2036 - Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow

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Genya Arikado

One year had passed since the events of the solar eclipse. Thus far, everything had remained nothing more than a bad memory for Soma Cruz and his friends.

Naturally, this is when a new evil would choose to strike. Celia Fortner, a shadow priestess and leader of a new cult called "With Light," appeared before Soma and declared that she would destroy him. She began summoning monsters right there in the street. Arikado, who had been investigating this new cult for quite some time, suddenly appeared and tossed Soma a knife. As Soma fought the monsters, he felt his power of Dominance reawaken and gained power over the creatures' souls. Celia vanished with a haunting laugh and Arikado warned Soma to stay away from the cult. He and the others would take care of it.

Soma wasn't satisfied with this, however. He paid Hammer to find information on the cult, which the man was happy to do for his old friend. Soma set out alone for the cult's new castle which they supposedly constructed from scratch. Once there, he met up with Yoko Belnades and Julius Belmont, who were pondering how they should assail the castle. Julius was extremely upset that Soma had come to the castle and took off on his own, leaving Yoko behind. Soma escorted Yoko to a safe place where she set up shop to help him on his quest. Soma also met up with Arikado, who gave him a message and a talisman from Mina.

Soma soon met some of the other cult members: Dmitrii Blinov and Dario Bossi. Though the two seemed a bit off in different ways, both of them were, like Graham Jones, 37 years old, born at the very moment that Dracula was destroyed. It seemed that all such people, who were known as the Dark Lord's Candidates, had received some fragment of the Dark Lord's powers -- this was no doubt the Dark Lord's final curse, intended to bring about someone who could become his successor. These men both wanted to become the Dark Lord, and Celia told them that destroying Soma was the only way to make this happen.

Soma first fought Dmitrii, whose power was frighteningly similar to Soma's own. He could copy the effects of any magic used against him, letting him turn all of Soma's own soul-powered attacks against him. Though Soma stopped the battle short without destroying Dmitrii, the man suddenly collapsed as though of his own will. A dark soul swirled about in the air and entered Soma's body. Soma was horrified at the thought that he may have gained dominance over a human soul, but he felt no new powers within himself and so he dismissed this occurrence.

Soma then fought Dario, whose power was the ability to control fire. Dario proved much more durable than his counterpart and fled with Celia to find more power. She summoned a demon of flame to augment his abilities, and with this power he was able to defeat even Julius Belmont, who was only spared death when Soma stumbled upon their battle. Dario taunted Soma and told him to meet him in the castle keep.

Once Soma had explored the entire castle, he made his way to the Lord's chamber where Dario stood ready to battle. Rather than fight the man, however, Soma used the soul of the Paranoia creature to enter a mirror in which he could see the demon Aguni. Destroying the demon cut off Dario's powers entirely, and the man fled in terror. Celia appeared, however, telling Soma that there was more than one way to make a Dark Lord. She told him to meet her in the very center of the castle, where all would be revealed to him.

Soma collected his final magic seal which allowed him entry into the center chamber in the Garden of Madness. Within, he found Mina tied to a tree. Despite Soma's screams, Celia charged up a blast of magical energy and killed Mina. Soma went out of his mind and the dark powers of Chaos began to swirl about him just as they had a year ago, preparing him to transform into the Dark Lord. However, he was wearing the talisman which Mina had sent him, and it began to glow brightly. Arikado suddenly called out to Soma, telling him that this Mina was a fake -- a doppelganger created by Celia to fool Soma. Soma managed to gain control of himself just in time to stop his transformation into the Dark Lord, but suddenly all the Chaos which had swirled about him transferred to the body of the doppelganger, and in a flash of light it changed into Dmitrii.

Dmitrii had indeed been within Soma's body this entire time, where he had touched his soul in an attempt to gain his power of Dominance. The attempt worked, and Celia fled with Dmitrii to the black door in the tower near the castle which Julius had earlier been unable to open.

Arikado told Soma to go to the door. Once they were both there, Julius used all of his powers to open the gateway. Now useless for the time being, Julius told Soma and Arikado to go ahead without him. Soma battled through the tower's basement and defeated Death, but beyond him he found the gateway to the Abyss, the special corner of Hell reserved especially for the Dark Lord's disembodied soul. It was here that Dracula had rested after his every death, and it was here that Soma hoped to prevent his return yet again.

Soma managed to make his way through the labyrinth, defeating the powerful demon Abaddon, Lord of Locusts. Once he reached another gateway, he was transported to the very heart of the dark realm, where he found Arikado and Dmitrii having just finished a battle. Dmitrii had gained dominance over a legion of demons, but this power wasn't enough to defeat Alucard. So Dmitrii sacrificed Celia to reverse the flow of Alucard's powers, and he was banished from the battle, leaving Soma alone with the maniac.

Dmitrii was about to fight Soma when suddenly he began losing control of himself. Soma understood what was happening. The power of Dominance was too much for any other soul to handle, and Dmitrii was now being dominated by the demons inside him. Without warning, the demons ripped from Dmitrii's shattered body and fused into a horrendous four-story-tall abomination known as the Menace. Soma knew he could never allow this creature to leave the Abyss and so he waged a desparate battle against it which required all the skills he had gained.

Finally victorious, Soma sealed the Menace and all of the souls he had absorbed into the Abyss. Outside the crumbling castle, he met his friends. Hammer, Yoko, Alucard, and Julius were all there to greet him. But to his surprise, Mina also appeared. Everyone joked about their relationship, which made Soma blush, and they prepared to go home. Alucard told Soma that there was no reason he should ever become the Dark Lord, even if the existence of the Dark Lord was a necessity. Alucard paused to speak to himself, however, and remarked that if a Dark Lord was indeed necessary, one might soon arise...

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All original content copyright © 2005 James Haley. Permission is granted to distribute and create derivative works from this story in any format under the condition that this notice remains intact.