Book 1: White Devil
“There are no dark princes that will sweep you off your feet into an eternal world in this land,but their looks sure can drive the mortals mad. Care to take a bite, dear?”
─ Amethyst zi Britannia.
Chapter 1: Resurrection of the Butterfly
One jump and I am already thousands of feet above the ground, meeting the sight of the grey sky. The rain is pouring; not so heavy and not too slight. The black roof of the highest tower from the empire’s castle has always been my favorite spot for the occasion. The sounds of the clashing water drops are like uneven melodies that tingle my ears. I can hear everything; those which are landing on the concrete side of the outer walls, the vibrating metals that collides with the drops of rain, the soft buzzes of umbrellas meeting light pour. Some footsteps of shadows drown in the pools while some on hard and congeal roads, but they are all engulfed in the sound of the vapor.
The kingdom is in black and grey. Some lights are made of red, while the others are dimmer. The buildings are magnificent, tall and crafted to every inch of their details. The roofs are gabled while others are simply flat. This is the view of the most dangerous and elegant country of all; all the way to the edge of the world.
And then, there is me, unmoved in stillness as drops begin to soak my white gown little by little, until the rain decides to become heavier and the fomenting fiber come harder.
Not many shadows are lurking in the dark by then, but there are also some like me who enjoys the downpour of the rain. It is only minutes before storm arrives and things turn even more interesting.
Lightning and thunder crunches furiously at the darkened sky, but I am still unfazed. In fact, I am immersing the best seat for the show. The whirling tornados around the kingdom impress me still, until I can hear a present of another from behind.
“Why are you always here when the most dangerous weather comes?” He sounds almost worried when he asks me this question, before folding his arms together.
“Because the sight amazes me. Why? You don’t think it is wonderful? How the winds blow into whirlpools, when the sky reverberating and the rain come down heavily?”
It takes him a few seconds before he finally replies.
“Well, I guess you have a point there, Mother. But still, what if the lightning stroke at the spot where you are sitting?”
“Then I dodge it, honey. It’s that simply. Why are you so worked up?” I turn to glance at him.
That dark reddish hair can be spotted anywhere. His skin remains pale as whitish grey while those eyes are like pools of fresh blood. Scarlet is staring at the distant before bringing his sight back to me and unfolds his hands, rippling his muscles and clothes. He is wearing a brownish red suit today, which really brings out his eyes and hair even more.
“Excuse me. I think helping the humans has influenced me a little, so I got carried away in times,” he answers, approaching and taking a seat right next to me at the edge of the roof. Both of our feet are hanging in the air now.
“Well, it’s fine to be considerate. But feeling too human is not that great either, being what we are,” I remind him as I turn my gaze back to the grey sky.
“I understand.” Scarlet rests his head on my shoulder as the weather grows even more intense.
My boots are clacking against the glassed floor when I stroll back to the operating room after changing back to my white uniform. A series of robes are lining in the room, signing that my knights are in there. Judging from the hard looks on their faces, it seems like we just find ourselves a snag.
“What is it, Alto?” I ask my first knight. Under thick long bangs and eyelashes, those red pair of eyes follows my movement tentatively until I settle on my command chair.
“There was a takeover at the border gate of Sarotine at dawn,” those eyes never blink as he mutters cautiously.
“So what?” I already noticed this before, while I was still lying on my bed.
“A group of hunters and humans are involved. Among other aspects, the leader discovered to be a masked man. We don’t know what species he is from since the security cameras were soon disabled while smoke screen were pulled everywhere around the security border.”
“Again, I ask: So what?” There has been a move of rebellions on the occasion once in a while. Another one is not something new anymore. When the next strike happens, they will all be taken care of severely.
“The masked man could move fast, Your Majesty. He could move really fast, as if he were like one of you, if not one of your residences. That is what we could manage from what the security cameras allowed us to watch.”
I rise from my chair and walk to him, never breaking eye contact. “So there is a vampire, and perhaps a pureblooded one, involved. Still, I do not think it should be in concern that much. I will just have to participate in the next time’s attack.”
“But, Your Highness, it could be one of your family members!” cries Rozette, my third knight. She is the only female member of the circle, with body taller and bigger than the others. Yet she is the one who breaks first.... looking as torn as a soldier can be. “You can’t possibly─”
“Even if he is one of the purebloods, I will still end his existence from his act of treason,” I cut her, turning my gaze sharply at everyone. “Rules of justice are above all personal reasons.”
The night that we so craved for has come. The moon is hidden behind the clouds and more shadows are moving in the unseen corners. Something rather nostalgic is playing in the air, but the source is hidden well. I have to get closer to get in touch with it, but that will blow my cover and ruin our plan. So I patiently stay on the spot, not moving even for an inch and keep focusing of the activities surrounding me, until the time is right.
