Castle Roland

From Trick to Treat

by Jeikor

In Progress

Chapter 21

Posted: 28 Apr 16

From Trick To Treat
Copyright © 2015, 2016 by Jeikor

"Wait! Let's see if we can learn anything from him," Zane said turning the vampire over. "Who sent you? What are you after?"

"Why should I tell you anything?" grumbled the Rogue. "That one is just going to remove my head when you're done."

"That is true," admitted Zane with no remorse. "But, I'm going to ask my questions anyway. One at a time."

As he spoke, Zane raised an eyebrow at Shayn behind him and sent a silent message. 'Monitor his mind as I ask my questions. We might learn something even if he doesn't answer aloud.'

Shayn nodded his understanding to Zane and composed himself to eavesdrop on the unsuspecting Rogue.

"What's your name?" was Zane's first question.

The Rogue opened his mouth then shut it quickly. Shayn nodded and gave a thumbs up signal.

"Who sent you?"

The Rogue blinked hard but otherwise remained stoic. Shayn gave another thumbs up.

"What or who are you after?"

A glare from the Rogue was all the answer Zane received but Shayn smiled and nodded.

"Where did you come from?"

The Rogue still didn't answer but Shayn had a confused look on his face and shrugged his shoulders.

"Guess you were right," Zane acknowledged with a grimace that turned to a smirk as he continued. "Except for the answers in your mind we didn't get anything out of you."

Zane then signaled Zander who put an end to the Rogue with the vampire's own sword. The four vampire friends surveyed the disaster inside the store with trepidation. How in the world would they fix this or be able to explain it?

They all heaved a huge sigh and set to work. First, they gathered all the pieces of vampires in a pile in the backroom out of sight of the street. Next, they found cleaning supplies and got rid of all the blood. The foursome picked up everything that had been knocked on the floor but there wasn't much they could do about the broken stuff and the hole in the wall.

Searching the backroom, Gavin came across another door that didn't lead to the back alley. There was a small landing with stairs disappearing into darkness. The flick of a light switch revealed a small cellar underneath the shop.

Looking around Zander noticed the shop had an old-fashioned furnace and it was still lit. Dead vampire problem solved!

The teens carried the vampires down to the cellar and piled them in front of the furnace. Zane found a couple of glass jars with lids on a shelf and filled them with blood from the Rogues to use later. Then they turned up the fire and fed the bodies into the furnace until everything was gone.

When they got back upstairs they heard the owner starting to stir in the shop. The four vampire friends quickly and quietly exited into the alley and headed back to the dojang.

After listening to their story, Master Kwon popped over to the shop and mingled in the crowd gathered around rubber-necking. His sharp ears could hear the owner and police talking about the damage in the store. The owner only remembered seeing the one Rogue before being knocked out. None of the witnesses mentioned seeing the four teenagers on the premises. Satisfied that his proteges did the best they could and were not seen Kwon appeared back at the dojang.

'Now, Shayn, tell us what you learned from the Rogue's mind while Zane questioned him,' commanded Master Kwon as they sat around the kitchen table sipping tea.

'The one making the Rogues is definitely a woman. I got a glimpse of dark hair and the skin was an olive tone but her face was obscured by shadows.'

'I caught the dark hair, too, but that was all,' agreed Zane.

'When you asked who or what they were after I got two different answers. The first was who; Rinaldo's child and Samhain's son. I think the first might refer to you, Zane, but I don't know what the other even means.'

'Samhain is an ancient pagan celebration that is similar to today's Halloween. And my birthday,' Zander informed them.

'So, they could be looking for the two of you yet don't know who you are,' Gavin summed up everyone's thoughts.

'Second thing he thought of was a book or diary or journal. The image wasn't clear like he didn't know for sure exactly what it looked like. They really want something out of this thing in particular,' Shayn finished the answer to the question.

'A prophecy,' stated Kwon.

'The question of where he came from confused him. I got a jumbled up mess of different places; some looked modern and some looked older. I didn't get any image distinct enough to tell what or where it was. Sorry,' Shayn apologized.

'I think you did a good job,' asserted Gavin standing up for his boyfriend.

The Z's nodded in agreement and sent thoughts of gratitude for his help.

'I concur without reservation,' Kwon noted formally. 'With more experience and travels to more places you might have done better. How many times have you been away from this city?'

'Four times on vacations with my family and only two of those went out of this state,' answered Shayn feeling better after receiving everyone's support.

All were quiet for several minutes as they sat around the table contemplating what they had just learned. They stared into space and sipped on tea, minds busy within their own heads. Zander interrupted their musings with an unexpected announcement.

'We probably ought to go check out that shop and the owner again.'

'Why?' Zane asked what all of them wanted to know.

'Because the Rogues didn't follow me in there and attack. They were already there and the owner was already unconscious. The attack started when I noticed the man laying on the floor,' explained Zander.

'He's right,' chimed in Shayn. 'There may be something there pertaining to the prophecy or something else they need or want.'

'How will we know what it is?' Gavin wanted to know.

'You won't,' came from Master Kwon joining the conversation. 'I will have to go with you this time.'

'When should we go?' asked Zane rising from the table to wash his, Zander's and Kwon's mugs.

'I think tomorrow, mid-morning would be good,' replied Kwon. 'It should be enough time for the police to be finished but soon enough that more Rogues haven't been sent.'

'We will be ready, sir,' said Shayn as he grabbed his and Gavin's mugs and joined Zane at the sink.

The teens rose early the next day and rushed through an abbreviated workout to be ready to leave when Master Kwon called them to the kitchen. As they entered the kitchen Kwon handed them each a glass of blood.

