spot thoroughly before you were called.”] Again he locked gazes with her, this one being shorter than the first before he pointed at the dirt with a blue capped pen. [+blue “There seems to be two sets of footprints mixing together. One is a woman’s shoeprint, size six. The other. The other isn’t really that clear. It’s lighter than the woman’s print, so it’s harder to discern what or who could’ve made it. By all appearances, it looks to be human and male, but,”]]

[font “Arial” [#16821c “But what kind of human can tear out a person’s throat and make it look like an animal, right?”] Adrea finished while kneeling down next to the stranger.]

[font “Arial” [+blue “Precisely. Any ideas?”] He asked, looking directly at her face as if he could find the answers there instead of in the prints pressed into the mud.]

[font “Arial” Adrea shook her head slightly. [#16821c “Not any that would describe the lighter prints of a person that should clearly be heavier, and certainly not over a woman having her throat torn out and yet not a drop of blood anywhere. It’s almost like,”] this time she was cut off.]

[font “Arial” [+blue “As if her veins had been completely drained.”] He removed the baseball cap from off his head and scratched at his exposed skin. [+blue “I’ve never seen anything like this.”]]

[font “Arial” Adrea thought for a moment. [#16821c “I have, but only in one place. The bodies, though, were over thousands of years old and more than a thousand miles from here.”]]

[font “Arial” Narrowed eyes looked over at her. [+blue “You’re talking about the ancient Egyptian pharaohs.”] He looked back down at the tracks and scratched his head a bit more before placing the hat back down on his head. [+blue “So you’re saying we might have a possible murderer out here with a sick M.O. of draining his victims of their blood and tearing out their throat? Effective, but it should warrant even more of a struggle than what we see here. No person in their right mind would sit still long enough for someone to drain their blood away completely.] He shook his head slightly. [+blue “ It’s just too clean of a scene.”]]

[font “Arial” Adrea couldn’t disagree with what he was saying. It was just way too clean here. Aside from the body no longer down here and the disturbance of the leaves right where they were at, there was nothing. It was like a ghost has come swooping in and left again. She opened her mouth to say something when the sound of someone sliding down the hill towards them caused both her and everyone else in that area to look up.]

[font “Arial” [+red “Adam, we need you up in the castle. There’s something you have to see, and we have reason to believe that it might be connected to the victim’s death.”] It was the same guy that had been interviewed on the tv earlier that day. His cheeks were red from running the whole way down here, his breathing unstable from the slide he had taken to reach them. [+red “Oh! Mrs. Karen! I didn’t realize you had already shown up. You’ll need to come as well.”] He turned and started back up the hill, sending more leaves skittering down the hill.]

[font “Arial” [+blue “Well, you heard the man. Let’s go up to the castle. Karen”] The man beside Adrea was staring intently at her, gauging her reaction. It seemed almost as if he had tacked on the name at the end, and she wondered if maybe he knew something that he wasn’t saying.]

[font “Arial” [#16821c “Lead the way, Adam.”] She knew she had said his name a bit too harshly, but he seemed not to mind as he turned away from her and started up after the investigator that had come down here to get them. By the way this was all going, she had a feeling she knew exactly what was going to happen next, and she felt a sudden plummet of something heavy in her stomach. She would have to act just as surprised as everyone else if what she feared was true.]
  Adrea Marsili / Falling_Leaf / 3y 237d 8h 24m 57s
[size12 The night slipped by. The party eventually died down and everyone left. Well, everyone except the cleaning crew. They had to stay behind to make sure the castle was left spotless and that no damage was done to the old stone and wood. From the shadows, the newly released master of the castle watched as the humans cleaned and examined everything down to the tiniest speck of dust. Monsters, like wild animals, want nothing to do with humans. However, on rare occasions, both creatures can have a reason to like humans.]

[size12 The castle became vacant and eerily quiet once the cleaning and look over was done. The man was finally able to wander about without anyone interfering. It had been over a century since he had last seen his castle. Not much had changed. Most of the stuff had been repaired and some replaced. Impressively enough, the replaced items were mirror images of the original. They just looked fresh and not as aged.]

[size12 Room to room the man wandered. He wore nothing but a simple robe. Through the windows the moonlight peeked, making his pale skin appear like silver, the scars visible decorated his skin with pale white marks, and made his dark hair look even darker. In each room, he would let his fingers gently slide over a piece of furniture or two, often leaving a trail where his fingertips brushed away thick layers of dust. He was quite careful, not wanting to scratch the surface with a claw. A small smile decorated his pale face as his dead heart fluttered with happiness. He was happy about being out of that cramped, musty coffin. He chuckled at the thought that it was supposed to keep him imprisoned for all of eternity. Now that he was free, there wasn’t going to be anyone strong enough to put him back and he knew it. As he walked, his long, black hair flowed around his head and shoulders in soft waves, the curls bouncing a bit with each step he took. One would probably think that a person's hair would become fragile and wiry after being undead for so long but in reality, it doesn’t change from the day someone becomes undead. What they looked like upon turning is how they look forever. What does change is skin tone and color, diet and possibly personality. But most undead beings end up going insane at some point in their long lives.]

[size12 Only a few hours had passed when the sun began to break over the horizon. The night was over far too quickly. The man had barely begun to live again but his hatred of the sun was enough to almost make him want back into the coffin. Almost being the key word. He made his way back into his room, which was located in the darkest part of the castle, and reluctantly curled up in his bed, pulling the covers over his head even though there was not a spark of light in the room. It was a tad bit dusty but he didn’t care. Anything to get away from the damn sun. He sighed and slipped into sleep. But did monsters really sleep?]


[size12 Noise. There was so much noise. He wanted to shut them all up but he dared not to move or make himself known. Down at the entrance of the castle was a mass of people. From police to civilians, they scurried about like ants making more noise than a flock of geese. It seems that someone had found the bloodless body of his first victim. Not that it mattered to him. Even if they tracked it to him, they couldn’t do much about it. He was far too powerful for a mere human to face.]

[size12 Reporters tried to get answers from the investigators and did so by leaning over the ‘Do Not Cross’ police tape as far as they humanly could without falling over. They shouted questions at anyone that passed by, microphones and recorders in every face. Either no answers were given or they were simply ignored. And yet, they kept asking. Some humans were too persistent for their own good.]

[size12 The man, although asleep, still knew what was going on. He could see and hear everything that went on. People came and went from the spot in the woods where he left the carcass of his meal behind. It was a murder scene like no other. How often did anyone see a completely bloodless body? Not very often, apparently. Even the investigators were confused. No human could have done it. Not without some form of help or a pump. But there were no signs of mechanical drainage. There was talk that it must have been the work of a wild animal. But there was no questions as to what kind of animal. What creature could drain a body entirely of blood and not take chunks of flesh along with it? It was a mystery that probably will never be solved.]

[size12 Just when he thought there were enough humans around, a new person arrived. However, after stopping and seeing the bloodless body, the person decided to just forgo the visit and began to back the car down and out. The man got a better look at who was in the car and was surprised to see it was the woman from last night. The one who released the monster from its cage. Another car crept up behind the girl causing her to slam on the breaks. Reluctant to go further, the person that just pulled up began honking to get the first to move. It was impasse, meaning there is only one way to go. The first car was put into park and the woman got out. The woman in the other car got out as well and began to yell at the other to move. To his surprise, the one who released him moved a couple quick steps and gave the other woman one heck of a right hook and knocked the other woman out cold with just the one swing. He could tell the girl felt guilt but she seemed to have a reluctant desire to return to the castle despite the event. He watched as the woman struggled to get the unconscious woman back into her car before running back to her own. But not without a plan. The man spotted a badge clipped to the girl’s shirt that wasn’t there before. It seemed she really wanted back in. She didn’t move for a couple moments but was soon making her way up to the castle.]

[size12 Inside the castle the man stirred from his sleep. He sat up, the sheets sliding down and pooling into his lap. He began to laugh feeling the girls presence. The man ran a hand through his hair, laughter still decorating his face. He couldn’t believe how foolish the woman was for returning. He was amused at the idea. But then again, she still had no idea that she had released humanity’s worst enemy. He laid back on the bed, looking up at the canopy that was draped so delicately on the posts of the bed. Laughter lingered on the man’s face, his eyes shimmering crimson with excitement. Barely half the day had passed. The sun was at it’s peak in the sky but he didn’t care. This one girl was worth it. He was truly fascinated with her.] [b “Be careful, fatita. ”] [size12 He mumbles as he swings his robe on and ties it closed. He fixes his hair and walks out of the room.]

[size12 It was so noisy. It was the middle of the day to boot. But the man seemed not to be too bothered by it. He was focused on one thing and one thing only. He stayed within the shadows wherever he moved. Not a single person moving about knew he was even there. He seemed to have been waiting for the girl to appear. Her curiosity was going to be her downfall. It would be so easy to lead such a person astray. Oh, the fun to be had.]

[i [size12 fatita = little girl]]
  Vlad / -Serenity- / 3y 307d 8h 20m 8s
[font “Arial” There are some things in life that couldn’t be explained. This, right here, was one of those things. Even Adrea was finding that she had to hold onto her arms as a chill ran up her spine. She had to look around to be sure that she truly was alone.]

[font “Arial” Everything was the same as before. Everything aside from the sarcophagus that was now in ruins, looking as if someone had carelessly set off a stick of dynamite]
[font “Arial” From the inside, though?]