I can hear those heavy steps of theirs, their hearts pumping energetically. They try to avoid being noticed, but they do not know that I am involved this time. My knight is already on his way, ready to strike once their leader shows himself.
It is not like we are certain that the leader itself is a ‘he’, but just assuming as to how he dressed the last time. There is that mask that I still need to remove to unfold this little mystery and I find myself rather in a mood of unwrapping presents.
The minute hand strikes twelve and the clouds decide to drift somewhere else. All eyes land on a figure standing at the top of the tallest watchtower. His long robe plays with the wind as a reflection of titanium is showing from the circle of his waste. That is the signal for action and his followers charge forward.
I ignore the agony screams of those vampire soldiers, because I know that they are professionally trained and will not cease to exist that easy. I ignore the fact that those humans are accompanied by titanium swords, even with one wrong slice and the soldier will not be able to make it through another night. It does help a little assuringly once my first knight is starting to act, blocking attacks from everywhere.
When things get bad the rebels know that we are ready to counter attack their unwelcomed charge. The leader notices too soon as well, but I jump up from the alley of my hiding spot and land perfectly on a roof across from the tower he occupies.
The edges of my heeled boots plant on the top of the black fastigium, allowing me to stand still at the precipitous foothold. The masked man acknowledges my presence and position himself face to face with me. My white robe kisses the roof at the end as well, wavering with dominance like his. I try to search for his eyes but the mask is completely sealed, meaning only one thing:
It was spelled.
That explain things, but I am not done yet. I try to get through the magic, but the man blocks me physically by raising his robe as cover to break eye contact with me. But that only confirms one thing:
He knows who I am and what I am capable of doing. He must not be from the human continent then. It is one of the rational reason of how he knows so much and able to get this far. My, I am only just starting to unwrap the gift and I find myself liking it already. What more mysteries do this masked man has in store for me?
Just then the wind decides to blow to our direction. I sniff and catch the scent of his.... and that nostalgic feeling hit me with a thousand volts.
Every part of my body is suddenly being yanked into a rough stop. All I can think of is how he is able to smell like that. His is awfully a lot like us instead of them, which is as much as I can tell.
Not a human but one of us. Not just any vampire but....
“Something more,” I say out loud for him to hear. His is still as much frozen as I do. “Why are you with them?” I ask, more out of curiosity than the naive hope that he will somehow answer that willingly.
He would not be wearing a mask if he did not want himself to be recognized, of course.
Before anyone can take another single breathe, though, a spear flies to me and pierces through my head, leaving me out in the open.
They crush the flesh of the corpse and let the blood flows out from the other side of the cell, in hope that it will avert my attention, and perhaps even spill some secrets for their advantage. What they do not know is that I will not be tempted that easily. I can not even believe that they are still humans who do not know who I am. Perhaps they do not expect a higher up to show up at the invasion. Maybe that is why they only sent a small group that does not know even the most basic thing about a pureblood. That does not matter, though. I watch as disappointment and confusion begins to show on their faces, which eventually lead them getting frustrated and angry altogether.
“I don’t understand! Why is she not influenced by the smell of blood? Vampires are all the same. Give them blood and that is all they will ever care about, even if it comes from a dead body! Blood is blood to them, so why can’t this one be bewilded by the smell like the others?” One of them, the shortest one, growls as he swings his hand back and aims at another spot to stab the dagger on the corpse. The edge of the titanium sinks dipper into the corpse’s rotten flesh. My only concern is just that I hope they did not kill the poor man just to divert vampires’ attention and to answer their questions absent-mindedly. I know that they will be angry if they hear what I am thinking, but humans can be rather unpredictable in their desperate moments.
“Tear the flesh deeper. No matter how strong her self control is, a vampire will eventually crack from the scent of blood,” a taller, older man orders. The short one listens to his order and frantically cuts the corpse with his dagger. When they see that I am still not reacting, the boy tears the dead man’s body wider, until all we can smell is death. The humans can smell it too. That is how contaminated this cell room is.
“It’s not working, Adam! She refuses to crack!” cries the boy in frustration, as if given the task to complete a math problem from a level beyond his reach, and almost throwing the literally bloody dagger in his hands to the fractured cement floor.
The tall one, Adam, who I assume is the leader of the small group, barks order to the others. “Bring another corpse from the storage room. This one is not fresh enough. That must be it! Give her a newer one and I bet she will give in to the blood lust immediately.” Two muscled men open the door, allowing some light to enter the darken cell, and storm out to get what their leader asks for after closing the door behind them. The remaining two stare at me; the short one with disgust and the tall one with much more of curiosity.
Adam takes dare steps closer to the bars, but I do not need light to notice his features when the light lands upon him. “You are very strange, indeed. You show more resistance than any other vampires we have handled before. No, you don’t even show it,” he corrects himself.
