all the black is really white
you never once thought you were anything more than who you were. nothing in your life alluded to you being something more than an a normal person. you never felt a sense of grandeur within yourself, or felt any kind of great purpose you had to fulfill at any cost. in fact, if someone ever asked you, you could say you didn't want that kind of importance on sitting your shoulders. being someone else other than you was a thought you hadn't entertained in very much depth. you were fine with yourself and your life as they were. you wished for nothing more than what you had.
in a similar vein, you never expected anything to come out your trip to the shrine. mina wanted to watch the eclipse with you, and that's exactly what you planned to do. no other strings attached, nothing besides spending time with a dear friend. an eclipse might have been special in its own right, but your day certainly wasn't meant to be anything other than normal. waking up in an unfamiliar castle, your head pillowed in mina's lap, was the very last thing you could've seen occurring.
you found that it wasn't just mina and you who were spirited away into the castle. arikado was the first you met, a strange man you couldn't quite figure out based on initial impressions. mina knew him so you assumed he was trustworthy. if he meant either of you harm, he would have done so long before you woke up, or at least that was what you preferred to think. admittedly, your guard was up since your eyes opened, and continued to stay that way even after you had spoken to arikado. and yet, part of you didn't fully believe him when he said this castle once belonged to dracula, much less that it was also inside the eclipse itself. tales of dracula were just old stories, right? they were just centuries old myths, right? whatever made you come here certainly was odd, something you couldn't fathom no matter how hard you tried, and the castle was clearly dangerous if the monsters who attacked you were any indication. but there was only so much you could take in. you chose instead to focus on leaving, on getting out of wherever you were without mina getting hurt.
you were also concerned over how you could have possibly absorbed the soul of the creature you killed. you felt something awaken inside you when the spirit flew into your body. you had never experienced anything like it before, and you couldn't help feeling like you were somehow different. you don't understand it. you don't understand anything if you're perfectly honest. the whole thing was so far from your realm of belief that you only feel skeptical yet reluctantly involved. you were in the castle whether you liked it or not, and you had to leave before your situation got worse.
the only way out was to delve further inside.
oh, i feel it being drawn out
you climbed higher and higher into the castle, leaving behind trails of dead demons that you never thought could exist in your wake. they never stay dead for long, and every room you go through turns into a fight for your life. you're oddly thankful that you don't have to relay solely on your pitiful little pocketknife while you're here. otherwise, you think you would have died a long time ago. you have no idea why you could pick up almost anything and know how to use it, but you'll take it as it is. you'd think that if you were really going through dracula's castle there wouldn't be all sorts of weapons laying around for you to use. you've stuck with the swords for the most part, finding them easier to manage. more and more souls enter your body, piling up along with your kills. you could almost say that you're harvesting your own collection.
you found more people the further inside the castle you went. the idea of you being inside dracula's castle, even if you didn't want to believe it, started to sound more real the more you talked about it with the people you met. graham told you that dracula's power was somewhere in the castle, waiting to be passed down to the one meant to have it. your motive didn't change very much after hearing that, if at all. your only goal was to leave; anything beyond that didn't matter to you. mina was still outside waiting for you. you worried for her safety every step of the way, but you could only take arikado's word that she wouldn't be harmed.
you began to wonder: was something different about you all along and you just never knew about it? the feeling of change had been permeating within you ever since you stepped inside the castle. you felt it with every soul you took in, with every demon who fell to your blade. you felt yourself changing little by little, like you were slowly losing yourself along the way, chipped away like old paint. talking with yoko did little to dissuade how you felt. if anything, you felt even further from yourself than how you did previously. you were normal before today; you wished you could go back to that. your thoughts did nothing to lessen the amount of souls you absorbed, and though they were more than helpful to you given your situation, you still didn't really want them.
