Kent and Elise looked at each other. They realized this was the final warning of the visions that Elise saw. The book was the evidence and the key, the same case that happened when she had the book “The Pharaoh’s of Ancient Egypt” before they were sucked into 3100 B.C., in Ancient Egypt.
Kent’s color went back to normal when he realized that Elise was looking at him deep into his eyes. He fluttered his eyes and gazed at the book instead.
“Why do you say it’s Dracula? ‘Zalmoxis’ is a Dacian god from what I know.”
“You know this book?” she asked, surprised.
“Yes. I read extraordinary books as my pastime, too. I am interested in other topics besides those given at school. So, why do you think it’s Dracula we’ll meet?”
“It is because I constantly hear his name in my head.” Elise just stared at the book she was holding and spoke again.
“We’ll tell Diana and Eric about this then.” Elise looked away when she said it. She realized that the flowers were held in her hands now, without realizing it earlier. “W-what are you doing here? It’s not a weekend yet.”
“Uh, well… I’m off…”
“Are you in a job and you’d say you’re off?” Elise raised an eyebrow at him.
“Oh, I asked permission from my professor pleading sick.” He smiled wickedly.
Elise was worried. “Are you?”
Kent cleared his throat and averted his eyes. “Of course not! I just wanted to see you.”
Elise smiled as she looked up at him. “Well, it’s Friday tomorrow anyway. It’s a pity if you go back there now and then come back tomorrow evening.”
Kent gawped at her and followed her as she finished gathering her things. She borrowed the book from the librarian before they went out of the library.
They walked together at the hallway, passing by some students. Noticeably, some girl ogled Kent.
“Where’s your car?” Elise suddenly asked him.
“Why? Aren’t you going to your next class?”
“You know my class schedule?”
Kent merely smiled at her.
Elise shook her head and pushed her forefinger onto the side of his nose playfully.
Kent just laughed. “We’ll go to the park?”
Elise nodded at him and they went straight to his sports car that was parked near the exit gate.
Wallachia, 15th century.
The castle that Vlad inherited from his father was so grand and the tower overlooked the whole city and beyond. Vlad had the great hall rebuilt into more than three thousand square feet to have a vast space. The castle had a watch tower that was around thirty feet in diameter and around sixty feet or more in height. The entire castle was encased by two sets of at least five feet thick walls as their defense against the enemies.
The cellar underneath the great hall was designed as that of the Byzantine structure. It was created for the secret archers and his secret torture chamber.
It was Easter and Vlad’s wedding day; just as his new bride retired to her chambers right after lunchtime, he was grateful he got the chance at last to talk with his invited guests—the five hundred boyars—all of them.
“Gentlemen, I thank you for celebrating here with me in this important event of my life,” he said and raised his goblet of wine.
The boyars were smiling at him happily and nodded at him in unison. Then Vlad drank some wine from his goblet.
“Pray tell, m’lords, how many reigns did you witness during your lifetime?” Vlad asked them seriously. His eyes dangerously regarded his guests one by one.
The boyars looked at each other, and one answered.
“We have seen many, m’lord. It is our fault that this happened.”
Vlad smiled like the devil himself when he heard it. “Hence, you admitted that it was your idea to withdraw a prince once you put him on the throne?”
The boyars were all silent.
“M’lord, ‘tis—” The one who spoke earlier did not finish what he was about to say.
“Seize them all!” he ordered his soldiers who were gathered to guard him and the banquet.
It was the cruelest wedding day and Easter his enemies had ever known. All five hundred boyars were captured by the soldiers. Some were skinned alive, some were emboweled and all of them were pierced by sharp stakes. The stakes stood with the boyars agonizing in pain for many hours and some for days before they died.
Vlad took his meal outside and ate while he watched the impaled boyars die. Some of his soldiers puked secretly when he was not looking. His wife secretly watched in disgust by her window, but still, she dearly loved her cruel husband.
The black crows feasted on the dead bodies of the boyars while their families were held captive by Vlad and let them marched on to the Carpathian Mountains. He hired the best masons and craftsmen to go along with some soldiers to guard the prisoners and rebuild Castle Poenari.
Vlad went up to the tower that overlooked his territory. He sighed and looked up at the cloudy skies.
“Mother, Father, brother, I have now started my revenge. Watch me and I will not let those Turks step on my territory while I am alive,” he whispered heavenwards.
“I thought I would find you here.” Elisabeta smiled at her husband as she walked closer to him.
Vlad turned to his beautiful wife. She wore a white dress today and looked more beautiful than ever.
Elisabeta gently wound her arms around his waist and looked up at him.
“I wonder when this religious war would end, my prince. Would our son come to witness it?”
“Although it is not my wish, I am not certain whether he would be born to live peacefully.” Vlad embraced his wife as well and looked deep into her brown eyes. He bent and kissed her on the lips.
“By the way, a messenger came and I took his message for you,” Elisabeta informed him and smiled at him.
“A messenger?” His brows were drawn together in confusion.
“Yes, he is from Turkey. He brought news about Radu. He said that Radu found himself a no ordinary Shia.”
Vlad had heard about them. He had known that most of them performed rituals, and these rituals were about black magic. Although some rituals were meant for healing, evil Shias, such as sorcerers, wizards or warlocks, performed rituals of black magic to destroy their enemies.
Vlad blinked a few times as he looked at his wife and broke away from her embrace to turn his back to her.
“What is going on, my prince?” she asked with concern.
“I wish I can have someone to fight off his warlock Shia.” Vlad looked up at the darker clouds that gathered above.
Elisabeta just looked at him in confusion, not understanding what he meant by it.