Other vampires? So my suspicion has been confirmed. They really are squeezing out information from other prisoners. How far have they gone with this method? Are the previously captured vampires even still alive after they got what they wanted from them? Or did they kill them without showing any mercy to those unlucky prisoners? I can smell the blood of other species other than humans’ oozing through the entire building. They belong to none other than vampires. Could it be the proof of the hunters’ sins, or were they just trying other means of gaining information from their prisoners? Either way, I will not be happy once I get out of here and settle this.
“What took them so long?” the boy groans after minutes pass by, but I can hear their footsteps echoing closer already. At the next minute, the door opens again and the two carry another corpse in their hands. They place it against the wall at the other side of me, making sure that I will have the full view once the blood is drawn out from it, while the boy closes the door, a satisfied smirk plastered on his lips.
He stabs the dagger furiously into the corpse this time, all the while laughing like a sick maniac. “Give in, vampire,” he spats my calling as if the word is poison in his mouth. “I know you want too.” But then I do nothing, still unmoved, while he is covered in blood out of being too worked up on his activity. “Why aren’t you cracking?” he then screams out in defeat immaturely like the child he is.
After that, there is a long pause. The room is quite aside from the various beating of their living hearts. Until....
“Ryan, give me the dagger,” the leader orders. His eyes harden as the boy gives his only weapon to the older man reluctantly, as if not willing to part with a lover or a part of his life. Adam grips the dagger in his hands tightly before he extends his arm and draws a straight line across it. The other gasp as blood starts dripping from his hand. They watch him cautiously as he watches me, but I do not move even for an inch. They all can only stare at me in disbelieve as the blood leaks to the floor in drops, seeping between other cracks.
“What is wrong with you? You are not affected by the human blood at all, even from the fresh one! I’m starting to think that you might not be a vampire at all.”
“But Adam, you saw just how fast she moved at the border gate! No human would be able to move that fast. Not even the Phantom can! And that injury! She recovered so quick that we couldn’t even see the wound closing by itself almost automatically when we arrived. You can’t actually believe that she is one of us! That is just such a sick idea,” Ryan interjects.
“I am not saying that she is one of us. Perhaps she is not a vampire, but another species.”
“You can guest all the way you want, but I don’t care what kind of monster she is. She has injured so many of us. I refuse to go easy on her. Let’s try another method instead.”
As the two humans continue to argue, my chuckle stops them. I spare them a smile that shows just how pathetic they are as I can feel their glares gradually shifting to me. “To know your enemy is to know your victory. You obviously don’t know the first thing about me, yet you are hoping to accomplish something that is impossible to happen. Don’t expect me to bend on your blood, amaturé.”
The boy storms as far as the bars allow him to and hisses sanguinously at me. “Don’t forget your place, vampire. The one who is the prisoner here is you, so you better shut up─”
“Or you will what? Cut me, stab me with your dagger?” I ask him. “Whatever you think you can do to me, they will not affect me more than how a thousand times less of what a needle feels like on me. So for your own good, don’t even waste your energy.”
Ryan shuts his mouth so tight that a pale thin line is formed. His bloodshot eyes becomes to red out of the anger that he is holding in. He knows that I am right ─ he must. If else, then why is he looking like he is now? No one can argue with the truth, after all.
Voices begin to rise again, but this time coming from the outside. I see the pattern and the signs, and soon I learn that one of my knights is the culprit of the ruckus. To go this far must have mean that I am in their headquarter. How many humans are in here that have participated in the coup d’état? How far are the hunters involved in this? Simply listening to their remote conversations does not really help me finding this out.
“Vincent, go see what is going on outside,” Adam orders one of the muscled men while he and his men are completely unaware of what is going on outside. He walks out of the room only to come back with bad news.
“One of the prisoners is revolting. I think it’s one of the vampires that came to stop us at the gate just now,” Vincent says between heavy pants after he rushes back in.
Their eyes all land on me instantly.
“Your dog, I presume?” Adam guests with a crocked eyebrow.
“Technically, he is a cat,” I correct with a sly smile, but of course these features of mine will not make me so vile in this expression. One of them growls and I can hear the sound of metals and gunshots echoing louder from the other side of the door, so earsplitting than even they can hear it. Oh, the horror mirroring. Then I add, “Not that I actually need help from escaping, if that case is what you are thinking.”
I worsen the tension by grabbing two set of bars, my red nails and pale fingers wrapping around each one in an elegant gesture as if it is a porcelain cup that I am holding. Then, as if ripping a tissue into two, I push both of them apart at adserving directions until a space is left wide enough for me to step out for. My fingers lift my gown and my left heeled foot sets out. I do the same to my right foot and officially finishing my break out. Smiling adroitly at the humans, I gesture a simple courtesy at them.
Like a reflex, Ryan sprints to me, the shining tip of his dagger is rinsed so high in the dark. I watch as it slowly aims for my chest. I do not make any attempt to stop it. I allow it to pierce through my gown, him in hope that it might tear my heart open.
