Chapter 1 - Paradise
“Open your eyes, Ambrose.”
Natalia Ambrose slowly opened her eyes to a man’s voice. She can’t explain why but that voice sounds familiar yet she can’t remember who it belongs to. She tried to turn her head around but failed miserably. She tried to move her limbs. But again it’s no use.
“Don’t use your energy too much. Everything is brand new.” The voice said.
Natalia could feel sets of hands rubbing her thigh. She wants to move it away but she can’t feel her limbs. It’s like as if her body weight millions of ton. She felt like her arms and legs were not attached to her body.
All she can make out in the room was the surgical lights above her. It’s blinding her but she began to get used to it. She wanted to ask what happened to her. How did she end up in this room? She began to feel uncomfortable. The last thing she remembered was the club.
“Shhhh. I’m here. I save you from those humans.” Natalia now came face to face with the person who owns the voice. The man gave Natalia a sly smile.
“Welcome to my dungeon.” He began to caress Natalia’s face lovingly.
She tried to open her mouth but it seems like her voice betraying her. “Do you remember what happen?” He asked. He smiled. “I take that as no.” Natalia felt the ‘bed’ began to move upward. Now she could see her surroundings.
The dungeon looks like a complete hospital surgical ward. There’s machine that she doesn’t even know existed at every corner of the dungeon. There’s a lot of sharps surgical knifes and scalpel perfectly in line towards each other. The blue linen that was spread on an empty table totally brought the creepers within the dungeon.
“This is where I create my.... servants. I took you in, I saw how your soul slowly leaving you through your eyes. I saw how you plead me using your watery orbs, asking me to save you. Some say I’m the grim reaper but I don’t think I am one. I am simply, one hell of a creature.”
Natalia saw his sly smile and took a chair from behind the empty table. He placed it in front of her and sat down, looking forward, putting his fingers under his chin. She wonder why didn’t her body slipped down from the ‘bed’ when she was being lifted upward. Then, she realized she was strapped onto the ‘bed’.
“Your body doesn’t know how to be responsive yet so it’s essential to strap you. It’s something I learned after watching my other servant plummeted to its death after being revived.” He chuckled. He took a chart from the table and looks at Natalia from head to toe.
“Now, do you remember what happened on Christmas Eve of 2016?” He asked. Natalia tried to move her head slowly. She shakes her head no. The man in the red suit smiled.
“You were kidnapped from the back alley of the Paradise Club in town and were brought back to an abandoned factory.”
Slowly the memories from that dreadful night came back to her mind.
“A couple of men rape you repeatedly before torturing you every day for weeks. They cut you, they whipped you, they even saw your limbs apart from your body and let you watched how they feed them to the dogs.”
Tears began flow from Natalia’s orbs. The man stood up and wiped the tears away. He smirks.
“It’s remarkable how you could survive with such poor medical treatment. You have a very strong will to live. But, when they saw your arms apart, your will to live began to fade and that’s when they decided to ditched you in the deserts.”
He went to the chair and sat down. “That’s when we met each other. That’s when I thought to myself, I could use you for my own gain. You have the will to fight and obviously old grudges.” He smirked. “In other words, you’re my doll.”
Natalia tried to move her body. The man stood up. “Hmmm. it’s funny how fascinating it was to see such beautiful brown hair woman, with the most mesmerizing hazel eyes I have ever seen, being rejected by all those woman.”
That’s when Natalia’s legs began to jolt a little. The man now knew how to trigger her new doll up. “Natalia Ambrose. You were fired from your job because of a silly coffee accident. You lost everything all together on that dreadful Christmas Eve. Do you want to have your revenge?”
He said and stood up. He walk towards her and lean in to her ears.
“Don’t you want to make them all pay? Don’t you want to see how they suffer like you did?” The man whispered. Natalia felt his words beginning to overpower her own will. Slowly it began to control her emotions. Just like that, all of her past memories began to flood inside her mind like a movie being projected on the wide white screen.
