Dark Love

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Eryas Citadel

[Aio's POV]

It was more than a notion to take three 7ft Vampires through a low hanging forest let me tell you. Watching them having to duck and swerve around the low hanging branches that I just smoothly walked under and around was quite funny to watch.

The third time the one named Sin smacked his head on a low hanging branch I burst into laughter. I stopped and sat on a large rock. My escort of Vampires looked at me as they sank down toward me.

“Are you all right?” Rune asked curiously

“I’m fine, but the three of you will never survive if you keep bashing your skulls in.” I said giggling. “Hold still for a second.” I said as my hands began to glow softly with my magics. I began to make them much smaller than their normal size, more of a manageable size.

When I was done and they were ‘my size’, I let my magics fade from my hands and return to my body. “Alright gentlemen, you can open your eyes now.” I said a smile coming to my face as they all cracked only one eye at a time.

They all gasped realizing they had shrunk. “What in the world!!” Rune exclaimed, as he looked at himself and the others.

“Don’t worry the effects are only temporary, this will make it much easier for the three of you to navigate through the Forest.” I said with a smile.

The one named Astrophel bowed his head deeply to me. “Thank you, Majesty.” He said his silvery eyes kind as he took his place next to me. His eyes were the sharpest of them all and since we had begun our journey, he was always right next to me. It was like he knew he was more soothing than the other two.

“Do you three do this type of thing often?” I asked as we headed back off in the direction of Eryas.

I felt their hesitation but Rune answered me, “We haven’t done something like this in a while, my Queen.” he answered truthfully as they followed me closely.

I jumped into a tree, hiding in the foliage as a Palace Guard passed by under us. I held a finger to my lips as the others moved to attack them. I wanted to remain silent for as long as possible and if they started killing every Nekojin Palace Guard we came into contact with someone would take notice.

We waited for the Guard to pass before I lead them through the trees a good mile and a half out of the Guards path before dropping down in a very shrouded area, I was familiar with. The four of us could rest here for a few moments.

The three Vampires settled around me making sure to keep me between them but their eyes were very wide as they looked at me in awe. It made me blush with embarrassment.

“What?” I asked softly.

“Can all Nekojin move as smoothly through the trees like you can?” Sin questioned in total shock his deep voice low and filled with awe.

Is that what they were so shocked about? “Oh um ... no but that’s only because not many have been trained like I have been. I’ve had to be conditioned to run faster than most of my kind.” I said softly a sad look in my eyes. It was a hard life for me but it was one I had to accept to survive.

“Why are you the only one? It seems a little counterproductive if you ask me. I mean you are all mostly felines correct?” Astrophel asked curiously.

I smiled, I got that a lot. “Yes, the Neko’s are mostly felines but not all are just your normal small ‘house cats’ like my bloodline is. Some were sliced with the larger felines and they are far too primal to care about learning how to devise plans on how to hide. Once the Nekojin people had been saved my people stopped learning how to truly be Nekojin. They have become more Human than anything. My parents kept to the old ways as their parents did before them. My village was one of the few lefts in the Fields that stayed true to the old ways. However, I was still a little different from my fellow villagers regardless.” I explained my ears flicking as I took in the sounds around us easily.

“But why are you the only one that can do some of these things?” Rune questioned curiously.

“Because I’ve had to run my entire life from those who were supposed to keep me safe.” I replied seriously. before moving again motioning for them to follow me.

We raced through the trees again not wanting to be caught by anyone passing through the forest. It took us a solid hour to reach the Citadel. Almost getting caught twice because Astrophel and Sin were arguing over something called The Underground?? They did not seem the get along at all and for Soren to send those two to get me seemed a little questionable.

I looked to Rune many times during our journey who just shrugged at me apologetically and tried to push Astrophel in front of him more than once. When we finally reached the citadel, I turned to them with a very serious face. I had pulled us into a tight corner where we could hide from the Guards and Patrol Units.

“All right from here we will be using Telepathy and stealth magic. I can make the four of us invisible for six hours. I will be linking our minds together and as soon as I speak to you with my mind you will be able to ‘speak’ to me with you mind by just thinking your response. The invisibility does not mean you can walk through things or people. You need to watch where you are going and make sure you do not touch anything or anyone. If you do it will cause the spell to shimmer and anyone will be able to see that. Any questions so far?” I explained seriously.

Rune looked at me seriously, “Just one Majesty. How did you get to be so magnificent?” he said getting me to blush insanely red.

“Knock it off Rune and I told you this, to me is just another day in Hell.” I said before bringing my, magics up around my hands soft chanting filling the small space as I hid all of us and linked our minds together all in one fell swoop.

‘Everyone still good?’ I questioned Telepathically as they all looked at themselves. The spell settling on their skin.

‘Fantastic’ Sin thought gruffly sarcastic.

It’s a strange feeling for sure, but I am just fine.′ Astrophel said looking at his fingers.

‘I agree.’ was Rune’s reply getting a giggle from me.

‘All right my group of idiot warriors follow me.’ I said giggling a little when I got sideways glares from them.

