Hope learns a new skill and Adrien disappears.
Six spaces lay vacant against Roul's feeding wall.
"These humans just don't satisfy me without Valkarie in their system." He said to himself in utter frustration as he threw the last dead human to the ground at his feet.
"We've only had six shipments this year! Why can't we get more like we use too?" He yelled into the darkness. "What did I do to deserve this? What can I do to fix this? Whose dick do I have to suck?!"
"There is a leak sir. One of your children has been stealing from you." A woman from the shadows said.
"Who's there? And why are you here?" Roul asked in surprise and fear. 'How did someone pass my security checks?'
"You have someone in your organization who is selling your product and keeping the profits for himself." Said the shadow. "He should be eliminated immediately, especially since he is harming your own reputation."
"Who is this traitor?"
"Someone close to you."
"My god girl! Who is it? Tell me!" He yelled.
"Search yourself, you should know. He's one of your most trusted."
"Jet." He said, as a matter of factly under his breath, turning his head to the side.
She disappeared back into the shadows and kept silent from then on. What he didn't see was the wicked smile on her face.
He couldn't resist the temptation that James may have taken the drug. He needs it bad, he needs Valkarie now. He got in close to James and he stood at attention at the ready for any command he receiveed. He heard the whole conversation unfold.
Roul grabbed his shoulders and pulled him to his waiting fangs.
"ROUL!" His child screamed. "STOP!"
Roul stoped and looked at James and with a frustrated look, he let James go. James dropped to the floor in pure relief and picked up the tray and broken glass. He looked thankfully at the new comer out of the corner of his eye. Roul rushed forward, grabbed his child's collar and flew across the room with Roul jumping at the last minute slamming him against the wall ten feet off the floor.
"Jet! How dare you interrupt one of my meals?"
"Father, you were going to feed off your favorite butler, you said you would NEVER do that to him. He trusts you!"
Roul dropped him just enough to quickly grab his head by each cheek.
"I need to find someone who has the drug in them." Roul said desperately.
"He doesn't have it in him, you won't let us take it. Have you tried the local bar? I'm sure they still have some of the wine or ale that you sold them last week." Jet told him through squished cheeks.
"What? Don't you think I know that?! I was just about to go out and do that!" Roul lied. "Why don't you give me some? I know you've been selling a portion of my supply to someone and keeping the profits for yourself."
"What are you on about father? I could never do that to you."
"Then why did you? Did you think that I wouldn't notice? I've known for quite some time. I just didn't want to believe that my most trusted would betray me like this. This explains why I have been short; and it's all your fault!" He paused for a brief moment to think. "I will go out to the tavern and see if anyone has had some of the last shipment." He said with his head tilted to the side still floating off the floor.
"How about if Clair and I go with you."
"Do you think I can't handle this by myself!?" Roul said to him. "Besides I have other plans for you, my dear son."
"I think you can do just fine. I just thought that if you get into trouble-"
"Trouble?! Do you think I don't know how to get myself out of trouble, and it seems YOU are the cause of most of my strife right now. I must solve this little [. . .] Problem. But I run this puny little town and don't you forget it!"
"I was just trying to help you."
"I don't need your help, not now and not ever! I have an agreement with the rusty nail tavern. I give them a boost in business, and they don't tell everyone that I supply them. Now, you have made me break that promise to them. You will pay for this, albeit, it will be short [. . .] Lived." He said for affect.
"I was trying to secure new business for you."
"You lie! You just wanted a piece of the action, MY action." He yelled. "You are a disgrace to me and my family. I would love to sacrifice you to my children but I'm just too angry to wait." He looked at Jet and started to squeeze his head slowly. "You will NEVER betray me again!" He squeezed slowly. Jet started screaming in pain and fear. It wasn't long before his head popped like a grape, sending brain matter all over Roul. He opened his hands and dropped Jet to the floor still twitching.
He walked into the Rusty Nail tavern where there was a bar brawl in progress. Ogres were trying to beat up dwarves and humans, those brave enough, in the middle of the fray. Completely composed, standing tall and proud, Roul stabed the ground three times with his cane and everyone stoped. An ogre who was holding a dwarf in the air by his throat droped him to the ground. The dwarf scrambleed to his feet to show his respect to Roul as did everyone else in the bar.
