Alundra and Allison stopped clashing swords and turned their attention toward Belle and Edmund. Allison frowned heavily while Alundra bit her lip.
"Edmund...that's Jack's brother. What does Belle have against him?"
"Edmund killed her parents," Allison replied. "Bartholomew didn't inform the ranked hunters about an alliance with him. It makes sense that Belle would be enraged."
"Yet, you knew that Bartholomew was in league with Edmund?" Alundra asked suspiciously.
"I wish I didn't," Allison answered with a sigh. "I wish I could foolishly believe in Bartholomew's words like a good little sheep. It would make things far easier."
"Bartholomew, did you not inform your hunters about me?" Edmund asked Bartholomew with a grimace.
"Oops!" Bartholomew said with a laugh. "I forgot to tell the ranked hunters!"
"Tell me…what does she have against me?"
"You killed her parents. I'm sure that you remember the mission that Halas sent you on."
Edmund scratched his chin, trying to remember the event that Bartholomew was referring to. His eyes lit up, a realization dawning on him. "I remember! I went to Halas for work, hearing that he offered good pay. He ordered me to kill a family called the Trufant's in Paris. However, I didn't get to kill their little girl. I sensed one of your hunters coming and took off to be safe."
"That was me you sensed." Raymond said sourly.
"Makes sense," Edmund nodded. "I could tell that it was a particularly strong hunter, which is why I backed off. But why do you know about that event? You know about the dealings of Halas, Bartholomew?"
"He's a business associate. Or maybe I should say was. I disposed of him a while ago. I no longer had need for his services."
Edmund narrowed his eyes at that answer, glancing toward the enraged Belle. "Don't tell me…Bartholomew…are you really that vile?"
Desmond limped toward Bartholomew, growling in anger. "I finally get it. It all makes sense. You're even more deranged than I thought, Bartholomew. You have Halas send out a vampire to kill these kid's families, only for one of your hunters to swoop in at the last second and save them. What a perfect way to get a loyal soldier who will follow your beck and call. Every single hunter we've killed…I can feel nothing but pity for them now. They were simply manipulated toys."
"I've always wondered why almost every hunter in your organization was an orphan," Leonardo said faintly. "Finally…I get it. I could have never imagined you would stoop that low."
Belle's face looked demonic as she glared at her leader. "Is this true, Bartholomew?! You had my parents killed?!"
Bartholomew shrugged, letting loose a loud sigh. "Of course it's true you fool. You never found it odd that almost all of you tools were orphans? None of you found it odd that one of my elite hunters was always there just in time to save you? You all really were the perfect tools. It's too bad that you all proved to be worthless in this final hour. Even Carla and Rory, of such legendary families, couldn't get me a single fucking kill."
"I…I spent my life following you. I've spent my life doing whatever you asked. I spent my life following orders from my PARENTS KILLER?!"
"Yeah," Bartholomew answered plainly. "What are you going to do about it?"
Belle's face remained frozen for a while, as various thoughts swirled around in her head. Everything…everything had been a lie. She knew it…she knew that Bartholomew was in many ways a false prophet. She had always suspected he had ulterior motives. But she never could have imagined that he had been the one who had her parents killed.
She had dedicated her life to avenging her parents death by killing their murderer, but she now clearly realized that Edmund Klavier was not the true one to blame. No, the one to blame was right in front of her.
And she would kill him. She would make Bartholomew Benedict regret the day he had decided to target her.
Belle snarled viciously, raising her scythe into the sky. "TYRANT OF THE ICE GOD!"
An enormous golem, crafted out of ice, appeared in front of Belle. The golem charged toward Bartholomew as the Holy Order leader lazily rose from his chair. Bartholomew walked toward the golem, placing his left hand on the monstrosity. The second his hand touched the golem, the golem shattered into thousands of pieces.
"IMPOSSIBLE!" Belle exclaimed in shock. "That was my ultimate technique! That golem wasn't just made from ice. It was made from crystal!"
Bartholomew cocked his head to the side, staring at Belle. "I hope you realize, Belle, that you just attacked me. You know what awaits you now. Don't you?"
"SHUT UP!" Belle growled, running toward Bartholomew. She thrust her scythe forward, striking it right against Bartholomew's head. The scythe recoiled on impact, losing the battle against Bartholomew's cranium. Belle's eyes widened in horror as Bartholomew grabbed her waist with his left hand.
Bartholomew's right hand transformed into a machine gun that he pointed straight at Belle's face. Belle could only look on with dread, knowing what was coming next.
She had known attacking Bartholomew was futile. She knew…she knew that she hadn't stood a chance. The end was here. Her struggle for revenge would end in futility.
And that saddened her. Tears began to leak from her eyes as she awaited her impending death. All she had wanted was to avenge her parents. All she had wanted was to make them proud before she joined them in the afterlife.
"Say hello to your parents for me," Bartholomew said before unloading bullet after bullet into Belle. Bartholomew stopped after a few seconds and turned his hand back to normal before tossing Belle's body aside. Her body was so full of holes that she was virtually unrecognizable.
Raymond covered his mouth, blanching from the sight. "That was too far, Bartholomew. You didn't have to be that extreme with her!"
"Oh shut up," Bartholomew said before backhanding Raymond. Raymond screamed out, landing on the floor. The Holy Order leader turned his attention toward Leonardo and grinned evilly. "You have something to say. Don't you, Leonardo?"
"Are you mad?! What the hell are you thinking?!"
"Really?" Bartholomew asked in amusement. "That's what you ask me? Well if you insist…I was simply reflecting on how great it was that this fighting took place in such a large room. It was quite convenient, a little too convenient if you ask me, that all of the fights were secluded from real interruption. Feels like something you would see in a shitty fighting series. Don't you agree?"
