Chapter 49 Blood and Blade
Harry read over the post a few times. Whistler had posted a picture of some ancient parchment which appeared to be from the Book of Erebus, the Vampire Bible. He was asking for expert on the matter to assist with the translations and it had only been posted a few hours ago.
Harry told the Ancient One he got a quest so she asked, "Would you like any back up?"
Harry considered it but answered, "No. La Magra can turn humans into vampires with its mere presence if some of the things I've read are true. I don't have actual blood so I should be safe, but I can't guarantee anyone but you would not be affected." And her needing to stay at Kamar-Taj was left unsaid.
The Ancient One's body was not exactly alive due to the presence of energy from the Dark Dimension. If removed from her body, her blood would rapidly age to dust and a blood transfusion into her would do more harm than good which was why she had to be careful in combat.
The Ancient One then said, "Then I expect you to call me if you cannot handle it on your own."
Harry agreed of course and after using some means to track down the IP address, he used a Portal to take himself back to New York. What he found however was just a routing box someone hacked into so Harry had to take out some hacking tools of his own to track the physical location of the IP address.
Five minutes later he found it. The system was rather old which, oddly enough, was a great anti-hacking measure as old stuff takes longer to hack than new stuff.
Harry tracked the IP address to a warehouse and concealed himself. The warehouse smelled of metal, gunpowder, and blood. Fresh blood. He teleported in and found it seemingly silent of life. There were fresh corpses strewn about from what looked like an assault squad that had raided the place no more than an hour ago. The fact that their bodies were not recovered was a clear indication of the alignment of the corpses.
In the center was a work station with a chair. There seemed to be a man sitting on the chair covered in blood. To the side of him was a gun.
Harry used several spells on the man and found a number of things. First and unsurprisingly, there was a bullet hole in his chest. It entered one side and went out the other. The next thing he found was that even before the bullet, the man was severely lacking in blood. He was covered in bite marks and claw marks and his face look like someone had taken a baseball bat to it, repeatedly. The last, and probably most interesting thing he found, was that the man was not dead. Not completely anyways.
This man appeared to be Whistler and Harry's only lead on the Blood God. He was obviously attacked by vampires and left barely alive. He then shot himself, probably with a silver bullet, but the bullet went through the other side and he had yet to completely turn.
There were two types of Vampires to Harry, Magic vampires, and Non magic vampires. Magic vampires were vampire witches and wizards and stronger in some senses and weaker in others compared to muggle vampires. Magic vampires were not mortally affected by sunlight and could survive minor exposure without harm though long term exposure would make them extremely sick and kill them eventually. They were not harmed by garlic or silver, though they did have a strong aversion to it.
Magic Vampires also had better control over themselves and required blood less frequently which was why though considered dark creatures, it was illegal to hunt magic vampires. Since they did not instantly burst into flame upon constant with sunlight they were not considered threats to the statue of secrecy. Magic vampires also had to follow interesting rules such as they could not enter a house uninvited. They were also incapable of turning someone else into a vampire in the presence of a heavy garlic smell and had issues crossing running water or setting sail from the sea during the changing of tides.
However a magic vampire could only turn a witch or wizard into a magic vampire. Their bite had no effect on muggles. They were also only marginally stronger and faster than a normal magical and could not have children. Most magic vampires hunted only muggles and used memory charms to hide their activities. Since they weren't a great danger to Witches and Wizards, only muggles who they usually didn't kill, they were not considered a great threat to the magical Communities. Magical Vampires also aged at about the same rate at Witches and wizards so they were not immortal and not considered all that different from uninfected witches and wizards.
Nonmagical vampires were different. They had many weaknesses but were physically much stronger and faster. They did not have to follow any rules either so breaking into a home and killing everyone wasn't difficult for them. They stopped aging once infected and could sexually reproduce. Their children aged to adulthood before they too stopped aging and were considered 'Pure Bloods'. Either type, turned or pure blood could spread their vampirism to any muggle who survived their bite.
