THE PRINCE OF HOUSE VLADD


				CHAPTER 12


				  BOOK 3


				 BY ARTHUR




More than four thousand pairs of eyes watched the forming of the encampment
in the wide valley below the low hills, Peter and Swiftwing stood with the
leaders of the canines and felines as the large army started to look
towards settling down for the coming sunrise, their sharp hearing picked up
the sound of more heavy vehicles coming from the south.

Below they could make out the figures of three vampires standing in a
solitary group away from the rest of the army of black clad soldiers, they
also looked as though they had heard the approaching column from the south
as they turned towards that direction and tried to look into the gloom of
early morning.

Peter's group were well hidden in the trees but could also see along the
empty highway, warnings had gone out for all people to evacuate south and
away from the approaching hordes, with luck everything would be back to
normal by the time the sun was at its zenith, the army below had no guards
and should be easy pickings for the massed ranks hiding in the tree line.

As the first faint hint of daylight began to show over the far ridge line,
Peter's people saw the long approaching column of mixed vehicles, there
seemed to be everything from small sedans to large eighteen wheelers, at
the first clear sign of the drivers, Peter's people felt a chill pass over
their bodies, driving at what some would call a break neck speed, were more
werewolves than they had ever seen, it appeared that the ones used by the
invaders had more than enough to reappear.

It was plainly obvious that the pending attack on the serried ranks of the
tankers was not going to be as easy as they had thought, when the vehicles
began to pull up at the side of the highway, the watchers saw the feral
wolves of the Adirondacks streaming in their hundreds towards the ranked
tankers, the leader that had escaped the massacre at the bunker was
striding towards the three older vampires and looked to be no worse for
wear.

Trying to get some idea of the new numbers, Peter and Swiftwing were now
starting to realise this was not going to be as easy as they first thought,
the numbers of the wolves just kept increasing as more vehicles seemed to
appear out of the darkness like ghosts, the highway was now packed to
capacity as the last of the trucks came to a halt and even more wolves
streamed from their backs, most looked to be very young wolves and, even
though they would not be able to show the expertise of the older wolves,
they could still be a problem for Peter's limited numbers, wolf on wolf was
a fifty-fifty fight, with the addition of the felines it was a little more
in their favour but, with the numbers now roaming among the parked tankers,
it was still going to be touch and go.

Peter had his people settle down to wait for the sunrise, they would have
to keep their distance until all the vampires retired for the day, any
indication that they were being watched could lead to disaster for their
plans, with the wolves below being able to see, hear and smell anything out
of the ordinary, the massed folk on the hill were on tender hooks as they
surveyed the scene below.

It now became apparent to Peter and his people that this was going to be an
all out fight, any idea of surprise was going to be negated by the sudden
appearance of the wolves and all their kin, Jake mentioned that they must
have pulled every wolf out of the Adirondacks to make these sort of
numbers, it was going to be a tough fight and there were going to be losses
that they could not reinforce as they had not thought about bringing in
more men for back up.

As the sky lightened and the first rays of the sun showed in a small thin
red band on the ridge top, the watchers saw the black clad soldiers quickly
heading towards the tankers where they would sleep away the daylight, the
three older vampires seemed to also be anxious to get into darkness and
soon left the multitude of wolves to roam around the camp on guard duty, it
would not be long now before they could start their attack.


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Down below in the valley, as the sun grew brighter, the Alpha wolf called
for all his extended clan to listen, he detailed a large number of the
youngest cubs to begin to patrol the edges of the trees, he stressed how
important it was for them to stay alert and not play around, they were told
in no uncertain terms that they could easily lose their lives if they
slackened off and did not give a warning if the camp came under attack.

In each of the tow tanks, the Alpha set two wolves but only ones that could
operate the weaponry, for the rest of the multitude it was a matter of
spreading out and covering all of the many tankers that were now filled to
capacity with sleeping vampires, with the sun now up and shining brightly,
the forty five thousand seasoned soldiers were of no help at all, it all
came down to the wolves of the Adirondacks.

