Two young boys were playing in a empty, dirty street. There was dust and broken stone covering the ground they ran on. The nearby buildings were in ruins and there was no signs of life other than the children. This didn't bother the children much as they were use to it.
One of the boys bent over, his blonde hair falling in his face as he did so. He search the ground near his dust-covered, bare feet. Quickly he spotted what he was looking for and grab a small gray stone. He threw the stone at his slightly taller friend, hitting him in one of his thin arms. The blonde boy ran behind the broken wall of an unknown building, laughing. Suddenly he felt something smack into him, causing him to fall to the ground.
"Hey!", he called out while still laughing as his friend was getting off of him.
"That's what happens when you throw rocks at me, Ashi." Ashi looked up at his black hair friend. He had a large smile on his face as he dusted himself off. Once finished getting only some of the dust off of himself, he looked at Ashi with piercing green eyes and extended his arm toward Ashi, who was still on the ground.
Syriel Rayurol opened his eyes to the sight of green, dew-covered grass. Slowly he sat us and yawned. He sighed as he placed his hand on his aching head.
"Had one of those nights again?", a high, female voice called out to him from behind him. Syriel turned to see a small figure packing some items into a brown backpack. She was looking at him with a concerned look on her face, her short, brown hair blowing softly in the wind.
"Yeah", he answered back as he stood up to pack his things. "This time it was someone new."
"Really, who?", his female companion, Rina Williams, asked. She had finished packing her things and walked over to where Syriel was.
"Some kid. I think he was called Ashi," he answered and explained his dream to Rina. Two years ago Syriel awoken in the care of Rina's father, who was a healer. He can't remember anything before that. But for some reason, he has these dreams. They are always from the viewpoint of someone else. That person is always dead. When he awakes, he is left with a feeling of sadness, dread, or anger and a massive headache.
Rina was quiet for a while, then she patted Syriel on the back. Syriel finished packing up and swung his bag onto his back. "Are we off then?," He said, happy to have an opportunity to get his dream out of his mind.
Rina nodded and they began walking. They were in the middle of a healthy, green forest. The trees were tall and mighty and the plant life flourished. Animals scurried between the trees, hidden under the plants. They had camped out by a river, so the ground was moist and sunk a bit with each step.
Rina hopped along in from of Syriel. Her walk had a bounce to it that made Syriel smile. She had always wanted to adventure and explore the world as a young girl. It wasn't until she was old enough and had Syriel that her father let her. She had convinced both Syriel and her father that they had to go to find Syriel's missing memories. While, that may have been in part true, Syriel believed that she just mostly wanted an excuse to leave the small village she came from.
"We need to hurry and get to the next town. We are almost out of food and money", Rina said looking back.
"What is the next town?", Syriel asked.
"The town of Greenwood, then after that Miracle." Rina's large brown eyes lit up at the name Miracle. It was said to be a beautiful town famous for it's affordable luxuries. They walked for most of the day in silence. Syriel's head was still aching from his dream, so he didn't speak much.
The day was a cool day. The air had a bit of a chill that both Rina and Syriel welcome. The sun brightly shined through the high leaves of the trees. The two friends walked most of the day in this kind of weather through the forest. They couldn't ask for a better day to travel in.
It was late afternoon when they saw the town of Greenwood. Their pace quickened. "We're here, we're here!", Rina called out, jumping in excitement. Syriel laughed at her. They walked into the town. It was a relatively small town. All the buildings were one story and made of white painted wood, except for the town hall and tavern.
"Where is everyone?", Syriel asked, noticing that the streets were a bit too bare of people.
Quietly they walked down the main pathway in this empty looking town. They found a goods store and enter the door. The place was quiet. Trinkets and goods were placed messily on shelves. "Hello?" Rina called out.
Suddenly there was a loud sound of a door being swung open and hitting a nearby wall. A loud voice followed the sound. "Who is here?"
Rina and Syriel turned to see a large, older man with a frown upon his hairy face. He leaned on the store counter looking down at the two younger people waiting for a response.
"Excuse me sir," Syriel said, his voice was still a bit shaky from the sudden startle. "We were wondering if you would be interested in some of our goods for your store." That was how Rina and Syriel made the money for their travels. They would collect goods at towns or along the way and sell them. The store owner's face lighten up and they went about their business selling trinkets and cool things they found.
