I walked down the busy street, slowly, eyes wandering around as I searched for my target. There they are! I gulped and approached them quietly, hugging my long coat closer. Suddenly a band of thieves got out of their hiding, circling a pitiful yet wealthy man. I bit my lip, hesitating.
"You've done this more than once; there's no reason to be scared!"
I tried to reassure myself, closing my eyes.
I shouted loudly to myself, opening my eyes on the same time. And they did as I said; everything did.
The world froze before me.
"Have you ever heard about vampires?"
I yelped, feeling the cold air she blew on my ear; I jumped a safe distance away from her right away, feeling a slight shiver down my spine. I stared at her carefully, suddenly feeling all alert; she simply returned to her full height, that smile didn't leave her face even once. I thought she was nothing more than a stupid fallen noble or something, but now I knew, surely, there was something different from her. Something inhumanly different.
I narrowed my eyes. Why did she suddenly bring up that topic? I relaxed a bit, but still keeping my guard high. Taking a breath to calm myself, I tried to put back my poker face.
"That folklore about demons that suck human blood?"
She laughed, again. What's her problem? Maybe she was another cuckoo like her sister? The more reason I have to keep away from her. Despite my inner turmoil, I kept my emotionless face. As she finished her fit of laughter, she looked at me again.
"I see, I see. We are nothing more but folklore now…"
She tried to stifle another laugh. I crossed my arms, starting to feel annoyed by her. Was she simply toying with me? Maybe I was wrong to think she really meant it about escaping this place. Yeah, I should quickly return to the mansion and punish her later. She seemed to notice the annoyed look I wore despite how hard I tried to mask it.
"Ah well, you see, I am a vampire."
That's it. She really was a cuckoo.
"Well, if it isn't Zeit. Haven't seen you for a long while, lad."
I gave a quick hum of approval, tossing my stolen goods to the counter. In truth I didn't like the idea of stealing too much, though I only 'steal' from thieves' stolen goods, but there were no easier way to earn cash given my current status and position. And I needed to start making some, saving it for the grand plan my somehow-turned-out-to-be-vampire fellow made.
I realized that the pawnshop owner had been staring at me for a while now, instead at my goods. I narrowed my eyes.
"Nuffin. Ya don't rob things for yer owner anymore, do ya?"
"How do you—"
I quickly clamped my mouth shut before causing any ruckus. After calming down, I whispered quietly.
"What are you talking about?"
"can see it in yer eyes, lad. That fire's burnin now."
Nonsense. I huffed and turned, resting my back on the counter.
"Just give me my share, Mr. Blake."
I sighed, mentally slapping myself for bringing this cuckoo and starting to get my hope high for nothing. Putting another stern face, I started to walk away, but as I passed beside her, she grabbed on my wrist, stopping me. I glanced at her, keeping my poker face in check.
"I take it that you don't believe in me?"
"...I don't have time for fairytale."
She whined, putting her other hand on her hip as she think, letting her vision wandered to the already darkening sky. She returned her gaze to me and I stared back blankly.
"This timing is good enough."
She edged closer.
"Give me your blood."
Her statement successfully startled me now. I froze, staring into her unusually red pupils, and started to feel an unknown fear crept up; that time, I couldn't keep my cool anymore. I thrashed badly, trying to release myself from her grasp. It was no use; I was clearly overpowered by her.
"No need to be so scared; I am a light-eater."
I felt a sharp pain on my arm; I instinctively pulled my hand away, the one she had gratefully released. Pulling myself away from her, I saw her staring at my blood on the knife she held; my knife. I should've left it before bringing her here! I thought loudly as I saw her licked my blood, and as she squirmed in what seemed like a pain.
Her body writhed and twisted as she held her head, her muted scream filled the quiet alleyway, and I stared on in horror. Then something bursted out of her back; something that I couldn't believe to be possible.
I muttered in awe as I saw the pair of bat-like wings flapped, as if finally tasting its long lost freedom. I heard her whispered, loud enough for only both of us to hear.
"Welcome to the 'fairytale', little girl."
I was rendered speechless for I didn't know how long, watching her figure under the gentle glow of the moon, struck in a dream-like state before the sight. Even though I knew that vampires were demons, creatures that fed from humans; namely my kind, I couldn't help but being captivated by her form. But my little peace of moment was over as soon as I saw her bent her body in pain once more.
I rushed to her side, keeping her steady as I watched her wings shrunk back, leaving only a strange glowing red mark on her back; an unknown sign that quickly disappeared as soon as it came.
"Tch, that damned old geezer..."
"...are you okay?"
She pushed me away, staggering to stand on her own feet for a while, before putting her hand on her hip again, giving me a toothy grin.
"It's your turn then, little girl."
"Yes. Tell me more about you. And about that strange power you have..."
