No Use Crying Over Spilt Blood

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Portal Keepers Book 2 (The sequel to 'Would You Like Brains With That?').
Danira travels back to the Realm of the Undead to stop humans being used as blood-slaves.

Cover by Zillah Designs.

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37. Under Attack and a Deal is Made

 

      The next morning I woke to screams that weren’t my own. Tearing the duvet off I ran into the hallway to find a tousled looking Aidan. Kelsey followed me and latched onto my leg.

      “What’s going on?” I asked. My hair probably looked a mess, but I was more worried about why there were screams coming from the streets outside than my appearance.

      We moved through to the main part of the house and found Jayden, Bertie and Ferriday by the front door.

      Stroking Kelsey’s hair I said. “What’s going on?”

      I had never seen Bertie look so worried. “The zombies have overrun the ramparts. They’re in the Castle.”

      The blood in my veins turned to ice. “Are they eating people?” I said my voice quiet.

      “I’m guessing so by the screams.” Jayden muttered unhappily.

      “We have to do something.” I cried, feeling fear and anger for the blood-slaves outside. “We have to stop them.”

      “What can we do, Danira?” Aidan demanded. “There are hundreds, possibly thousands of zombies out there. We wouldn’t last two minutes.”

      “Speak for yourself. I’m going out there. People are dying and the vampires won’t stop the zombies from killing any humans. Are any of you coming with me?” I stared at them all as I stood tall, my hands in fists. My eyes were cold and determined.

      Jayden and Bertie stepped forwards. Then Ferriday did.

      “No, Ferriday. I need you to stay here and protect the others.” I told him.

      He nodded silently.

      Sprinting back to my and Kelsey’s room I quickly dressed, which was easier said then done with a broken arm, before grabbing a stake. I would have picked up the crossbow as well, but I didn’t know how good a shot I would be with just one hand. I also took a tub of salt and a box of matches from the kitchen.

      “Ok, let’s go.” I said once I had returned to the front door.

      “Don’t leave, Danira.” Kelsey begged, flinging herself at me. “You’re not fully better yet. What if you get hurt?”

      I kissed her head and hugged her tightly. “I’ll be fine.”

      Tears were welling in her brown eyes and Aidan pulled her off me. “Good luck.” he said.

      Jayden, Bertie and I left the house, scanning our surroundings as we headed towards the gate. The screams were louder now. I nearly ripped the gate from its hinges as I opened it before running out to the road. In the distance I could see a body and I sprinted over to it. Bile rose in my throat and I had to turn away. It looked like the zombies had been down this road already. I clamped a hand over my mouth so that I wouldn’t throw up.

      “Let’s split up.” I told Bertie and Jayden. “We can do more good that way.”

      “Are you sure?” Jayden asked.

      I nodded and carried on down the road. Running as fast as I could, which was pretty dang fast seeing as I was half vampire, to the end of the street I saw only one more body which surprised me as I had expected to see more poor blood-slaves dead and scattered on the ground. I saw a mass of zombies nearby and hid around a corner, watching as they slowly shuffled down the road. It looked like they were heading deeper into the Castle. I followed after them, keeping my distance.

      Then all of a sudden a human appeared carrying an axe. With a yell he dove into the group of zombies and started hacking away at them. Before I had even taken a step forwards the zombies were upon him. I watched in horror as the human was devoured. Even with the salt and matches I couldn’t take on a group of starved zombies, but there had to be something I could do...

      The axe the blood-slave had been carrying reminded me of something; the axe I had seen at Xavier’s. The scar on my stomach started to hurt and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. Someone or something was watching me. Warily I gazed around but none of the zombies were paying any attention to me. They were continuing on their way, leaving behind the human’s flesh-stripped corpse. Jumping up onto the roof of a nearby building, and wincing when I knocked my arm, my thoughts returned to the axe that I had seen in Xavier’s study. Why did it seem so familiar? It had a ruby in it...