[font “Arial” Her eyebrows drew together. Curiosity at this little detail chasing the chill she had just experienced from her bones. Even her possibly broken toe was almost forgotten as she picked her way through the stones to get a better look at everything. Everything inside was old and withered, the impression of a body was deeply embedded in the rotting fabrics. There was nobody though. Which meant someone or something had to have been inside, and that [i thing] was no longer there.]

[font “Arial” All of this was now giving her the impression that she wasn’t as alone as she thought. The hairs on the back of her neck rising high. Her mind was starting to work over time. If she wasn’t alone, then that meant two things. One: The thing, whatever it might be, could be friendly and hadn’t been trying to scare her. A most pleasing thought in such a creepy dungeon.]

[font “Arial” And then there was option two…]

[font “Arial” Option two was as far off from option one as could possibly be, and this sent the smallest thrill of fear into her chest. Now that was a truly unfamiliar feeling for her. She almost laughed at the increase to the beating of her heart. Almost. Not quite though. She was still sane enough to know that fear meant the possibility of panicking, and that was something she didn’t need. Not now. Not in this place far below the surface.]

[font “Arial” [i It’s time to leave now.] She thought, backing away from the crumbled stones. Every once in a while she turned her head to look at the space behind her. The last thing she wanted was to be attacked from behind, and yet she couldn’t very well turn her back to the empty stone.]

[font “Arial” For the first time she noticed how the light danced against the stone walls, making everything seem so alive. Her muscles were strung tight. A twitch just under the skin betrayed this every once in a while. Only when she felt the cooler, moist air of the first chamber did she expose the bare skin of her back to the secondary room with the coffin. At that moment, she saw it.]

[font “Arial” [i A rope!]]
[font “Arial” Someone had tossed the end of a rope down for her, and without thought as to who could’ve known that she was there, she made a sliding scramble upwards to the real world. To what she felt was safety.]

[center || ||]
[font “Arial” [#2843ac “The body of a young woman has been discovered early this morning outside of the iconic Bran’s Castle. It’s not clear how she died or who she is…]]

[font “Arial” Adrea had paused in her attempt to dry her hair. The towel sat on her shoulders with one hand holding it against the side of her head as she stared open mouthed at the tv screen inside her room. Not exactly the clearest picture in the world, she could still make out the stretcher being pushed into the back of an emergency vehicle behind the local black haired reporter.]

[font “Arial” [#2843ac “The one question that is on everyone’s mind now,”] an older man was near the black haired woman. His face and body said he wanted to be in the background working and not dealing with the insistence of such an enthusiastic reporter. [#2843ac “Is this just the beginning of a possible serial killer on the loose?”]]

[font “Arial” She held out the microphone for the officer to respond. [#9e28ac “There is any number of possibilities for what happened here last night. We will not assume anything until further investigation has taken place, but in all my years as part of the force, I personally feel as if this is nothing more than the work of a wild animal.”]]

[font “Arial” [#2843ac “Sources say that the victim was drained of all her blood. Is this true?”]]

[font “Arial” He was silent at first. The wheels in his head cranking as he thought about his response. [#9e28ac “No comment.”] He said, finally choosing the easiest answer available before walking towards the police’s ‘Do Not Cross’ line.]

[font “Arial” The reporter was quick to follow after, shouting questions at his back just to receive the same answer over and over again. Adrea, having seen enough to actually scare her, picked up the remote from off the foot of the bed. She aimed it at the tv and hit the power button, catching just a glimpse of the dead woman’s face seconds before the screen went black. At this time, more than any other in her life, she felt the hairs rising up the back of her neck like they had last night when she found the sarcophagus completely destroyed and empty.]

[font “Arial” Adrea folded her arms over her body as a shiver ran through her whole body. A shiver that was not caused by being cold, even though her hair had slipped free of the towel and was know lying in ringlets over her shoulders and down her back. She couldn’t help feeling that this was slipping into more of a nightmare zone than real life. Not even her belief in the supernatural had prepared her for the possibility that she would walk right into the middle of something beyond understanding.]

[font “Arial” Another shiver.]
[font “Arial” [#ffffff ///] Her wallet was in hand, and before she could stop herself, she was heading out of the motel room in search of a rental car shop.]

[center ||]
[font “Arial” Adrea drummed the steering wheel of the rental car with her fingertips. Through the windshield she could see that the front gate and lawn of Bran’s castle were just crawling with reporters, people who worked there and most likely they were the ones to find the dead woman, as well as men in uniforms of all kinds. She chewed on the inside of her lip as she watched them scurry about, pulling things from the trunks of their own vehicles and carrying them down into the trees where the body had been found.]

[font “Arial” She put the car in reverse and looked over her shoulder as it started to roll down hill.]

[font “Arial” Not even five feet later she had to slam on her brakes. Someone else had been coming up the hill at the same time that she had been going down. They were at an impasse, because Adrea was refusing to go upwards even with the honking horn. She put it in park, hoping the car would stay put when she got out. The driver of the other car was out of their car as well. A woman, around the same age as Adrea, and an idea that could get her into major trouble took root in her quick working mind.]

[font “Arial” [#86a030 “Hey! Lady! I don’t know who you are, but I need you to move your car this instant.”] There was a badge on her right upper chest. Adrea second guessed her idea and then firmed her mind to the plan that she had thought up.]

[font “Arial” They came towards each other. Adrea could now see that the badge was labeled with five letters, SIIAS, all in capital. No pictures of the woman’s face accompanied the letters and Adrea gave herself a mental pat on the back.]

[font “Arial” Adrea took two quick steps like her older, estranged brother had taught her, and she let fly with a hard right hook to the woman’s jaw. She cold cocked the lady and had to react quickly to keep the woman from hitting the pavement. Guilt ran through her system at what she had just done, and she half carried half drug the body back to the car that was behind hers.]

[font “Arial” After a few intense moments of fighting to get the surprisingly heavy woman into the car, Adrea unclipped the badge from the woman’s chest and clipped it to her own. She made sure the woman was laying down and was out of sight before shutting the door of the car as softly as she could. She ran back to her own car and prayed to whatever god that would take the time to listen, that the woman would remain asleep for the duration of Adrea’s impersonation, and she started her short lived life as an officer from some special forces branch of Romania.]
  Adrea Marsili / Falling_Leaf / 4y 65d 13h 41m 22s
[size12 That was it. The beast couldn’t wait anymore. He was becoming so very irate having to look at the lid of his prison. He growled in irritation as the one who released him would not leave. He did not want to make her his first meal in well over a century.]

[size12 It wasn’t until the girl walked off and began looking around as if trying to find a way out. He wished the girl would remove herself from the room because of his intense hunger and if he laid his eyes upon her, without a doubt he would attack and sink each fang he had into her flesh and make her into his personal chew toy. He did not want that. Not yet. Not for a while. So he waited.]

[size12 He had grown so very tired of waiting. He was irritated on top of being hungry. His bat had vanished completely and was now simply listening. He listened, waiting for the right sounds to tell him she had left. When he heard the girl cursing up a storm in the first tunnel, he knew she had made her exit and he was free to bust his way out of the heavy stone.]

[size12 The beast smirked and began to move. Now that he had full movement in his body again, he was free to do as he wished.] [b [i ‘Freedom at last.’]] [size12 He thought to himself as he prepared to bust the stone apart. He could have just flowed out of it but what fun was that? He didn’t care if the girl knew of his presence. In fact, he wanted her to know both of him and not. He managed to wiggle around trying to get enough room but found it impossible to get off his back. So he decided to send just his elbow through the bottom of the stone using his ability to flow through solid objects. He then pushed his fist forward and with the force of a thousand men, breaks through the lid, making a chunk dislodge with a loud crack and fall to the ground. The sound of that one piece coming loose echoed off the stone walls, loud and thunderous. All that could be seen of the beast was part of an arm. It disappeared back into the coffin and one more hit, now to the sides, caused the rest of the coffin to shatter into large chunks, making dust fly in a thick cloud, the sound even more thunderous than the first. Like a zombie rising from the dead, a male figure sat up from inside the coffin. The dust was far to thick to see through so his figure was hidden. He smirked and let out a soft chuckle that wanted to turn into joyous laugh but didn’t. His body had not a scrap of clothing on due it having fallen to dust with all the wiggling he did while still trapped. His skin was so pale, it appeared almost white due to the lack of blood. Without waiting for the dust to clear, he turned into a shadowy mass, leaving behind the ruined coffin and nothing more than dust. He was finally free. Free to roam. Free to kill. Free to do anything he pleased. He knew the woman had heard his escape but he didn’t care. He didn’t stay long enough to see if the girl had clammed up with fear.]

[size12 The beast, now free from his prison, began to search. From the shadows and from the walls themselves, he searched for his first victim in many, many years. He didn’t want to be found out too soon so instead of picking from the crowd, he searched for the perfect stray. There were guards in a few of the main halls near the area where the party was being held. But they were too close to the rest so they were a no go. There was a small band of what appeared to be part of the cleaning crew but that was a no go as well. After many frustrating minutes of searching, the hidden beast had finally found someone. A petite young woman with dark gold hair, no older than 30, appeared like she didn’t want to be there. It seemed she had come alone or she was ditched by her date. Either way, she was the one to watch. He watched from above, waiting to see what she will do. It was when she decided to go outside that he finally had his target trapped. The woman wandered out into the woods a small bit and the man vanished after her. She stopped just far enough away for no one to notice anything happening.]

