|"It was my young master, Alucard, who thwarted perhaps evil's greatest plan--when the dark priest Shaft corrupted Richter Belmont through black magic and forced him to serve as an able lieutenant in Dracula's army. Had the young master's spirit not been reawakened, I'd right now be the host of 'Dracula's Castlevania Realm'! Instead I'm here, in ... dyuh. Though, left lingering is one question: How did Shaft do it, exactly? It was a spell, we were told, but, then, why didn't any other evildoers think of this before? Maybe they did, but their powers lacked such potency. Or maybe they were unable to catch him at the most opportune of times. Sam Mills gives us his interpretation of fruition sweetly met!"|
By Sam Mills
There was a gentle thought that kept racing through Richter’s mind as he found himself walking through the main hall of the castle. Surrounding him was the most horrible and demonic company one could pray never to come across. But there he was, walking through a place swarming with ghosts, demons and creatures. One by one, he tore them to shred with his mighty whip, leaving nothing but blood, guts and ashes in his path. Never the less, the gentle thought he had kept racing through his head.
It was the thought of his beloved, Annette. Though his mission was to ultimately destroy Dracula and save the world, the only thing he could think of was saving Annette. Dracula has kidnapped her and whisked her away to his lair, and all he could do was think of the smile on her face when he came to rescue her.
The beautiful image only fueled his desire to keep going. He’d found his way down to the lower levels of the castle, where horrid and ugly Mermen were jumping about. As they attacked him, he fought with all his might to destroy them in his path. The air was damp and cold, the air smelled of rotting flesh. Part of him wanted to either turn back or die to avoid the horrors he was seeing. But one thought of Annette, and all he was seeing ceased to bother him.
Before entering this subterranean area, Richter had found a key hidden inside on of the candles. He wasn’t sure where it led, and risked not having a projectile weapon to hold onto it. But soon, he came across a locked gate just below the staircase leading out of this place. Shrugging his shoulders, Richter tried to key in the lock, and the gate opened. He knew he’d found something, but what was it?
As he walked inside, he came across a dark priest performing rituals on a woman, suspended in thin air. It had to be Shaft, the dark priest responsible for bringing Dracula back from the dead. “Stop!” Richter yelled, ready to take Shaft on right then and there. But cowardly, the dark priest disappeared into thin air, letting out a chuckle as he avoided this confrontation.
Richter approached the woman. From across the room, it looked as if it could possibly be Annette! As the woman descended downward, he extended his arms and caught her. Immediately, he could see this was not Annette, but there was something about her that reminded him of Annette. This woman was hardly a woman at all, but practically a girl, it seemed, with long blonde hair. As she came out of her spell, she looked up at him. “This must be Annette sister…” Richter thought.
Oh, how he missed Annette so much. As he looked into the face of this younger version of his beloved, and wondered where she was, and what she was doing. She had to be terrified, alone, maybe even in great pain. The thoughts of Annette in this state send shivers down his spine. But as this girl awoke, his feelings become those of joy as he realized he had just saved a life.
Richter talked with the little girl, assured her he was a good person. Her name was Maria, Annette’s little sister, who was herself captured when she decided to look for her sister. She told Richter how much she too could fight, and Richter laughed. He didn’t want to laugh at a time when he knew Annette was suffering, but he couldn’t help it. He knew how much a good spirit was important in matters of determination. He decided to let Maria go after Dracula in her own way, and he’d see who made it to Dracula first.
The way was not easy. Richter made his way through a ghost ship, fought many foes and even defeated the Shaft. The whole time, it was all about Annette. Finally, he came to fight Dracula in the balcony in the distant corners of his demon castle.
Though details are scarce, there are many interpretations as to what happened next. This is one of them…
As Richter entered the throne room, he found Dracula was not there. However, in the center of the room was Annette! He hands were bound and her mouth gagged with a cloth. She seemed to be motioning for him to run away, but Richter was overjoyed to see his beloved still alive! “Annette! I am so glad to see you alright!” He ran to Annette and reached down to unbind her hands and feet. As he did so, he did not notice the shadowy figure that was growing behind him. “Don’t worry my love, I will get you out of here!”
