Alucard spun around, not snapping the whip at any one cultist but curling the blade around in an arc. Three of the cultists rolled backwards, failing to successfully gauge the distance between them and the edge of the platform and rolling off into the water, giving the current something else to carry towards the west. Another three didn’t move at all, giving the blade a few bodies to slice open. Two of the cultists rolled to Alucards’ left, another two rolled to the right, and another two rolled straight forward. Graydon, between the two that rolled forward, also rolled forward. Murai was quick enough to shove her rapier through the first of the two that rolled forward, withdraw the blade, spin around and run through the second cultist. Alucard was taken by surprise by Graydon, who had rolled forward and shoved a blade towards Alucard, hitting him along the side of the thigh. The battle in full swing, Murai rushed towards the two cultists on their left while Alucard took on Graydon and the two remaining cultists.
Graydon lunged at Alucard who stepped back out of range of his punching dagger, spinning around and wrapping the bladed whip around the leg of one of the two cultists, pulling the whip and severing foot from calf at the heel. The second cultist swung downward in a huge arc, giving Alucard plenty of time to bring the buckler up to block the attack and parry another thrust from Graydon with the hilted handle of the whip. With a howl of fury, Alucard pulled the whip away from Graydon and shoved the buckler into his face, a sickening crunch echoing through the cave and down the natural cave corridor the river flowed down as Graydon’s nose shattered, blood gushing from his face. Movements still fluid, Alucard spun around again, bringing the whip around and making a wide arc that sliced the stomach of the second cultist open, entrails and intestines spilling out onto the stone floor with a sickening splash. Graydon staggered backwards from the blow of the buckler.
Murai spun around, moving closer to a cultist as she rolled along the arm of the second cultist that missed his lunging attack. As she finished her spin, the cultist she moved towards swung his arm in a sideways arc, as Murai did with the rapier. The dagger of the cultist met her stomach as the point of her rapier met his face, but her swing continued as she bashed the cultist she spun alongside on the back of the neck with the blunt tip of the handle of the rapier. Unconscious, the second cultist fell to the ground in a heap. Staggering backwards as Murai grabbed her side, the remaining cultist spat blood, giving Murai a chance to continue her spin, going in a full circle and bringing the rapier all the way back around, shoving it through his throat and out the back of his neck, stepping backwards and leaving the cultist to fall to his knees, gurgling as he clutched his throat.
Of all the cultists, only Graydon remained standing. Alucard flicked the whip behind him, waiting for Graydon to advance, which he would have had Murai not pressed the tip of her rapier to the side of his neck.
“Move. I would love nothing more than to give you a new whole to breathe from.” Murai warned. Alucard walked over to Murai, never taking his gaze off Graydon, and retrieved a small bandage from his coat, pressing it to the wound Murai had on her and leaving it there, the blood ensuring it remained stuck to her body.
“This is not over, infidel.” Graydon growled, sputtering through the blood that flowed out his nose. Alucard stepped back in front of Graydon as he motioned to Murai to back away from Graydon. “My coven may have been defeated, but this castle alone has another half-dozen covens, and the surrounding forest has another dozen on top of that. The ones who fell into the river will warn the others of your intent, and you have made very powerful enemies. There are those of us who have mastered the use of mana, and others who are skilled in the art of magic. You will not live to regret your mistake for long, and there is no way you’ll interfere with our plans.”
“And what plans are those?” Murai asked, stepping forward and bending her arm, the tip of her rapier lightly pushing into Graydon’s throat.
“No, you warrant no villain’s exposition from me.” Graydon chuckled, blood dripping down his chin. “At this point, you may as well kill me, because you’ll get nothing from me.” Murai shrugged and stabbed him in the throat rather carelessly. Alucard paused, and the world could almost see the metaphorical ellipsis in his mind. Graydon did nothing but fall to the ground, breathing shallowly as his lifeblood oozed out of his body and across the cold stone ground.
“Let me tell you why that was pointless…” Alucard started. Murai waved her hand dismissively, the arrogant Eternity Ranger showing through her actions and demeanor.
“He spoke the truth - he was useless to us, and would have done nothing but impede us later. Better to remove the threat before he becomes one and spare us the trouble of dispatching of him later.” Murai prattled off carelessly, stepping backwards to avoid the blood as she almost callously watched that blood spread across the floor. Alucard sighed softly, not having enough heart to confront her on her cold ways, and stepped back through the stone door, heading back through the catacombs with Murai following behind quickly. He glanced over his shoulder and spoke clearly.
“Let us continue our search. The cultists may have already finished whatever nefarious intentions they had here, and we should see if we can find out what they were doing, and stop them before the others finish their tasks, if it isn’t too late already.” Alucard said. “And heaven help us if it is.”