Unknown to the watchers, it was a small juvenile cub that got the first
wind of them, he had gone a little deeper into the trees for no other
reason than to look at a small squirrel playing high up in a tree, as the
small boy watched the squirrel he suddenly got the faint scent of cat as
the morning wind changed direction and began to blow down from the ridge
top.

The cub stopped and then remembered the warning of the Alpha, with as
little noise as possible, the small cub tried to stroll casually out of the
trees and towards where the large imposing figure of the Alpha stood near
the centre of the encampment with as few words as possible, the little cub
told the Alpha what he had smelt, the Alpha reached down and patted the
young cub on the head and gave him a smile, he then sent the cub back to
the edge of the trees and close to where he had first smelt the scent.

Walking slowly around the encampment, the Alpha sent out his warning that
they were being watched and it could lead to an attack, the lesson of the
bunker had not gone to waste on the Alpha, during the daylight was once
again a prime time to attack vampires, he had too much at stake to risk
being caught out again, the need for more land for his many extended packs
was and had been for some time, a dire necessity.


Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


>From their hiding place, Peter watched as the Alpha, whom he now
recognised as the same wolf that had escaped at the bunker, casually walked
around the encampment, he now saw that the multitude of tankers were not
just lined up in rows, but they had been set out in such a way that they
were grouped in multiples of four with the armoured tanks facing outward
and each one covering the group next to them, he was now worried that the
wolves he had seen enter the tanks would make it more difficult to complete
the attack.

Peter, Swiftwing, Jake and the pride leader of the felines went into a
huddle to discuss this new turn of events, to go straight in and attack
would now be disastrous, the massed effect of the many tanks could cut them
to pieces before they got half way to their target and they would still
have the heavy number of wolves to contend with if they managed to get into
the camp but their numbers would be drastically cut by the heavy guns of
the tanks, it almost seemed hopeless as they surveyed the scene below.

It was almost midday and Peter and Swiftwing were leaning against a tree
holding hands, both had their brows creased in thought as they tried to
think of a way to get at the object of their attack, time was moving on and
they could not afford to wait past mid afternoon, Peter was mentally
kicking himself for not seeing the possibility of the camp being guarded
during the day but he thought they had seen the last of the wolf pack from
the Adirondacks.

As he stood shoulder to shoulder holding hands with his boyfriend, Peter
thought he heard something from behind them both, suddenly, there were a
pair of warn arms around his waist and a very familiar voice giggled in his
ear.

"Hello dad, did you miss us?"

At the same time that Peter spun around, so did Swiftwing, they were both
met with the wide smiling faces of the two god boys, how they had come or
even known what was going on would remain a mystery to both vampires but
here they were in all their glory, even if they lacked any clothes.

"Where did you two come from and why are you here?" Peter asked the two
smiling boys.

"We missed you and besides, there was not much going on down there, we
thought you might like some help from those down there, you know we never
liked the smell of wet doggies."

Peter laughed softly and then turned his head as he heard a familiar gruff
voice come from behind a tree.

"If those two belong to you Shorty, then they better get some manners
before I show them what a wet doggie can do." Jake was smiling as he
stepped from behind the tree. "I suppose these two are yours?"

"You know damn well they are ours, what were you doing sneaking around like
that you big bundle of wet dog fur?"

"Wanted to watch you get all upset at what's going on down there, now what
are these two up too?"

"We're here because our dads need us and we don't like wet doggies, ever
had your fur singed?"

Jake laughed softly as he gave Tezca a glare that said he was not really
angry, besides Jake well knew he would not win a fight against the two
notorious god boys; even a werewolf was not that insane.

"Well you two, you can now see what we're up against, apart from totally
destroying this part of the country, I can't see any way to rid ourselves
of these pests." Peter said to the two boys who, somehow had miraculously
become fully clothed and were now dressed in camouflage combat kit.

"The vampire tankers will be no problem" Tezca told him, "the bigger
problem is the wolves, taking care of most of the adults is easy but we
don't want to kill any young ones if it can be helped, we will have to find
a way to separate most of them first."