He removed the gag from Annette to allow her to speak. “Richter, you don’t understand! We’ve got to get out of here!”
“Annette, where is he? Where is Dracula?” Richter asked.
Annette’s eyes bulged at the sight behind Richter’s back. Suddenly, she screamed as Dracula emerged from the blackness. Fangs extended and arms raised high, Dracula charged at Richter. Richter looked back, and with whip in hand, struck Dracula as hard as he could!
Dracula vanished and reappeared on the other side of the room. “Annette! Run! GO!” he cried. Doing as Richter commanded, Annette ran from the room, and overlooked from the doorway. The battle between Dracula and the vampire hunter commenced. Richter struck Dracula several times in the head, causing great damage, until Dracula disappeared from sight, only to appears someplace else a moment later. But Richter was fast, and in a matter of moments, Dracula’s strength had diminished.
But Dracula had one last trick up his sleeve. He transformed into a giant beast. “Playtime is OVER! Time to die!” he cried. Richter was very tired, and his determination was ahead of his body. He tried fighting Dracula in this form, but he was growing weak.
From the shadows, Annette watched, unable to do anything. She felt so helpless, so weak. If only she had the same power, but she knew she didn’t. There was no hope. She was going to see her beloved die is disgrace! How could she let this happen? Why did he come here? There was nothing she could do! “No!” she cried.
But a comforting hand embraced hers. “Don’t worry sister, I have a few tricks up my sleeve.” Annette looked back to see her little sister standing there.
“Maria!” Annette cried. “What can you do?”
Maria ran into the room. With the spirits in the palm of her hand, she cried out, “Everyone, grant him your strength!” With the powers of the four elements of nature, she passed Richter the power needed to overcome his weakness and finish his task. Richter struck Dracula, the beast, several times. There was something about him that was overcome with a power he had never felt before. Dracula couldn’t believe it either! Within a few moments, Dracula knew he was done for. He could carry on this battle no more, and found himself fading into nothing more than a human figure.
With Dracula’s defeat, the castle began to crumble. Richter grabbed Annette and they fled from the castle as quickly as possible. The reached the lower ground and ran as fast as they could as the castle became nothing but a pile of rubble and dust.
They stopped a moment to catch their breath. Richter was feeling the energy passed onto him from Maria beginning to dissolve. He was weaker, but his spirit was stronger than ever, thanks to the power of Maria. “Richter, I am so glad to see you are okay,” Annette said. “I was so worried about you, my love…so worried.”
Richter looked at Annette, and while he knew he loved her, there was only one thought that kept racing through his head: “Why?”
“Why what?” Annette asked. “I don’t understand.”
Richter dared not answer the question aloud, and shook it off. But he wondered why Annette, the one he loved and cared about the most, did not come to his aid when he needed it? How is it that Maria, her younger sister had the power to help him destroy Dracula, and save the world, while all she could do was stand there and watch? He was angry, very angry that she did not come to help him.
But Richter said nothing more about it, and buried his feelings in reason. He knew that Maria had a power that was beyond that of a normal human. Where did the power come from, he did not know. Perhaps Shaft unintentionally passed something on to Maria while performing his spell? It was impossible to say.
Richter and Annette ended up getting married soon afterwards. The marriage would be blissful, and the love they’d share was overwhelming. But Richter could never quite shake the feeling that Annette had let him down at the crucial moment, and that she did not truly care. Those feeling of doubt and anger dwelled deep in his mind. It was something he was able to ignore.
But little did he realize that those
same feelings would be the planting of a seed for sinister powers to grow
inside of him. And when they did, he would end up doing things no one could
have suspected he could ever be capable of doing. This seed would grow into
a power that would again cause Richter to become engulfed in the castle of
Dracula, but not in a way he would have ever though possible…but that is a
story for yet another time.