Deglon Blood (Vilmo's Wrath)Chapter 1

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Mt. Angel, Oregon 1920

Mya's muscles tense throughout her body, swelling veins pulse violently beneath her skin, and her eyes widen as Dumont crouches over her. In her bed, she squirms and roars. The prodigious funk of rot that makes his decaying teeth blacken stirs up the contents in her gut as he leans in close to her face.

"Get off of me!"

As he meets her eyes, a smile perches on his pale lips as he traces her features with his gaze. A muffled groan escapes her tightly clamped teeth as fingernails dig into her flesh as she bucks wildly. With each breath, the tips burrow deeper into her neck.

"Stop fighting so that we can have a decent conversation."

He lets go of Mya's neck after a few moments of observing her admirable attempt to show no fear. Mya's eyes blaze with rage as she tries to keep her breathing under control. Her bucking to get free from his grip only piqued his interest. Dumont had a thing for fiery women. Especially if they possessed something he desired. He blows her a kiss while brushing a strand of her hair away from her face. After several deep breaths, Mya glares up into his eyes. With her face hard, her lips draw back in a snarl; she holds his gaze without the slightest tremble, even though he tugs at her soul with his stare.

With her hands and feet bound to the bed with only his thoughts, Dumont seizes the moment. His hands roam her body. Mya shudders, squeezing her eyes shut as a shivering chill from his cold skin caresses her breast and slowly moves down to her stomach. Even over her silk gown, his numbing touch makes her feel naked and vulnerable. More exposed than she had ever felt. Despite her best efforts, her lower lip quivers as she fights back the tears that threaten to reveal her fragility as he strokes her bulging belly.

"The twins are already so powerful. Mya, you will allow me one of them, or I will slay both."

Running his razor-sharp fingertips across her stomach, he rips through the top layer of her flesh. Dumont's smile widens when he notices the agony that rests in her glare. He wanted to hear her scream. Eye to eye with Mya he digs a little deeper hoping she'd cry out. His desire to hear her beg for mercy burned fiercely in his intense stare. Gripping her fists tight to deal with the pain, Mya's lip lifts into a confident smirk. She would never give in. Dumont's smile faded slightly and disappointment crept in, evicting all hope that she would give him the privilege of hearing her beg.

"These children will never...."

Her words are muffled by the palm that slams across her mouth. When he bites down on his wrist, Mya's eyes widen. Knowing his next move, Mya clenches her lips together while she squirms to break free.

Forcibly pressing on the back of her jaw, gradually he pries apart an opening. She trembles as soon as his blood meets her teeth. The numbing throb of the first few drips traveled down her throat. Not only relaxing her jaws but also allowing her blood to flow more freely, numbing her entire body until it becomes too heavy to resist his firm grip.

"I will claim every mind and slay every innocent around you until I receive what I want. The people in any city you try to hide in will pay for your selfishness. You have one month to make your decision, or I will make it for you. My blood connects us. Do you feel that burning energy running through your body? That's me. You and I, we're like family now. We share the same blood. There's no hiding; I'll always find you."

"Just kill me now! I won't change my mind."

"I expected that answer. Look out here and see what your greed is doing."

Dumont disappears after a nod toward the door.

Dizzily, hurrying out of bed, clutching the sides of her throbbing head, Mya sways from side to side trying to keep upright. Barely able to summon the strength to keep her balance, her feet clumsily stumble around like a newly walking toddler as she staggers toward the door. A coldness strips away her first few breaths after stepping out onto the porch.

In the street, her gaze is drawn to the mangled corpses of her neighbors. She turns away, not wanting to see any more of Dumont's destruction. But as if still compelled by the demon that moments ago threatened her life, her eyes force her to be witness to a devastating massacre.

The grass and pavements are covered in blood, stretching across the village. Every house for miles is engulfed in flames. Everyone is dead except for a circle of guys gathered around one man.

Chris clenches his jaws, holding in his screams as angry men beat him. He inhales, taking shallow breaths after each blow. Harsh vibrations of pain radiate throughout his body until numbness takes over, making his undeserved punishment bearable. Yet, even beneath the feet of an angry mob, Chris eyes the man responsible. The town's Sheriff, Kraven Moss, stands nearby laughing. His throaty chuckle rumbles in Chris's ears each time the men strike.

"No. Stop!" With her weapon drawn, Mya charges down the porch stairs, yelling at the men that assault her friend.

"Mya, no! Stay back. The ruby! Run!" Chris yells beneath the crowd that mauls his body with sticks and metal bars. Mya reluctantly stumbles back into the house.

"Stop!"

The men stop beating on the bloodied body beneath their feet and start making a route. Kraven's order provides Chris with a brief window of opportunity to begin mending and gain a clear view of the man behind the stone that has rendered him immobile. With a confident smirk, Kraven clutches the ruby stone that dangles from a string around his neck.

Pulling himself to his knees, Chris wipes blood from his mouth. His forehead scrunches, and his eyes swell with an obsessive focus on everything Kraven might do as he approaches him. Chris's fierce wrath immediately undermines Kraven's confidence.

