I have been traveling for two days and I reached Asylo Forest on day one. Before I sent the groups into the forest I split the forest into eight zones. I sent one group into every zone and now I was on my way into zone F where I will meet up with the only group to have seen the EM since this expedition began.
If my directions were correct I should be in zone F by now. I pulled Luna to a stop and started looking around. My vampire senses allowed me to see and hear farther than normal humans. I noticed a red tent peeking around the side of a tree figured it could have been group F.
Once I got closer I noticed something odd, there were only two tents in that camp when group F had at least thirty people in the team. I tied Luna to a tree and slowly crept towards the camp. As I got closer I could hear two males talking. I was right on the outside of their camp now and I was using the shadows to blend in.
“I know you’re still angry at me because of Ella,” The male with black hair said to the person sitting opposite him. “But you need to understand why I did it.”
Ella? How did these humans know Ella?
“I know why you did it!” The other male snapped. “You thought it was too much of a bother to have her in our group! You never liked her and now that you have an excuse you decided to kick her out into the wilderness with an injured ankle and no way to defend herself!”
“I didn’t just get rid of her because I didn’t like her!”
I sensed someone coming up behind me and let my hand wander to the handle of my rapier. Just as I was about to draw my sword I noticed who was approaching me. It was the head of group F and he looked just as shocked to see me as I was to see him. I took a few steps away from the group of humans and approached the head of group F.
“Prince Julian?” The head of group F said in a confused voice and gave a bow. “I was not expecting you here. Is there a reason for your visit?”
“Yes actually, once I got your letter I decided to join you in the hunt for the EM. I must ask, how did you stumble across me?”
“One of my scouts has discovered your horse and I figured you would be inclined to check on Ella’s former group.” The head of group F answered me.
“This was the group Ella was traveling with?”
“Yes my prince, it seems the leader has decided to kick her out once they have discovered we were after her. We have been spying on them for a few days trying to learn what they know. So far the only things we have uncovered is that the other teenage boy and the little girl in the group are rather upset about her banishment.”
I was suddenly filled with unexpected rage at the human group behind me. They sent Ella into the wilderness with a majorly injured ankle, not caring that she shouldn’t even be walking right now. If she runs into any class X vampires before we find her there is a good chance we would never locate her.
“Have you had any more sightings of the EM?” I asked desperately. Every minute she was out there alone was another minute she could be attacked but something.
“No sir, but we have patrol parties scouring the woods in seven-hour shifts. We are looking for her nonstop and we have absolute faith she will be located soon.”
“When does your next group leave?”
“In about two hours,” The head of team F answered.
“Very well, I would like to be added to that search.”
“Of course my prince. Come, I will lead you back to our camp.”
“Not so fast,” I said to the head of group F. “What exactly have you learned from that group of rogues.” I nodded my head towards Ella’s former group.
“Nothing useful so far, Would you like us to leave this group behind?”
“No, quite the opposite actually. They may know something about Ella’s location, I want to question them.”
“Of course, my prince. Let me go fetch some assistance, then we may capture the humans.” The head of group F walked off in the direction in which he came and I stepped back into the shadows of the rogue human’s camp.
“Ella could be dead by now, Logan!”
“How would you know? You’ve seen what she can do, I’m sure she is just fine!” The boy named Logan yelled.
“Your right, I have seen what she can do. In case you haven’t noticed Logan, every time she reads from that book she passes out! What’s stopping her from being attacked after passing out?!” The other male human yelled. “So what! We can’t always look out for her, she needs to do that on her own!”
I couldn’t hold back any longer. Hearing these humans arguing about Ella and making her seem like a nuisance filled me with unexpected rage. It might have been because I was looking for this girl for many years and I came so close to finding her. I could have collected her right here if these humans have not cast her out like some kind of disposable idem.
I leveled my voice and stepped out of the shadows.
“Well now, look at what I have stumbled across,” I said in a calm tone, trying my best to ignore the rage pumping through my veins. “I was expecting to find a young woman named Ella but I suppose her former traveling companions could help me out with that.”
The two boys reached for their weapons. The older looking one reached for a large knife and the younger one reached for a bow.
“What do you want, vampire!?” The older boy spat out the word ‘vampire’. He had a cold voice but it was as strong as steel.
“Are you deaf human,” I said, taking a few steps closer. Even though these humans were armed they were no match for a vampire, they knew it was well and exchanged a worried glance with each other. “I just told you. I’m here for Ella. Now, what’s this I hear about you kicking her out of your little ’group’?”
“If you’re looking for that bandit you’re too late.” The older human said with a snarl. “She’s been gone for two days now. We don’t know where she went.”
“Well I guess you will just have to help us find them then.” The head of Group F came out of the trees behind the humans with two other vampires. The four of us completely surrounded the two humans but just as we were about to attack we heard a scream close by.
Logan sent Zackary, Zagan, and I out to find firewood. We weren’t having much luck, the most we have been able to find were a few twigs.
I wanted to take a break but Zackary wanted to keep looking. I told him he could keep searching and I would wait by a fallen tree but he was hesitant to leave me. After Zagan told him he would stay with me, my brother agreed.
A few moments after Zackary left I started to get a weird feeling in my tummy. Something wasn’t right. I turned around to see if Zagan had the same feeling but what I saw made me freeze in place.
It looked like Zagan was melting. I didn’t know how else to word it. His skin was starting to sag and his skin was turning gray. His eyes morphed into big black orbs.
He opened his mouth to reveal a row of sharp and pointy teeth. I let out a terrified scream as it lunged for me.
I dodged to the side, just like Logan taught me to, and pulled out my dagger that I had stashed in my bag.
This is it Maya, no one is here to help you now. You have to be a big girl. I thought to myself.
I watched the monster carefully as it prepared its next attack. I held my dagger in front of me so I would be prepared when the beast attacked. I wonder if Logan would be proud of me right now, I’m trying to recall all of his lessons to defend myself against a monster.
Before I could fall any deeper into thought the monster lunged at me again. It managed to slice my cheek open with its sharp fingers before I could bring my dagger up and stab it in his shoulder.
It’s skin was really tough and hard to pierce. When I finally managed to sink my dagger in, the beast staggered back a few steps with my weapon still imbedded in its shoulder.
Now I was unarmed and the beast looked madder than ever. It charged at me again but before it got to me, it was cut clean in half by a man holding a rapier.
He looked at the monster he just cut in half and muttered one word under his breath.