I can see it in his eyes, the way those midnight glint shows determination and how his lips curve into a satisfactory smirk. He wants me dead, more than anyone can bargain for. The titanium dagger planted on my chest is the proof of his desire, while the red blood that drips out at the following is the cause of his iniquity. They rain down from the opened gash to the cracked tiles, neither seeping in nor flowing. Yet there is no expression shown in my face, other than the wise-beyond-reach understandment and one title of the head. I blink and thus apporting the blood that has been drawn out to sluice back to where it came from. The gap on my chest pulls itself close once all the blood has teemed in again, wrapping around the edges of the metal and waiting for me to extract it. My painted-in-red nails enclose on the stem and unplug the dagger, my emotion so unshown that I look almost bored. Finally, I turn to the human boy, who is looking at me as if he wants to cry and turns insane.
“When there is an intention, destruction follows its path. Sadly, that is not the case of me.” I put the dagger back in his hand, where it, just like the rest of his body, is frozen in shock.
“Impossible!” yells one of the muscled men that I do not know his name.”What kind of devil is this? She was not even influenced by the titanium! It was supposed to kill any vampire that touched it, yet she could even heal herself just now. This does not make any sense at all!” The man starts to back away in fear.
Narrowing my eyes, I spare them a look. “Tools are made to help its creator. Sometimes, our tools become our success. Other times they just fulfill half of the purpose. Titanium comes with the later.”
Shaking consternly, the humans become even more aware than before. First, the fear grows stronger in their blood. The more vulnerable they feel, the stronger that feeling spreads. Like poison, fear tends to lead them to a certain reprobate end. Then eventually the brain will force them to think, when there is nothing else their mind can register after the shock.
“Y-y-you.... D-don’t t-tell me that you were-e....” Adam shutters failingly.
“Yes,” I voice out the same time when he manages to cough up, “The White Devil.”
All the humans run to save their lives from the danger they thought will be bestowed upon them as soon as Adam finishes his sentence, leaving only the Ryan boy in this room.
“Child, why are you here?” I ask him softly.
He points the tip of his dagger towards me as an instinct even though he knows that it will not affect me. His eyes are still widened in shock, yet unable to break away from me. “Don’t think that this change anything! I will not be grateful, nor will I run a coward like them! I hate vampires and I will continue to hate your kind for the rest of my life.”
“The rest of your life? That will be a very long time for human’s point of view, and you are still so young. Are you sure that is the path that you will choose? Spending your lifespan hating is less wonderful than in peace ─ you can take my words for that.” I extend my fingers to the dagger, lightly enough to not draw blood. He flinches by my gesture and tries to cause me harm with the weapon. The pointy edge meets the tip of my finger rather sharply, by I remain unaffected. Slowly, I push the dagger down. “And that is not what I mean. Why is a human boy like you doing by taking a part in this rebellion? Won’t your parents be worried?”
Suddenly, those rigid eyes boiled with fury, as if my question just touched a sensitive subject. “They should have been, if they were not killed by your kind!” he spats with venom. “We were once a small happy family. I did not have to worry of what will come for tomorrow like I do now. But then the vampire came knocking on our door and killed them brutally. That is why I hate your kind ─ you killed mindlessly, never caring for the fact that you take other people’s lives on the way. You just want blood and more blood, never satisfied with what you already have. I joined this movement because someone offered me a chance to change things, and I took it. Never for a minute there had I regretted doing this, and I certainly will not start now!” Tears are threatening to burst, but he holds it down as stubbornly as he can be.
My mother was ripped from my arms as well, so I can understand the need for revenge that is burning through his veins. I was once as determinate as he was. I felt so hateful that the world would not seem enough to fit all of my sentients. There was nothing else I would love to do than tearing those murders to shreds, even if I had to rip the world apart in the progress.
“You must know first though, before your facts are too hammered to be changed, that not all vampires are killers. There is a reason why the rules were made.” I circle him towards the door, but he makes no move to stop me. Before I reach the door, I turn to look at him, opening my eyes for the first time since I came to this place. “One thing I can assure you, is that whoever did this to your parents is now rotten in place worst than hell itself.” Then I walk away.
Screeching and caterwaul hit the metal hallways in full force, sending waves to my ears in splitting level. I unplug most of my hearing ability to evade the cogency, leaving it slightly parted for caution. Darkness is loaming through the warehouse. The humans do not seem to be able to find enough electricity to light the inside building. Walking through this place will be creepy for a little girl, but I am not little, and I am definitely not a girl.
Those screams for mercy are eventually vanquished by the roar of an animal. There are gunshots and clashes of something hard and concrete all over the building. The humans are obviously trying to survive desperately. But all of this disaster would have never occurred if it were not for their actions themselves. I stop walking when I reach the edge of the hallway, knowing that there are footsteps following me from behind once those wails begin to die down.
He is here.