"What if we got our feline friends to join us and try to capture all the
young ones and put them somewhere safe until this is all over?" Jake
suggested.

"That could work" Swiftwing said, "most of the very young are close enough
to the tree line that they could be taken unobserved by most of the camp,
if we can keep them somewhere out of the way then we should stand a better
chance."

"We can fix that, if you can get the young ones we can send them to a place
where they will be safe until this is over." Tezca told them.

"Right, then how do we go about it, it has to be without the Alpha or any
of the others seeing them start to disappear."

"Simple." Jake said, "What's the one thing kids can't resist?" Jake watched
the faces of those around him as they tried to work out what he was getting
at, finally he smiled and said. "Food"

"That we can do, how do we set it up?" Quetz spoke up for the first time.

Jake replied.

"We put some food and plenty of it a little deeper in the trees, as the
cubs come into the trees they will be out of sight of their elders, we take
them as quickly and as silently as we can, now the best food to get their
attention is either good fresh meat or a lot of sweet things, any wolf
worth his salt can not ignore either."

"Ok, wait here." Quetz disappeared in a shimmer and then reappeared no more
the ten seconds later, "It's all done, now we better get all of your guys
down their, the cubs will be smelling everything any second now."

Almost five hundred felines and canines moved silently through the thick
trees, there was little doubt now that they would be, in effect, child
kidnappers, as they moved closer to the valley floor they could already
hear some of the cubs filling their stomachs not far ahead, it sounded as
though the young ones had never had a meal like the one laid out in the
deeper shade of the tree line.

As the combined force grew closer to where the cubs were now totally
engrossed in the free food, they also kept a few eyes and ears out for
those older ones patrolling down in the valley floor, as yet the sudden
disappearance of the youngsters had not been noticed, the rounding up of
the youngsters was over so quickly that none of the cubs even knew what hit
them, one minute they were all tucking into a huge feast of goodies, the
next they were in another place where there was only green grass and a
strange boundary around them that they could not break through.

Where the cubs and food had been suddenly became just forest once again, of
the cubs there was no sign and the free feast had also disappeared, the
mixed force faded back into the trees to watch the effects down below.

It seemed that the guard wolves did at first not even notice the missing
cubs, that was until the Alpha looked over to where they should have been
patrolling, the very air of the valley seemed to grow cold as the Alpha
realised he could not see a single cub, something had happened and he
didn't like the look of it, with a loud roar he called his adult wolves to
alert, the camp site became a hive of activity as every wolf went to its
pre-assigned place in case of attack.

Peter and Swiftwing kept one eye on the tanker that the three leaders had
disappeared into, it had been marked as one that was not too be touched as
the three would be taken alive and given a proper death so that their deeds
would be known all over, the rest were to be destroyed.

They had all decided to give the wolves one chance to surrender or leave,
if they refused then it would be open season on any and all wolves in the
camp, Peter gave the signal for everyone to move down through the trees
until they were just inside the timber line but still out of sight of those
in the camp.

The Alpha's head lifted as he got the scent of strangers, by the many
different directions of the scent he could easily tell they were now
surrounded and had no way to escape, on their side they had the heavy
weapons, any cat or wolf trying to get to them was going to pay a very high
price, for now he thought they would be at a stand off in the very least,
he only had to hold off the Princes men for another four hours and the
vampires would awaken, they would then completely decimate the hidden
forces.

The Alpha then saw the appearance of two young teens on the western tree
line, one was very obviously a Native American, the other was young and
dark haired, from the descriptions he had been given some time ago, he knew
these were the fabled Prince and his boy friend, they certainly did not
look like much to the very large heavy built wolf, he watched as the one he
thought was the Prince held his arm up high, in his hand he held what
looked like a golden sword scabbard, it looked like a sign that he did not
want to fight but talk instead, the Alpha smiled as he thought of what they
were going to do to the little vampire once the others came out of their
death sleep.

The Alpha was momentarily stunned as he saw two more very young teens
appear behind the first two, his sense could not see any aura to tell him
who they were, not even the blood red colour of humans showed around the
two young ones, the blue and green of the Prince and his boyfriend showed
up easily but these other two were now a total mystery.