I led them into the Citadel with an ease of years of doing it that they had to question me over and over. They had many questions floating through their heads. How did I know the Citadel so well? How could I use magics so well? Why did I have to run from everyone?

Their questions were beginning to become incessant and a little annoying. It was like a record on repeat and a little more than annoying for sure. Before we could reach the throne room where the Nekojin King and Queen were known to spend their time I stopped and pulled them off to the side to glare at them.

‘Listen if the three of you don’t quiet your minds with your questions about me, I am going to smack you all. When we get home, I will answer some of your questions. For now, the three of you need to focus. We are about to go into the den of a Lion. I need you to pay attention. I am keeping the three of you hidden.’ I said a little angrily, pulling on their shirts to make them pay attention.

‘We are deeply sorry Your Majesty. We have so many questions about this entire situation that we could not hold it to ourselves. We are here to protect you and follow your orders.’ Rune said, bowing his head in shame, his face dejected.

‘He is right, Your Majesty. We were not paying attention. We are your idiot warriors after all.’ Sin said with a half-hearted smile coming to his face.

‘As long as you are all ready to do what I need you to do.’ I said thoughtfully.

‘Of course, Your Majesty. We came with you to protect you regardless.’ Astrophel said smiling at me with the same crooked smile as Sin had but his was much kinder.

‘All right then boys, let’s get this over with.’ I said before stepping out of our hiding spot and going to the doors to the throne room.

I dropped the spell that was shielding me but kept them hidden, however I returned them to their original size so that when I did reveal them, they were far more intimidating. I pushed open the large oak doors with a flourish, thanks to my escort, and waltzed into the Throne room as if it was my own, back home with Soren.

The Royal family was very shocked to see me not in shackles as I came in freely. “What’s the matter your Highness? Did I shock you? I apologize for the sudden appearance but I think we need to have a chat.” I said cordially, a slick smile on my face. I could hear the menacing laughter from my warriors in my mind and it made me smile just that much more.

“How did you get in here?!!” the king, Sohito, shouted angrily at me.

“Magic.” I said letting fire spark on my fingertips as I took another step toward both king and queen.

“You!” the Queen exclaimed in disgust.

I sneered, I hated it when people did that. “Yeah, me. The beast the gods sent.” I spat as I stepped forward again. She squeaked in fear and tried to move away from me, but I stopped and took a deep breath. I needed to do what I came here to do and go home. I had a son to care for and a worried Mate to soothe.

I looked back to Sohito the King that sent the warrior after me. “I have come here to say to you, stop coming after me. You do not want to start a war or something you cannot finish or win. Forget about me. Forget that I even exist. It’s what is best for all.” I said seriously, my words my only warning.

“You are not natural. You don’t belong in this world.” Sohito accused harshly. His eyes flashing with something I had not seen in a long time. Sadness.

I sighed knowing that was coming regardless of what I said. Once everyone had found out how powerful I was and where my power came from, they became terrified of me. They had no idea how to handle my power and because of that they were scared of me. It was a sad truth but it was one I had to deal with.

“I no longer reside in the Sun Fields. I live in the Obyss, past the clouds of darkness where the Nekojin dare not go.” I said seriously, a look of contempt on my face as I heaved a sigh.

Both Sohito and his Queen gasped in shock “That is what happened to our faithful Guard then.” the Queen said sadly.

“No, stupid. My Mate sent his Guards after me and they are far more skilled than anyone you could send.” I spat as I revealed Sin only. ‘Sit tight Rune, Astrophel.’

The Queen screamed at the sight of Sin’s 7ft intimidating body of muscles and air of darkness. Sin came to stand next to me, crossing his arms over his chest, making himself look even more intimidating.

“You see things are not always as they appear. I have gone beyond the Obyss clouds and have found my own home. I no longer need to hide from those who were supposed to be on my side.” I said as I dropped the spell on Run and Astrophel.

Sohito jumped back by his Queen in a defensive position, eyeing my guard warily, as they moved to flank me menacingly. Their expressions unforgiving as they stared down the King and Queen of the Nekojin.

“Beasts y-you are all beasts!!” the Queen shouted in fear as she tried to hide behind her Mate.

Rune chuckled heartily, “Little one we are Vampires. The one you want to think of as a beast?? She is to become our next Queen and if you know what is good for you and yours, you will do as my Lady asks.” he said menacingly, dipping his head a little sarcastically to them.

“Vampires are a Legend. Our ancestors were fools and made them up to keep their children afraid of the darkness and the clouds beyond the forest trees.” the Queen said flippantly regardless of what was right in front of her.

“Akane, silence.” Shito said seriously getting his Queen to look at him shocked and fall quiet behind him. “Are you her Mate?” he questioned, looking at Astrophel who was closer to me than the other two.

“Oh, heavens no. If his Majesty, Prince Soren had come none of you would be still standing.” Astrophel said chuckling.