Roul walked up to the bar as if nothing was bothering him.
"Let me get a glass of my finest wine." He told the bar wench.
"The wine has been sold out for three days, when can we expect another shipment? My customers are getting restless."
"That my girl, is still up in the air, we have had some [. . .] supply Problems." He told her. "I will get you the shipment as soon as [. . .] certain ingredients come in. How about the ale? Has that run dry as well?"
"Just tonight. There are still customers in the bar tonight that had the last of it and they paid well for it I might add. Sir? I don't want to harp, but you're all that supplies us besides Ronstadt and he's having trouble keeping up with the bars since your shipments have stopped. We need your wine and ale. I don't mean to be a beggar but were hurtin'"
"I understand your pain, my bottom line is hurting as well." He told her. She just sighed and stood there for a moment with a sad look on her face. She looked down at the bar and rubbed her hands together nervously.
"So what will it be this evening sir?"
"I will just look for now. I probably won't have anything tonight. Who was the last one who got my ale?"
"Either that barbarian over there or this dwarf at the end of the bar, I can't really remember."
"That's quite alright dear." He slaped a gold piece on the bar and slid it over toward her. "You keep me in business and I appreciate that." She thanked him, smiled widely and grasped at the gold coin in her hand.
While she was walking away he saw the large barbarian walking past the bathrooms and out the back door. He was drunk as a skunk. 'He must've had the last of the ale. I must have him.' He walked past a small fight starting in the corner between a dwarf and an angry ogre. The dwarf smashed a metal tankard over the ogre's head and got ale all over Roul's coat. Roul just stopped and stared at the two of them. They stopped fighting immediately.
Roul looked away in disgust and followed the barbarian out the back door to find the barbarian on his knees throwing up. He had too much ale. That suited him just fine. He needed the rush. Valkarie has no affect on him but if it's in the blood of someone who has had it, that's where the rush comes from for a vampire like Roul. It's good that none of his children had this addiction.
He walked up to the barbarian and put his hand on his shoulder acting as if he was there to help him. He got him to stand up and put his cane in front of his eyes. The eyes in the cane glowed blue. The barbarian starts to sway. Roul sinks his teeth into the barbarian's neck. Blood starts to flow. Roul starts to throw up immediately.
'Damit! He's a werewolf! Shit!'
The barbarian transformed into a werewolf while he stood there and in his surprise Roul got back-handed into the wall. He came at Roul with claws and teeth snarling. his large paws quickly swipped at Roul's throat and caught him in the side of the neck. Roul rolled away and hit him with the cane. Roul was off balance and on his heels in defense of this new threat. The werewolf slashed at his shoulder. This time he wished he had taken Jet and Clair with him. The werewolf took another swipe but Roul blocked it with his cane and continued to stammer back in a defensive posture. 'I need to get this under control before we get to the street.' He rushed the werewolf head-long. He slammed him against the wall and scratched the werewolf with his claws, but not enough to do any real damage. The werewolf grabbed him by the shoulders and slammed Roul to the ground. On his back, he felt helpless but rolled away from his next attack and stood in defiance. They stood face to face. A stalemate it seemed.
His cane held more than one secret. He put his cane up and the werewolf grabbed it and tried to pull it away from Roul, the scabbard came off. The werewolf quickly dropped the scabbard to the ground with a loud clang. He rushed Roul and clawed both sides of Roul's face, but Roul had already had his silver sword pointed up. The stupid werewolf ran right into the sword on his own. It went into his ribcage, up through his heart and finally exited out the back of his skull. Roul jerked his cane from under the prone werewolf and watched him morph back into a human right before his eyes and he dropped face first into the cobblestone alley.
The back door swung open and a small dwarf stumbled out looking for the barbarian that Roul just killed. He staggered out to see the giant barbarian on the ground. There was blood dripping from his mouth and abdomen.
"I found him like this. Do you know what happened to him?" Roul asked the small dwarf.
"Ye' didn't see nothin'?' Why do ye' have all dat blood drippin' from ye'?"