"Alpha, we do not want to kill you all, anyone who wants to leave this
place will be allowed to, any who stay will die, you have five minutes to
make up your minds."

Alpha almost wanted to laugh, if the little Prince thought he could scare
his people he had another think coming, he had weapons advantage and a
solid defensive position, even if they are outnumbered he still would do
more damage than the Princes people could afford to have, his answer was
that of a typical Alpha wolf.

"Come and do your best little Prince, we have plenty of hurt waiting for
you."

The Alpha watched as the four turned back to the trees without answering
him, he smiled to himself, they obviously also saw that they could not win
in this situation, while in his thoughts of winning another round he almost
missed the reappearance of the two young teen strangers just five minutes
later.

For some unknown reason he felt a sudden touch of fear deep in his heart,
there was no rhyme or reason for the fear but the appearance of the two
strange boys sent something through him that he had not felt since being a
very young pup so many years ago, he could only stand and watch as the two
boys lifted their arms straight up above their heads, that single gesture
brought on a nervousness that the Alpha could not rid himself of.

Far above the encampment a faint roaring sound could be heard, as he lifted
his eyes to the heavens, the Alpha's face changed to one of abject fear,
high in the sky above, his eyes saw what could only be described as
thousands of flaming stars diving through the atmosphere, every single one
seemed to be aimed directly at his own head, there was only one thing to
do, he yelled loudly for everyone to scatter and he himself took off for
the trees on the eastern edge of the camp away from where the two boys were
standing unmoved by the spectacle.

Only those in the tanks did not get the message, instead they were still
traversing the turrets back and forth looking for trouble, the Alpha looked
over his shoulder as he neared the trees, his people were heading in all
directions, he turned back to his path and ran, suddenly he saw what was
waiting for him at the edge of the tree line, the sheer number of felines
and other wolves left him speechless, he and his people now had no option
but to try to break through even though it looked like a hopeless task.

The scattering wolves now had no cohesion and were just a running rabble,
when they came to the solid lines of the folk they were nothing more than
fodder for those waiting for them, while it was to be a slaughter the folk
still did not have it all their own way, no wolf of any ilk would just give
up and die even with the danger in the sky above them.

As the first combatants came into contact with each other, the first of the
tennis ball sized meteorites hit the encampment, the only tanker not hit
was the one at the centre which seemed to be covered by a blue shimmering
dome, around it the armoured tanks and other tankers were being hit and set
a light like a million small stars, the valley floor was now beginning to
look like the surface of the moon as one after another the small pieces of
space rock fell in a torrent.

Had the Alpha had time to look closely he would have seen that not a single
tree was hit in the fiery downpour, every small meteorite seemed targeted
at only the tanks and tankers, it was an unnerving sight to be able to see,
around the blasted field the rest of the wolves were fighting for their
very lives, the loud roars of felines in attack mode were mixed with the
yelling a growls of the many wolves now mixed in a deathly combat,
occasionally there was the sudden sharp sound of steel on steel as the
Prince and his consort used their weapons as well as their skills to take
down as many of the fleeing wolves as they could reach.

As the heavy fighting went on into the late afternoon, it was obvious the
defenders were not going to win, slowly some of them lowered their arms and
knelt on the ground in defeat, only a small core of older wolves, the Alpha
and Beta amongst them decided to fight too the end, within ten minutes
there was no more sounds of fighting, of the seven hundred wolves that came
to defend the encampment there were now no more than fifty or so left, and
of those most had deep wounds, there were of course the young cubs that the
two boys had hidden away in one of their many between realms hideouts.

When the fighting had finally ended, Peter and his folk looked around the
shattered camp, every tank and tanker was now just a smouldering heap of
burnt metal only the one still under the shimmering blue dome stood
untouched, as if by a silent command, the dome disappeared and anyone
taking notice of the two young boys at the edge of the trees would have
seen them smile at each other as they lowered their arms, they now started
to move into the battle field, their direction was in a straight line
towards where Peter and Swiftwing stood among the carnage.