[size12 The man, still in shadow form, appeared behind her. He materialized in silence. His arms appeared first and quickly grabbed her face to cover her mouth and her eyes. She went to scream but failed due to the inability to open her jaws. She was blind as well. She tried to get away but his ungodly strength held her in place without an ounce of effort. The man fully materialized behind her. He was completely nude due to his clothes crumbling off. The girl began to struggle again, making him move his hand from her eyes to grab around her waist to not risk breaking her neck before he could tear into it. His strength was immeasurable, his grip unbreakable. She continued to struggle as he tightened his grip around her, squeezing some of her air out to make her stop thrashing. She eventually gave up and went limp, tears falling from her fear filled eyes. It was as if she was giving up knowing she was not going to get away.] [b “So you know your fate. Good girl. It will make devouring you so much less painful.”] [size12 The male spoke, his voice low and filled with a soft Romanian accent. The girl then began to struggle again hearing his words. She knew death was her fate but she couldn’t help but to try and break free. She was only human, after all and it was human instinct to find a way to survive. He began to moved backwards, dragging the struggling woman with him effortlessly. He drug the woman farther into the woods, where no one would think to look. He let the girl loose but was quickly restrained once again by several shadowy hands.]

[+red “Let me go!”] [size12 The woman said, her voice cracking from a bundle of emotions, her eyes showed both anger as well as terror and even sadness. She glared daggers at the male as a last ditch effort to get him to let her go but the male didn’t so much as flinch.]

[b “I’m afraid I cannot do that. I have waited for over a century and a half to be released from my prison. You, my lovely doll, are going to have the honor to become my first meal in all that time.”] [size12 The last was spoken in a near whisper into the girls ear as he had moved forward and leaned in to the girl. He places a hand on her face, a surprisingly gentle touch. He chuckled as he stood upright once again and stepped back a little bit.]

[size12 The girl tried to scream again but was quickly silenced by another shadowy hand. She was then slowly raised upwards, her feet leaving the ground and her head forced to the side to expose a long line of neck. Tears were running down her face from fear and the knowledge that she will never get to see her friends and family again. The man crept closer, a smirk upon his face.] [b “Such beautiful skin. Almost a shame that it has to be wasted like this.”] [size12 He said as he moved forward, reaching a hand out to touch the delicate skin on the woman's neck. The woman cried and prayed to herself. He then opened his mouth, exposing his fangs. Before, all of his teeth were normal but now, it was like staring into the mouth of a shark and death was just seconds away.]

[size12 The girl closed her eyes but they were forced back when the male let out a hiss like growling sound and lunged forward. He sunk all of his teeth into her flesh and began devouring the warm red fluid that sustained her life. The only sounds were the gushing of her blood down his throat and him chewing and tearing at her flesh like a ravenous wolf after a very long time without food. It wasn’t long till the woman became unconscious from blood loss. Moments ticked by and she soon faded into death as her heart no longer had enough blood to sustain her life. The man was quick to drain her blood but was still savoring the sweet metallic liquid. When it was all over, not a drop of blood was left inside the corpse. The woman was left appearing like a mummy with a ring of large holes upon her neck and collarbone, major tears and chunks of flesh missing and broken bones. The blood that spilled onto the ground and his body was quickly absorbed so not a drop went to waste. The male’s color changed as the new blood coursed through his veins. No longer looking like a corpse, he looked more like someone that has rarely felt the sun on their skin.] [b “Much better. Now, to find the one who released me.”] [size12 Off in the distance he could hear the roar of an engine. It sounded like a big muscle car. He had a feeling who it was but didn’t exactly care. His body suddenly turned to bats and took off towards the castle once again.]

[size12 Meanwhile, back in the dungeon, the girl jumped a little at the loud crash of crumbling rock not once but twice. She looked around, trying to figure out if she had been discovered or if she was just hearing things. Scanning the room, she took in any detail that might have changed but nothing was different. No one has found her yet and nothing was falling apart in the tunnels. Maybe she was just hearing things. No. That was a very real sound. With that, she decided to make her way back into the coffin room. Maybe the answer to the noise was resting there. She limped her way down one wall of the lit tunnel back to where she had found the coffin. It took her a while but she made it back. However, the only thing she was greeted with was a cloud of dust. She coughed and gagged a little as the dust tickled her nose and throat. She pulled out of the room and waited till it was clearer to go back in. The dust finally settled enough after about a minute or so. With that, she limped her way in. But there she would be face to face with the now broken stone coffin. Large chunks decorated the floor, the cloth from inside in shreds along with what appeared to be fine cloth from clothing that had crumbled and withered with age. The room had become a mess and there was no explanation for it. Confused, the girl looked around. Unable to make much sense of the scene before her. The coffin was perfectly fine just moments ago and now it is in shambles. The sound before was an obvious sound of something breaking through the stone. It was clear there was no way anyone could easily get into the room. No one even knew of it’s existence. Something must have broken out. But that was impossible. Right?]

[size12 Returning to just outside the castle, the horde of bats went in through a window near the hall where the first hidden door was at, the one with the mirror trick.] [b [i ‘Perhaps I should release her.’]] [size12 He thought as he materialized back into human shape just in front of the door and peering down into the vast darkness. He thought to himself, debating weather or not to do anything. He then nodded, shrugged and agreed to do this just once. He began digging around the room in search of something. He was looking for a rope. He didn’t find any but he found his sword in a glass case. After breaking the glass and retrieved the sword, he wandered off to find rope. Luckily, the next room over had some supplies. One crate held enough rope to reach the length of the tunnel and still have enough to tie it to something. He managed to find the perfect place to tie the rope to and headed towards the door. He stared down the tunnel, a smirk on his face and the mass of rope in his hand. The moonlight that trickled in from the tiny window made his bare, pale skin almost shimmer and his long, curly hair seem even blacker than the night sky. Too bad no one there to see it. It was quite a marvelous sight. The man gripped the rope and tossed it with incredible force. It unraveled itself as it flew down the tunnel and soon stopped just before the flat portion of the cavern, snapping against the ground and the air as it hits it’s length limit. The man then smirked and wandered off.] [b “I wonder. How long will it be till she returns after tonight? Only time will tell, I suppose.”] [size12 The man let out a joyous laugh as he moved through the halls.]

[size12 The man made it up to a large bedroom, one where there was no windows and a huge Victorian style four post bed. Many pieces have been replaced with replicas made to look like the original. Mainly cloth pieces too battered and unsightly to the eye. One one hand, it was irritating but on the other, it was rather pleasant. New, clean bedding was always a wonderful thing. But the night was still so very young so rest was not an option. First a bath and then people watching before the dawn breaks over the horizon and the man would fall into slumber once again but this time, on his own terms.]
  Vlad / -Serenity- / 4y 181d 13h 28m 37s
[font “Arial” Call her a workaholic, call her crazy, call her anything in the world, and at this point she would be too happy to care. She shoved a stray lock of hair behind one well shaped ear. Judging by the cracks on the sarcophagus, it was a hell of a lot older than she had originally figured, possibly even older than a century. She ran her fingers over the stone with the gentleness of a lover. [#16821c “Just hold on a bit longer. I’ll get you out of here in no time. I just,”] she bit at her lip and looked around, keeping her hand in place. [#16821c “I just have to find a way out of here first.”]]

[font “Arial” That was the biggest dilemma. How exactly was she suppose to get out of this place? She couldn’t go back up the slip ‘n slide. Not in this dress. Not without her gear. If only she had thought this through and brought the penlight and jack knife combination. It was laughable, but it would’ve made a great asset no matter what anyone said. [i No helping it. I’m going to have to do some more searching. There is no way this tunnel doesn’t have a secondary exit.]]

[font “Arial” Figuratively speaking, she rolled up her sleeves in preparation of getting down and dirty. Retreating back to the first room, she set to work checking everything. Not a single stone within reach was left spared. She pushed, prodded, and even stuck her fingers into holes that were made from questionable origins. Surprisingly, not even the tiniest of bugs came scuttling out of the stone. It was like everything down here was untouched by the ravages of time. Everything aside from the cracks that hinted to the age surrounding this place.]

[font “Arial” [i Shit!]]

[font “Arial” Adrea kicked at a broken chunk of stone that had fallen from the first stone slab, the one in the room adjacent to the sarcophagus. The chunk of stone was heavier than she had expected. Two of her toes curled inwards, jamming painfully together, her being barefoot didn’t help the matter in the least. She cussed like a sailor. A trait that she had picked up rather quickly while working with her team in Egypt. She limped around, half chuckling while she ran through each cuss word she knew three times. Each round was in a different language, starting with French, switching to Welsh, and ending with English. She just had to be damn sure that she covered everything.]

[font “Arial” When she was finally done with her rather gruesome choice of words, Adrea took a seat on the crumbling stone to lift her foot onto her lap, exposing way more thigh than her mother would’ve thought proper. The two toes that had found the connection to the stone were painful to touch. She was no doctor, but they were, without a doubt, broken. It was highly unlikely that she had simply strained them. She chuckled, but it lacked humor. [i Does a paid vacation include medical covery on an injury?]]

[font “Arial” She released a heavy breath of air and let her foot go back to the ground, but she didn’t dare attempt to stand up. Her toes throbbed with each beat of her heart. There was a plus side to it though. No blood meant no chance of having to get the toes amputated because of infection. She shivered, for the first time since coming down here, at the image of her walking around with only three toes on one foot. [i No thank you monsieur.] She pushed herself up, keeping most of the weight on her other foot to keep from aggravating her puny injury any more than she had to. She still needed to find her way back out.]

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[font “Arial” Up the worn path that had trapped Adrea, off to the right, and in a large hall filled to bursting with tables and dancing gentlemen who held brightly colored ladies in their arms, two people had gone missing. Their leaving had gone unnoticed by everyone but themselves. While Adrea was down below everybodies feet, Sorin was already outside and drawing closer to his car.]