They made a decent amount of money from the man. He apparently never had stock from Rina's home village of Sernia. It was a small village, often not found on any maps so it wasn't surprising. Many of the people their celebrated the arts as the most pure way to display human emotion and thoughts for others to see. So to the old man, the pottery and instruments that the village offered to them were unique and beautiful. Much of it was designed based off of the ideas of nature and the gods interacting. To Syriel and Rina, they were a good source of income for the beginning of their journey.
They quickly left the store, still a bit scared of the large man who owned it. Then they headed to the town's tavern, which was conveniently placed across the street. They opened the door to the most quiet tavern they had seen. It was the first tavern on their journey, but the one in little Sernia was much louder.
There were people sitting around tables talking in hushed voices. They looked at the group that just entered, and then they turned back to their conversations. There was a heavy feeling in the air.
"Hello, how may I help you?" a dark woman said from behind the counter. She was a middle-age woman whose voice and body position indicated that she was overworked. Rina and Syriel sat down at the counter and asked for some food and drink.
While the dark woman was working on that Rina spoke up. "Why is it so quiet around here?"
The woman looked at her, fear showing in her eyes. "You don't know?" The two newcomers shook their heads. "There a bloodthirsty vampire hunting in this area. People are scared to death. Say he killed over thousand people by now."
Rina and Syriel looked at each other, both fully understanding what that meant for them.
A woman laid on the ground. Her body was ice cold and her skin was pale. She didn't move, not even to breathe. Blood spilt from her chest where a stab wound was present. Ashi laid on top of her crying. His frail arms and small hands were red from her blood. Kai stood nearby, tears falling down his cheeks. He watched silently as Ashi clung desperately to this woman.
Ashi suddenly felt Kai grab his arm and pull him into the rubble of a destroyed building. His mouth was soon covered by Kai's hand. Ashi tried to free himself to get back to the woman, but Kai held him tightly.
Shortly afterward an adult male walked by. Ashi stopped struggling right away. This man was not human. His left arm was a blade, covered in blood. The boy's sat completely still, not even daring to breathe. He looked around the area and grabbed the woman. Then, he left, carrying her away.
Ashi broke out of Kai's hold and ran after him, but Kai tackled him back to the ground. "She's dead Ashi, dead." He yelled. "There is nothing you can do. So stop it, just stop it!" Kai was crying as he shook his friend on the ground.
Ashi just felt numb then. Slowly he got Kai off of him and sat staring down at the red stained ground. "That was my mother." He said softly.
"I know", Kai answered while calming down.
"She's dead now", Ashi said, still feeling numb and cold inside.
"What are we going to do now?"
"I... don't know", Kai turned to Ashi. His piercing green eyes filled with sadness and fear.
Syriel groaned as he woke up. Like always Rina was awake first. They had gone to bed at the tavern. For the first time since beginning the journey, they had beds to sleep on. The room was plain and only colors were white and brown.
"Again?" she asked.
"Yeah, it was the same boy," and like always he told Rina was he dreamed about.
"That's strange. Your dreams don't normally happen back to back. How are you feeling?"
"I'm fine. I feel a bit worn out and of course my head is killing me, but I will be okay." he reassured his friend. They began packing their things to leave.
"I wonder why you had dreams about this Ashi kid twice, poor kid." Rina said while closing her bag.
Syriel shook his head. He had no idea. He didn't even know why he had dreams like those. So, he changed the subject. "What are we going to do about the vampire?"
"Not run into him hopefully", Rina joked, to which Syriel gave shook his head and sighed. "But seriously, Vampires are only suppose to move at night. So once it gets dark we find a place to hide and hope for the best."
"That doesn't sound very promising," Syriel told her, rubbing his head.
"I know, but we can't stay here. We don't have enough money to continue staying here for too long and still be able to eat and get to Miracle." Rina shrugged. "If it comes down to it, maybe we can kill it and be heroes."
Syriel let out a small laugh before heading out the door. The people holding themselves up in the tavern watched in shock as the two friends left. And after picking up some travel food and new trinkets, Syriel and Rina headed out of town.
The air was a bit colder than it was the day before. And without the trees, the wind blew harshly against them. Even though they had put on an extra layer of clothing, the walk was still bitterly cold.