Turning my head gracefully, my set of red eyes meets another crimson pair one. Although it is not as brilliant or nightmarish like mine, they are still marvelous enough. Bigger, definitely. But aside all of those beastly semblances and dark fur, the black panther still has a soft spot in something that is close to how a heart should feel in me.
“Alto.” I extend one of my arms to pet him on the head. He is as tall as me in this form. His midnight fur looks rather rough, though different from the touch. He growls back in recognition and nudges his head to the right slightly in a bow. “The remaining humans are attempting their escapes. Make sure that you stop them without letting them actually self harming themselves, will you?” I speak dearly. He purrs in respond and expeditiously jumps off on all fours, his tail trailing behind predatorily. With that, he is out of my sight and launches himself to battlefield once again.
A certain door creak thought it does not have to to gain my attention. I spot Ryan standing behind it, his eyes parted with horror, though I can tell not for me this time.
“W-what was that-t?” he asks, throat showing symptoms of dryness.
“That was my cat pet. Or what your supervisor liked to call, ‘my dog─’”
“Monster!” he bursts out historically. “Anything that is not human is monster.”
“Oh, really?” I flex my gaze. “Then what do you call those of humans who do the crimes under the name of their ‘god’? Are those not an act close to a reflection of a monster─?”
“Unholy creatures!” he hisses in an accusing tone, apparently still persistent in what he believes. This time he is not just talking about me. “You monsters destroyed my family and only home I have ever known warmth for. If none of yours races ever existed, we humans would have been in happier places right now, not fighting for our lives.”
“Ah, that is where you are wrong. If we do not exist, that means my ancestors do not exist as well. And if that happens, where do you think your kind will be?”
“Living our lives in peace. That is for sure!”
“Wrong. You will not even be able to taste what it feels like to be alive, wondering as bodiless spirits that does not know how it feels like to get into touch with anything.”
Ryan shakes his head in denial. “Lies! You are lying. There is nothing your kind can do better than spreading lies.”
“If you say that I am lying, then you do not know me at all. First thing you have to know about me is that I do not do ‘lies.’”
“I don’t want to hear a word you are saying again, vampire.” He backs away from me as if I am a plague, but immalleably stumble back on his feet.
Then I look down at him, this poor young boy who lost his parents and now about to take deeper wrong road of life. His cries himself into tears of his own patheticness and let himself drown in it. The world is already crumbling into pieces in his sorrowful eyes. To find a brighter future in his part at this point is....no hope.
So I do the right thing and offer my hand to him.
His eyes land on my hand, but he can only stare at it, as if having no idea in the first place of what he is looking at.
“Come with me, and I will show you the real world you are living right now.” Ryan still remains in silence, so I continue. “It is not as bad as you thought it is, though. You probably only ever been living inside the safety borders of humans, never catching a glimpse of how it is outside those tall walls.”
He keeps staring at my grayish hand, light barely falling upon his lost eyes. Then slowly, after minutes have passed, he finally registers the words I just say to him, and quickly retrieve his hand back. His body begins to tremble, but not out of fear.
“No! You and your kind are just going to kill me. Don’t think I am stupid. I know that they are just waiting for me at the other side of the wall to suck me dry. I will not fall for your words!” He backs away, stumbling against the metal barricade and through the maze of hallways until I can see him no more.
“The world is different from what you were thinking, Ryan.” He shivers when I use his name, but does nothing as to insult me of doing so. “It might be a little bit dark and sometimes sinister, but there are many lights equally exist as well, shining brilliantly than anything you probably have lays your eyes upon.”
Somewhere in the corner of the cold hallways, Ryan hitches in his breathe, but I know that he can still hear me. The matter at hand is whether he will let my voice reach him or not. Yet I continue anyway.
“The world has changed since humans voluntarily enter and live inside the border. The Old Ways have changed. You need to see it from a new perspective.”
From the unyielding lungs of mortal, I know by now that Alto has finished collecting his captors. Ryan has gone far away by now ─ far enough that he will not be able to hear me any longer. I let him choose the path he wants, but the rebellion is now done for.
Two pairs of paws land in front of me, setting a sharp reddish glint. He stands on two legs and purrs, activating the collar around his neck. A storm appears from above him, grazing patiently up to the top of his head. The dark wind passes and instead of paws, appears two long legs covered in pants. The torso changes from fully furred into what resembles a human’s, complete with good material of shirt, vest and blazer. A pendant polished proudly on his right chest ─ a symbol of mine. Then finally that panther’s head turns into a man’s face.
His skin is as light as ivory, but his hair is still the same dark shade of midnight. Those strands are slick as ink, styled into a medium length and combed to the left. His eyes remain at the same color ─ a result upon receiving my gift ─ but looking more human now.
“Ever human in this warehouse has been secured, except for the one you have let go,” he says, his voice holds wisdom and loyalty. Then it turns into one with deep in thought. “Your Majesty, are you sure about this? I can still catch up to him if you would like to.”