[font “Arial” [i Stupid, stupid child!] The lock to his door clicked under his shaking hands. His back teeth ground together. The mask was slipping from his face, and he tore it away, leaving the stupid peice of metal laying in the grass. It was broken anyways. His nervous hands had crumpled the frame, and he had no use for things that were broken or unwilling to do as he wished.]

[font “Arial” Sorin forced the door open, a bit harder than he had wanted, but the car’s metal was heavier built than the mask. It held out to his inhuman strength. Shaking hands attempted to shove a too big key into the ignition. His teeth ground even tighter together at this. Annoyance lanced through his body. He needed to calm down. Just because he had felt the overwhelming power didn’t mean that Adrea had been dumb enough to wake up a beast─ a monster that would be able to kill off every human within a mile radius, if not further. He had to believe that she was so much smarter than that. He had to.]

[font “Arial” The Mustang rumbled to life under his fingers. His foot pumped the gas, making it roar with the power that he loved so much. It served as a balm to his frayed nerves. [i I hope you live Adrea.] He thought while throwing the car into drive. He couldn’t stay there any longer. Adrea would have to get out alive, and he slid a glance into the rearview mirror just to see the castle glowing so invitingly back at him, but he shivered in the interior of his car, shrinking slightly against the leather. He really did hope Adrea the best of luck. She needed all that she could get, because even if she did make it out, Sorin would be waiting for her.]

[font “Arial” [i Beautiful Adrea. Forgive me for leaving you behind, and come back to me unharmed. I am nothing compared to whatever you have roused from its slumber. So forgive me.]]
  Adrea Marsili / Falling_Leaf / 4y 196d 6h 54m 41s
[size12 The beast within the coffin began to recover at a faster rate but it was still far too weak and too stiff to move. Through the hidden bat, he watched as the girl wandered around the room. Touching everything she could. It was as if she was in a trance, staring at each piece of history that remained untouched for who knows how long.]

[size12 Meanwhile, the undead being has sensed another somewhere within his castle trying to quickly escape in a not so obvious manner. It seemed the burst of power scared it off. The trapped monster chuckled inwardly knowing his power was still feared. Or it could have been pleasure knowing that today's monsters knew nothing of his existence. Oh how it pleased him that one would dare to think him long dead or even non-existent outside of a story book.]

[size12 As the girl wandered about the room, the monster continued to watch. She was covered in slime, water and dust from her travel down to this place but it clearly did not bother her. She has done something similar before. She seemed completely unaware of what she had done. And it pleased him. It pleased him knowing she did not know of the terror that is so close to returning to the world. He would have laughed if he was able to move his throat and jaw.]

[size12 Moments felt like hours as the girl took in every detail she could. From the simple decor to the large stone structures, she looked at it all. She made her way to the stone slab. She picked herself up and crawled up onto it as if she wanted to know more about it than her eyes would tell her. She laid on her back on the slab despite it being covered in god knows what. One of the leathers was gripped in one hand as she took all the history in. It was only moments before she clamored off and began making her way towards the coffin again. It seemed she was saving it for last.]

[size12 Hidden within the coffin was the reforming figure of a man. His body had almost completely recovered by then but everything was still too stiff for movement. Being forced into one position for over a century is hell on the body. But at least the rest was back to normal. Sort of. There was still the lack of blood which kept the body shriveled and deathly pale. The man smirked up at the top of his prison as the girl approached it. Still watching from the eyes of his bat, he gazed at the girl as she reached out and touched the stone coffin. There was a slight hesitation just before fingertips landed on the stone and then her whole hand pressed gently against the cold rock. He almost wanted to laugh at the fact that there was a monster just under her nose and she would have never guessed it. He was certainly amused but at the same time, impressed that she showed no fear.]

[size12 The coffin itself was made from a strong stone. It was meant to be hard to move and hard to break into or out of. The separation between lid and base was sealed but it was crumbling apart, nearly all of it had turned to dust. The stone was smooth under the girls touch. No scratch or crack marred it’s surface. The stand it rested on was carved of similar stone with carved wood decorations that were crumbling from age. The cross upon the lid was dark in color so details were hard to see. But from that cross dripped a darker substance that was cold and slimy to the touch when it hit the bare skin of the women's fingertips. It was quite a sight. And not a single person has found it before that very moment.]

[size12 Time slowly slipped by even though it had been only minutes. From the darkness of the ceiling, the bat continued to watch, not a sound escaping from it’s tiny body. When the girl moved out of sight, it silently turned into a mass of shadows to materialize in a better spot, still remaining completely hidden except for a tiny pair of crimson eyes but even those were impossible to see. Inside the coffin, hunger began to grow and grow. The man was almost recovered enough to begin moving. He began working his jaw slowly, the muscles creaking and the joints popping. But he moved nothing else. He had to wait. He did not want to frighten the one who had unknowingly released him from his prison where he was meant to stay for all eternity.]

[size12 An hour had ticked by since the girl had found this hidden place but only a short time has passed since the seal was broken. The monster hidden within the stone had recovered faster than expected. He was able to move, his strength returning with each twitch he made. It was an agonizing wait. He wanted to smash his way out of his prison. He was hungry and would stop at nothing to fill his body with the life of another. His clothes were in tatters and crumbling to dust but he did not care. His only desire was to feed on the blood from a humans veins. To replenish what humans had taken from him so very long ago.]

[size12 Patience is wearing oh so very thin.]
  Vlad / -Serenity- / 4y 212d 8h 7m 17s
[font “Arial” [i Humans, simple creatures that can be oh so fascinating.] Sorin sipped at the glass of champagne he had snagged from the table. Bringing Adrea here had just been an excuse to gain her trust, and now look at him. He was left standing around in the dance hall without her at his shoulder. It didn’t matter though. He had seen her looking around earlier. He wasn’t stupid. Her whiskey colored eyes had sparked in interest when they had passed a particular door. [i So simple minded.]]

[font “Arial” A tiny hand touched his elbow. [b “Excuse me, sir?”] He turned and flashed a false smile at the old woman that had dared to approach him. [b “Would you dance with me?”]]

[font “Arial” His smile widened a little bit more and he took her hand in one of his gloved ones. He bent down to press his lips to her knuckles, receiving a chuckle for his endeavours. [b “It would be my honor to lead such a fine woman on the dance floor.”]]

[font “Arial” Sorin escorted the woman out to the dance floor. He placed his right hand just below her shoulder blade like his mother had taught him to do such a very long time ago. Sometimes it stung thinking about her and all the things that she had done for him and his brother, but nothing could change the fact that both of them had been stolen away with the deadly vice of aging. Not him though. He was forever locked away in this body. He would remain thirty two forever, adding time to the seventy some odd years he had already lived through.]

[font “Arial” Him and the older woman moved through the crowd of other dancers. He skillfully avoided them all while still pulling off an occasional spin or two when they were needed. He was being a bit more gentle than normal. He didn’t want to make any unnecessary injuries to someone he didn’t even plan on tasting. Adrea was a different story. She was beautiful with youth. The blood running just under the skin was thick and strong, tinting her skin ever so slightly. She was just so unaware, throwing her head back in laughter, stretching out to expose the throbbing vein in her neck. He wanted to tear into her. Make her scream seconds before taking her life. She didn’t trust him though. He could sense it. She was mindful of how close they got. At first he wrote it off as the reaction between two strangers, but now he wasn’t so sure. It felt more like she was leery of him on the level of prey, knowing she is being hunted but unable to know where it was coming from. So fascinating without a doubt.]

[font “Arial” The music ended and Sorin clapped along with the other dancers. [b “Could I interest you in…”] He lost what he was saying. For the first time since he had almost died and been changed, he trembled in fear.]

[font “Arial” [b “Sir?”]]

[font “Arial” He snapped out of it and lifted her fingers to his lips again. [b “I’m sorry. I was going to ask you for another dance m’lady, but I just remembered that I may have forgot to turn the oven off. My mother will be so angry if the store burns down while I’m out enjoying myself. Forgive me?”] He kept his eyes locked with hers, willing her to let him leave.]

[font “Arial” [b “O-of course. That would be a real disaster. Please go and take care of your mother’s store.”]]

[font “Arial” Her frail fingers slipped from his palm, and he bowed to her before making his way as fast as he could, without causing a disturbance, outside. He had to improvise. The energy that had made him tremble was coming from the same room that Adrea had eyeballed so openly. [i What did you do you stupid child?]]

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[font “Arial” Bare feet padded softly against solid stone. The curious archaeologist was in complete awe of what she had discovered. She had been to the Egyptian pyramids, had deciphered ancient texts from the stone pillars and walls. She had walked amongst the battle strown ruins of all kinds of castles. Not one of them could compare to this. Part of that was because she had been the one to find it, but more than that… More than that was the fact that nothing like this had ever been thought to have resided underneath the world renowned Bran’s Castle.]

[font “Arial” Adrea trailed a hand over the stone slab that was almost an exact mirror to the one outside. The leather straps on this one were in better condition though, and the chains that were on this one had been removed from the other stone slab. Also, this one showed signs of use, and this one was left without a single crack. The size though, now that was completely the same.]

[font “Arial” She lifted the slime covered dress and sat on the stone surface. It was hard and cold. She shouldn’t be touching it, but she couldn’t deny herself the pleasure of knowing that she was the first one down here in who knew how many years. Her fingers ran over the stone, tracing the dark flakes left there.]