      That was when it hit me. Somehow, and I had no idea how, the axe was the Infinity Blade. It seemed that it could change its appearance. I had to get to Xavier’s and quickly. I sprinted across the roofs towards Xavier’s house and paused when I saw a huge number of zombies stood in the street below. Crouching low, I watched as one sole zombie shambled forwards before addressing the rest of the zombies with a series of grunts, gurgling noises and gestures with his decomposing hands. My eyebrows rose in surprise as the mass of zombies split into three groups and went in different directions. The leader watched them all and encouraged any stragglers. A young female blood-slave ran screaming away from the zombies, but most of them ignored her. Those that moved to go after the girl, their eyes filled with hunger, were growled at by the head zombie. I stayed where I was for a moment stunned by what I had seen. It reminded me of Christmas when Ridge and I had been kissing in the snow and some zombies had been watching us. Maybe zombies weren’t as brains obsessed as everyone thought. After all, those zombies in the Maze of the Undead had taken on a vampire and won.

      Forcing myself back to the present I scaled two more roofs and dropped down to the ground, landing agilely on my feet like a cat. Xavier’s flat was across the road, so I looked around quickly before dashing over to the front door. I didn’t bother to knock and bounded inside and down the corridor.

      “Xavier?” I called, arriving at the doorway to the kitchen.

      He wasn’t there. Turning around I jumped as I found myself nose to nose with Xavier. His blue-silver eyes were wide with surprise and his blonde hair flopped over an eye as he reached out to stroke my cheek. “Danira, why are you here? Did the zombies attack you?”

      I took several steps backwards so that we weren’t touching, aware that with every passing second more humans could be getting killed. “I’m afraid that this isn’t a social call, Xavier. I’m here for the Infinity Blade.”

      Xavier regarded me with a raised eyebrow, perhaps surprised at my tone or that I knew he had the Infinity Blade. After what seemed like an age he replied. “What are you going to give me in return?”

      Gaping at him in disbelief I said. “You’re joking right?”

      Xavier shook his head looking deadly serious.

      “But it belongs to me. I’m a Portal Keeper!” I protested.

      He shrugged saying. “Well at the moment it’s mine, seeing as I found it. What are you going to trade for it?”

      I glared at him. I had nothing of value on me except for Mireille’s emerald, which I couldn’t take off. “I... I’ve got nothing to give you.”

      Xavier smiled. “How about a kiss?”

      “Please, Xavier, be reasonable. It’s my birthright.” why was he being such a douche-bag? If my arm wasn’t broken I would have just taken the Infinity Blade from him, but I was in no state to fight. When he didn’t say anything I sighed. He wasn’t going to give in and I really needed the Infinity Blade. “Fine, one kiss,”

      A smile tugged at his lips as Xavier reached out and traced a cool fingertip along my jaw. He smiled and pulled me against his chest. “One kiss,” Xavier repeated, brushing the hair from my face. Cupping my face in his cool palms, Xavier bent down and kissed me gently on the lips. Then he deepened the kiss and I tried to pull away only to find that I couldn’t because Xavier’s arms were wrapped around my waist, pressing me up against him. My arm smarted as I struggled to escape from Xavier’s hold. My heart rate increased, but not due to thrill or anything like that, no it was because of the fury that had come to life within me. I had thought that Xavier and I were friends. How dare he do this to me! Xavier’s fangs extended in response to the blood rushing through my body. He was becoming careless and as a result his fangs cut my lip. Blood fell from the small wounds onto Xavier’s tongue and he instantly froze. I took the chance to push him away. I didn’t look at Xavier at all as I ran down the hallway to the study where I found the Infinity Blade still on the desk in the form of an axe. I wavered momentarily before picking it up. The last time I had held the Infinity Blade I hadn’t been able to sense its power, but seeing as I was now half vampire, I could. The feeling was indescribable.

      “Whoa,” I gasped, blinking in astonishment.

      I could feel the limitless pool of power that was stored inside the Infinity Blade, which started glowing and transformed into a long, thin sword. It looked like even though I was half vampire I still counted as a Portal Keeper, and so I would not need to give a blood payment in order to use the Infinity Blade. It was my inheritance.

      My neck suddenly felt like it was on fire. The sensation disappeared after a second or two and Mireille’s emerald fell to the floor. I didn’t know what surprised me the most; that the Infinity Blade had recognised Mireille’s emerald as a threat so quickly, or the sudden burst of energy that flooded through me the moment the necklace and jewel were no longer touching my skin. The whole time I had been wearing it the emerald had been draining me of energy, wearing me down and making me vulnerable. Had Luca known that would happen?