“I can help you with that. I can help you to make them suffer. In return, you’ll have immortality. You will be ageless, live forever with wealth and happiness. Isn’t that what you wish for, Natalia Ambrose?”
The man touched her forehead using his thumb. Just like that she felt energy travelled inside her body, giving her just enough to move her lips.
“Do you, Natalia Ambrose, will follow whatever I say and whatever I ask you to do?” The man asked. Jacqueline gathered all the energy in her body and began to move her lips slowly.
“I.... w-ill....” with that said, a spider web tattoo began to appear on her left neck.
“You’re now my in-training servant.” He smiled and left her alone in the dungeon.
A female voice called out for the sleeping beauty on the metal bed. Natalia felt her wrists and legs were being unstrapped. She slowly opened her eyes but the blinding lights was shooting at her.
“Oops. Sorry. I forgot to turn it off.”
“Videric told me we have a new born to train. My name is Ivy and I will be your trainer. Give me your hands. You’ve been lying down for months.” When Natalia didn’t give her hands, Ivy knew Natalia still hasn’t learned how to control her new ‘parts’.Ivy took her hands and slowly lifted her upper body up. Natalia looks around her surrounding.
“W-hos Vi-de-ric...” Natalia stuttered. Ivy smiled. “He’s the person who took you in. The person who responsible for reattaching your limbs back to where it belongs.”
“My... lim-bs?” Natalia looks at her arms, wrist and her legs. It looks normal but there are stitches alright. Not visible in the naked eyes but it’s there. Now that Ivy stood at the foot of the metal bed, Natalia manage to make out who’s been speaking with her.
A brunette with such a striking but weird red eyes. Natalia never saw or even met someone with red eyes except....
“A-re tho-se con-tact len-ses?” Ivy laughed and shakes her head.
“Everything about me is real and genuine. Nothing is fake.” Ivy went to a dark corner and came back with a wheel chair.
“Let’s have a tour around the castle shall we?” Natalia was being lifted and carried to the wheel chair with ease by Ivy. Ivy pushed Natalia out from the dungeon towards an elevator at the very end of the stretched hallways. Once inside, Ivy explained where does every button goes to and for their first part of the tour, they went to the main floor.
“W-here... a-re... we?” Natalia asked.
“We’re at Castrum Diaboli.” Natalia can sense the hint of amusement in Ivy’s tone.
“I... d-ont.. spe-ak... la-tin..” Ivy patted her shoulder and stopped in the very center of the floor.
“Don’t worry. I will teach you every language known to man and spirit.” Ivy whistled and it echoes throughout the empty floor.
“We have to whistle to call for the maids. That’s all you have to do. Whistle.” A faint sound of music could be heard after series of whistling.
“Ahh. Meet Gretchen and Alfonso, they’re the oldest here.” Ivy said. Natalia looks at the blonde woman with striking red eyes standing nect to a handsome man with the bluest orbs ever. They both in black formal attire that contrast their pale white skin.
Gretchen bow a little while Alfonso took Natalia’s hand and kiss it tenderly. Natalia could feel how ice cold his lips were when it touched her skin.
“Well, ciao ci bella. Such beautiful creature like you, in such dark place.” He said with thick Italian accent.
“You need to excuse my husband for his rudeness. He tends to be this way when he sees beautiful woman like yourself.” Gretchen smacked the back of Alfonso’s head and pulled him by the ears. She excuse herself and literally dragged the man away from Natalia.
“Sorry for that. They’re the oldest but the dumbest and most immature pure blood vampires ever.” Natalia was stunned when she heard the word she only heard in the movies and books.
“W-hat d-id... you... s-ay...” Natalia asked.
“Vampires? Oh Natalia. Don’t tell me that silly Videric didn’t even introduce the new you to yourself!” Ivy kneel in front of Natalia and placed both hands on her knee.
“When Videric and I saw you in that poorly dug hole, you were just moments before death comes upon you. To bring you back, he asked me to... leave a mark on your neck.” Ivy reached her hands to Natalia’s neck and trace her mark.