“No, Alto. He has made his choice. We can not always interrupt them. They have their freewill, even if it is to suffer or to survive.”
“There is also another complication. The masked leader is nowhere to be seen.”
“I have expected so. But don’t you know, Alto? Before that spear dysfunctional me for a moment, I caught smell of him. That man, Alto, is no man at all. He is a pureblood.”
He gulps once he hears this news. “Who is he, Your Majesty?”
“That is where the real problem starts. I have no idea. He was never around the castle before, and I never met him until tonight.”
“So that means that either he was hid or a runaway,” he concludes. “Would you like me to investigate him?”
“No, thank you. I will personally find out myself. Besides, an individual so well unknown like this needs special access to get through, which means only my father or my fiancé.” Yet I have a doubt they will share information even with me.
I travel back prior and leave the rest to be handled by my knight. Blood colors are painting the room that leads to the sublime throne, occupied by the Emperor himself. His hair cascade passes his waistline with shade as pure as cloud. His figure remains in a stillness, like a statue. His nails are crossed on his lap, his robe lies organizedly around him. The crown of stone on his head has the same shade as his narrow eyes, which are framed by wise thickness, both looking as if were just dipped by fresh blood. I stop only a few meters before his sanctuary and bow a deep perfection.
“Your Grace,” I raise my head to meet his eyes, “may I bother you with a question?”
“Ask away, my daughter.” A thin line forms in the lightest pink of his lips.
“Tonight, I believe that you are aware that I was stopping yet another rebellion. What makes this time different was that I found myself a very disturbing opponent. He smelt.... similar, yet.... I could not recognize him. Do you know who that might be?” I ask politely, even though I know that he knows already. He must know, or else, what is being an emperor for than knowing his citizens?
“A pureblood, you mean? You were right. He has not been in the castle for a very long time,” he mentions my previous conversation with Alto back at the warehouse inside the human continent. “His name is Lancel de Britannia, one of the so many of your cousins. He was banished from the castle as a punishment of committing a crime.”
I remember. He was trying to take over the throne, which automatically led to the rest of the world. It was such a frightening era back then, since he was known to almost succeed. Is he planning to repeat history, then? Is that why he was using the humans to side with him without even allowing them to know who he really is? If they had known, they would have been spitting on his mask. But back then, when Lancel almost took over everything, was nineteen years ago. And at the time, he was only ten. To be able to make the purebloods almost fell into his hands completely is.... terrifying. He was at the same age as I was, yet....
“What is it that you seem to be in concern, daughter?” my father’s voice brushes with tenderness.
“Something does not make any sense. The first attempt of the rebellion happened when I was ten years old. How come.... that I do not remember it? Something so big and important as that is impossible to be close to forget, yet, how could I?” My eyebrows are curling in frustration, not being able to figure this out. It is preposterous for a vampire to forget, especially a pureblood such as me. How was I able to forget such a precarious event? Unless, of course, if I was compelled. But not anyone is able to do so to me, except─
“Father, did you make me forget about it?”
Doing a gesture that close to sighing, Father finally gives in. “Your mother has just recently died. I didn’t want you to keep mourn in desperation, so I decided to take some part of your memory, along with the night when she was.... deceased.”
We both grimace at that. Mother was a subject that we mostly avoid, mostly on her nonexistenceness. We all cherish the moment we shared with her. She was an empress both known for beauty and sharpness. She was a creation of art and my childhood world. Everything used to be revolting around her and my siblings. The little heaven that I had was the wonderful and bright land we truly owned. I was still innocent back then, and I loved being in that world. Every day was filled with sunlight, music, and happy smiles. Mother was the sun, and the rest of us are the plants that adore her light.
Losing her was a very big impact on all of us. The world felt as if it had suddenly died and we were left in the dark, cold barren. The weeks were spent raining heavily, and for once I did not enjoy the weather anymore. But at that moment of grief was the time when I found Alto. He was just a small kitten back then, wild and lost. When I approached him, he scratched me. That was the very first time I have ever gotten myself injured and realized just how much impact a small being can give. Under the gray sky, I decided to adopt him right there and then.
Surely it was not easy, especially when I was bringing a delicate little creature into a den of killers. But I always kept him at an arm’s length, and he already got a fracture of me that will always keep him alive.
“Thank you for your time, Father, especially when you are busy like this.” He is always busy.
“Anytime. You know that you are always welcomed, even at destruction’s end,” he smiles.
“Okay, but let’s just keep the destruction away,” I chuckle before bowing again and taking my leave.
The hallway of paintings welcomes me when I exit the throne hall room. There are a lot of beauties, but only one painting has a piece of my care. It is a family portrait, made when Mother was still alive. The six of us stand proud and still, all of our heads the shadow of white. The Emperor and Empress posed side by side, both facing each other with love in their smiles. Me and my siblings were positioned circling them in front; Charlotte, our little sister, at the very left, her hand holding mother’s; Elric managed to snuck a book in his arm, the other circling around mine; I was standing next to him, with Altore hugging me from the right.