      With a glare I prodded the necklace with the tip of the Infinity Blade. Sparks flew when they touched. Hesitantly, I bent down and picked Mireille’s emerald up. Nothing happened and I released the breath I hadn’t realised I had been holding. I put the necklace in my pocket vowing to return it to Luca.

      Remembering that the Infinity Blade contained limitless power I used it to heal myself. A wave of wellbeing washed through me. I removed the sling and checked my legs to find that the burns had gone. More screams reached my ears and I jumped out of the study window so that I wouldn’t have to face Xavier. It was cowardly I know, but I had more important things to do than trying to stop Xavier kissing me. Out in the street I gripped the hilt of the Infinity Blade tightly in my hand and sprinted towards the screaming. A young boy and girl were clinging to each other, crying out for help as a group of zombies surrounded them. The girl was sobbing but her eyes filled with hope when she saw me. At my side a flame suddenly ran the length of the Infinity Blade and I leapt forwards, my eyes fixed on the two children. The flaming sword seemed to have taken control of my arm because I found myself striking down zombies without my brain even telling me to. The zombies cried out as they were set alight by the flames that danced along the Infinity Blade and soon there was nothing left but burning bits of zombie scattered on the ground.

      “Wow,” the boy gawped at me in awe.

      “Are you ok?” I asked him and the girl, aware that I wasn’t even out of breath.

      The girl nodded silently, her eyes wide.

      “Do you live near here?”

      They both nodded mutely.

      “Return there. Scream if you need my help.”

      The children scrambled to their feet and thanked me before wandering off. I watched them go, but was distracted when I saw a familiar head of blonde, curly hair in the corner of my eye. Turning just in time to see Luca disappear, anger filled me and I vowed that if he came anywhere near me I would stab him through the heart with the Infinity Blade. Surely it would be powerful enough to kill a vampire even though it wasn’t made of wood? As if in response to my thoughts, the Infinity Blade changed from metal to wood and the flame went out. I couldn’t help but smirk.

      I imagined that the sword was metal again and the Infinity Blade reverted back to its previous form, minus the flame. Then I jumped up onto a nearby roof so that I could get a better view of my surroundings. I could still hear cries and shouts, which seemed to be coming from the centre of the Castle. Leaping along the roofs, I soon found what seemed to be the focus of the zombies attack. From the outside the building looked ugly, black and twisted, but from the number of vampires that were trying to protect it, it seemed that it was an important place. The zombies were so determined to get inside the building that they were hobbling through the ring of salt and fire that the vampires had made around the building, even though they died as a result. What was that building? My eyes were drawn to the roof where some vampires were stood, scattering salt which fell on the zombies, making them scream and groan in agony. Two tall, distinguished vampires appeared on the roof and the other vampires hurried to bow to them.

      The Vampire Lords.

      Again there were only two. They said something to the vampires before jumping from the roof and into the sky, transforming into bats. So the zombies were attacking the Vampire Lords’ headquarters.

      Maybe I should give them a hand? I thought.

      The Infinity Blade started glowing, as if agreeing with me. But no, I had to make sure that no more humans were hurt. I headed in a random direction. When I came across the mangled corpse of a teenaged girl I suddenly had an idea. Would the Infinity Blade be able to bring back all those that had been killed by the zombies? After all it had brought me back to life when I had been sacrificed, albeit as a half human, half vampire hybrid, but that had been because of the vampire blood in my system which had probably confused the Infinity Blade. Kneeling down beside the girl, I held the Infinity Blade out horizontally above her, and focused on returning all the murdered blood-slaves back to perfect health. A few seconds later there was a gasp as the girl was brought back to life, skin re-grown with not a scratch on her.

      “You ok?” I asked, putting the Infinity Blade down on the ground in case she thought that I was going to attack her.

      “What happened?” she whispered. “The last thing I remember was... the zombies they...”

      “Hush,” I told her, helping the girl to sit up. “You’re safe now. Do you think you can stand?”

      She nodded and with my assistance the girl got to her feet.

      “Is your master’s estate near here?” I said, eyes flickering to the collar around her neck.

      “Yes, I had better get back. Thank you for your help.”

      “You’re welcome.” I smiled watching as she hurried away. My nose was stinging and I lifted my hand to it to find blood. Gazing at my stained fingertips in confusion I became dizzy and closed my eyes. Seconds later I slumped to the ground unconscious.

 

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