unease hung in the air, at least from your perspective. that wariness grew in you with every room passed through, as did your desire to leave. someone, likely already in the castle, likely graham if what yoko told you is true, was meant to inherit dracula's power. and while it didn't much matter to you who it was, it still worried you. you believed you had allies in arikado, yoko, and julius, even if all the information you were given twisted your situation into being completely out of your control. you wanted to believe you weren't alone. you wanted to believe that everything would be fine once you left the castle.
your quest to leave became a quest to stop graham. you went further in because you had no other choice.
how it multiplies in my veins
graham died by your blade and your demon souls, the power he had taken in swirling all around the throne room. you watched it fly and scatter, seemingly without aim at first. at least, until they aimed themselves toward you and you took them in. there was a surge within your entire body, head to toe, and you didn't want it. you tried to make it stop, tried to block it from coming into you. it was like a faucet had been turned on and now the handle was stuck. flowing into you without end, you could only stand there and take it until it finally stopped. panting and kneeling on the floor, you finally realized the truth.
graham was never meant to have dracula's powers. they were always meant for you. you were always destined to come here one day and inherit dracula's power, his throne, his castle. the power inside you felt natural, like you were born with it but it was locked away until now. you felt more different than you ever had previously during your journey throughout the castle.
something malevolent was slowly pouring into you, like a small creek running over rocks. you felt it just underneath the skin, an itch you couldn't scratch, something that was you but also the furthest thing from you that could ever be. you didn't want to be that, didn't want to let what was entering you consume you until there was nothing left. if it did, you would be gone. you wouldn't be soma anymore. it kept coming into you, though you slowed it as best you could. you never wanted any of this. not the souls, not dracula's powers, nothing. you never wanted to be anything more than you were. anything other had never once crossed your mind.
according to arikado, your only hope of being normal again, of being soma again, was to go deeper into the castle and destroy the chaos that fueled dracula's spirit.
you kept the truth from mina, couldn't bring yourself to tell her about who you really were, even though she knew something was wrong. you didn't want to scare her with your changes or worry her anymore than she likely already was. having mina be afraid of you? knowing that you could cause fear to bubble up in her just by existing? you wouldn't be able to bear it. you wanted to keep her safe, yet the spirit inside continued to build and build with every step you took. you couldn't trust yourself to be near her for long periods of time, and you couldn't waste much time on anything other than ridding yourself of your own birthright. you didn't want it. you never wanted it.
you fought julius on your way. he was a belmont, born to kill dracula, born to kill you. you didn't want to live as dracula, and you didn't want to fight julius. yet you had no choice. you won the fight, and you made julius promise to kill you if you fail, if all trace of soma left your body for good. you refused to be dracula, refused powers that were destined for you since you were born. you didn't want them, but there was still the chance of your defeat, even if you did try your hardest. you didn't want anyone to see you as someone you weren't, denied the possibility of living as a different person. you didn't want mina to see you and be afraid. you could lay down your life, put it in someone else's hands to take care of, if it meant you would be remembered as soma, if it meant you wouldn't hurt anyone.
you went deeper inside until it almost seemed like the castle itself had turned inside out and was placed together like a bunch of puzzle pieces from different sets. you could feel the chaos all throughout, as tangible as the air you breathed. you weren't going to leave until you either destroyed it or, in a case you'd rather not think of, let it consume you completely. you would do your best to keep that from happening.
and now the sun is coming up
you woke up with your head pillowed in mina's lap once more, the moon moving away from the sun. both mina and you were finally out, finally safe. the chaos and the castle were gone, and you felt like yourself again. but you were changed, whether you liked it or not. you could still feel dracula's powers inside you, could still feel all the souls of the demons you killed, just underneath the skin, an itch you couldn't get rid of. you had no purpose before you came to the castle, no grand goal to fulfill, no real destiny that you could foresee with your own eyes. the you standing outside the shrine could not say the same as the you from before. in your hands, you powers didn't have to be evil. at least, for the time being.
you looked at the sun as it slowly revealed itself, as the moon passed by. one day, dracula's powers might awaken within you a second time. you could only hope you would be more ready for that time. even so, you knew you wouldn't be alone.
not next time. not ever.