'I want everybody at full strength, just in case,' said Master Kwon just before downing his own blood-filled glass.

The boys followed Kwon's example then washed all the glasses. Kwon led them down the stairs and out the door. They would take the slow, long way to save magical energy.

Kwon paused them outside the herbal shop and used a magic spell to case the joint to be sure it was safe. When he was done Kwon motioned to the others and they entered the shop in pairs. Zane and Zander waited a few minutes after Shayn and Gavin had entered before they followed and Kwon came several minutes after that.

The five vampires moved around the store acting like customers except for Zander who was finally getting to check the merchandise like he had wanted to the day before. Zane went wherever Zander wanted to look and nodded and smiled as Zander explained the properties and uses of whichever herb he was examining. However, Zane was using his magical sight, similar to how they view auras, to look around the shop.

Shayn and Gavin were doing much the same as they walked around; Shayn looking by magical means and Gavin keeping a physical eye out for any trouble brewing. Master Kwon unobtrusively made sure the two pairs of teens were following directions. Then he checked out a few items before approaching the owner and engaging him in a conversation about what herbs he preferred for which problems while he gently probed the man's mind.

Kwon found no malice in the man's mind but did find something he had hoped for but didn't expect. The shop owner knew of the magical properties of the herbs although he didn't think they actually worked. Kwon steered the rest of their conversation in that direction asking the man's opinion on what herbs were best for this or that spell or potion.

Kwon kept the man busy answering his questions as he gently slipped into the man's mind to look over the memories of the Rogues' attack. There was nothing helpful in his memories for he thought it was just a robbery that got out of hand.

"Thank you for your time and expertise," said Master Kwon turning to leave.

A couple minutes later Shayn and Gavin made their way to the door also. As they went out Zander followed by Zane took his purchases to the counter to pay for them. The owner rang up the purchases and when he looked up he stiffened when he saw Zander's face. Zane quickly scanned the surface of the man's mind worried that he had remembered Zander from yesterday. What he found was confusing!

"I bet you're really into Halloween, huh?" asked the owner still stiff and like he was in a trance. "Here, take this book, on the house. I think you'll enjoy it, son."

"Uh, thank you, sir," Zander replied as he handed the store owner his money and took his bag of herbs.

"That was weird," said Zane when they reached the sidewalk and their friends.

'What was weird?' Master Kwon inquired with a look of concern.

Zane and Zander opened their minds to Master Kwon letting him take it straight from their memories. Kwon remained quiet for several minutes before projecting.

'Let's get back and see what is in this book.'

The five vampires hurried as fast as they dared to return to the dojang. Inside, they headed directly for the kitchen table where all important decisions and announcements were made. As they all sat down Zander pulled the small book from his bag and looked at the cover. It was fairly new but when he opened the book the pages inside were very old.

'Someone has put a new binder on it,' explained Zander showing the cover and then the insides of the book.

'What does it say?' Gavin asked impatiently.

Zander peered intently at the first page then turned a few pages checking them thoroughly.

'I'm not sure,' Zander hesitantly stated. 'The language seems familiar but I'm having trouble making it out.'

Zane leaned over to peer at the book for himself. At first none of it made any sense to him but a strange sensation passed over Zane's mind and body. After a shudder went through his body Zane not only could read it plainly but he also knew it was an old Romani language.

'Zander, search your memory for when you were taught by Rinaldo,' Zane said laying an arm over his boyfriend's shoulder.

The brown-headed vampire went still and quiet as he retrieved the needed memories. A couple of minutes later he opened his eyes and looked at the book once again.

'I can read it,' he exclaimed excitedly. 'This is the first language I learned to read and write.'

The Z's perused page after page of the book while the others waited not so patiently. They were in their own world as they absorbed the information contained in the ancient pages.

'What does it say?' Shayn tried getting their attention.

The Z's continued reading ignoring the attempts to get anything out of them. When several more minutes passed without a peep from the two readers frustration flared.

"For the umpteenth time, what does it say?" Shayn and Gavin shouted together.

Finally Zane and Zander reached the last page when Zander shouted out loud in shock.

"Oh, My God!" Zander glanced at Zane's flabbergasted countenance.

"What?!" Shayn and Gavin yelled as one again.

Master Kwon was silent but had a questioning look on his face. He had been following the thoughts of his two students as they read from the book but the shock of the last page had prevented him from seeing what it was.

Zander started explaining, "The first page tells that this is a partial copy of a larger volume and it says we need to find it before the Bane does."

"There are some spells and potions in the middle portion but the last page mentioned a prophecy. Part of the prophecy is there, however, the page has been torn." Zane took over the narrative. "It mentions the same thing we got from the Rogue."

"Apparently the storekeeper was hypnotized or under a spell," Zander again spoke. "When he saw my face he stiffened then handed me the book."

'That is entirely possible,' Master Kwon calmly stated helping the Z's contain their excitement. 'There was no hint of knowledge of the book in his mind when I spoke with him.'

'The book and the little bit of prophecy in it raises more questions than it answers,' Zane went back to mindspeak with his nerves under control.

The other two young vampires were getting antsy but held their tongues.

'Please tell us the part of the prophecy available,' Kwon gently suggested.

The Z's exchanged looks. 'It would be easier to show you,' they projected together. After a minute's preparation they sent an image to the others.

Give their
The promised

When Rinaldo's Child and Samhain's Son
Can finally join the battle as one
On the Bane their will impose.

With friends so dear

The end is here
And blessings he bestows.

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