When Quetz and Tezca came up to where Peter and Swiftwing stood, they
wrapped their arms around their adopted fathers and snuggled in for a hug,
the two bonded vampires did not hesitate to pull them into a close hug and
give them both a light kiss on the top of their heads, around them the
clean up started, while not much could be done about the still hot piles of
metal interspersed with the black ashes of dead vampires, those that still
lived by surrendering were taken and placed with their hands bound in one
small group, of the Adirondack vampire clan there was now little left, they
would never be able to rise up again.

It was almost as an after thought that the two boys smiled at their fathers
and then waved a hand, immediately all the young cubs appeared in a circle
close to where the survivors were now waiting, it would have been almost
funny as the young ones dropped from about a foot above the ground to be
dumped unceremoniously on their small butts on the burnt ground, it was
very plain for all to see that the scene that the young ones saw would give
them nightmares for a long time to come, it would also work as a warning
for any future thought of revenge.

The cleanup continued, most of the burnt out tanks and tankers could not be
dealt with so were left for nature to take her own course, of the dead
wolves there was only burial, the long single trench that the dead were
rolled into seemed to extend for most of the length of the valley floor, it
was a grisly task but one that had to be done.

Peter and Swiftwing approached the small group that had surrendered, they
now sat with the young cubs close to them, they looked a dismal lot as they
hunkered down to await their eventual fate.

"This could all have been avoided, your Alpha was given the chance to walk
away and leave these other traitors to their own demise." Peter said in a
loud voice filled with authority, he was no longer a young fifteen year old
new blood. "We don't want to be the cause of the extinction of your clan,
you will be free to leave here and return to your hills, teach your young
ones better, this was a vampire matter and you should never have been a
part of it, now we will have you escorted to those vehicles that have
survived and you can leave here, don't look back and never return."

Peter gave a nod to some of the folk that had been guarding the captors,
quickly their hands and feet were freed and they were then, along with the
young cubs, escorted to the few remaining vehicles that had brought them
here, another ten minutes and the sound of the departing vehicle could no
longer be heard, it was now time to make plans to deal with the three
traitors still in their death sleep.

The sun was now just a mere smudge of pink on the western horizon, Peter,
Swiftwing, the two god boys and the two leaders of the folk, all stood
outside the hatch of the last remaining tanker, Peter had sent a message to
the caves up in the hills for the rest of his close knit people to join
them as soon as they were able.

Peter's body guards arrived just as the first signs of movement inside the
tanker were heard, Peter quickly explained what he had done and what he was
about to do, it was Sin Yu that spoke before the three traitors made their
appearance for the first time, the view they would see would not be the one
they were expecting.

"My Lord, I would like to take care of my one time Father, it may settle
once and for all any doubts that anyone has as well as get some revenge for
what he did to my little brother Lim Soo."

"Then he is yours my friend, I will take care of Michael Strong, Swiftwing,
do you want the Yakuza vampire?"

"Yes, he is mine."

"Well, you be careful, all of them are very old vampires and know a lot of
tricks, they had to be cunning to live this long."

Peter received a quick kiss on his cheek for his advice as the two other
boys moved in to be a part of the loving, it was just then that the locked
hatch of the tanker ground out as it moved, within seconds the three
traitors were standing looking at the total wreck of their once mighty
camp, one look around them at the multitude of folk and they knew they were
in real trouble, the anger of the assembled folk was almost palpable in the
night time air, it was also noticed that with so many folk around and all
on full alert, that there was no escape this time.

There was little discussion about the events, Peter just looked at the
three vampires and slowly shook his head, he then told them their options.

"You have tried to invade not only our bases but our country, we will at
least give you a chance to die with some sort of honour which is more than
you gave a lot of our defenceless Vaga houses, Chen Sin Yu, your son Sin Yu
has asked to be the one to take your head, I have agreed, Michael Strong,
for a vampire of your age you should have known better, for this I
challenge you to fight to the death, and you Vampire, who are you?" Peter
looked at the young/old vampire Senti Matsumoto of the Yakuza.