Should a muggle vampire bite a witch or wizard, said magical would lose their magic and turn into a muggle vampire. Solely because of this, the magic community had one policy on muggle vampires. Exterminate on sight. This policy when compared to Magic vampires really showed that magic communities only really cared about their magic.
Harry took a vial of elixir of life from his inventory and poured it down the man's throat. The elixir didn't technically heal people. It used life to remove death. This meant it was also a handy cure to most things. It shouldn't heal muggle vampirism, but the man was still, just barely on this side of human and his wounds had not started healing yet.
Harry smiled once he sensed the man's life return. The vampirism was eradicated and the man's wounds were closing up. Some of his wrinkles smoothed and an old injury in the man's leg also appeared to be healing.
Once the man was no longer mostly dead, Harry pressed a finger to the man's forehead and read his memories.
Once finished, Harry Paused and looked over what he had just read. Overall, he was impressed. Technically Whistler was a murderer and could be considered prejudice against another race. Harry wasn't going to hold that against him though. Harry didn't consider himself a saint either. What was most interesting was this Blade Character.
From what Harry could tell, Blade was a muggleborn whose mother was bitten by a vampire. Because of that, somehow, Blade was a hybrid. Part Muggle Vampire, part Magic Vampire. Harry didn't know if he could cast magic but he had no doubt his blood was special. He had complete immunity to Sunlight and no aversion to garlic or silver which even Magic vampires couldn't say.
According to what Harry read on the situation, some Muggle Vampire named Deacon Frost was going to resurrect the Blood God. Such a ritual would not work without magical blood which was why they needed Blade.
Deacon and his minions found the warehouse and kicked Whistler's ass and took a woman named Karen. Karen had, surprisingly, figured out how to cure non pureblood vampires. She had been bitten and had cured herself. Blade knew it was a trap, but still went after her.
Harry ran over to a dvd player in the shop that already had in it a dvd that Frost had left for Blade to watch. The video showed the address of a penthouse Harry didn't recognize. Instead of pulling up a map of New York, Harry went over to the workstation Karen had set up and found some of her blood. Harry used a tracking spell to lock in on her location and made a portal.
On the other side was Karen, lying on a couch with a handkerchief on her neck. She looked quite shocked at the portal and Harry just asked, "Where's Blade?"
She apparently got over her shock quite quickly and said, "Downstairs killing vampires."
Harry shrugged and pointed to the portal behind him, "That's Whistler's warehouse. Get out now and I'll help Blade."
Harry didn't have time to argue so he put a light compulsion spell on the woman to get her to leave. Harry read her surface memories as she walked past him and saw that they already got Blade's blood and she had given him lots of her own to get him back on his feet. Harry also cast a discrete diagnosis spell on her and confirmed she had muggle vampirism. Did that mean that Blade could only transmit Muggle Vampirism or could he turn a Wizard into a Magical vampire? Harry supposed it didn't matter, no one would ever volunteer to test that.
Harry ran down the stairs and saw the bodies of dead humans and the ash piles of slain vampires. Harry didn't care about the humans as they were certainly vampire servants. Such people considered themselves future vampires and stopped considering themselves humans meaning they could look down on and treat humans as disposable. If they didn't consider themselves humans, Harry had even less reason to care about their deaths.
Harry cast a few stealth spells that rendered him invisible and hid his smell. The building was a penthouse from the outside but the inside had been heavily renovated with cut stone into an exact replica of a ritual chamber. Harry admitted whoever built this thing wasn't an amateur and if he wasn't dead by dawn he'd need to find him. Harry peered over a ledge and saw the center of the ritual formation which had a pale vampire saturated in high level necromantic energies watching a black vampire with an interesting magical signature dust his way through groups of other vampires.
One look at the pasty vampire told Harry this was not going to be simple. He immediately conjured a mandala of dimensional energy and started casting a heavy barrier spell over the site. One bonus from a working ritual room was that it was compatible with lots of other spells. This one would prevent anyone from leaving until Harry dispelled the barrier or was killed.