"I came out here and he was on the ground just like this. I picked him up to see if he was alive. I just wanted to take a piss and he was just [. . .] here." He said nervously. The dwarf eyed him with suspicion, but knowing who he was he quickly looked away and dismissed the blood all over Roul's face.
"I's wonder who could take out a werewolf?" The dwarf said under his breath. "Why da' hell can't it be like da' old days where a barbarian can come an' drink at his favorite watering hole an' not get skewered like a kabob."
The dwarf bent down to take a better look at what happened to his friend and that's when Roul seized the opportunity, and his head. The dwarf had to spin around as Roul grabbed his head. He then sunk his teeth into him and sucked him until he quit yelling and squirming. Letting go, he wiped off his face with his sleave and walked away after retrieving his cane and scabbard. He made it to the street limping slightly when the barmaid came out.
"Can you please get us a supply of wine? It's your wine that they want. They are addicted to it it seems. They only want your wine or ale. Please Roul, I beg you, try to get us that shipment. It's hurting my business. Wait. You're bleeding. Are you okay?"
"Yes, thank you dear. I will try as soon as my ingredients come in. It's a delicate process and all I need is one ingredient." His demeaner changed abruptly "Why am I explaining this to you? You will get it as soon as I get all of my ingredients. That's all there is to it. Do you understand? I have other matters to attend to as well. Do with what you've got right now, but rest assured I will be giving you a shipment soon. I haven't forgotten our agreement, but you'll have to bear with me. I think I have solved my distribution problem. I hope we shall see something soon."
In the back alley lay a giant Barbarian and dwarf drained of blood. The barbarian's blood lay all over the alley, it made it look as if it they both fought to the death.
Roul, finally satisfied, limped back to his mansion unnoticed with an arrogant grin on his face.
"You need to stay here; I've only been training you for a little over a year now and you still need to learn self-discipline. You haven't quite mastered it yet. If you want to become one of the un-hunted, you need to master self-discipline. This is as far into town as I want to take you right now. Besides that, you don't yet have a daywalker ring and could perish in this sunlight."
"But I wanna go!" She says in nothing but her white undergarments that would be completely inappropriate for these times. "And besides that, it's cloudy; I only burn in the sunlight right?
"It's, partly cloudy, you do know that you could be identified as a vampire. Right?
"But I can duck into the shadows, I'm smart enough to do that."
"Do you feel like dying today?" He asked her with a fed up look on his face. "Maybe we can come back some other night and you can explore a little bit, when you're more appropriately dressed. That's what I'm going to try to get you now. So you must wait here until you're properly dressed, but for now, stay put, in the shade. You know I have to dip into the money I get from my meat sales so stop complaining. I don't see you bringing in any money. Besides, people are starting to wonder why I'm buying girls clothes. That's kind of embarrassing to have to explain, and you won't die if you just stay hidden and in the shade. I'm trusting you to stay put, do you think you can do that."
"Uh, yeah." She remarked sarcastically with a head tilt, her arms folded across her chest and her nose crinkled.
Hope sat behind the tree stump when her mind started to wander and meander a little deeper into the forest. She looked at all the vegetation and saw a whole new world that included all the life that surrounded her. Everything had a heartbeat, the blade of grass that she bent down to look at, to the lifeblood that ran as sap through the pine tree standing strong and tall in front of her. As she saw the wonder of the flowers growing on the forest floor, she smelled wood burning. She followed the scent as she marveled at all the life that is present in the forest. She watched as a caterpillar inched across a very colorful Melovin plant. 'This must be one of the vampire traits Adrien told me about.' She followed the scent until she saw a very rustic little hut with a stone chimney. She looked around not knowing how much time had passed. She felt compelled to find out more about this place, who lived here, what the purpose of this place was, and what significance this place seemed to hold.
She knocked on the door hesitantly, feeling like something bad might happen. A frail old elven man with a tuft of white hair on the top of his head answered the door with a big grin on his wrinkled face. She looked at his golden eyes and tattered robes.
"You think I'm an old beggar who lives in the woods do you?" He says with a smile on his face. "Do come in young lady, we have much to discuss." She closes the door behind her and he directs her to the nearest chair to the fireplace. "You are here to kill me I know and I accept that."
"What? Wait! You don't even know who I am! Why do you think I am going to kill you? Is this some kind of joke? Did Adrien put you up to this to test me?"
