The Faerie watched her master with a worried expression on her face. The dhampir—who she knew as Lord Dracula’s son, Alucard—had recently freed her from her binding card. She had felt his presence a few times while she had been trapped, but she figured that he was only just now able to reach the upper levels of the library.
She noticed that Alucard’s movements were slowing down as he continued to slay demon after demon. The Faerie’s first action in his service had been to give him an uncurse potion, after he had been afflicted by an Ectoplasm. She had direct access to his belongings, in case he ever needed anything while he was engaged in combat. She may not be able to assist in battle like the other familiars, but she was knowledgeable, as well as a friendly companion.
Alucard breathed heavily after just defeating some Dhurons. They were fast and deadly with their rapiers, but the dhampir was faster—at the expense of his energy. He was growing weary of fighting, but he had to push forward. The sooner he defeated his father, the sooner he could leave this wretched place he once called home.
The Faerie flitted closer to her master’s head as he continued down the corridors of the library. She flew in front of him and glanced back to his face. His tired eyes were dull and lifeless, and his pale-blonde hair fell limply over his shoulders. Exhaustion was written all over his features, and Alucard’s gait slowed even further as he stepped into an empty hall. The only noise was his slowing footsteps reverberating off of the dusty bookshelves.
A Thornweed suddenly shot up through a crack in the floor, wrapping its razor-sharp tendrils around Alucard’s leg. The dhampir hissed in pain as he ripped his leg free from the deadly plant’s grasp, tearing his trousers and the flesh beneath as he did so. The Faerie could sense her master’s weakness, so she frantically searched through his items to look for a potion. To her dismay, there were no healing items in sight.
“There’s no medicine left!” she cried.
Alucard winced as he took a step, trying to shake off the pain in his leg, as well as the other aches throughout his body. The Faerie wanted to say something to him, to encourage him to carry on, but the dhampir suddenly fell to his knees. He collapsed to the cool stone floor, finally overwhelmed with fatigue. The loyal familiar flew down to where Alucard lay on his back, golden hair splayed beneath his head as he took in shallow breaths through parted lips. She brushed strands of hair away from his face, but his eyes wouldn’t open.
The Faerie worried that denizens of the castle would appear at any moment, and she didn’t know what to do. She wouldn’t be able to fend them off, and she was too small to protect her master in any way.
She suddenly gasped and smiled with delight when an idea came to her. She hesitantly glanced back at the unconscious dhampir, not wanting to leave him alone, but if her plan worked, he would be safe in the long run. She quickly flew back down the corridor, her hair blowing wildly behind her as she raced to get help.
Alucard woke quietly, his senses dulled from sleep. He was confused, unsure of where he was, and what had happened to him. The first thing he noticed was that he was reclined on a soft surface—a small cot. There was a pillow beneath his head, and a thin sheet tangled in his limbs. He stared up at the ceiling, dark with dancing shadows. He felt heavy and weak, and he almost didn’t care to know where he was, as long as he could rest once more—until he heard the sound of a crackling fire.
The dhampir shot up in the bed, panic in his chest as he thought something was after him, out to burn him to death—similar to his poor mother’s demise. He jumped to his feet and turned circles in the small room, looking for any demons or monsters hiding amongst the shadows. Alucard’s breathing steadied when his eyes rested on a small fireplace on the opposite side of the room. The flames flickered gently and provided a comforting warmth in the otherwise hostile environment.
He tilted his head curiously, still not completely sure what was going on. He turned towards the doorway and moved to turn the handle, when it suddenly opened on its own. Alucard looked up and jumped back when he saw a familiar face—a face he hadn’t seen in centuries.
“Oh, Young Master, you’re awake!” the old librarian exclaimed.
“I—” Alucard stuttered. “How did I get here?”
“I brought you here, Young Master. Your Faerie told me that you were in a state of distress.”
“Distress?” the dhampir asked. “I cannot recall what happened exactly...”
“I believe you have simply over exhausted yourself. You must rest.”
“Why are you helping me? You serve my father, while I do not. You know this.”
The Master Librarian was silent for a moment, before he finally answered.
“I do not wish you ill will, Alucard,” he said. “You do oppose the Master, but there was once a time when there was no war amongst us. You remember, yes?”