Blade finished off the last vampires and Frost took up a sword. Blade charged forward to meet him blade to blade as Harry watched from above while continuing to cast his barrier spell. The sound of metal echoed through the ritual stone chamber was each rapid clash of their weapons. They moved faster than the human eye could follow and Blade was on the losing end of speed but was gaining ground through skill. A feint that turned into a parry removed Frost's arm but in the next moment it grew back. Frost's speed suddenly magnified and Harry cringed. At the moment, Frost was still in control, but the more time went on and the more of the Blood God's power he used, the less Frost there would be. Harry put in a bit more magic into speeding up the barrier spell, he'd be needed soon.
After being knocked down, Blade threw his sword into the crack of a stone wall that had some vials Harry recognized lodged within. The sword handle snapped open using a clever mechanism and the rock holding the vials cracked and allowed Blade to catch them as they fell.
Frost didn't seem worried about the vials and referred to them as Blade's serum. Harry knew what they were from the info he got from Whistler and knew what was going to happen.
Blade threw vial after vial at Frost of the Anticoagulant compound and after a moment the human form of the Blood God had swollen to massive proportions.
Harry heard Blade calmly state, "Some motherfuckers are always trying to ice skate uphill," before he did a flying roundhouse kick to shoot the last vial straight into the bloated god's forehead. The swollen mass grew larger and redder until with a painful groan of Frost's it burst open and showered the room in a mass of blood.
Harry sighed and shouted down to the vampire hunter, "Hey! You didn't think it would be that easy did you?"
Blade looked up to the unfamiliar fifteen year old wizard pointing at the blood stains on the wall. Harry was thankful he completed his barrier spell. The real fight was about to start.
The puddles of blood had Blade's attention and he watched as they started wriggling. Harry heard the hunter utter a curse as the blood shot up into the air and formed a wriggling ball of blood.
Harry jumped down from the ledge several stories and landed with a crouched fist to the ground and a crack of stone beneath his feet. He figured the hunter might give him some respect if he made an entrance. Harry was wearing a basilisk hooded cloak to make himself look a bit more professional. The t-shirt and jeans he changed into after the Dissertation would not leave a reliable impression.
Blade apparently wasn't the type for small talk so he motioned to the massive rippling ball of blood floating in the center of the ritual chamber and asked, "And you have a better idea?"
Harry conjured some golden Eternal Fire and said, "I might." He enlarged the inextinguishable fire and from within dozens of small birds and large birds composed of yellow flames flew out and into the blood mass.
Harry expected the Eternal Fire to incinerate the blood, but the firebirds that flew into the blood ball were engulfed and went out.
Blade looked over to him and raised an eyebrow. Harry awkwardly admitted, "That wasn't supposed to happen."
Streams of blood poured in from various corners and floors of the building. Harry recognized their paths as those from the human corpses he had walked by. Harry said, "You certainly killed a lot of familiars."
Blade answered smoothly, "It's what I do."
Harry rose a hand into the air and started building up a charge of lightning. His hand started to glow and crackle with electricity and in the next moment Harry fired an enormous bolt of lightning into the blood ball which pierced through to the other side. And did nothing.
Blade looked unimpressed and added, "Can you do ice?"
Harry sighed and called forth Icy energy from Ikthalon's realm. He conjured a dozen Ice Spears of various sizes and shot them into the blood ball. And nothing happened.
The ball had finished collecting all the blood in the building and was now squirming and molding itself into a solid shape.
Harry pulled out potions, poisons, and acids from his inventory and threw them at the blood mass with no effect. Harry tried transfiguring the blood into something else and tried Alchemy, but neither had an effect. He tried pulling it into a expanded bag with telekinesis but it had no effect.
Harry was getting pissed and shouted, "Do you think this is Dungeons and Dragons?! Are you a God or an Ooze?! What other species is immune to Fire, Ice, Lightning, Poison, Acid, and Psionics you knockoff!"