"I am Senti Matsumoto, I am head of all the Yakuza, I am afraid that you
will have a hard time taking my head, I have lived through more than you
can ever know."

"My consort wishes to test your boast, neither of you will have a weapons
selection, you will have to do the best you can with what you are given, it
is either fight or die by the suns rays in the morning, there will be no
escape this time."

"You do not even offer us a deal if we win?" Chen Sin Yu said out loud so
all could hear him.

Peter's reply was gruff and to the point, the certainty in his voice left
nothing to the imagination.

"You won't win; this is your death night for your traitorous attacks, at
least this way you may be able to die with a little honour, something you
have not shown to others."

The sheer numbers of folk that now surrounded the small group made it
certainly impossible for the three old vampires to attempt any form of
escape, it was now a forgone conclusion that this was to be their last
night on earth, even if they won against the youngsters they would still
die at the hands of the onlookers, all they had now was to do as much
damage as they could and at least try to rid the country of the young
Prince and his friends, Sin Yu was the first to step towards his one time
sire and Father, throwing a Katana at the feet of the man he once almost
idolised, he stepped back and waited for the vampire to pick it up.

A smile that was almost a sneer came over Chen Sin Yu's face as he swooped
on the Katana and took it up in a two handed grip, his stance said he was
ready for battle.

"You really are stupid my Son, I taught you everything you know about
fighting and you want to challenge me with the Katana, I thought you had
more common sense, oh well, when you are in pieces I will send your little
brother to you as well."

As he finished his short speech, Chen Sin Yu attacked with the speed that
all vampires had at their disposal, to the human eye it was nothing more
than a blur in the night, the sudden sharp sound of swords clashing
together and then silence as both participants stepped back and took stock
of their efforts but still facing each other ready for the next charge.

Sin Yu held his blade high above his head as he watched his one time Father
and Sire, the older vampire stood still and smiled back at Sin Yu as he saw
the long shallow cut on the upper arm of the younger man, as if by some
silent signal, both vampires charged in again, the furious clash of steel
on steel was this time a little longer and, when the two parted, Sin Yu had
another deeper cut on his right upper thigh, this time however, Chen Sin Yu
had not escaped unharmed, he had a long shallow gash across his chest where
his shirt now sagged open but, as an old vampire, all could see that the
wound was already closing where-as Sin Yu's would take a little longer as
he was younger.

The attacks now became faster and more furious, neither of the two giving
an inch as they fought back and forth, the loud ringing clash of their
weapons echoing through the still night air, even though there were close
to four thousand folk there, the one time encampment was as silent as the
grave as the two family member thrust and parried at each other.

After almost thirty minutes of furious fighting, Chen Sin Yu seemed to be
getting the upper hand; his long years had given him an edge and a cunning
that a younger man could not hope to emulate, slowly he began to get the
better of Sin Yu as could be seen by the more numerous cuts and gashes in
the younger vampire, finally, with one rapid and furious attack, Chen Sin
Yu had the younger vampire moving quickly backwards, for a split second it
looked as though Sin Yu would escape the sudden onslaught, but as luck
would have it, his footing was not the best and he tripped on a small tree
root, as he fell his Katana was dashed from his hand by his Fathers fast
slashing sword, it was only a split second but it was enough for Sin Yu to
know he had failed.

As he lay on his back looking up into the grinning and triumphant face of
his Father, Sin Yu could only think of his little brother now without any
family at all, Sin Yu could only watch with regret as he saw his father
lift the Katana high over his head in readiness for the killing blow that
would severe his head from his body.

The crowd had grown silent as they realised that the younger vampire was
beaten, in the hushed silence, and, as Chen Sin Yu looked at his son with
blood in his eyes, the heavy swish of the speeding blade seemed to fill the
night air, Chen Sin Yu's eyes flickered to his left in a micro second, the
sight he saw would be imprinted on his retina forever.