Getting closer, Kraven's strides slow. The erratic palpitations of Kraven's heart play like music to Chris's ears. A grin lifts the corners of his lips as he watches Kraven's weak attempt at being brave for the mob he leads. Mustering the bravery to keep going, the Sheriff continues to approach the Szion. Seeing Chris's eyes glisten with a dazzling light leads Kraven to cringe. With the hope of bringing some peace to his anxious mind, he swallows the anxiety ball in his throat. He straightens his slacks and makes his way over to Chris.

"Have you heard the tales of angels that live here on earth? I bet you know the stories well. They say that some of you gifted could be them. Me-I don't believe that. I have killed many gifted people and noticed nothing angelic about them. What do you say? Are you an almighty, blessed warrior?" Kraven asks.

Nearly nose to nose, in his glare, Kraven is in a clear understanding of Chris's intent to kill him. Quickly, Kraven turns away so that no one else can catch notice of the fear that rests in his eyes. As Chris's expression darkens, Kraven continues his act of bravery.

"You are nothing. Those are just ridiculous myths. Stories created to make you feel as important as the rest of us. I don't understand the boss's fascination with you people."

Continuing his warrior act, Kraven swallows the lump of dread lodged in his throat.

"I smell your fear. You know I'm going to kill you, don't you?"

The calm in the Szion's tone, sends a painful terror down the Sheriff's spine. He stiffens his stance when a bitter cold slithers through his veins. To keep his hands from trembling, he folds them together. Before he could stop it, his fear dissolved into a burst of uncontrolled laughter. Kraven's anxious chuckle elicits a narrowing of the group's eyes. He grabs Chris's face again in an attempt to mask his nervousness. Cracking a smirk as they lock eyes.

"You are impostors to humanity, and I will find all of you." Despite Kraven's stern stare and firm whisper, in his eyes, it's clear that he's struggling to stay strong. "All of you are nothing but rabid animals, and I will put you down."

"Impostors? That's funny coming from you. But, sadly, for you, I'm not a gifted."

Chris's dramatic shift in demeanor takes Kraven a moment to notice. Another quick glance into Chris's eyes and horror broadens his focus and his pulse quickens.

"But you know this-don't you? I can see it in your cowardly stare. If you are so sure Szion or what you call angels don't exist, then why do you wear that ruby?"

Kraven steps back, releasing Chris's face.

"Take a deep breath. It will be your last!"

Kraven raises his blade in the air, ready to unleash a devastating strike. He hesitates, expecting to see the Szion's face contort in horror. Instead, Kraven becomes a dazzling shade of ivory. Frightened by the roar of laughter.

When Chris walks forward, he does so slowly and intimidatingly, all the while spinning the ruby in his hand. The eyes of everyone in the vicinity expand. In a state of disbelief, the men freeze in place. Metal clinks on the rocks as Kraven lowers his weapon. His wailing eyes beg for pardon.

"You have a secret you hide from your loyal followers, don't you, Sheriff?"

The sound of Chris's fist crushing the stone sends Kraven to his knees. Chris bares his fangs with eyes as dazzling as the sun. His attackers now groveling with red teary eyes as they beg for leniency.

"What's wrong with the stone?" Words crack in Kraven's throat.

"This stone is no good if its owner is weak."

Looking for an exit, Kraven's eyes dart from side to side.

"There's nowhere you can run."

"Please. I am just doing what...."

"I know. You do as you're told. You are nothing but Dumont's puppet."

Kraven's brow furrows in intensity.

"I am no one's puppet. I deserve this life! "

"Reveal yourself," Chris says in a calm tone.

"I don't know what you're...."

"Show them who you are!"

Throughout the surrounding neighborhood, the roar of Chris reverberates, frightening everyone nearby. In his startled state, Kraven runs his fingers through his long, grey beard uncomfortably before cradling his shaved head in his palms and nodding awkwardly.

"Okay, okay. Just calm down."

In a matter of seconds, a black-skinned, orange-eyed beast is kneeling before Chris. Murmurs and gasps can be heard all around them. The men under Kraven's command become nervous and tense, scarcely able to keep their breath.

"Run! Inform everyone that your demons and monsters are most likely guiding you."

Chris takes up Kraven's blade. With a quick swipe, Kraven's head rolls into the middle of the street.

"Run!"

Chris's growl sends men scattering, falling, and tripping over one another. Sniffling draws Chris's attention.

"Mya, are you okay? I thought I told you to run."

"Your family? Chris, is your family, okay?"

"Clair got away, but she's by herself. I've gotta find her before Dumont's goons catch her. I'm sorry that I have to leave you alone. You need to leave this place. It's no longer safe here. I will send out a Szion call for Noah. Don't go looking for him, he'll find you."

Mya sobs as he walks away.