“That’s the mark. You’re a vampire, Natalia. The lowest rank vampire but you are one of us. Ranks can be earn and from what I saw, you have a lot of rage and that will brings you advantage to the task that will be assign to you.” Ivy chuckled.
“T-ask?” Ivy nodded.
“You will know soon.” Ivy patted her knees and stood up. But before Ivy could showed the other parts of the castle, the man who Natalia first met, made himself known. With his usual attire and red striking hair, he looks like someone not from this very earth.
“Bring her to the Parisian Room.” He said before turning his heels and disappeared by the dark corner.
“Where is this?” Natalia asked when Ivy stopped in front of a huge stone door.
“We’re going to Videric’s private meeting rooms. He calls it the Parisian Room. He loves the French people.” Ivy chuckled. Suddenly, the doors groaned loudly and it opened for the two of them.
When Ivy pushed her in, Natalia could see how remarkable and outstandingly designed the room was. Slowly, Natalia looks around, trying to get a hang of her new body. It’s like she’s been sleeping forever with how weak she felt.
“Help her to sit on the arm chair.” A voice said. Ivy obliged and carried Natalia onto the chair. Ivy stood next to the chair after she’s done.
“Hmmm. Can you adapt in your new environment?” That man asked but he is nowhere to be found. Ivy cleared her throat.
“We haven’t even been to every part of the castle yet, sir.” The man in red suddenly appeared out of the dark shadows and smiled.
“You will have your chance soon. For now, I want to tell you about the task.” Ivy nods and let the man in red talk. He turned his gaze to Natalia. “My name is Videric. I am I am the King of this castle. I own everyone and everything. I live in pure darkness and I need someone to do all the dirty work for me. For my own gain.”
He went to sit on a chair behind the black marble table. “To be on my good side, you have a lot of work to do to impress me. You have souls to collect. You have to be the best among the best. Like Ivy over there. And of course Arika.”
“Ar-ika?” Natalia asked.
“Ivy will introduce you to Arika when she’s back from Transylvania.” Videric pushed a file in front of him and Ivy reached for it.
“Seven souls. Based on the seven deadly sins. Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and of course, pride.” Ivy looks into the files while kneeling next to Natalia. Natalia slowly turned her head and was surprised to see the pictures in the file. It’s all people that she knows.
“T-his... is.. my.. tar-get?” Videric nod.
“Kill them, drain them, bring their head to me as a token.” Videric smiled.
“It’s a small price to pay for being here.” There was an awkward silence when they heard Natalia’s stomach growls. Videric chuckled.
“Ivy, showed her to the dining hall. Once she had a taste of blood through her system, she will be as good as new.” Ivy nods and stood up.
She bow down before pushing Natalia out from the room. Along the way, everyone stops whatever they’re doing and turned to Natalia. Some shake their heads. Some wondering how can such weakling be in a place that represent power. Some even envy her because the castle most beautiful vampire was helping such low level creature.
“Ignore them. They don’t know who turned you to one of us,” Ivy whispered in Natalia ’s ear. Natalia blushed in a deep shade of red.
At first, Ivy ignored every comment she heard but when one of her suitors hissed at Natalia, she stopped pushing the wheel chair and turned to the person who hiss.
“Do we have a problem?” Ivy asked with her voice filled with authority. The man who hissed walk towards Ivy and grabbed her by the arm.
“You promise me dinner! Come!” But Ivy didn’t budge at all from the man’s strong pull.
“Who do you think you are?” Ivy asked.
“Do you realise who you talking to? You’re weak. You can’t even pushed me away from this very spot. And you think you can have dinner with me?! How shame,” The man released his hands from Ivy’s arm and face her.
“I am your mate!” Ivy started laughing at his statement.
“Since when?” Ivy asked between laughs. The man didn’t respond. He was too embarrassed when Ivy denied him.