[font “Arial” Feeling a bit awkward, she glanced around just to be sure that she was alone, despite knowing that it wasn’t possible for anyone else to be there, and then scooted further onto the stone slab. Truly, it was just the right size for an adult human. She confirmed this by sprawling out, sticking her arms up in the corners and grabbing hold of the leathers. She held them for a few seconds, her arm muscles stretched just enough that they would tire if held there for a long period of time. Staring up at the pitch black ceiling, she could almost feel the energy of fear traveling through the ancient stone, and then she sat up. Again she had the feeling that the stone slab was some kind of alter. A shiver ran up her spine. The dark flecks would have to be tested for DNA. At least the stone wasn’t the only thing covered in the foreign matter, otherwise she could get into so much trouble for disturbing past evidence.]

[font “Arial” Adrea shoved a stray strand of hair behind her ear after standing up once more. For the moment she ignored the coffin in the center of the room. She wasn’t scared of what was possibly under its lid, just felt that the best had to be saved for last. Like she had to eat her dinner first while constantly eyeing the desert that would follow.]

[font “Arial” Her steps were slow as she again ran her fingers over everything she passed. She wasn’t the best singer in the world, at least her shower head had yet to make a complaint, but that didn’t stop her from humming as she moved about the dark room. She peered down inside the wooden buckets. Unable to see inside, she moved on to the wooden stake. She was careful to avoid touching the dark substance when she lifted the surprisingly heavy piece of wood. Crudely made, it was sharp at one end, without a doubt, it was meant to kill or maim something, or rather, it seemed that it had already done just that.]

[font “Arial” She set the piece of wood down in the same place that it had rested for so long, and finally, after so many wasted minutes that had dragged on, she turned to face the coffin. Her heartbeat quickened, pumping the blood through her veins at a faster rate. She wasn’t scared, no, she was excited. Her hands were shaking as she walked towards the red carpet. Tentative fingers that had been only moments ago running over everything they could reached out. She wouldn’t be able to move the lid on her own, but she had to touch it. She had to feel the age old stone just once. If she didn’t do it now, then she would never get the chance. She would never see it again outside of a museum or the pages of a magazine. She blow a deep sigh out of her nose. Just a bit more and she would be touching the coffin. Three inches, two, now one, and then…]

[font “Arial” The spot that her fingers touched was surprisingly warm. Slowly, she stepped closer, allowing her fingers to spread outwards so that her whole palm was touching the coffin. [#16821c “Beautiful. Simply beautiful.”]]
  Falling_Leaf / 4y 222d 6h 4m 47s
[size12 Patience was running so very thin but the hope for freedom continued to grow. The farther the girl went into the abyss, the more confident that freedom would be reached.]

[size12 The neglected tunnel made for a tricky travel. From slick floors to hard surfaces, one slip and it could all be over right then, right there and not a soul would know it. Although only minutes have passed, it felt as if hours have come and gone almost painfully slow. But still, he followed, hidden among the pitch black darkness of the cavern.]

[size12 The anxiety just built and built until the girl somehow found a patch of slime and down she went. The eerie tunnel was suddenly a water slide. The entity that was eyeballing the girl had to stop following. She slid away just as the eyes vanished only to appear again and to become irritated but he couldn’t blame the girl. The place hasn’t been cleaned in over a century and the walls were cracked all to hell.]

[size12 The entity decided to not appear again after his hope slid away. The flame of the candle still flickered strong but the dim light was barely enough to pierce the darkness. The hidden monster was amazed at how persistent this girl was despite the obvious. It wasn’t too long till the girl made it back onto flat ground. She skidded to a stop near a slab. The eyes appeared again, this time a mouth appeared along with them. A smirk upon the shadowy lips and sharp fangs poking from behind. The thing stayed there for a while, watching, waiting. There was a wall just ahead but it was covered in god knows what and this human girl couldn’t tell it was there just yet. Not close enough]

[size12 The candle was picked up… It was yanked off the slab. The girl began to slowly move about the room, the candle slowly dripping hot wax dangerously close to her bare flesh. The hidden beast decided to stop watching just as the girl walked past the slab. The eyes vanished, releasing a small spurt of energy to give her a bit of a jolt but she seemed to not have noticed it. But she did find the wall at least.]

[size12 While she was occupied by her discovery, the was dripped down and hit her flesh, making the candle become close to getting put out. With a quick action, it was picked back up and the flame was saved but only just. Once the girl turned back to the wall, she was faced with nothing but decades of grime but underneath it all appeared to be markings of some sort. The girl became curious once more and decided to figure it out. Oh fun.]

[size12 With candle carefully gripped in one hand and a determination to figure this thing out, she began to peel the gunk away, gradually revealing the seal that decorated the entire wall. As clumps were wiped away, more of the seal was revealed. Eventually, the key parts of the seal were uncovered. Again, it was in an older language but it was nothing the girl couldn’t read. As she spoke the first phrase, a small spike flew out and pricked her in the thumb. But it didn’t stop her. She wanted into this thing. The second part of the phrase was spoken and the seal broke.]

[size12 Up in the main area where the party was, no one was aware that there was someone missing. Well, no one but one person knew but even that one person didn’t really find it off kilter. Back in the dungeon, behind the wall, something stirred to life. A huge burst of energy flew from the room but normal humans couldn’t feel it. The power roared through the castle like an angry herd of bulls. Any supernatural being would tremble in fear from simply feeling the power. It was the power of a monster beyond anyone’s comprehension.]

[size12 The burst of power was enough to rattle the wall loose. It began to swing open, creaking, rattling and cracking as it slowly swung inward. The wall slowly separated, revealing that the wall was in fact a very large door which was unusual for the castle. Nowhere else was there a door bigger and heavier than this one. Several moments passed until the doors finally banged wide open. There was another tunnel, one that was dry as a bone compared to the wetness of the previous tunnel. This one was well built. There was no cracks in the stone. It was as if the stone was built better in order to keep something in and everything out. I was dry and musky with a lingering scent of dust and old bones. The tunnel was lit brightly enough to burn one’s eyes a bit after the complete darkness of the other side. It was also significantly taller than the tunnel before. Along the top was a line of torches that burned like they were brand new. The end could be seen but it wasn’t closed off. It opened up to what appeared to be something like a crypt or tomb about the size of an average one bedroom apartment. So, without a second thought, the girl proceeded forward.]

[size12 Meanwhile, at the end of the shorter tunnel, in the room at the very end, something began to stir back to life. In the middle of the room was a coffin made of heavy stone. Upon the lid was a cross that was embedded into the stone but it was broken in several places, as if it cracked from some sort of blunt force but it could have just been age. The edges of the cross where it had broken seemed to bleed. Hidden within this stone was a reviving being, one that was never meant to be unleashed back into the world. At this point, there was no threat of this thing breaking out since movement was impossible due to severe atrophy. But the beast was alive and slowly recovering. It was aware, it could hear and it could even smell the faint scent of human blood through the thick walls of it’s prison.]

[size12 Moments passed as the girl slowly made her way down the unusually dry and bright tunnel. She was determined to find out what this place really was and what it meant. Luckily the cavern was shorter and well lit. Once inside the mysterious room, she was face to face with the coffin. The stone was covered in dust but even through the dust one could tell it was made with precision. It rested on a stone and wood stand and that on a large red area rug like piece. To one side was a stone table, the other rested wooden buckets and even a wooden stake, both lightly coated in a dark, dry and flaky substance. There was another stone slab with leather straps attached to it. There was even chains and shackles on it. That, too, had that same flaky substance upon its surface. There was even splotches of the same substance on the walls and even the bare stone of the floor. It was too dim in the room to really tell it’s color because the room itself was dimly lit from the light coming from the hall. There were several unlit candelabras on various stone stands throughout the room. Some were tall and stood on the floor. There was a couple on the walls and a chandelier on the ceiling. The wax had all burned away to nothing, as if whoever placed the coffin in this room left it shortly after without putting out the flames. It appeared that this really was someone’s tomb.]

[size12 Behind the girl, in one of the darker corners by the entrance, appeared those eerie red eyes again but this time, they appeared to manifest into something a little more solid. It was as if the shadows themselves had come alive. The shadowy mass morphed for a moment before a small, red eyed bat popped free of it and fluttered to the top of the room to a spot where it could see everything but nothing could see it. The beast inside the coffin was becoming highly impatient due to not being able to move just yet but it kept itself under control. He watched from the eyes of the bat and waited. What’s a few minutes or even a few hours to a being that has waited for over a century?]

[size12 Patience. Patience. Patience.]
  Vlad / -Serenity- / 4y 223d 8h 27m 9s
[font “Arial” It was cold, damp, and smelly in the tunnel leading forever downwards. Yup, it was definitely a dungeon that had gone unnoticed. That thrill of discovering something never seen before singed through her veins and burned any sense of caution from her brain. The only reason for her to look backwards was the subconscious feeling of being watched. A stupid thing really, because anything down here would be long past dead. When the door had opened everything had rushed out as if she had broken the seal on a soda bottle.]

[font “Arial” A flicker danced just ahead of her. Where a normal human would’ve thought that was enough sightseeing and turned tail, she thought of it as a testament to just how old this place really was as well as a showmanship on how well preserved some things could be. A simple trick that had once been demonstrated to her. Normally the wind from a passing body was enough to kick start those flames, and she couldn’t help but think that the passing wind from the pressurized room releasing had somehow lit a flame in that corridor. Still, it was far enough away that she couldn’t see anything aside from the flickers of the flame, for all she knew, it could’ve been one really large fire that was more than a days walk from where she was currently at. Aside from Sorin, though, no one else would know that she was missing. So even if the fire was more than a days walk away, she could just keep going without worry about being missed.]