A war only Szion knew was coming sweeps over the world like a tidal wave. Victory seemed impossible, and humans were no longer the Szion's priority for the first time. Szion fear that life as they know it could soon be over. They are afraid that the stories about them have dwindled to myths. They too were ceasing to exist. Soon, their kind would be distant memories. Stories told by the elderly that no one believes.

Eight weeks later:

Mya screams. Stumbling back to her feet after being struck by an intense flash of light, she clutches the back of her head. After wiping blood from her mouth with the back of her hand, she charges the blinding lights that assault her and her husband.

Splats of black muck cover the living room furniture after Mya rams her spike into a Light. Gazing with worried eyes across the room, Mya unintentionally softens Noah's intense gaze.

"Will it be tonight?" She questions telepathically.

As he pulls his spike from one Light and inserts it into another, Noah grins.

"Not tonight. It will not be Light that kills us. That I promise you."

He twists, stabbing a Light behind Mya. They stand side by side, waiting for more light to enter their home. Curiously they stare at the entranceway. No other Light to fight.

"Where are t--." Mya's words are abruptly silenced by pain. She falls to the floor, hunched over with her hands on her stomach.

"The girls. Something's wrong with the girls!" she yells.

Noah scurries inside his twin's room, screaming at the thick, black smoke that envelops the cribs. As the Shadow flees through the window, he hurls his spike at it. He already knows in his heart what he has yet to see with his own eyes. However, he insists on having it confirmed. As he approaches the cribs, he cradles his aching chest in his hands. The emptiness that has taken his infant's place brings him to his knees in tears. Mya's uncertainty causes her to slouch as she enters the room, slowing her pace. The moment she sets her eyes on Noah, her heart aches. She takes long, deep breaths, but it seems that each one is depleting her lungs of oxygen. She inhales deeply before attempting to speak through the lump of anguish that sits in her throat.

"Noah?"

Noah looks up from the floor at her. His teary eyes confirm her unsettling assumptions.

"No! Not my babies!"

A whimper rings from the other crib. Mya sprints toward the cry. With trembling hands, she lifts the blanket.

"He only took one, Noah."

Mya's shaky legs begin to collapse. Noah wraps his arms around her, preventing her from tumbling.

"I will find her, Mya."

Mya nods, lifting her cooing baby. She kisses the infant's head and hands her to Noah.

"He'll come for her. My attachment to him is too strong. I'll be the one who leads them to her. Take her away from here, Noah. Keep her a safe distance from me. Make certain that no one can detect her. No one... not even me," Mya begs as she looks into Noah's bloodshot eyes. "We tried."

As she kisses her daughter's hand, tears stream down her cheeks.

"We failed," Noah says.

He cringes as Mya's pain rips through him like bullets.

"Not yet. You didn't fail. You keep our little girl safe. No matter what, you keep her safe."

Noah kisses her lips, and with a nod of his head, he disappears with their child without even saying goodbye. No longer caring enough to continue the battle with gravity to stand, Mya collapsed, clutching her chest for each heartbeat is accompanied by piercing pain.

Twenty-one years later,

"Time is closing in on us. I need more strength," Dumont says.

"What can I do, Father?" Aria asks.

"Take me somewhere. Where are the strongest of the gifted? Take me there!" he orders.

Aria smirks and nods.

They travel for days to a royal palace in London. A smile spreads across his face when Dumont senses the power of the various energies coursing around the castle.

"There are royals here, Father. They are the strongest of the gifted," Aria says.

"I can feel that. Prepare for my introduction. Be sure to save only the strongest for me," Dumont says, climbing out of his car.

The castle's guards are ambushed by a gang of Light led by Aria. Dumont follows the trail of bodies through a gilded room. Natural stone with gold and silver flecks adorns the walls. The high windows let in a lot of natural light, illuminating the beautiful porcelain tile floor.

Aria beams triumphantly at her collection of gifted individuals struggling to break free from her mind's grip. A small group of prisoners, including King Alastair and his son Silas, are gathered around the royal table.

"What do you want? Who are you?" The King shouts.

Dumont chuckles and smiles, his face flushed with happiness. He makes a small bow.

"Good evening, Your Highness. I am Dumont."

"What is going on here? Why are you doing this to us?" Alastair asks.

Despite his unsteady speech, he tries hard to sound authoritative. In an uneasy stance, he stands by his son's side, ready for a fight.

"I apologize for this rude intrusion, but I am here to ask for help from only the strongest of you gifted. That is this group, am I right?"

"You kill my family and then expect us to help you?" Prince Silas shouts.

An amused smile spreads across Dumont's face as he runs his fingers through his bushy gray mustache.

"Willingly? Well, it would have made this easier. How old are you, Boy?" Dumont asks.

"I am no boy!" Silas snaps.

Dumont's grin widens.

"Boy? You will address my son as he is, a prince!" King Alastair barks.

A solid blow to the jaw knocks him to the ground. Silas brings his father to his feet, giving Aria a horrifying glare before returning his eyes to Dumont.

"What do you want? You're not after money. What did you come for? Is it the key?" Silas asks.

"Key? What key?" Dumont questions.