Standing not two feet from his left shoulder and holding Sin Yu's lost
Katana with its blade dripping fresh blood, was Lim Soo, the smaller
vampire stood looking at his one time Father with dispassionate eyes as
Chen Sin Yu's brain suddenly found it could no longer hold up the raised
Katana, it also registered in that fraction of a second that it no longer
had a blood flow.

Around the watchers came a sigh that sounded like the wind in the trees as
they watched the upright form of Chen Sin Yu topple forward as his head
rolled off his shoulders and he slumped down beside his son, Sin Yu still
had the look of death on his young face as he saw his little brother
standing above him with tears in his young eyes and the bloody Katana now
dropped on the ground beside him, Sin Yu looked up into the young eyes and
saw a mixture of fear, hate and also regret, for an Asian it was one of the
biggest taboos to take the life of ones Father, the child like figure of
Lim Soo had suddenly realised the enormity of what he had done to save his
older brother.

Sin Yu jumped to his feet and wrapped the younger boy in his arms trying to
soothe the boys fears as best he could, his own life was now at the beck
and call of his little brother, the debt he now owed his kin was, he knew,
never going to be able to be repaid, he held the younger boy tighter, all
they had now was each other and the family of the Prince, it would have to
be enough for them in the centuries to come.

As if there was a signal given, Swiftwing stepped forward and wrapped the
two in his arms and led them away from the body of the man they had called
Father and Sire, once both vampires were safely out of the semi circle of
onlookers, Swiftwing stepped back into the cleared area and signalled for
the Yakuza Leader, in his hands he held his two Kama.

Swiftwing watched as the Japanese leader stepped forward and took up his
own confiscated Katana from the hands of one of the guards, in his twelve
hundred years, Senti had never seen any swordsman beaten by the smaller and
shorter Kama, he almost felt sorry for the strange young Shaman Vampire,
his own long experience told him he would take the boy down swiftly then as
many of the enemy as he could reach, if this was to be his death day then
it would be a costly one for his captors.

Once his three swords were correctly placed in his wide sash, Senti stepped
forward and, out of tradition, bowed to Swiftwing then in a move so fast it
was almost impossible to see, his Katana came free of the scabbard and was
flying towards Swiftwing's head in a deadly accurate show of force, speed
and centuries of practice.

Nobody was more surprised than Senti Matsumoto when his six hundred year
old blade hit nothing but a thin wispy green mist, within the blink of an
eye he was trying desperately to defend himself from a whirling dervish of
flashing blades as the green mist solidified and showed a grinning
Swiftwing in full attack mode, all Senti could do was retreat with parries
and blocks as the spinning blades sliced and chopped at him.

Senti finally got a chance to step back and away from the slim native
Shaman, he could feel more than five cuts trying to heal as he took in his
opponent with new eyes, this was no foolish young vampire, this young
Shaman had skills he had never come across before, he now knew for certain
he was in a fight for his life.

Try as hard as he could, Senti could not get a clean strike on the ever
moving figure, every time he thought he had a good hit on the boy he would
see only green mist while he himself was taking damage from the spinning
blades in the boys hands, the end came almost as an anti climax, with a
leap that defied gravity, Swiftwing was high in the air and, using the Kama
as crossed blades, he easily severed the old vampires head from his
shoulders, the long rein of Senti Matsumoto was over, for Swiftwing he was
barely breathing hard, the long hours of training under the expert hands of
Sin Yu and his own innate ability as a Shaman had won the day for him, he
turned away from the fallen body and joined his boy friend while they
looked at the last survivor of all their recent troubles.

Michael Strong did not feel at all confident as he surveyed the remains of
his two allies, he himself was no slouch in a fight but he well knew he was
totally outmatched by any of the young vampire that stood before him, his
knowledge of weapons and their use was not altogether strange to him but he
was in no way up to their standard.

Much to the surprise of Michael, the young Prince stepped forward and
gestured for Michael to step up, the Prince held no weapons although he had
a very fancy looking Katana across his shoulders he made no attempt to
retrieve it, he stood alone and waiting, unknown to Michael, every thought
he had was easily read by Peter.

