The Gift Of The Elements

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The Hunt Continues

Chapter Ten

~Julian~

I woke up at about midnight, I slept in because I stayed up all day yesterday organizing teams to search Asylo Forest. I managed to put together a total of eight teams who I dispatched about nine hours ago. They should be in the forest by now and I am expecting nightly-reports from each one of them.

I pushed myself off my bed and headed towards my mini-fridge filled with blood thermoses. I grabbed one off the top shelf that was labeled ‘O+’. We get the blood from the servants in the castle, as well as the human villagers that wish to live inside my walls for safety, comfort, and food. Every one of my human villagers has a job. Some are farmers, some are servants for class B vampires, some are guards that patrol the human villages.

My kingdom is devising into eighteen villages. Half are human villages and the other half are vampire villages. The only humans in vampire villages are servants and blood slaves and the only vampires in human villages are there to collect blood. Human blood is their sort of payment for staying in my kingdom under my protection.

I live in the capital city of a city called Amia. The Capital of Amia is a vampire city where the only humans here are servants and blood slaves. My family has been ruling this kingdom for hundreds of years, ever since the war between vampires and humans. Obviously, vampires won the war and took over all human cities in the world. There are now thousands of vampire kingdoms all across the globe and humans submitted to one of three fates. They either submitted to vampires and became villagers in exchange for their blood, or they could have been killed for not agreeing to give up their blood, or the ones that were brave enough escaped to rural areas in vampire kingdom’s and tried surviving on their own with limited supplies and constant dangers.

The EM girl I am currently hunting has chosen the third option, which is making finding her rather difficult. She seems to have taken refuge in Asylo Forest and is somehow surviving without vampires’ assistance. Granted she is very unlike normal humans and has her own...abilities helping her survive out there, but how long will she last without the proper training?

I finished the last of the blood in the thermos and turned to leave my room. I was going to one of the places that reminded me of the importance of this mission.

In the same wing of the castle as my room was an empty and unguarded bedroom. I personally designed it five years ago when I thought my guards would be bringing home a young girl. I designed this room for the EM when I was first told she had been discovered. I was so sure we would find her and that she would agree to the terms I have set out for her.

The room was down a hallway we rarely used and I figured she would be able to have her own space away from vampires. Down that hallway, there were four white doors each leading into an empty bedroom. I selected the one at the very end of the hall to give to the EM. As I opened the door I found the room looked exactly the same as it had when it was first built.

The walls were painted a light lilac color and there was a big window with a door leading out to a balcony that overlooked the palace garden. The windows were covered with light blue curtains made out of silk. The floor was made out of soft pale blue carpet. In one corner of the room was a light-blue-and-lilac-colored canopy bed with silk comforters and blankets. On the pillows was a stuffed toy I saw many of the servant’s children carrying around. It was in the shape of a giraffe and had a red ribbon tied around its long neck. There were bookshelves full of storybooks on the far end of the wall as well as a desk made of wood. The desk had a few dolls standing on top of it and there were dream catchers hanging from the walls.

The room had two more doors, one lead to a private bathroom with a large bath and a separate glass shower. The second door leads to a walk-in closet. On one side the closet was full of silk dresses made for an eleven-year-old girl and the other side was full of training clothes that would be easy to move in. There was a large mirror hanging over a rack of tiny shoes.

If I did find the EM I was going to have to update the room. She would be about my age now and I doubt she would want a child’s bedroom as her own.

Whenever I got overwhelmed in the search for the EM I would come here. It would remind me that she was out there somewhere and I just had to find her and convince her to join Aima Kingdom’s army.

~Arabella~

“P-please don’t hurt me!” The little boy yelped.

“Were not going to hurt you,” Micheal said in a soothing voice while sheathing his bow. “What are you doing out here all alone?”

“I- I was t-traveling wi-with, my dad, when w-we were attacked by a-a Class X vampire.” The little boy said and looked like he was fighting back tears.

“Hey, don’t cry,” Micheal said, reaching out to pull the child into a hug.