That earned Harry a slightly amused stare from Blade. Harry concentrated his anger and summoned Phoenix Fire. This took too long to create for a fight and was too slow to shoot, but the god had yet to finish his transformation and was still just floating there.
Harry created the largest batch of Phoenix Flame he could and launched it at the Blood God.
The blood seared and a shriek of pain could be heard. The blood successfully caught on fire but only the surface. All parts of the blood that were ignited were thrown off the blood god which decided to stop taking its time and quickly finished its transformation into a giant creature seemingly composed of bundles of thick, crimson vines Harry knew to be densely packed volumes of blood. It looked like a giant bundle of veins of various sizes given a bipedal form.
Blade readied his sword and at the moment the creature formed he sliced at the creature's side. The sword passed through without difficulty but the wound closed up in the next moment. The creature opened its eyes and shouted in a razor edged voice, "Blade!" Harry figured this meant Frost was still in there.
The Blood God Avatar moved far faster than would be expected from its size and the grotesque appendage it used as an arm stretched and quickly wrapped around Blade's torso and began to crush him. Harry cast a Slippery Spell on Blade which made the surface of his body frictionless, though Harry left his hands and feet unaffected. This allowed Blade to use his strength to slip free as Harry tried to distract the Blood God by shooting the Avatar's eye with some bullets from his magic gun.
Blade got some distance and Harry shouted, "I've been wailing at him for three minutes and the first thing he does is attack you? Where is the love?!"
The Blood God finally noticed Harry and said with a blood curdling voice, "Human? You serve me now." He emitted a red aura which engulfed the ritual room and spread out to engulf the whole building. Harry felt it stop at his barriers though.
[Status Effect: Instant Vampirism negated due to Obscurus Body.]
Harry threw a silver ring behind behind the Blood God which expanded into a massive portal into black space. Harry then pulled out his railgun gourd and pulled the trigger. The Blood God exploded and the bullet travelled through the silver portal behind the Blood God into the vacuum of space Harry set as the destination. The nature of the portal prevented air from getting sucked through it into the vacuum so Harry used his telekinesis to push the scattered drops of the Blood God through the portal.
However the moment the first drop reached the surface of the portal where it should have been sucked into the vacuum, Harry felt the portal shatter. He suddenly felt like he had been electrocuted from the backlash. It was common sense that powerful magical beings could not be forced through portals but he hoped the Blood God was an exception. Turns out nope. He can trick powerful beings into walking through a portal themselves, but he couldn't push them through.
The blood drops converged and almost instantly the Avatar reformed and was looking rather pissed at Harry.
Blade used the moment where the God's attention was not on him to cut several times through its legs to disable it for a moment.
Blade asked Harry, "That fire which hurt the fucker. Can you make it again?"
Harry knew he was referring to the Phoenix flame. The backlash from the collapsed portal would make it difficult to cast magic for a moment but Psionics were not an issue, it just took a while.
Harry said, "Yes, but it will take a few seconds. He's not going to just stand there and take it though."
Blade asked, "Can you use it on my sword?"
Harry smirked, "Now there's an idea. Keep him distracted."
Blade ran over to continue pissing the God off and impressively dodged the monster's high speed attacks.
Harry opened his inventory and got out a Goblin Silver Sword of his own design and started coalescing Phoenix flame into his hand. He didn't know if this would work but he figured this blade would last longer than the silver coated sword Blade was using. Goblin Silver was far stronger than normal silver after all.
The Blood God realized Blade was a distraction and that Harry was up to something so it pointed all its appendages at Harry and they shot forward like spears. Harry wondered why the monster hadn't been doing so all along and apparated to the other side of the room and continued gathering flames. His barrier prevented others from escaping but he could still make portals and teleport as he pleased.
Once Harry had enough fire he placed it onto the Goblin Silver edge and threw the sword to Blade who jumped into the air and caught it with ease. The sword had natural enchantments on it to raise the user's speed and Blade turned into a blur. The glowing flames of the sword created a path of light as Blade zigzagged around the Blood God and slashed into its form over and over from every angle. Within three seconds from grabbing the sword Blade had cut the Blood God twenty times leaving trails of burning blood over every inch of its body.
