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 carved for have 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 existence 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 volt.
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.
[ To be continued... ]