[font “Arial” Adrea looked behind her once more. Her shoes dangled in her left hand. The cold stone was slightly slippery underfoot from the years of water that had leaked freely into the cavern. She had to move slow to keep from slipping and cracking her head open in such a place. No one would find her down here, and infection was sure to follow in such a place as this.]

[font “Arial” She was still walking what felt like hours later. It could’ve only been a couple of minutes in this place though. The cavern made the slightest of turns under her hand, leading her deeper in. She hadn’t been sure of it at first, but it didn’t take long before she had figured it out. Also, she hadn’t noticed it until recently, but the floor was a little bit steeper in its descent. She was fighting to stay upright now. Even the slow steps that she had been taking where doing nothing to keep her feet under her. It was inevitable that the slip would come. It didn’t matter how careful she was being, but to last as long as she had was amazing.]

[font “Arial” It was a rather thick patch of algae that made her foot slide. She tried to catch herself, but her other foot ended up sliding as well. Someone had to give her kudos for not screaming, because her simple little walk had turned into a rather fast water slide. She had avoided slapping the back of her head against the stone floor, but all of the water and algae that had built up sent her flying down the tunnel that had been getting steeper from the start. Her shoes remained behind while Adrea had tried to find something to grab onto, but it didn’t take long for her to give up and just enjoy the ride down. Years of disuse had made this place into one large trap. [i Hands in the air!] She thought to herself. ]

[font “Arial” Ever deeper she slid, the light getting brighter and yet keeping just out of sight. The floor leveled out suddenly, and Adrea shot out of the tunnel. She rolled slightly at the end and laid there for a moment. [#16821c “Huh. That was kinda fun.”] Her voice echoed in the room. [#16821c “Well, can’t lay here all night long.”] She forced herself to stand up and look around the room just to get a bearing on what the place looked like. A single pinpoint of light burned, drawing her in like a moth.]

[font “Arial” Adrea placed a hand against her back and stretched slightly. [i Going to have to pay my chiropractor a visit after this mess.] Her dress was ruined from the slip and slide, but she paid it no mind. The flickering candle was set on a stone slab of some kind. [#16821c “What do we have here?”] With just the one candle, she couldn’t really see much. She wrapped her fingers around the unmelted wax and gave a tug. It popped free of the stone it was sitting on. The woman lifted the candle higher in the air to spread more of the light into the room.]

[font “Arial” Much to her disappointment, the stone slab that the candle was sitting on was nothing special. There were no words of an ancient language like what had been on the mirror, and there was no little hidden switches. It was just a plain old stone that had cracked with age. Four straps of almost completely rotted leather was sunk into the four corners, almost as if they were meant to hold something down. The dampness of the dungeon like cavern had washed away any signs of what it could’ve possibly been used for, but to her trained eye, she figured it for some kind of alter. A sacrificial tablet of a past long forgotten. She snorted and walked around the stone slab, measuring its length and width in her mind. Without an actual tape measure, or any of her tools for that matter, she couldn’t say for certain if she was correct, but somehow it seemed to be perfect for a human to lay spread eagle on with room to spare. [#16821c “Huh? Not the best decorative piece, but in a castle like this, I suppose it has its uses.”] She lifted a shoulder in a half shrug and turned away from the slab of stone.]

[font “Arial” Wax dribbled down the candle and solidified once more as she started to make a slow pass around the room. She knew that there had to be more than just the stone slab. Her archaeologist side was saying as much, and it was never wrong when it came to old castles or the like. There was no reason to go to such trouble to hide something like this with a mirror. No, there was more to it all, and she was looking at the walls for the answer.]

[font “Arial” The hairs on her arm prickled slightly when she went past the wall at the head of the stone slab. At first she didn’t notice, but as she moved away, the lack of static electricity that had been present only moments ago made her turn back around. She moved back to that part of the room and felt the hairs on her neck start to stand up. She lifted the candle even higher, and was rewarded with the sharp pain of hot wax dripping onto the thin skin between her thumb and index finger.]

[font “Arial” [#16821c “Shit!”] Without meaning to, she let the candle fall from her hand. The flame flickered. It was in threat of extinguishing, but Adrea dared to pick it up, not caring that her skin was already blistering where the wax had fallen on her. It stung like a son of bitch too. She would have to worry about it later though, because as she stood back up from bending down to get the candle, she saw more words written in the same ancient Latin text that had covered the one corner of the mirror. Algae, moss, and other creepers clung to the wet stone, covering up the words as well as what looked like a circle. It was so broken and hidden from sight that Adrea couldn’t really tell if that is what the design truly was.]

[font “Arial” This was nothing for her though. She was known by all of her colleagues as the one to get down and dirty. Well, she was already dirty from the slide, and she was below the castle. So down and dirty had already been covered along the way. A bit more leary over the wax, she held the candle carefully as she used her hand to wipe at the wall. Each time she did this, another word and more of the design was visible under the flame. In the end it turned out that it wasn’t a circle exactly. She snorted at the seal that covered the wall. Someone hadn’t wanted this place found. Someone had gone to great lengths to hide this one wall for some reason, and she was going to find out why. The words were no trouble now that she knew which language to go off of. Obviously she hadn't learned her lesson before, because she read them out loud once more.]

[font "Arial" [#16821c “Gutta sanguinis sigillum frangere,”] She ran her hand over a bit of the stone to remove another clinger. With a yelp, she jerked her hand back from the wall. Her blood was smeared across the stone. Blood welled up from her thumb and she pressed it against her thigh. Salt made it sting worse, but she held it there to stop it from bleeding. Ignoring the wound she had just sustained, she continued reading. [#16821c “Nunc surge, regem saeculi.”]]
  Adrea Marsili / Falling_Leaf / 4y 227d 9h 8m 37s
[size12 The castle had gone quiet for the rest of the night. When the new day shined, it was alive once again. However, the castle was closed down. It was such a marvelous day, too. But the castle had to be prepped for the party that night.]

[size12 Last night had gone without a hitch. The strange entity in the mirror had gained some hope but at the same time, it questioned if freedom truly was attainable. It never was before so what changes the odds this time? From the many mirrors, the being watched as people scurried about like mice as they cleaned the main dining hall. Dust was wiped away, cloths laid down to protect old wood, old candles replaced with new ones. Anything and everything that could easily get damaged was cleaned and protected. Whatever that needed to be replaced was replaced with fresh and new. It was like a complete overhaul on the one room. A stage was set up for the small orchestra on one end and an area cleared for a dance floor. It was going to be a long, long day.]

[size12 By noon, the cleaning had finally been completed. The cleaning crew had worked themselves silly trying to clean such an old, delicate place. Another crew had begun hauling in extra tables and boxes of table cloths and silverware while the cleaners ate lunch. There were several more groups of people that had to come in. But thankfully, not all of them had to really do much.]

[size12 By early afternoon, about two o’clock, the banquet table was set with dishes, silverware and a platter for the punch bowl ready for the people to come and take what they desire. There was one table that sat in front of a large bookshelf that was being used as a makeshift bar. The table was covered and under it rested many boxes of various glasses. Everything was almost ready. As four o’clock rolled around, the flower crew began placing beautiful arrangements upon the tables. The air was quickly filled with the sweet scent of the flowers due to the sheer number of them.]

[size12 By late afternoon, when the sun was starting to change colors, the preparations were finally complete. The orchestra was ready to play and the food was appearing on the long banquet table. It was going to be quite a marvelous party. Sadly, some cannot join the fun despite being so very close to it all.]

[center .:*:.]

[size12 The party was in full swing. Dancing, music, good food and lively conversations. Oh how it annoyed him. So many victims to pick from yet no way to get to them. He was trapped after all. The entity glared daggers at the many people milling about from one of the not so obvious mirrors. It was soon gone as it could not take it anymore. This monster was not happy.]

[size12 Later on, the last of the people arrived. With them, was the young girl from before. Arm in arm with a young man, she came through the door. Somehow, the entity knew she was there. The eyes reappeared in the hidden mirror to watch. What is she going to do? Break from the group and head to the door or completely ignore it and go about her night like the rest of the humans? Only time will tell.]

[size12 He didn’t have to wait too terribly long. The man that came with the girl had broke to get drinks from the makeshift bar. The girl seemed to have been waiting for this very moment. She was soon light on her feet and began making her way around the people. The eyes in the mirror widened and soon disappeared from every mirror they occupied and waited.]

[size12 Patience.]

[size12 Since the woman knew where the door was, it was easy for her to get there. Nor did it take her much time to travel the halls. The eyes appeared in the mirror where they have met the girl the night before and disappeared as soon as the door began to creak open. Freedom was so close. But will she be able to figure out how to unlock the first seal?]

[size12 Patience.]

[size12 It was quite a nerve wracking wait as the girl moved things around a tad to gain access to light. When the light was situated, the girl began to fumble around with the mirror. Moments felt like hours as she felt around the edges of the mirror. It was clear she was confused. Until she practically slapped herself silly when she realized the one tiny detail that was off kilter from the rest of the mirror frame. Hidden on that one off kilter piece was a few words written in ancient Latin. How they actually got there will never be known. Once the words were spoken, the door unlocked and began to rumble open, only to reveal a dark, unlit corridor that was never discovered by archeologists from years before.]