Yes, it was timeless.
Dawn is approaching when all the citizen in the city of death are all in their highest and lowest point. The sun will come up and they shall be asleep, hidden well from the burning stroke. Most will be so, but not us. The faint drifts of calm breathing echo through the kingdom, coming from both the mortals and immortals, while I am standing at one of the so many corners in my personal library.
A thick book is open in my hands and flipping the pages brings me back the memories. It is not just a memorial of the fact that I can still remember the words freshly, but also with the emotions that were being experiences along. My back is facing the window, allowing the starting light to leak inside. It is also a perfect angle to spot someone who is purposely want t be spotted.
“What do I owe the pleasure of being visited,” I ask as I turn to look at him, “by the one who caused havoc in my gateway himself?”
The masked man stands at the cracked of the now opened window, one of the glass doors pushed soundlessly by his glove-covered palm.
“If that is how you greet an old friend, then Your Majesty, I honestly find myself deeply disappointed.” With a graceful bend, he jumps down from the frame of the window and lands on the carpet in front of me.
Turning to the next view pages of my Genetical Mixture, I answer, “Well, I can not hardly say that a traitor is an old friend, but your blood is still family.”
“That is not what I mean.”
Then, with a swift on his arm, he raises his palm up to his head and takes the mask off. The identity revealing underneath is, I must say, is not recorded in me. Though I do find resemblances ─ a lot. He definitely has the hair and the eyes of a pureblood, though not so pure with those additional plus of purple highlights burning around the crown of his head and slightly burgundy shade of eye color. But that strong jaw and bone structure really takes a lot after our ancestor grandfather, Lazarus zi Britannia. And those eyes, they are staring, piercing, like he already knows too much of me. I don’t like the sign at all, especially since he is the enemy now.
“What I mean, is that you are not supposed to be cold to someone who harbors all of your secrets.”
“Secrets?” I crack an eyebrow at him. I have too many of them that I can’t even care if they are being revealed. After all, I am not the type that likes to hide things away.
“Yes. Your deepest, darkest secrets. Including those that were meant from the night of your mother’s death.”
I tighten my grip on the book cover an inch deeper and almost tear off one of my most previous collection, but still does not show anything of the look of mischievous that is ready to be challenged.
“Is that so? Too bad I do not know anything much about you, other than the fact that you almost doomed the entire family by trying to take over the crown all those years ago. Though, I do admire your courage and strategy. You almost had all us.”
Instead of being taken back by my insulting tone, he responds, “Are you being serious about not remembering who I am, Ame?”
The way he says my nick name is far too casual to my liking. Only a few knows about that name, and most of them do not even have a soul. How come he knows so much? Does not mean these information is fatal.
Closing the book in my hand, concern that I will cause damage of the treasure, and putting it back on its shelf, I turn and give my full attention and awareness of him.
“You are the firstborn son of Charlestine and Marryan de Britannia, the siblings of my parents. You have a sister named Nythalie, who is now under the care of our uncle and aunt, Dablovo and Vilvia el Britannia. You started your movement when you were ten, but it was until two years after, when you almost had us in the brink of our fall, that your motive was found out. You were banished after being stopped and there was no other record of you anymore, until you decided to take advantage of the lost humans and reappeared again in front of the public in another rebellion. So do tell, did I miss anything at all?”
“You forget one part: We used to be close best friends. And from the looks of it, you seem to have forgotten that fact.”
“How are you sure that I am not just fooling around?”
“Because I know that you do not do ‘fooling around’.”
“Good guess, but there is no secret of my personality.”
“Oh, is that so? Even the part of which you would gladly annihilate the entire world just for your selfish reason? To destroy everyone and everything that this world is included in? To kill and to drain until there is no more of victim that you can set your lovely yet murdering fresh-blood eyes can lie upon? Does the rest of the world know that, too?”
“As a matter of fact, they do. But unfortunately, those who were not spared from my true horror within could not be saved again. The frightening imaginary has been planted deep into the back of their heads that they could not recover from the living nightmare, thus causing them permanently being in fear of what misfortune will it be to come across me again.” Then I take a step closer to him. “Of course you are not a victim, but it is very rare to know about such thing as well. You must be a very good observant, then.”
“Your conclusion is correct. But I can not say that I am content why this state of yours. To forget someone, especially for our kind, is just ridiculous. So I am assuming that your father has decided to erase some part of your memory after the incident?”
“It seems like so,” I reply, sounding more natural than I should. After all, this is my knowledge that my father is playing around. I can not say that I approve....
“Don’t you want to find out, then?” he taunts.
“No one wants to have a large hole in their head, but why do you assume that you are any part of it?”
“Because I am and it is the truth. Asking your father to give your memory back will be a hard task to achieve, I say. So why don’t you take my offer and we can end this silliness right away?”