The Blood God tried in vain to separate itself from the flames but more and more flames continued to be added with each slash.
Finally realizing this was not going to end well, the Blood God did what all powerful evil villains do when it looks like they were going to lose. It ran. The Phoenix Flame couldn't permanently kill the actual Blood God who had simply been resurrected into this Avatar but it would certainly do real damage to it and the lingering remnant of Frost which insisted on killing Blade was smothered from the Blood God's instincts forcing him to give up the fight.
The Blood God's form elongated and stretched into that of a spear coated in phoenix flames and quickly charged into the wall to pierce through.
Only to smash straight into the barrier. Harry couldn't help but smirk. This was the difference between power acquired quickly and power acquired properly. Frost was instinctively using the properties of the Blood God pretty well for defense but didn't know the first thing about using Godly energies to attack. He was ignorant of magic and since the barrier was tied into the stone of the very ritual room used to create the Blood God, it was very effective against it.
This was not exactly a coincidence. Harry doubted it was written down in whatever Frost used to make this room, but most ritual summoning chambers doubled as containment chambers. This ritual room really was well done and could be used for both.
Blade caught up to the blood spear still smashing into the barrier in a panic and Blade launched himself forward cutting the entire spear shaped mass lengthwise in half.
He then noticed the sword's hilt had caught fire and threw it before Blade himself was taken by the flame.
Harry created several psionic barriers around the dying Avatar and performed a few detection spells to make sure none was missed. It was a shame they killed it with Phoenix flame as that meant there would be no experience points since Phoenix flames burned everything into pure life force but he would at least have something to collect.
Blade asked, "Why didn't you turn?" Blade knew that La Magra could turn humans into Vampire minions instantly and Harry smelled human.
Harry answered easily, "I'm made of stronger stuff. Speaking of turning, I found Karen upstairs when I got here and used a Portal to send her to Whistler's warehouse. So she wasn't here when La Magra here used his aura."
"And what are you?"
Harry smiled, "A rich guy with a hobby."
The final embers of Phoenix fire burnt the last bits of the Blood God and Harry heard the sound he was waiting for.
[Quest Completed: Stop the rise of the Blood God
Reward: +2 Magic Path Rank]
Harry smiled at the reward. His Magic Path Rank jumping from 42 to 44 was a very large increase in skill for him. It was getting really, really hard to increase Path Ranks after 40. Though in retrospect the difficulty of the quest deserved that reward. Frost was like a noob using a level 99 character for the first time but the longer he fought the stronger he would get. If it were for the nonstandard effect of Phoenix Flame combined with Blade's excellent sword skill and quick thinking, that battle would not have been so cut and dry. He probably would've hidden in a corner and called the Ancient One for backup.
Harry dispelled the Barrier and collected the life force. Blade noticed the glowing glyphs on the wall which shined when La Magra smashed into it fade away.
Harry said, "I want to check on Karen to make sure she is alright." With that Harry made another silver portal into Whistler's Warehouse and walked in. Blade followed once he confirmed the scent of the place. Harry felt Blade and Wolverine would get along very well.
Harry could tell Blade wanted answers so Harry said, "I'll answer your questions after everyone is here."
Karen shouted from another room in the warehouse, "Over here."
Blade led on and Harry followed. Karen was at the same workstation Harry got her blood from and seemed to be using whatever she had developed to cure her infection once more. Harry definitely wanted to speak with her about that.
"Blade. What the fuck happened."
For the first time since Harry met him, Blade showed some actual surprise when Whistler walked over. He had changed his bloody shirt and gotten himself cleaned up. He was no longer limping and even seemed a few years younger. Yet Blade could tell he wasn't a vampire and that Whistler himself had no idea what was going on.
Harry said, "That was me. Sit down and I'll tell you what happened."