[size12 The stairs leading down were cold and hard. The steps were wide enough that something with very large feet could easily use. The function of such wide steps was to be able to safely transport people or objects up and down with little risk of misstepping and falling, making sure the people carrying the item was stable on their feet.]

[size12 The farther down the girl went, the darker it got. Down at the bottom, one would think they are blind. From within the darkness behind the woman, eyes appeared. Mirrors were not the only thing that they would appear in. The shadows were just as efficient. The eyes remained several feet behind as the girl moved forward and would disappear when she went to look behind her only to open up again to follow close behind.]

[size12 The dark corridor had a musky scent, like it hadn’t been used in decades or even centuries. The musk gave way to the stale scent of moisture, like there was a leak in the rock somewhere that dripped water whenever it rained. It was cold and appeared to be endless. It was as if it was made to give anyone that entered a sense that there was no escaping from the creepy dungeon.]

[size12 About half way down the creepy corridor, a tiny, dull light began to shine at the very end. The light was a single candle that lit up on it’s own but it was too dark and too far away for anyone to notice it had lit itself up. It was as if whatever was down there was trying to help the human girl in small ways. All that could be seen of the candle was a tiny speck of light to the left of the corridor. The girl seemed to not be bothered too much by the obvious eerie events. So she pressed onward. Each step she took carried her closer and closer to what lies at the end.]

[size12 Patience.]
  Vlad / -Serenity- / 4y 248d 8h 22m 36s
[font “Arial” Adrea knew how tours through castles worked, having been a guide at one point in time in her life. She kept her hands to herself despite the desire to want to touch [i everything!] Instead she held her breath, not literally, but each room held her utmost attention. Even now she could almost see the ghosts of the past walking the halls, staring at the intruders with curiosity as well as disgust. A breath of unidentified wind lifted a strand of hair from Adrea’s shoulder, and she could almost swear that in that exact moment she had felt a hand brush against her neck. [i It’s all just part of the experience Adrea.] She thought to herself as they moved into the last room of the castle.]

[font “Arial” Too excited to feel the change in energy, or that those ghost like apparitions hadn’t followed them into this particular room, Adrea clung to every word the guide said. He had a nice voice at times, but at the moment she couldn’t tell if he was scared of something or what. What she did know was that his words had gotten just a bit shaky and that he tried to hurry through his sentences, sometimes having to stop to fix words that he had stumbled over. It didn’t take her long to lose interest in him at that point. She knew how annoyed some guides got when no one listened to their words, but she couldn’t help the urge to look around at all the stuff in the room with them.]

[font “Arial” She suddenly felt a chill go up her spine, and for a second she thought she was being watched. It was an absurd notion since the only two people in the room was the guide and herself. [i It was probably just a rat hoping for dropped food.] She tried to reason with herself while looking at a sword in a display case. She could see finger marks all over the glass. Probably made from the children of parents that had no idea had to control their kids. In the morning the glass would be clean again from those who worked the night shift. At least that is what she figured since the place she had worked at made sure everything was clean before a new day began. Then again, she felt those eyes on her once more, giving her the feeling that no one would dare to try and clean this place aside from a quick pickup of anything left behind.]

[font “Arial” [+red “And over here we have,”] the guide’s voice sounded a bit stronger now, pulling her attention away from the sword to look at the desk with the knife stabbed into it. She moved closer to see what exactly was on the desk underneath it. It was nothing more than a map of the surrounding countryside. [+red “It’s said that Bran Castle played a militarily strategic role up to the mid-18th century. We can only assume that the map displayed here is testament to that role.”]]

[font “Arial” Adrea again lost interest, but for a different reason this time. The three chests had caught her interest. Her archaeological side kicked in and she had to fight to keep from opening at least one of them up to see what was inside. To help with this urge, she tore her gaze away from that spot. It was then that she spotted the mirror along with something in its depths. For a split second she saw eyes staring back at her, giving her that same chill that had climbed up her spine twice before. She quickly looked around to see if the guide had noticed them as well, but he was so lost in his tour guide mode that he hadn’t even noticed her disinterest in what he was saying. She shrugged and turned back to the mirror.]

[font “Arial” [#16821c Hey!? Where did they go!?] Her flats made a funny clicking sound on the stone floor. She was almost up against the mirror by the time the guide had recovered from her interruption. In the mirror she could see his face reflected back at her, and he almost looked as if he had forgotten that she had been there at all. That was of little interest to her though. So what if he had forgotten why he was in that room to begin with? What she wanted to know was where those damn red eyes had gone off to.]

[font “Arial” [+red “Excuse me?”] The guide moved over to where Adrea was at.]

[font “Arial” [#16821c “I saw something in the mirror,”] she said while looking along the frame with experienced eyes. She reached out and ran a hand along the bottom of the mirror, almost certain that there was a switch. It would be a neat trick, mostly during All Hallows’ Eve.]

[font “Arial” The guide grabbed her hand and took it away from the mirror. [+red “Please keep your hands off.”] She stared up at him. Was he being serious right then? Why was she being scolded when it was obvious the other items in the room had been touched by grubby little hands. [+red “This tour is over. If you please follow me outside, we can both go home.”] There would be no use arguing over the matter. So she got up from where she had knelt down at, wiping her hands on her jeans to rid herself of the ust that had collected along the bottom half of the mirror, and followed him out. Just before she completely left the room she turned to look back. Again she thought she saw something in the mirror, but it was gone in the blink of an eye.]

[center || || ||]
[font “Arial” Adrea sat in a chair outside a small cafe. The seat she had chosen gave her the perfect view of Bran Castle as well as part the small building that the guides used as their base of operations. At the moment she was sipping at a iced chai and reading Bram Stoker's version of Dracula. The only time she looked up from her book was to accept the plate of food a waitress brought out to her. She really needed to go grocery shopping so that she wasn’t eating out all the time. It was the morning after her guide through Bran Castle, and even now she could see those red eyes burning in her direction.]

[font “Arial” The young woman finally closed the book and set it down on the table beside her. She moved her sunglasses up her face until it was sitting on top of her head comfortably. The food looked like it was a bit messy, but what did one expect from a BLT that was cooked on a grill with a special cream sauce. The first bite she took was enough to win over her heart. The tomato was a bit sweet but that was okay. It added a bit more flavor to the sandwich she was eating.]

[font “Arial” Adrea looked up when a shadow fell over her and the table she sat at. A smiling and handsome face stared back at her. Without permission the man sat down across from her. [#16821c “Um? Hello?”] She gave him a confused greeting while thinking something totally different at the same time. [i People in Romania sure are friendly.]]

[font “Arial” [b “You don’t remember me, do you?”] He was just a bit too friendly as he reached across the table. At first she thought he was going for her hand, and maybe he was, but at the last second he grabbed the book that she had been reading. [b “Ah! Another person looking to see if there really is a connection between the castle in this book and the one on that cliff.”] He casually set it back down where it had been.]

[font “Arial” [#16821c “Right, I remember you now,”] and she did. She recognized his nonchalant attitude towards her the moment he had reached across the table. She ignored his comment about the book though. There was no point in starting an argument with him over whether it was real or not. In the end it was just a book for reading, and the truth would always be locked away with the man who had wrote it in the first place. Instead she focused on why exactly he had chosen her table to sit at. [#16821c “Can I help you?”]]

[font “Arial” He sat back in the seat as if she had done given him permission to stay. He had the appearance that even a bulldozer wouldn’t be able to move him from that spot. [b “I just saw a pretty lady sitting by herself while I was out for a walk and decided I’d keep her company. Although,”] He sat forward slightly to dig in his pocket. His hand came free with a black wallet. This movement exposed a rather expensive looking watch, possibly a Rolex or something of similar value. Not like she knew exactly what brand of watch was which. All she knew was that it accentuated him in such a way as to make him even more noticeable as a man.]

[font “Arial” He seemed to figure out what exactly she was looking at, because his voice pulled her gaze back to his face instead of his wrist. [b “It’s one of the Patek Philippe brands. I forgot which one though.”] He smiled at her, exposing teeth that belonged to a model or movie star. [i How the hell does a guy like this get stuck in this kind of place?] He opened his wallet, reminding her that he had a different intention than showing her his watch and teeth. [b “I came here to keep you company while you eat, but I’ve got a favor to ask. You see,”] He pulled out two pieces of paper from the back half of the wallet, where the paper money would normally go. [b “I got these two tickets to go to a certain ball that has been advertised for days now but no one to go with.”] He held them out to Adrea, but pulled them away the moment she started to reach out for them. [b “So what do you say? You want to go with me for a night filled with dancing and laughter?”]]

[font “Arial” Adrea rolled her eyes despite the smile that began to pull at her lips. [#16821c “You sure there isn’t some other woman waiting for me to say yes? One that will bash me across the head with a pipe or rolling pin?”]]

[font “Arial” He had this playful look about his face as he pretended to think over her question. [b “Nope, I can’t guarantee that since Momma had said something about going, but I think she’ll be fine either way.”] He took her hand in his. [b “I’ll pick you up at eight o’clock.”] He released his hold on her. She hadn’t realized how tight his grip had been until then as it left behind a slight red coloring. [b “Ah! Unfortunately I’ve got to get back to the diner. We are opening soon for lunch and an early dinner for those fortunate enough to get to go to the ball.”] He stood up, leaving her no choice in the matter, but he did leave her one more thing before he left, and that was his name.]