They followed to road out of town on toward Miracle. The erie feeling in the air and fear of the vampire said to have killed a thousand men made the walk a quiet one. Both of them were listening through the wind as best they could for any sound. After a while they relaxed a bit more. A story of a vampire killing thousands of men started to sound more and more like the talk of overly scared townsfolk. And for all they knew, there if there was a vampire, it could be long gone by the time they got there.
Once night began to fall, Rina and Syriel began looking for a place to camp out in. The forest ended before they got to Greenwood, so there was only a few, spread out trees. Syriel found a grassy indent in the ground, and they rolled out their bags in that spot. Unfortunately it was the best hiding place with the grass tall enough to hide two laying bodies.
"I will keep watch," Rina told Syriel. "You look exhausted, so I will wake you when I need to sleep." Normally Syriel would argue that he should be the first on watch, but she was right. He was exhausted. So with no complaining, he laid down and fell instantly asleep, hoping for a peaceful night.
Ashi stared in horror as Kai stabbed the dead body of what use to be a demon. The demon was the same one they saw take away Ashi's mother. Kai was out of control. "Kai?" Ashi said quietly.
Kai turned and glared at him. His eyes were a deep red color, which scared Ashi. "Kai, that's enough." He said a little louder. Kai continued to glare. His thin body was covered in blood, his eyes were angry and red, and his hand holding a red soaked knife. Ashi was terrified of his friend.
He stood up and slowly made his way to his friend. Not knowing what else to do, Ashi tackled him to the ground and held him there. Kai struggled under him for a while, then stopped. Ashi opened his eyes to see the piercing green ones of his friend.
"Are you okay, Kai?" Ashi asked getting off him, still a bit scared. Kai didn't answer, he just looked away.
Syriel was woken up by Rina shaking him. He quietly got up and sat hidden in the grass where Rina sat watch. He didn't tell Rina about his dream. He didn't want her to worry and he was still feeling Ashi's terror and sadness from it.
What the hell is happening? He wondered. Usually his dreams are light hearted people who have died and missed a loved one or something. Or that's how it felt to Syriel. But these last three were far from lighthearted and they kept shook his head to clear it. He didn't want to think about it. Ashi's dreams were painful in they way they felt and what he saw was scarring.
The night was calm and peaceful. Nothing happened during any of their watches. When they began moving again, they felt relieved. Maybe this did mean there was no vampire near by. And this was the day Rina was finally going to see the fair city of Miracle.
They walked with excited steps for many hours, stopping once to eat. Rina talked about all she has heard about Miracle. The water there was so clear that one could see the bottom of the pools and rivers. The air was always filled with music played by master and the smell of food like no other place could have. It was described to be man's greatest achievement, a city that was the closest thing to paradise.
Then they arrived at this paradise. The first thing they say was the buildings that were glistening as if they were made from jewels. "Finally," Rina said, looking at the city with wonder. "I wonder what we can find in there. How long do we want to stay? Do you think I could try to play something?" She went on quickly spilling out wonders and questions she had.
Syriel laughed, "Calm down. We have to actually get into the city first." She looked back at him, her brown eyes smiling in delight.
"First I think we will check out the stores for any memora…" Both Rina and Syriel stopped once they entered the city. Their hearts drop as they what wasn't paradise, but hell. The marble streets were hidden underneath a sea of red. The clear water was the color of death. And bodies laid lifelessly for as far as they could see. The smell of death was sickening.
They stood frozen in shock. Then Syriel saw something move in the distance. Quickly he grabbed Rina's arm and pulled her into the open door of a nearby house. She looked sick, her skin was paler than normal and her eyes were still wide with shock. She covered her mouth with her hand in an attempt to not lose her lunch as she looked at Syriel.
Syriel placed his finger over his mouth to indicate that she should be quiet. Then he whispered, "I saw something out there".
"Do you think it's the vampire?" Rina asked weakly.
The two hid quietly in the house for a while. Then, they heard the sound of footsteps. One after the other, slowly approaching them. Syriel quietly grabbed the sword he always kept on his belt. He heard Rina do the same. They held their breath in anticipation.
Then, they saw it. A slender, pale human-like person with red eyes faced them from the doorway.