Alucard did remember. The Master Librarian was granted immortality, so he had been around since Alucard was just a young dhampir. The library wasn’t nearly as big back then—it had about 300 years’ less worth of knowledge—but the librarian took care of it for Vlad Tepes nonetheless. It was still a vast wealth of information, which the librarian appreciated very much. Vlad, an intellectual himself, respected the librarian’s prowess for knowledge, so he allowed him to stay despite his humanity.
The Master Librarian had occasionally taught young Adrian some lessons, or read him stories—the librarian even had some stories long forgotten by the rest of civilization. Alucard remembered the nights in which his father and the librarian discussed anything they had found intriguing in their studies. Adrian liked to be there when they talked, because he liked to listen and try to understand what he could at such a young age. Their conversations would sometimes last until the first break of dawn, and Adrian would fall asleep in his father’s lap.
Alucard sighed as he remembered that short period of time in which everything was good. He knew he would never experience such times again.
“Thank you for helping me,” Alucard said quietly. “But I must be going now.”
Alucard took a step, but his vision blurred momentarily and he stumbled forward. He quickly caught himself on the wall and took in deep breaths.
“Young Master, you must rest,” the librarian insisted. “You cannot continue on if you don’t restrict yourself, or give yourself a break. Surely you will fail if you do not regain your strength.”
“No, you don’t understand!” Alucard suddenly cried, whirling around to face the old man. “I will not sit back and let my father wreak havoc upon this earth again! There is no time for rest! I allowed this to happen, so I am the one who needs to fix it!”
The dhampir dropped down to the small bed and sat with his hands in his lap, gaze down as he tried to calm himself.
“Very well, Alucard,” the librarian said, his expression cold. “Do as you wish.”
The door closed as the librarian left the room. Alucard sat in silence, save for the dying fire. His breath hitched as his thoughts took him back to his father.
“Why have you done this to me, Father?” Alucard whispered to the castle. “Why do you make me fight you? We have already done this once, is that not enough?!” He grew louder as rage built up within him. “What do you expect to gain from this?!” The dhampir stood from the bed. “Mother is dead! She is already dead! You cannot get her back, don’t you understand?!”
Alucard suddenly flinched as a crash resonated from the opposite side of the room. He realized that he had thrown a book in his fury, knocking over a vase and breaking it. His face felt damp and he hated that he had allowed tears to fall. He hated that his father was the reason for his pain, and he hated that Dracula could influence his emotions so easily.
A light touch suddenly rested upon his head, and Alucard turned to see his Faerie familiar hovering behind him. He looked at her sadly, wondering how a creature so innocent ended up in a place like this. The Faerie grabbed a side of his coat collar and flew towards the bed, tugging gently and motioning for him to follow. The dhampir humored her and stepped forward, until he was standing by the edge of the cot. His familiar flew higher, and she stroked a few strands of his hair comfortingly, before flying down to the pillow and patting it lightly.
“You...you want me to...” Alucard trailed off.
The Faerie pushed on the back of Alucard’s shoulder and motioned once again towards the bed. The dhampir sat down reluctantly, and his Faerie gently touched his face. She guided his head onto the pillow, so that he was lying back on the bed. The Faerie lowered herself down and sat on the edge of the bed, beside her master’s head. Alucard grew hesitant, and decided that he really did need to get going, but then his Faerie began to sing.
Her voice was sweet and enchanting, luring Alucard into the clutches of sleep. He didn’t want to go. He had to get up. Her voice was soothing and calm, fighting against the dhampir’s instincts. Alucard shifted in bed, but the Faerie continued to sing.
Sleep, her lyrics urged. Rest, young one. Close your eyes, and sleep.
The dhampir’s muscles relaxed. His eyelids grew heavy over his golden orbs, and his breathing evened out. The Faerie’s words became incomprehensible sounds, calming notes begging him to sleep.
His eyes fell closed, and his mind clouded. The Faerie hovered above her master’s face and placed a gentle kiss to his forehead. She then searched through his belongings and found a ring, which she placed on the table to repay the librarian for the broken vase. The familiar pulled the thin sheet over Alucard’s body and made sure that he was comfortable and at ease. His breaths were calm and quiet, and his expression looked at peace. The Faerie smiled and took her place beside her master. She would be loyal to the end.