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Chapter 2: Blood and Power

One night in 1448, Vlad was summoned by the old sultan. He saw his brother was seated next to the old sultan’s throne.

“You shall prepare for Wallachia early tomorrow morning. I am officially freeing you with an army to take the throne from the Dăneşti clan,” the old sultan declared in a strong, hard voice.

Vlad knew better than these words. His eyes transferred to his brother. “Radu, will you come home with me?” he asked in spite of the old sultan’s presence. He was still trying to convince his brother to come home with him and forget about the Turks and their religion that brainwashed Radu since they arrived years ago.

“I shall remain here. Old Sultan Murad said so, brother,” his younger brother answered with his lips only a thin line.

“Radu shall remain here in case you will be overpowered in the battle, Vlad,” the old sultan told him straightforwardly, making a logical point.

            Vlad swallowed while he sharply looked at his handsome brother and the old sultan. He already realized he was going to be a pawn in this battle game. And he knew then that the old sultan would try to make him a puppet ruler in Wallachia. This, he did not want to happen. He gritted his teeth with a rebellious heart.

****

Together with an army of Turks, Vlad invaded Wallachia and drove Vladislav II away. He was happy he had triumphantly seized the throne at last, at the age of seventeen.

“Clean up the rooms and the entire place!” he ordered the servants of the castle.

They did as it was ordered by the new ruler of Wallachia. The soldiers cleaned the battlegrounds from dead soldiers and were all buried outside the city.

Vlad looked around the palace as he thought of his family. He promised to himself again that he shall avenge their deaths.

However, two months later, Vlad who was barely on the throne to make some changes of some Wallachian laws was invaded by Hunyadi. He was forced to flee to Moldavia, where his uncle, Bogdan II, lived.

“I shall protect you with my life, Vlad,” his uncle promised. “I knew how much your mother loved you when she was still alive. Even with her last breath, she wished to see you and your brother once more. However, her fate was too cruel!” He was embraced by his uncle, his mother’s brother.

Vlad silently shed a tear as he embraced his uncle back.

While he stayed in Moldavia, he trained himself more in the art of fighting together with his cousin Stephen, his uncle’s son.

By the following year, his uncle became Prince of Moldavia after he defeated Prince Alexăndrel. His power then grew, and he could protect Vlad more securely. However, he was assassinated two years later by Petru Aron of the rival clan.

Vlad fled to Hungary at the breach of the Moldavian civil war. It was bloody and many lives were destroyed until his cousin Stephen gained the throne in 1457.

Meanwhile, however, during the Moldavian civil war, he fled to Hungary to take his chances. Whether or not he would be killed by Hunyadi, he still led his horse towards the enemy territory.

Inside his grand castle, Hunyadi was seated in a well-carved chair and looked at Vlad who was standing in front of him. He did not even kneel down or bend his head as he spoke to him.

“I offer you my allegiance. I know how the Turks fight, and I can offer you a huge quantity of information.”

“Very well, son of the Dragon. I shall make use of your knowledge about the enemy.” Hunyadi smirked with satisfaction. He was impressed with Vlad’s knowledge and took him as an adviser and vassal. However, Vladislav II, whom he put on the Wallachian throne, switched sides, aligning himself with the Ottoman Turks. Thus, Hunyadi regretted it and supported Vlad in his quest to reclaim the Wallachian throne.

Hunyadi was killed in 1456 when he and his army invaded Turkish Serbia, while Vlad and his army invaded Wallachia at the same time. He killed Vladislav II and gloriously regained his father’s throne in Wallachia.

Vlad’s heart was full of victory and happiness as he watched the staring but lifeless eyes of Vladislav II. His head was separated from his body by the Son of the Dragon’s sword.

Vlad’s vengeful eyes bored into his enemy’s.

‘Death puts an end to your power,’ he thought.

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