1748 - Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
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Fifty years had passed and Dracula had finally remained in deep slumber for what appeared would be another century. Simon's grandson, Juste Belmont, had been given the title of Vampire Killer and inherited the Vampire Killer whip from his father and his grandfather before him. When he had completed his training and received these status symbols, his long-time friend and training partner, Maxim Kischine, felt a sense of despair. He longed to achieve the glory of destroying Dracula and to relieve his friend Juste of what he viewed as the ill fate of the Belmont blood. So, Maxim set out on a journey to further strengthen himself.
While on his trip, Maxim thought about the stories he had heard about how Juste's grandfather Simon had gathered the remains of Dracula and burnt them to heal himself of a curse. Maxim came to believe that if he too were to undertake this task, his wishes would be granted -- he could defeat Dracula, and then Juste would never have to face the Prince of Darkness during his lifetime. So it was that Maxim set out on a quest to find the 5 Remains of Vlad.
More than likely through some dark design unbeknownst to the man, Maxim was easily able to find the pieces within a year's time. He brought them together near the ruins of Castlevania and burned them, just as Simon had fifty years earlier. But Maxim, not armed with any holy relics or blessings, and not trained fully in the ways of the vampire killer, was unprepared for the dark forces that were unleashed. He was possessed by the spirit of Dracula, causing him to develop a split personality, one part good and the other evil. As a reflection of the inner turmoil within Maxim, Castlevania arose from the mists, but was itself split into two layers, one completely on the earthly plane, and another juxtaposed somewhere between Earth and a Hellish alter- reality. This duality was not obvious from without, and any who journeyed into the castle would be perplexed by it.
Not long after, on a foggy night, Maxim appeared before Juste, beaten from head to toe, having lost all memory of the past year. The only thing he knew was that their mutual childhood friend Lydie Erlanger had been kid-napped, and that he believed he knew where she might be. Juste and Maxim set off into the Transylvanian countryside, and as they journeyed to the place that Maxim felt Lydie might be, the two men saw Castlevania emerge from the fog. Juste was not sure, but believed that this castle was indeed Dracula's from the beginning. The two entered, but Maxim quickly fell, exhausted from his injuries. Juste left him at the entrance and warned him to be very careful in the castle.
As Juste journeyed through Castlevania, he met Maxim several times. At each meeting, Maxim seemed to be a different person, alternating between his normal self who was slowly regaining his memory, and his evil alterego, who seemed bent on keeping Juste from finding Lydie at any cost. Once Juste met with Death in the Clock Tower, the spectre impatiently explained to him the duality of the castle and of Maxim's souls. With these facts cleared up, Juste rushed even faster to locate and rescue Lydie. Finally meeting up with Maxim while the man was in his right mind, Maxim revealed that it had been his alterego who kidnapped Lydie. He gave Juste his treasured bracelet and told him that it could be used to open the door to the Castle Keep where Lydie was being safely hidden. Juste proceeded to the keep, but totally forgot about one important fact -- Death was trailing him. No sooner had he spoken to Lydie than had Death seized the girl, proclaiming her to be the perfect sacrifice to restore life to Dracula.
Juste chased after Death, finally finding him in the lower reaches of the first of the two castles, but Lydie was no longer with him. Uncertain of her fate, Juste defeated Death and continued to search the castle. At last, he found a great fist in the keep holding an orb, and when he destroyed it, he magically sensed that a door had opened in the heart of the castle. There he found both Maxim and Lydie. But Maxim had fully succumbed to the power of Dracula and had bitten Lydie. Maxim challenged Juste to battle. Juste, knowing that his friend was still somewhere within the raging Maxim before him, chose to wear his friend's treasured bracelet along with his own.
When the intense battle finally subsided, Maxim struggled hard against Dracula's control, changing violently between the two personalities with him. When the real Maxim realized that Juste was wearing his bracelet to honor him, he seized control of himself and would not allow Dracula to overtake him. Dracula, however, realized that Juste now possessed his remains. Declaring that he no longer needed Maxim as his puppet, he fled into the remains, which magically rose in the air and combined. Dracula was again alive, but in this state, having more or less resurrected himself, he was weaker than he had ever been before. Juste slayed the Dracula Wraith with vehement wrath, and he and Maxim fled the crumbling castle with the possibly dead Lydie in their arms.
Once outside the castle, Juste noted that Lydie's wounds had faded and that it looked like she would regain consciousness. She awoke to find Maxim and Juste standing over her with concerned looks, but she had lost most of her memory of the events inside the castle. Maxim wanted to tell her the truth, but Juste felt it was better to keep her ignorant of what had happened. The two nearly came to blows over this disagreement, but Lydie played the peacemaker and settled them both down. Together, the three returned to Juste's home to talk about what had happened.
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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.