[center || ||]
[font “Arial” A set of headlights flashed into the window of her room. She glanced at the alarm clock beside the bed. [i What the hell? He said eight o’clock not seven forty nine. I’m going to kill him if that is how his timing works.] She was furious at him for showing up early. It didn’t matter if she was actually already finished playing dress up. If someone gave her a time that they would show up, she expected them to be there at that time. Granted, it was a bit refreshing to have those few people that showed up early, but in this case she had hoped to experience the feeling of making someone wait on her.]

[font “Arial” She sighed at the failed dream and slipped on her silver heels. After Sorin had left her at the cafe, Adrea had taken the time to search the racks for a dress and shoes to go with. It wasn’t exactly her forte, but she did need something to wear aside from her usual jeans and tanktop. She had also stopped in an antique shop to buy a mask, which she now settled over her face. The metal was cool against her skin. Adjusting it slightly, she looked at herself in the mirror. Inwardly she cringed at the sight of the stranger staring back at her.]

[font “Arial” A knock on the door made her jump and bump her bottle of perfume. A quick hand caught it before it could hit the linoleum floor of the bathroom. [#16821c “I’m on my way!”] She called out while sliding an earing into one ear and then into the other. She was already walking towards the door, her heels clicking ever so slightly until she reached the carpet. Once her hands were free Adrea opened the door and slipped out, not giving Sorin a chance to see the room she was staying in. [#16821c “Shall we go?”]]

[font “Arial” Adrea took the offered arm with her hand. [b “Don’t be so nervous. It’s a party, not a blood offering.”] He chuckled slightly. His words made her realize that she was indeed a bit frightened, but of what exactly? That she didn’t know and nor could she begin to dissect the reason behind it. Instead she just gripped his upper arm a bit tighter, causing him to chuckle a second time as he led her away from her room and to his car out front.]

[font “Arial” The young woman lifted an eyebrow at the car door he opened for her. She smiled while getting in. [#16821c “You actually have a Mustang?”] She asked when he got in on the driver’s side.]

[font “Arial” [b “Hey! It’s good ol’ American muscle! Don’t judge her by her looks, she’ll leave all those other cars in the dust, no problem.”]]

[font “Arial” [#16821c “No, it’s fine.”] She looked around at the interior, under her feet the beast of a car came to life. [#16821c “I just didn’t expect such an antique,”] She almost laughed at the dust that covered the dash. [#16821c “To be my ride to a ball. It sounds like a really bad movie actually.”] She had an amused smile playing with the corner of her lips. [#16821c “Almost makes me think of those movies my father brought with him to France. The wannabe bad boy in a muscle car chasing after the cheerleader that wants nothing to do with him at first.”] Now she really did laugh as it dawned on her that she had avoided Sorin from the start, and yet she was now headed up the road to Bran Castle in his car.]

[font “Arial” [b “So I’m giving you the Hollywood dream huh?”] He glanced over at her and smiled as well. [b “I can always make an attempt at a southern drawl.”] He slowed down as he drew close to a slow moving line of cars. [b “Can’t guarantee how it will sound though.”]]

[font “Arial” [#16821c “Too bad for you.”] She saw the confusion in his eyes. [#16821c “I’m already married. I’m married to my work. Constantly moving around and digging in the dirt has always been my life. It’s enough to ward away even the most persistent of pursuers.”]]

[font “Arial” [b “That explains why you switch between languages at times. Earlier, when I knocked on the door you said something and I didn’t understand. Most of the time you speak English, but anyone can tell that isn’t your native tongue. You have an accent. You mentioned France too.”] He came to a stop and rolled down his window. She looked away while he passed the man the tickets to get inside. They were given a number and the guard pointed out which roped of parking lot was theirs before wishing them a good time at the party.]

[font “Arial” Either Sorin had forgotten their conversation, or he just didn’t want to carry it on, which was fine. Adrea didn’t really want to discuss the way she had left things between her mother. Even now she could still hear the reluctance in that woman’s voice when she agreed to her daughter’s choice in major. There was no doubt that Kieth, her loving father, had something to do with that, but there was no going back now even if she wanted to. This was her life now, and she loved it more than anything in the world aside from her family.]

[center ||]
[font “Arial” [i Party is in full swing with the dance floor packed, Sorin has gone to get drinks at the bar, and I know where the door to] that [i room is at. Now is the perfect time to go see if I can figure out what it was I had seen yesterday.] She stared at the swirl of brightly patterned skirts and well dressed men for just a moment before winding her way through the other crowd of onlookers. Some people didn’t understand the meaning of masquerade or they had chosen to remove their masks after everything had gotten started. Adrea’s own mask didn’t do too much for hiding her face. The design was nothing but thin wires, weaving in and out of themselves in an intricate pattern that had reminded her of a spider’s web.]

[font “Arial” Oh god did she hate heels. Two hours in and she was already feeling the cramp in her calf muscles. She should’ve gone with the lower heel instead of following the clerk’s suggestion. She knew she was going to regret it whenever she woke up next. At least walking was helping to some degree. It took her mind off of her feet since she had to concentrate on where she was going and if anyone was following or watching her movements, which oddly enough it felt like someone was. No amount of looking over her shoulder for one of the guides, or Sorin, revealed why she had that prickling feeling on the back of her neck.]

[font “Arial” The room she wanted wasn’t too far from where the ball was being held. Adrea kept one hand on the stone wall, counting the unlit sconces set deep into the old building. The more modern lights were flickering, a typical setting to give the illusion of fire being the source in which the light came from. Actual fire would’ve been better. It would’ve added to the mystery of this place, but there would be too much of a risk with all the old stuff lying around, like those maps that were just sitting on the table. It was left to her imagination on what this place would look like if it was lit the same way it had been so long ago.]

[font “Arial” [#16821c “Let’s see what secrets this room is hiding.”] The door opened easily under her hands. Quickly she looked around to be sure no one was watching before slipping in through the barely opened door, closing it gently behind her so that she wouldn’t get caught. This was the tricky part though. Unlike outside the door, the room was unlit. Even during her tour their hadn’t been a light fixture in sight, and without thinking things through, she had not bothered to grab a flashlight. She tried to remember how the room looked. Vaguely she could remember the mirror by itself along the one wall. The wall that just happened to be to her left. The bad part was how big the room actually was. Larger than the ball room, the span of the whole wall would take a bit to search for any trace of the mirror, and there was still the issue of a light. It would do her no good to find the mirror if she couldn’t see what exactly she was up to.]

[font “Arial”Adrea pushed a stray strand of hair out of her face. [i Think Adrea. You know what to do in situations like this. Just try to remember how everything is set out.] She closed her eyes, not like it made much of a difference since the room was already pitch black, the only hint of a light had been a reflection glancing slightly off the corner of a glass frame. [i That’s it!] She almost shouted out loud in excitement. There was sconces in this room as well as the ones outside the door, and she was more than certain that she could move the glass cases around even just the slightest and get a reflection bouncing from one to the other until it hit the mirror directly.]

[font “Arial” It was a workout and a half doing this. She had taken the time to remove the heels, instantly getting much needed relief to her toes. Then she had to stumble around in the dark, knocking her thighs into the table smack dab in the center of the room, but in the end, with just the slightest of adjustments to the things that she could, she had some of the room lit in a dull glow from the moon outside.]

[font “Arial” There was no time to waste. Adrea went ahead and knelt down in front of the mirror like she had been before. She reached under the mirror and started feeling around the outside of it, moving all the way around without finding anything of interest. It was so puzzling. She stepped back and stared at the frame of the mirror. Her shadow blocked the light streaming in, and she moved over slightly. A lip chewer by habit, she did that now as she tried to think of what exactly needed to be done. Even the frame didn’t make sense. The design was perfect all the way around aside from one spot that wasn’t even near the top. It was about ten inches off and curving down the side just a bit. It was the only spot that looked like that. It through the whole thing off, but it almost looked as if it was done on purpose.]

[font “Arial” She moved closer again, making sure that the light wasn’t covered by her shadow. It took her a moment to recognize the sharp scripture. Adrea almost smacked her forehead. She couldn’t believe that she hadn’t realized it was ancient latin, the romantic language that the Romanian’s based their own language off of. God did that make the mirror old. Old enough that she felt shame in touching its surface with unprotected hands. There was a plus side to this though. She had majored in historical linguistics and this would be simple to figure out.]

[font “Arial” Footsteps faintly echoed on the stone halls. For the first time since leaving the ballroom she felt panic set in. She didn’t even held her breath until they disappeared. She thought about how close she had just been to getting caught. [i But you weren’t, so just stop worrying about it and concentrate.] She forced herself back to the mirror and the words scrawled on the side. She ran two fingers delicately over the carvings. Some of it didn’t make sense. She could get the gist of it. The words made sense, but yet it was odd and didn’t make sense to her.]

[font “Arial” [#16821c “Libera in rex.”] She spoke softly just in case someone would hear her. There was a loud groaning sound as something heavy started to move. The mirror vibrated, Adrea tried to keep from falling but couldn’t keep her balance. Down she went. Her butt bumping lightly against the floor. Even the stone floor was vibrating.]

[font “Arial” It started as a gentle whistling sound, but as the groaning went on the sound of escaping air got stronger. Adrea stared in shock at the gaping hole that had replaced part of the wall beside the mirror. [#16821c “What the…”] She was slow to stand up, never taking her eyes off the dark hole in front of her. As if on their own accord, Adrea’s feet started moving forward, carrying her towards the hole in the wall. That familiar zing of excitement lanced through her body at the discovery she had just made. [#16821c “Free the king, eh?] She chuckled slightly. [#16821c I think your king is going to be long dead by now buddy.”]]
  Adrea Marsili / Falling_Leaf / 4y 297d 11h 28m 22s

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