Lord Dunkan found a place to stand and wait for Emrick’s arrival. Laurissa stood near him and slightly behind, watching Dunkan’s movements. Lord Dunkan ignore the humans as they passed by. Several humans gave Laurissa a nervous smile in acknowledgment. She did not return the favor. Dunkan is a vampire and is capable of reading the humans’ minds. She did not want to give him the opportunity to use a human to control her. Laurissa liked to think that the human would die before she gave into Dunkan’s demand. She was sure more humans would be harmed. He is capable of such horrors it would give her nightmares. Laurissa kept her tendril open and her thoughts quiet in the back of her mind as she observed Dunkan.
Emrick arrived a couple hours later with a line of a hundred men. Some were still very young. The youngest looked to be eight or nine. There were no senior men.
“My, lord. I present to you the men of Norstrumn village.”
“Very well, there are empty homes in the south. Instruct them to live there and begin their trades. Have you documented what each human does?”
“Yes, my Lord.”
“Are there any farmers?”
“Most of them are, my Lord.”
“The farmers will house the last buildings and begin planting immediately.”
“Yes, my Lord.”
“What did you do to the old men?” Laurissa asked. Emrick glared at Laurissa and felt disrespected. She is a female and should not interfere with a male’s business.
“Laurissa asked you a question, Emrick.” Lord Dunkan warned.
“They are remaining…” Lord Dunkan struck Emrick, causing him to step back.
“I am no female! Answer her question.” Lord Dunkan growled.
“Forgive me, my Lord.” Emrick looked at Laurissa. “The old men are with the women. They will remain there until they die or feed us.”
“Thank you, Master Emrick.” Laurissa said respectfully and lowered her eyes. She did not want Emrick to resent her.
“Begin collecting one hundred females from this village. Are there any more men left?”
“No, my Lord. This village is extremely small.”
“Do you have any pregnant females?”
“Yes, my Lord. There are four. One should deliver any day.”
“Gather them into one home. If the offspring is male, allow it to grow until it is weaned. It will then be transferred here to learn how to be a man. Are you ready for a new charge?”
“I selected one from the village and commanded everyone to forget they knew him.”
“Very good. Follow me.”
Lord Dunkan began walking into the village. “These homes here will be our breeding homes. Take the females from here first. Once a female enters womanhood, she will be brought here, and we will select a male of the same age. They will remain here until she conceives. You will take the pregnant female to your village and send any young males here. If the woman bears a female, take the child and give it to another nursing mother and bring the female to the breeding houses. She will rest for a few months and breed again.”
Lord Dunkan continued walking to several sections of buildings near the town’s square.
“These homes will house the women who are not breeding. They will perform a trade of their desire. Triston and Boros will be responsible in that area. Boros will deliver food and females to you and take any you deem fit to leave.
“Laurissa has graciously volunteered to oversee the safety of our village. If any vampire becomes too friendly with the humans, she will discipline the vampire harshly. She is to be respected. You may come to her for questions about Madwell. She has been astute on the humans living here. In one week, you will return here and select another male to turn.”
This surprised Laurissa. Dunkan has just given her an equal status among the male, perhaps even a bit higher, considering they would be answering to her in Madwell.
“Yes, my Lord.”
“You are dismissed.”
Emrick tipped his head and eyed Laurissa, and then led his group through town. Laurissa remained quiet and calm. Lord Dunkan turned and cupped her jaw. His blue eyes looked deep, looking for answers.
“No thoughts of saving the humans?”
“No, my Lord.”
“What are your thoughts?”
“You are connected to me. You already know the answer.”
Lord Dunkan gripped Laurissa’s shoulders painfully. His eyes glowed with anger. “Are you defeated?”
“No, my Lord.” She replied with a calm that sent shivers down Lord Dunkan’s spine. He knew she found a way to release herself. Why is she simply watching? These humans are precious to her. The quiet is deafening and frightening.
Dunkan sent a dagger into her mind and began looking at her stands. He dug deeper until he found the strand to the mind. He pinched the heart and mind strands together. The discomfort is expected. Laurissa allowed the pain to go through her and remained calm.
“Tell me truthfully. Why are you allowing this to happen?”
“I must bide my time until it is the right time to free myself. Once I am free, the humans will be free. They are alive and unharmed for the time being. I will not waste energy defying you.”
“You willingly stay with me?”
Lord Dunkan was confused. “Will you call me your own and remain mated with me?”
This angered him greatly he released Laurissa’s tendril. “Get out of my sight!” Laurissa wordlessly turned to leave. Giving no emotion of anger or victory. She simply turned away from him as he commanded.
A growl of frustration came from Lord Dunkan. He grabbed Laurissa’s arm and pulled him to her. She did not resist him as he kissed her hard and held her close. Several humans hooted and whistled. Laurissa responded in kind. She is not resisting him. She is not her usual disrespectful defiance he has found attractive. He wanted a reaction, and even now, she kisses him back willingly and passionately. Why?
Lord Dunkan released her and looked into her eyes. The fire is gone. Her rage cannot be seen. Only an icy storm seemed to grow. She is completely still and quiet. It frightened him. This female had power she does know she has.” Where are you, my dear?” he said softly so only Laurissa can hear.
“I am standing before you.”
“You have gone cold.”
“I will not explain myself again, my Lord.” She said calmly. The eeriness of her voice sent a delicious chill down his back.
“Go. I will see you tonight.”
Laurissa calmly walked away. She continued until she reached the manor. She could not go to the woods while Dunkan is in Madwell. Edna was not in the manor, and Lord Dunkan assisted Emrick in housing the males.
Laurissa sat outside against the wall of the manor and closed her tendril from Lord Dunkan, and began to meditate. The tendril is key to a vampire’s power. Without it, the vampire dies. They renew their power by taking it from humans. The humans renew their energy from their food, and the food takes the energy from the earth. Every living thing is connected to the earth. She planned on severing Lord Dunkan’s tendril from the earth. The earth’s power will not be able to sustain his body. It is the earth’s power that keeps them alive. It is within the tendril, and it is what gives them their god like powers. The pain would paralyze him and kill him.
If she discovered this, then others may also have discovered how to kill the tendril. Laurissa must defend her tendril from such an attack. She read passages of her human skin book that described humans making armor. She did not know anything about metal. She would have to learn about it in the future.
Lord Dunkan’s sword is a key. She imagined the matted smooth medal in her mind. She could see every detail of the blade in her mind. The smooth metal is cold to the touch. It has a dark grey accent that runs down the middle of the blade. It’s twin. The hilt is made of gold with intricate carvings of vines that wrapped around the hilt and traveled toward a sunburst. This medal seems stronger than copper and the ability to protect its wielder from any attack. Vampires change their tendril into a dagger when they attack another vampire’s mind. She wanted to be able to protect her tendril from such an attack. She must to attach the image to the base of her tendril and wrap it around her. No vampire would be able to break the metal of the sword.
The blade seemed to bend on its own. She commanded the image to twist with her tendril hugging it securely around the base. A white Fire burned throughout her mind and blinded her. The touch on her base is excruciating. She cried out. The sword turned bright white and continued burning her mind. She must destroy the image or die. She gritted her teeth and imagined the sword and all of its details fading away and leaving her tendril untouched. The image finally began to slowly fade, and the white pain slowly went away with it.