I smiled at them, “They are probably right, my Mate has a bit of a temper. I find it rather adorable actually.” I said tilting my head to the side as I thought of my Ren. “I thought it would be beneficial for you and the Nekojin people if I came instead with a warning. If you just leave me alone, nothing will happen but if you attempt another kidnapping there will be hell to pay because the next time it will be my Mate coming and not them.” I said as I shook my head clearing my thoughts getting back to the problem at hand. I wanted to go home.

“I wanted your help Lady Aio. Akane didn’t know anything about this.” Sohito said to me, getting a growl from his Queen and a shocked look from me.

“My help?” I asked, as I stared at him, not trusting his change in demeanor and speech. He was up to something and it did not bode well for me at all. My warriors could sense my unease and shifted closer to me naturally.

“Yes, there is a big problem rising in the north and I don’t know how to handle it. Winged beasts have been spotted flying above the cities and eating livestock.” Sohito said bowing his head to me and my escort. I could see the fury on the Queen’s face at his admission but could care less about it all.

“Why should I care about the problems of another country? Especially one that tried to kill me. Why should I help you?” I demanded harshly.

“I was going to offer you your own home and land but I see that is nothing you need anymore. This used to be your home, Aio. This was where you were born and these are still your people.” Sohito said to me. I could tell he was trying not to beg for my help.

It was such a shame I was not as forgiving a Nekojin. Sohito should have thought about those things before he chased me from my home. “You should have thought about your people before you chased away probably the only person who could save them all. I have no help for you.” I spit as I turned my back on Sohito and his vain Queen. ”Brother,” I seethed before leaving with Rune, Astrophel and Sin close behind me.

===============================

The trip home was uneventful and very quiet. I think the show in the Throne room at the Nekojin Palace had my Vampiric Guards a little on edge more than just a little bit. I knew they had questions but they kept them to themselves and thankfully didn’t bother me with them on our way home. They made sure to keep an eye on me and our surroundings more and made sure I took more breaks. It was getting annoying until I realized that I was pushing myself.

I had been going faster than even they could keep up with and we had gotten home faster than it had taken for them to catch up to me and for us to reach the Nekojin Citadel. I guess I had been so angry and off put by my biological brother that I had been running on autopilot.

We had reached the garden’s back entrance when they came to a full stop in front of me. Kneeling in front of me, eyes upturned, worried expressions in their different colored gazes. They placed their right fists on the ground, their muscled bodies forming a wall in front of me.

“Your Majesty,” Rune started, his voice low “We don’t want to cause any alarm with what has passed between you and the Nekojin,”

“But we are honor bound to tell his Majesty Prince Soren what happened.” Astrophel added, his voice just as low.

“Unless Your Majesty tells us otherwise. We must do as we are told by our Monarchy. The ones we choose to follow until our dying breaths.” Sin said finally. Their words coming together finally as an entire sentence.

I guess they couldn’t really say the whole thing as one person or have it count as treason. I really need to keep reading my Vampire studies books.

“You must answer a question for me first.” I said taking a seat off the beaten path a little.

“You have but to ask.” Sin said.

“Why do you follow Soren?” I questioned seriously.

“He saved my life more times than I can count and he has the heart of a saint when given the chance.” Rune said thoughtfully.

“He pretty much said it for me. Prince Soren has more than proven his worth in more than just combat and heart. He is an Heir I would proudly give my life for.” Sin said just as thoughtful.

“Well thanks you two. I have nothing left to say now.” Astrophel said getting me to giggle. “They are right Your Majesty. Our next King and your Mate is someone whom many people look up to for many reasons.” Astrophel said with a smile.

I saw his sly smile hidden under his ‘normal’ smile so I had to be a little sly myself, “It’s his bubble butt isn’t it?” I asked Astrophel getting Rune and Sin to fall on the ground in shock and Astrophel to stare openly at me before bursting into hysterical laughter.

“Oh, honey I love you!” Astrophel exclaimed as he laughed until tears streamed from his eyes. “It’s not just that fantastic butt of his but it does come into play.” he said, giggling with me.

“I knew it had to do something with it. It is a fantastic butt.” I said adding to the laughter coming from Astrophel. “Now no one better let me catch them looking at Ren’s butt or I’ll smack them. That’s my butt to look at.” I said giggling.

“Ok now you have just done too much, I can’t breathe!!!” Astrophel exclaimed as he rolled on the ground laughing at me.

"Astro ... Vampires don't breathe, sweetie." I said laughing along with him as I teased them a little more.

Rune and Sin finally got themselves together, and pulled themselves together with Astrophel to sit in front of me again. Astrophel still a giggling mess leaning against Rune.

I smiled at them and coughed to clear my throat to get the giggles out, “As your future Queen I am forbidding the three of you from speaking about what transpired in Eryas Citadel with anyone unless I am present with you. Including the current King and Queen and my Mate Soren Knightwing.” I said my words final and commanding.

“As you command Your Majesty.” they replied in unison their hands over their hearts, heads bowed.

With that over with they all stood and we went inside the Palace of the Vampires. Heading for my Mate and Son.

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