“Get lost from my sight before I throw you into the fire pit.” Ivy spat venomously. The man turned to Natalia before walking away. Ivy turned and continued to pushing the wheel chair towards the dining hall. Carefully, she place Natalia on a chair of the dining table. Ivy sat next to her and waited for someone to bring the food out.
When two woman came out from the kitchen door, they place two plates of food. Not just any food, but, the highest grade of meat but it’s raw meat. Ivy lick her lips from seeing the food. She turned to see Natalia pushing the plate away.
“Your not going to eat? You need them,” Natalia slowly turned her head.
“It’s raw. I’m not a fan of raw meat.” Natalia coughed and smiled at Ivy.
“Ok then. Maybe this will help.” Ivy took her champagne glass and asked Natalia to smell the content. At first, she thought it’s just a wine but it’s actually fresh glass of blood.
“Smell good right? This is human blood. The most important part of our diet. Without them we will be weak. And Videric hates weak vampires. Come on. Have a sip.”
Ivy tried to lured her and place the glass right below her nose. This time Natalia can’t control herself anymore. She’s hungry and weak. She have such uncomfortable desire to taste the iron liquid. Ivy placed the glass under Jacqueline’s mouth and slowly she opened it.
The first sip sends ecstasy into Natalia ’s whole body. She never felt that way before. She never even taste something so delicious. Ever!
Jacqueline turned to Ivy whos smiling from ear to ear.
“What?” Natalia asked.
“You look better now. The stitches slowly disappearing.” Natalia looks down and she’s right. The stitches was not visible anymore. As if the skins covering it all up. Natalia was speechless.
“Welcome to how to become a vampire class...” Alfonso said and smirks at Natalia.
“Today, I would like to teach you a little about the undead and what we do until we’re this... rich and famous bloodsucker of all time..” Natalia began to feel annoyed of his Italian accent.
“We’re not someone who’s in a Halloween costume. We’re not some creatures in a folklore. And we’re not some animals in the forest. We were once human or in my case, a pure blood. Who roam the night, searching for prey.” Gretchen feels something was missing from her husband explanation and smacked the back of his head.
“Alfonso, we’re here to teach her how to hunt! Not telling her stories about the origin of vampires.” Alfonso rubbed the back of his head. Gretchen turned to Natalia and Ivy who shake her head.
“Sorry.” Ivy waved it off. Gretchen cleared her throat and reached for a folded cloth under the table.
“Hunters essential. Knifes, stacks, axe, holy water, silver bullet, blessed iron rod. Honestly this things only weakens us. It’s harmless.” Gretchen reached for a gun that has Videric’s name embedded on them.
“This is the only thing that could kill us. Videric’s gun. It’s such a powerful weapon for us night creatures and humans. He’s our king. The boss. Everyone has to obey him and Arika, his daughter.”
Again Natalia heard the name Arika. She’s curious about her. Everyone seems scared to mention her name. Natalia turned to Ivy.
“Who’s Arika?” She asked. Ivy smiled.
“She’s the second highest rank vampires in the... well … the world,”
“She’s well known?” Jacqueline asked. Ivy nod.
“She is Videric’s daughter. The princess if you shall say. And she’s the meanest and evilest vampire ever live. But for me she’s just a vampire who lacks emotions. Only I have the right to tease her like that since she’s my best friend.” Natalia heard Gretchen chuckled.
“Ivy. Why don’t you introduce yourself as well.” Natalia was confused.
“Let me..” Gretchen quickly covered her husband mouth.
“You will shut your mouth, Alfonso.” Natalia turned to Ivy.
“Ivy?” Ivy smiled.
“My name is Ivy Vionne. I was turned to a vampire with Arika’s help. I am one of Vederic’s most trusted and talented assassin.” Natalia noticed Alfonso trying to say something. Gretchen tried to control her husband.
“So you’re like a family friend?” Ivy shakes her head.
“I’m more like someone who loyal to this family.” Ivy chuckled. Alfonso finally manage to freeing himself from his wife grasp.
“SHE’S ARIKA’S WIFE!”