I silently sneaked back behind the mansion, bringing the little pouch of money I got from my last catch, eyes carefully observing my surrounding for any sign of life. Surprisingly, I failed to notice a certain figure perching on a nearby tree.
The vampire, Remilia, hung up-side down on a tree, startling me and almost made my heart jumped to my throat, but successfully sending me tumbling on my butt. Good thing I could stop myself before alerting anyone; if we were found out we could got punished for gathering without our master's permission. She jumped down the branch she was perching on and helped me up; I tried to hide my blush from my stupid outburst, but she didn't seem to even notice it. We walked further into the forest, walking after many identical trees to find a huge boulder blocking our path. Remilia halted and knelt beside it, then she lifted the boulder effortlessly, showing our little safe; I was still amazed at how strong she was, and wondered what else could she do if only her power wasn't sealed.
I dug the ground a bit, revealing a box we used to save our deposit. Lawfully, all of slaves properties belonged to their master, so we had to hide this carefully. Don't look at me; I wasn't the one who suggested this put-them-on-a-box-under-a-boulder-where-nobody-but-me-can-lift-it method. I put the money I currently had inside and observed the rest of the contents. It wasn't much for now, but it would be. At least, maybe, we could execute this silly plan of hers before I got too old to walk and see the world with my own feet.
"We will earn money and buy our freedoms."
That's it? I stared, dumbfounded by her triumphant declaration. Maybe I wasn't wrong about her being a cuckoo.
"What with that face?"
"...I thought you will suggest something more...'bloody', with your vampire stuff and all."
She thought to herself for a while.
"I don't think so. I can assure you that this spell put on me is not an easy one to break. We can think about breaking it after we get back our freedom."
I knew nothing of this hocus-pocus, so I guess I should believe in her. Finally I nodded, and she laughed again, a little less mockingly this time.
"So here is the plan:
'First we will gather some money to buy your precious pocket-watch he hold; I will need your blood again to shape-shift for a while and do the exchange with him. By then, I will tell him that I have heard about his slaves and is interested to buy three of them; they are you, my sister, and me. Nobody wanted to buy Flan before, so I suspect he will be delighted when he hears someone want to pay for her. The problem is, I believe he will put some high prices for us.
'So we have to save a great amount of money, starting for now. Using your skill, you can easily do some little thievery, right? And you said you are already familiar with it. I will cover your works on the house; my physical strength can handle more than you humans."
'so, what do you say?"
I tilted my head, trying to process the whole thing she said, but finally decided to give up and simply nodded. One thing I knew for sure was I have to gather money; lot and lots of them.
I stared blankly at the ceiling, trying to lull myself to sleep after failing at doing a counting sheeps. I tossed to my side, only to be met by my room-mate's sleeping face. I blinked, staring at how innocent she looked when she slept. But it seemed that I was tricked.
She opened her eyes, staring back at me with her red eyes; I quickly switched my gaze away in embarrassment.
"Same as you."
I puffed my cheek childishly as I heard her chuckled.
"Vampires are normally nocturnal, little girl."
"Humph, stop calling me 'little girl'; we don't have that much of an age gap. And I have a name."
"Oh? How old are you?"
"Well, I am over 200 years. So, about your name... How should I call you?"
She completely put away the age gap matters, the one that give me another dumbstruck moment; I should start to learn how to adapt to her pace of doing things. I sighed.
"Just call me Eterna."
"I don't want to."
"You call me with my real name, so it is only fair if I do the same."
I thought for a while. A real name? What is my real name? Do I even have one? I didn't remember at all. Then something popped up from my memories.
"Sakuya. Yeah, Sakuya. Call me Sakuya."
"What a strange name. Is that even a name?"
I fumbled with my hair a little, thinking whether I should tell her about it or not.
"I was told by Mr. Blake at the pawnshop, about a little writing I found on his shop. It was written on a language I didn't know. It was read as 'Sakuya'. It means 'flowering night'."
"Flowering night, huh. What a fitting name for the one working with the queen of the night."
I giggled softly to myself and my new name, feeling warm all of a sudden.
"So, Sakuya. When I have my power back and rebuild my mansion, would you become my familiar?"
"What's a familiar?"
"Let just say... my most trusted and obedient servant."
She rose to a sitting position, pouting, clearly disappointed by my decision. I smiled.
"I don't want to be a slave anymore. But, if you hire me as your maid, I will accept it."
The vampire mused to herself for a while before retreating back to her bed, pulling her blanket over her again.
"Fine, I'll take you as my maid. No, my chief-maid."
I pulled my own blanket closer.
"Fufufu... You just make a deal with the devil; don't even think about running away or breaking it."
I started to feel sleepiness invited me and I yawned, giving her one last glance before closing my eyes, before being drawn into my first happy dream ever.
"Good night, milady Remilia."