Neither Whistler nor Blade sat which wasn't a surprise. Harry continued anyway, "Whistler posted some pages on the Book of Erebus to MysticKnowledge .com for assistance with the translation. That site is actually serviced by something of an order of mystic monks who defend the world from mystic threats. I'm something of a freelancer who works with them. I was asked to confirm the translation as well and determine the threat. I tracked Whistler's IP address here and found him mostly dead. I used some rather valuable mystic elixir to heal him, though not because I'm an upstanding guy."
Harry turned to Whistler and said, "No offense, but you were my only lead so saving you was my only option." Harry continued, "After returning him from the brink his mind was healed enough for me to read. Yes, I can do that. I learned what Frost had planned but had no idea where you were so I used tracking magic on Karen's Blood which she left around. Yes, I can do that too. Once I found her, I made a portal, sent her back, helped Blade kill a God, and now we're back. Any questions?"
Whistler asked quickly, "What else did you learn from my head?"
Harry answered, "Enough. You guys do good work." Harry turned to Karen and asked, "Now Ms. Jensen, would you mind showing me how your cure works? I'd prefer if some more testing was done but if there are no lasting negative effects I'd like to sponsor your research and perhaps mass production."
Karen looked taken aback and asked, "How much?"
"Fifty thousand for start up and another five thousand a month until you finish or give a reason to need more."
Karen asked, "Will you need an invoice?"
She was asking in a roundabout way if the money could be spent on things other than her research.
Harry said, "I can pay you in cash off the books if that's what you want. If some of the funds gets... donated.." Harry looked at Whistler and Blade before continuing, "to a cause you support that's fine with me as long as there are some results within six months."
Karen smirked and asked, "Where do I sign?" Much less results, she had a finished and tested product and had no problem making money reconfirming her results.
Harry explained some of the details of his ideas and said he'd have some papers over the next day. He also asked if she wanted some extra security for her 'lab' and Harry said he'd be willing to pay out of his own pocket for that. Whistler caught on that they were basically coming up with legal ways to pay and upgrade Whistler's and Blade's operation and both had a few words of input and suggestions on Security equipment and Guards.
Harry also said he'd introduce Blade to a master smith who would enjoy forging weapons for someone who put them to good use. Up until now he had alluding to mystic monks but hadn't told them about the magic world. Blade was either an untrained muggleborn or a variant squib so introducing him to the Goblins was not against the law as long as he didn't tell Whistler or Karen what he saw and learned.
When everything was settled Harry called the Ancient One and gave her an update. She asked what Harry would do with a mass produced Cure and Harry would just sell it on Mystic Knowledge .com as exactly what it was. If the cure acted fast enough he could even put it in a gun and combine it with a potent tranquilizer to knock out vampires which would then wake up cured.
Harry wouldn't do so to be nice to them of course. It was closer to a sinister prank than an act of kindness. He doubted a cured vampire would praise the loss of their superhuman abilities even if it meant not thirsting for human blood and being able to see the sun. Someone who was used to such a thing having suddenly lost it would feel weak and powerless.
Of course, they might be able to find someone to turn them back. He'd have Karen look into ways to stop people from being turned or ways to poison a person's blood against vampires to set a trap for those who tried turning the cured. Harry wondered if he was turning sadistic and decided to consult his girlfriends about it. Though some of them were worse than he was.
Harry spent the next six weeks signing papers, negotiating deals, and dealing with property. One of the companies partially owned by P&G Bank and Trust purchased a property Harry chose in New York and had it demolished. It was currently being rebuilt under Harry's exact specifications and would be finished by the second week of August.
Harry's metagems were due to return in two weeks and and Harry was eagerly waiting to see what shenanigans they tried. He wondered out of ten how many groups would return all the samples and how many would have them stolen, lost, or try to return fakes to him and claim they were real.
One night however Harry received a text message from the compact mirror phone he gave to Emma Frost. The message actually had Harry do a double take and in the next moment he filled his backpack with gemstones and teleported to Xavier's study.
The message read, [I've been kidnapped by Giant, Mutant Hunting Robots. Can't talk, Please send help.]