“Careful Michael!” Logan snapped. “This could be a trap set by some bandits.”

“Look at him, Logan!” Micheal yelled back to Logan. I was shocked, I never heard Micheal yell before. “He’s weak, tired, and unarmed. He obviously needs help.”

“We can’t just take in every lost traveler we come across!” Logan looked exhausted and ready to drag Micheal away from the child. “It’s bad enough we got stuck with the bandit over there,” He nodded his head in my direction. “We don’t need any more mouths to feed.”

“Are you suggesting we leave a defenseless child alone in the woods!?” Micheal’s face was turning red. “How would you have liked it if Andrew did that to you!?”

Logan turned pale and looked as if he had been slapped. Before anyone could say anything he turned on his heels and stomped away back the way we came.

“Owch,” I said to Micheal. “Family troubles?”

Micheal completely ignored me and turned his attention back to the young boy.

“Are you alright?” He asked the child and he nodded. “What’s your name?”

“Z-Zagan.” The little boy answered.

“Well hey Zagan, I’m Micheal. The girl over there is Anabella, the two kids over there are Maya and Zackary, and that mean guy that just stomped off is Logan.”

“Logan was scary,” Zagan said in a quiet voice.

“He’s not always scary,” Micheal answered the boy. “He’s just mad right now.”

“I don’t think I like him very much,” Zagan said with a pouting lip.

“Join the club,” I said to the boy. “Can I ask you a question Zagan?”

“S-sure!”

“Earlier today when we were packing up, I thought I saw something moving in the trees. Was it you?” I asked and the boy seemed a little flustered.

“Y-Y-yes, that was m-me,” Zagan answered in a shaky voice. “B-but I wasn’t s-spying o-on you or anything!”

“Then what were you doing?” I asked, crossing my arms.

“I-I,” The little boy’s stomach growled causing blush.

“Enough Anabella!” Micheal snapped. “Stop interrogating him! You’re worse than Logan!”

“Well excuse me for not being that trusting,” I muttered under my breath but Micheal didn’t seem to hear me.

“Are you hungry?” He asked Zagan and the boy nodded his head. “Come on then let’s go get you something to eat.”

***

Micheal gave Zagan a ration of stale crackers and some water. We were back at the camp spot we slept in last night. I was constantly scanning the woods for any signs of movement. I don’t know what but something about Zagan seems off.

Maya and Zackary were sitting at the base of a tree on either side of me. Maya was talking to me but I was only half paying attention.

“Ella!” Maya exclaimed, “Did you hear a word I just said!”

“Hmm?” I turned my attention back to her. “No, sorry. Say it again.”

Maya let out a sigh. “I said something seems weird about Zagan. Don’t you feel it?”

“What do you mean?” I asked her, confused.

“I mean, something different,” Maya said looking over to Micheal and Zagan. “I don’t know what, but somethings just not right.”

“Sorry Maya,” A male voice said behind me. “But I need to borrow Ella for a moment.”

I turned around to see Logan standing behind me and the two kids. I wondered how he managed to sneak up on me without me noticing.

“Maya, Zackary you should start packing up. We are going to leave once I’m done with Ella.” Logan said to the kids.

I grabbed my bag and stood up. The kids started to scatter and grab their things as Logan took my elbow and led me out of earshot from the others.

“What do you think about that kid, Zagan?” Logan asked me once we were out of sight from the group.

“I think something off, but I’m not sure what,” I said back to Logan crossing my arms. “Maya was just saying to me that she had a weird feeling about him as well.”

“I knew it!” Logan said looking back in the direction of the camp. “Micheal has always had a soft spot for kids. He doesn’t want to believe they could be a bandit, or worse.”

“Oh, I thought I was the only bandit here,” I said in a mocking tone.

The corner of Logan’s lips twisted up. “Trust me, little bandit, if I thought you were a threat you would have been killed a long time ago.”

Just as he finished saying the last words we heard a scream coming from the direction of the camp. Without another word, Logan and I drew our weapons and took off in the direction of the scream.

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