Chapter 1: The Start of A Journey
We are born we grow old and we die. It's endless cycle of life, no one gets a second chance or so I thought until I met Vladimir.
The sun was warm and only a slight cold breeze could be felt in the spring air. I lived near a lake in a farmland town just outside of St. Petersburg with my dhampir father and brother and the of moroi family they were protecting. For those of you who don't know moroi are vampires, they drink blood but don't kill they are really tall and very pale in comparison to your normal human their also alive and sunlight doesn't kill them although it weakens them they can also wield magic in the form of the five elements: fire, earth, water, air and a slightly unknown spirit.
My family on the other hand are dhampirs a race that was formed between human and moroi people mixing with one another, the dhampirs look normal just like humans their only a lot stronger and have sharper senses and an incredible immune system we also protect the moroi from the immortal strigoi.
Strigoi too are vampires but their the kind you hear of in books they kill for blood, can't come in the sun and believe moroi blood to be the ultimate high they're also dead and a hell of a lot harder to kill a second time, there are three ways to kill them 1. set them on fire 2. decapitation 3. by staking them in the centre of heart with a silver stake. Moroi can also become strigoi by killing someone when drinking from them or being 'awakened by another stigoi.
Today is my eighteenth birthday and the day I have to go out into the world and prove my worth as a novice to become a guardian. In this time in Russia a lot of moroi frowned upon dhampir women becoming guardians because they believed that they needed to be bloodwhores, but I refuse that fate, I know I can fight and I will prove everyone wrong who ever said 'girls can't fight' and I'll follow in Valeria's footsteps to the top.
"Earth to Anna, if your going to stand there all they you might as well just ask a witch to turn you into a tree!" My brother Andrei yelled. He was a tall 6.2 23 year old dhampir with red hear green eyes and always had an annoyed look on his face.
"Sorry Andrei, I lost track of time." I said turning away from him looking back out onto the lake.
"Yes, well hurry up Danila's already waiting for you and father is growing impatient." He said turning away from me walking back to the house. 'One last look one last moment in my old life' I thought to myself walking back to the house
"And she finally arrives." Danila said in a sarcastic voice, Danila Belikov one of my few best friends he was a very tall dhampir even taller than Andrei he stood at an impressive 6.6 feet and had shoulder length dark brown hair and matching brown eyes he had strong features and a heavy Russian accent go figure.
"Well hello to you too." I said back playfully hitting him on the shoulder.
"Ouch," He said mockingly "that hurt."
"Yeah right, says the man made of metal." I said back rolling my eyes at him.
"When you two are done acting like children, we'd like to say goodbye now." My father chastised us.
"Sorry father." I apologized. A person could clearly see where I had gotten my looks from my father was a tall dhampir man with sleek black hair, dark skin and green eyes, I on the other hand had gotten my mothers features with my fathers straight black hair that when not tied back hanged at my waist and clearly his length, I was taller than Andrei by 2 feet and shorter than Danila by 2 feet and for some reason I had pale skin not as pale as a moroi's skin but still uncommon for dhampirs with striking blue eyes, which was weird by far because neither of my parents had blue eyes.
"Now Belikov you better take care of her out there, you hear me." My father's athorative voice rang through our ears.
"Yes sir I will."
"I can take care of myself, and besides if it's anyone that needs taking care of it's this idiot beside me." I interrupted them.
"I'm sorry my child, but I do need someone watching over you to know that you'll be save seeing as I can't do that." My father said giving me a hug.
"Andrei come say goodbye to your sister." My father said waving my brother over .
"Alright" He said as he put his arms around me.
"Listen to my advise sister you are going to encounter striogi on your journey but when you fight one never hesitate or fall for their tricks, got it?"
"Got it." I repeated his words. After that we set of to catch our ride to St. Petersburg and I could feel this was going to be a long journey.
"Okay, so now that we're on the road, which way are we going and where are going to catch a ride?" I asked as much as fast as I could, this made Danila laugh.
"Getting right to the point as usual." He said after taking a deep breath from all the laughing.
"It's okay not to have all the answers yet. Continue your journey and trust the proses." He said staring at the road ahead of him. "You know you sound like a Chinese fortune cookie." I said after a few minutes of thinking about what he said.
"I sound like a what?" He asked stopping to look at me.
"A Chinese fortune cookie, it's these cookies in China and inside of them there are pieces of paper and on these papers they have your fortune of what's going to happen ,but actually it's just wisdom on paper." I finished explaining.
"Someone's been reading my mother's books again." He said in a mock disapproving tone.
"What? you know I have a soft spot for books." I said waving my arms in surrender. He laughed.
"I know" The journey as he called it became a silent one again and I was left to my own thoughts and as usual my dreams of a big mansion and a mysterious shadowed man I didn't recognize. But lately the dreams seemed to revolved around him telling me over and over again 'My Shadow kissed Anna come to St. Petersburg and find me'. Those words rang through my head over and over again until I told Danila that our first stop had to be St. Petersburg.
"Anna...." Danila's voice broke my train of thought.
"Huh, what?" I asked him still in a daze.
"That is our ride." He said pointing to a manor cart.
"WHAT!, you got us a ride on a damn shit cart." I yelled without taking notice of my surroundings.
"Anna! Language there are kids around you know." He scolded me and I looked around and saw a lot of mothers looking at me with glints of anger in their eyes.
"Sorry!" I said loudly.
"What am I going to do with you."
Dani said holding his hand over his eyes while shaking his head.
"Do you two still want a ride?" The driver of the cart asked us.
"Yes sir we do, please." Dani answered before I could get a chance to tell him off.
"Please I'm asking nicely Anna don't start." Dani said taking a hold of my shoulder to look me in the eyes.
"Fine" I gave in. Friends can't live with them can't live without them I thought to myself climbing into the cart sitting next to the old man.
"Dani, remind me never to let you arrange the rides again." I said trying to hold my breath as I spoke.
"It's not that bad." He said lifting his hand in mock surrender.
"Yeah you better raise those hand because I'm gonna kick your ass after this ride." I threatened him.
"Like I believe you." He said making himself comfortable next to me.
"I will." I repeated annoyed at him.
The ride was long and smelly but it got us where we wanted to be hours later.
"This is St. Petersburg? It's beautiful." I said taking in the colourful sites around me.
"Yes it is, it kind of gives that feeling of serenity." He said watching me, I gave him a missives smile and said.
"Give me a tour."
"Why not Dani?" I asked him pouting.
"Because Anna we need to get a place to sleep." He said looking annoyed at me.
"Fine, so then tomorrow?" I asked hopefully.
"Tomorrow" He repeated my words. I was happy and followed him while eyeing the building, people and sunset. After taking in my surroundings I started concentrating on what I felt to alert me to any strigoi.
"So where are we going again?" I asked Danila, who was leading the way.
"A cathedral, where the is a moroi priest that takes weary traveling dhampir in for the night." He explained.
"Okay so then where is it?" I continued my questionnaire.
"A few blocks from here, If we walked fast and don't get distracted will be there before sunset." He answered. And with that we walked towards this Cathedral in hopes of not encountering any strigoi.