"Well, Michael Strong, this is your chance to do what you have been trying
to do for the last year, if you want a weapon then ask, if not then we can
settle this bare handed, it's your choice?"

Michael could not believe his luck, the boy was going to fight without
weapons, in this area Michael was no slouch, he had had seven hundred years
of experience to call on and this young one had little more than ten, it
almost seemed a shame to take the boy out so easily, Michael set about
ridding himself of his heavy jacket and shirt, it would give him more
freedom of movement.

Michael watched as the Prince removed the sword from his back and then
stood relaxed not five feet away, his hands were by his side and he seemed
to have to idea of a defensive stance, Michael attacked with a high flying
kick at the head of the Prince, much to his surprise he made no contact yet
the boy was only feet away, when he looked back he saw the boy now standing
some six feet to the left of where he had been, Michael would have to be
more circumspect.

With the grace and speed of many years of practice, Michael advanced on the
boy, with a sudden burst of speed and skill he went for the boys body with
hard ripping blows of his closed fists, mixed in with fast accurate kicks
aimed at the groin, ribs and head of the Prince, it was a barrage that no
normal person would be able to defend against but, for some reason that
Michael could not explain, he did not make one single contact, he stopped
and looked for his target once again, the sound of a soft voice from behind
him sent a shiver up Michael's back, `how the hell had the boy got behind
him?'

Michael was now totally perplexed but he had no answers, the Prince was far
better than he had thought, even a reasonably old vampire would have had
trouble defending against such an all out attack yet here this vampire of
only ten years avoided him with ease, Michael was not pleased, what he saw
next pleased him even less.

As he watched Peter, Michael saw the boys aura begin to glow like nothing
he had ever seen before, the Princes eyes now looked to be dark red flames
as he glared with anger at the man who wanted it all for himself, next
Michael saw the fingernails on both the Princes hands grow longer and
darker, they now represented long black talons, he was well aware of this
phenomena but it was usually only seen on the oldest and most powerful of
the vampires, their name for it was, The Devils Change, very few had the
ability to carry it out, now Michaels fears were a palpable scent in the
night time air.

Michael was well aware that one single drop of blood from the fangs that
now hung a full two inches from the mouth of the Prince could render him no
more than a mewling baby, the black talons were also just as dangerous as
they too produced a poison that was deadly to any living thing, including
vampires.

Michael's shoulders slumped with defeat; there was little point in going on
as he stood less than no chance against the figure he saw standing before
him now, with a sigh of resignation Michael walked forward, he did not even
bother to try to resist but, instead of a quick, although agonising death,
he found himself bound by vines that had suddenly appeared from the ground
under his feet, the Prince was changing back into his usual young teen
look, struggle as much as he might, Michael could not free himself from the
clinging vines, all he could do was now look into the young face he had
wanted to conquer.

"You do not deserve a quick death for what you have done Michael Strong,
those vines will hold you until sunrise when you will be exposed to its
rays and die a slow and most painful death, it's what you deserve for your
treachery."

Peter looked around at his followers, they all seemed to be in agreement
that the rogue vampire should die as slow as possible for his crimes, there
was not a single look of appeal amongst the whole crowd that stood watching
the vines slowly lower the still struggling Michael Strong to the ground
where he would be held until sunrise.

Under Peter's orders, those renegade wolves that had surrendered along with
the young cubs had been allowed to leave under escort, to return to their
Adirondack hills, it would take many years for them to ever become any sort
of the threat again, but, the lesson of the valley had made its mark on the
survivors, they had no intention of going up against the Prince ever again.

Peter waved his arm to all his followers, within minutes they were all
starting to disappear into the trees, it was time to go home and leave the
site of the invaders defeat to the natural world, the piles of smouldering
metal would last for eons and the wide highway that had run through the
valley would soon become a thing of the past as a new highway was
constructed and by-passed the valley altogether, the valley would one day,
far into the future become known as the Valley of Justice, it would also
become something of a sacred site and very few ventured into it ever again.


END.


Artcart65@vodafone.co.nz

 

 

 

 

 

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