“Now I am sincerely asking you: Are you sure about helping me? It will not be such a trouble for me if you are lying, but you will still endure the side effect after that. Of course it will be rather challenging to change my father’s mind, but this is actually up to you.”
“Always concerning others. I really love that part of you. Sadly it can be your weakness as well.”
“It is good to have a weakness or two. Makes existing becomes more interesting.”
For the first time, that stiff face turns into a natural smile. “Shall we?” He holds out his hand and I take it. My eyes burn right away, detecting the course of the blood under his solid skin. He unbuttons his top and I sink my nails into both of his fully-clothed shoulders before allowing my razor teeth to take a bite out of his neck.
He almost screams for the impact, but my palm keeps his mouth close as soon as I can detect the vibration on his throat. My movement causes a few of his body parts of break, causing sickening snaps echo through the room. But I know that they are healing fast along the way. Blood flows like flood and I make sure to not waste any single drop of it. And soon, as flex as the licking, the memory that it brings come into me soon.... making themselves as my own.
He and his little sister was playing at one of the castle’s garden near the central resident one morning, when he caught a glimpse of a white shadow, fluttering around the alley of pillars. The figure noticed his staring and glanced his way. A pair of a very red and very unneglect eyes were penetrating him, swallowing his every thoughts into the possible of darkness that they bored.
“Lancel, who are you looking at....?” The question hangs in the air once Nythalie catches her brother’s sighting. For a moment they were frozen in each other’s eyes.
Then, the figure looked away and passed them, not even sparing anything back.
Another slide of memory fills me in right away after the first one ends.
He was at the library, just an ordinary one that anyone could access, when he spotted the same figure waltzing down from the wooden stairs. Anyone would have been running out for their lives by now, but he was not even considered alive. So he approached her.
“Good evening, Your Majesty,” the young Lancel said cheerfully, greeting her with a polite bow. She bows back but did not return the smile. She was still upset, he noticed. Her mother’s erasal was very devastating. Not just to the girl, but also the entire empire.
Lancel did not say anything again after that, but he made a respectful distance from her. Surprisingly, she did not mind his presence. They read books in silence, not exchanging a single word.
The next day, they met again. Their communication was silence, but they spent the day almost side by side. They sit together at the same desk, reading their choice of books. The same following days apply, until one day the girl decided to open up.
The scene quickly changes from one that is at the library to the darker alley of the castle, atmosphere echoing desertness. It was the abounded dungeon part of the castle, which now has been renovated into an active one. But this is my area─
“The world is a lie, Lancel,” the girl simply told him.
“What do you by that?”
“The world and everything else in it. It does not matter how much you try to stay exist. In the end, you will cease to eternity. There is always a way to eliminate the occupiers.”
“Well, if you say it like that then.... I guess you have a point there,” he found himself agreeing to his friend.
“But it wasn’t just that. It was much worst that you thought. The future is rotten. We are all walking straight to it, and there is nothing else we can do other than following the course. No matter how hard you try, no matter how much you think that you can get away, things can go down in a flash. Everything is pointless by every second.”
“What do you suppose we must do then? If the course is inevitable, then I do not think there is much we can do.”
“But there is one way ─ the only way.”
“And what do you suggest it is?”
“Ice,” she answers. “Freeze everybody in eternal slumber. That way, we can keep everyone safe and still exist at the same time.”
“Won’t we just get bored right away if we do so?”
“We can always use shadow dolls to act as our replacement in the physical world, while at the same time having our real bodies safe in the ice coffins. This method will be saver.”
“You’re telling me this.... I don’t suppose everyone will agree into it, won’t they?”
“No, Lancel. That is why I am telling you.... To create a better empire, we must first destroy it.”
I release the pureblood in my hands, causing him to fall on his knees on the carpet out of the unpreparedness. He languishes in pain for a moment, before the holes in his flesh heal almost as instantly. When he stands on his feet again, my sight is still rime.
“It was me.” For a while those words are the only ones that I can manage. The little girl.... was me. That thought echoes in my mind and takes its time sink in by itself. Then I continue, “I was the one behind the rebellion all along. It makes sense, somehow. How a ten-year-old was able to achieve that far in taking control over.... But I still don’t understand. If we were both at wrong, since you were helping me achieving the plan, how come you were the one who got banished and I was the one that got my memory erased?”
“Your father and fiancé obviously thought that you were not ready to take over the crown. That was the only reason I could possibly make out for the last seventeen years, though I am afraid that those are not the only factor.”
“How come they prevented me, when they were the ones who wanted to inherit the title soon? And what other kind of reason will that be?” I feel.... betrayed, when they do not trust me enough. What secrets are they still keep away from me?
“Scarlet, the baby you adopted. His biological parents, Meggietta and Jeremiah zi Britannia, our aunt and uncle, were murdered.”
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