"You bastard!" Leonardo snarled in response.
Bartholomew shook his head, narrowing his eyes. "I've lost my patience. So, go ahead. Say who you think I am, Leonardo."
Leonardo gritted his teeth, feeling nothing but disgust for Bartholomew. "Emperor Blut…The Ability Thief…That's who you are. I don't want to believe it, but nobody else makes sense. You're the man who foolishly challenged Lucifer for the title of Vampire King. You're the man that was said to have perished in the battle that destroyed an entire island. You're Kaizer Fontuna, aren't you?"
Bartholomew cackled insanely, grinning like a madman toward Leonardo. "Correct! What kind of prize do you want? Me to brutally dismantle you limb from limb? Do you want the same death that Belle just got? Or maybe you want me to make your blood not just run cold…but absolutely freeze?"
"You're really enjoying the charade finally coming to an end aren't you?" Franz asked with a smirk.
Z shook his head, letting loose a groan. "Finally. I've waited for this since joining you. Show me the power that willed me to join you, Kaizer."
"Oh, I will. But first it's time for me to get rid of this stupid disguise. I've waited far too many years to walk this planet in my real body once more."
The entire room was eclipsed by light, blinding everyone momentarily. When the light had cleared, Bartholomew was no longer there. Instead, there was a medium-sized young man with flaming red hair. He wore black pants and a black dress shirt that was unbuttoned, showing off his rock-hard abs. A gold earring was in his left ear and his right eyebrow was pierced.
"Finally! Finally, I, Kaizer Fontuna, am near the moment of victory! I have waited far, far too long for this day to come!"
"What the hell are you talking about?" Ricardo growled. "What are you really planning, Kaizer?"
Kaizer shook his pinky finger at Ricardo, treating the council member like a petulant child. "I'll get to that in due time. First, I'm going to assume you all know the truth about genetic weapons. They are in every human being since the day they're born, but only a certain few are truly capable of awakening those powers. Back in the days of Lucifer and I, hunters awakened them on their own. The Chandler clan, in particular, was famous for their ability to materialize a wide assortment of weapons. Sadly, in this current age humans are having a much harder time awakening the abilities on their own. Thus, I had Franz devise a radar to detect children with true potential as hunters. Then I hired Halas to get vampires to kill their parents, only for one of my men to swoop in to save them at the last minute. It was truly the perfect way to build a talented army."
"That doesn't explain what your plan is," Gaelic growled.
"As I said, you impatient whelps, I'm getting to that. As you council members should know, I can steal the genetic weapon of a hunter or the ability of a vampire and make it my own. That is my own vampire power and how I got that annoying "Ability Thief" nickname. But I can also steal the identity and features of someone, as I did with the hunter who was known as Bartholomew Benedict, or even their entire life force. When I do that second option I'm effectively fusing their power with mine. It's how I was able to increase my strength exponentially through the years."
"Get to the damn point!" Leonardo yelled at Kaizer. He was getting more and more impatient, feeling an imminent sense of hopelessness.
"You're so annoying," Kaizer grumbled. "The point is Lucifer. What else could it be?"
"Lucifer?" Ricardo repeated, confused. "What do you mean?"
"You don't get it yet?" Franz asked incredulously. "Lord Kaizer wants to break the seal!"
"What?!" Leonardo exclaimed in shock. "Are you mad?! You want to break the seal that Faust placed upon Lucifer? Why would you want to bring that monster back into this world?!"
"You really are slow on the uptake," Kaizer said bluntly. "I want to absorb him! Imagine how strong I'll be after I combine Lucifer's powers with my own! I'll be unstoppable, the strongest creature that has ever walked this planet! I'LL BE A GOD!"
"You're insane!" Leonardo said in disbelief. "Thankfully, you can't complete your goal. I know what is needed to break the seal Faust placed on Lucifer when he sealed him away. Ten thousand vampires need to be killed by the genetic weapon, or weapons, of one single hunter. Only then would the seal break, as Faust believed that a hunter who had accomplished such a feat should be able to kill Lucifer once and for all."
Kaizer flashed a vile smirk toward Leonardo, wagging his finger once more. "Of course I know that. However, you're forgetting something. Franz and I helped all of my hunters awaken their genetic weapons through one of his inventions. And that invention put a drop of Bartholomew Benedict's blood in each of their bodies. Every single kill they have gotten for me is recognized as a kill for him."
Leonardo stepped back in terror, as Ricardo narrowed his eyes. "How close are you?" Ricardo asked gruffly.
"How close?" Kaizer repeated, breaking into another fit of laughter. "Very close! Only two more kills are needed to break the seal. However, I was hoping that this final showdown today could get me the needed kills before I had to dirty my own hands. What a disappointment. These tools proved worthless in the end, only getting me one measly kill. I mean, Faye died too, but that didn't count because Alice was the one who killed her and Carla. But you know what they say…if you need something done then you should just do it yourself!"
Leonardo's eyes grew as wide as saucers, quickly realizing what Kaizer's final words meant. "Everyone here that is a vampire prepare yourself! Kaizer is the most dangerous foe-"
Leonardo stopped suddenly, hearing a loud thud. The council member slowly turned around, gulping when he saw that Gaelic's body was on the floor. A pool of blood was near Gaelic's body, growing larger every second. Kaizer stood above Gaelic, smirking at Leonardo. Kaizer's right hand had been transformed into a black sword that was coated in Gaelic's blood.
"Too late, Leonardo. One to go."