"I have foreseen it. In fact I have been waiting for you. I have made my preparations. I've already made my plans. Take my journal, you will need the information in it." He hands her a red velvet covered book with a weird symbol gracing the cover. It looked fancy and out of place in this poor little dwelling. "I know you need me as your first kill to fully turn, but know that you will inherit a very righteous skill. You will be able to heal others; all you will need to know is in my journal. I have prepared it just for you. This will help you understand yourself, for knowing yourself is the key to ultimate happiness and understanding."
She looked down at the book and pondered what he just said.
"Do you have dreams girl? Goals and aspirations?"
"I did, but now that has all changed. I'm still trying to figure out who-what, I am"
"This journal will help you, but your dreams and goals can still be achieved. You're like a bird who has a broken wing, you can still fly but you need to relearn how." He told her. "This old bird needs to rest now, I have flown my path, it is my time."
"I don't know why you think I'm going to kill you. I know right from wrong."
"I know you do and that's why I am offering myself to you. Take this talisman; it will aid you in using your new powers."
He pulls it from around his neck and hands it to her. She took it reluctantly.
"Now, [. . .] you must feed from me."
"Why would you do that?" She asked him. "Why would you even want to die? I sure don't want to die and I really don't want to kill you or anyone else for that matter."
"My time on this world is over. I came into this world with a purpose, and I have fulfilled that purpose. You are the one who kills me. Regardless of what you want to do; you will kill me. My time has come, I know you are scared but this is the right thing to do to reach your full potential and to be a help for good. You will have your trials just like any living being. I am ready now."
She looks around the room nervously wondering if this is a test from Adrien. She sees no one.
She looks back to him sitting in his chair with his neck exposed. She can almost see the vein that throbs with warm blood. She can suddenly hear his heartbeat beating just for her. His face was calm and tranquil.
"But I don't want to kill you or anyone else." She repeated to him.
"You must do it now."
She moves to stand behind him. She closes her eyes and begins to feed. The warm blood tastes so good in her mouth. It seems to be revitalizing her every pore, so much more than any animal has. She felt the blood draining from his body and yet he made not a sound at all as she drank. She couldn't stop until he was fully drained and could not get any more from him. He slumped over in his rocker lifeless and bloodless, oddly, with a smile on his face.
"What have I done?" She whispered under her breath. Then she knelt down in front of him and began to sob uncontrollably. She began to feel powerful though, as if something began to bubble up inside of her. 'You will be able to heal others.' She remembered him saying. 'Maybe I can heal him and bring him back.' She lays her hands on him and concentrates on trying to bring him back to no avail. She fights through the tears to take a look at the book. 'Maybe there's something in here that will help.' On the last page was written one simple phrase;
"You cannot raise the dead."
She closed the book slowly and looked around. Then she looked down at the talisman in her hand and placed it around her neck.
She looked around the hut to see that no one is there watching the place. She finds a shovel and buries the old man out of respect, and then she quickly goes back to the rendezvous point. She waited impatiently for about an hour, but he's nowhere to be found. She gets worried that he may have gone looking for her; so she decided to wait for at least an hour then return to the cave if he doesn't show up.
Demetrium walked down the stairs of the lavish mansion to meet with Roul. He said he had some tasks for him.
"Why haven't you finished the greenhouse Yet? I've given you a year." Roul asked him when he got to the heavy wooden antique desk in Roul's office.
"It's all the training sir; even now it's taxing my muscles. And sometimes the right material just isn't there."
"You mean that I haven't bought it for you yet?" He said smugly. "Are you saying that it's my fault?"
"N-n-no sir. It's almost ready for the carvings." He said nervously, trying to find something positive to say. "Maybe a week, but I don't see how I would be able to do those carvings. I don't have the skills to do that kind of work." Demetrium told him carefully.
"Let me worry about that. I will have you go and make a kill tonight."
"Really?" He said excitedly. "You trust me enough?"
"I think it's about time you go out and make a kill on your own. If you can promise me that my greenhouse will be ready by week's end. My people told me that you're ready to go out into the world, I just hope they trained you right. Don't make any mistakes out there. I'm tired of having you feed from your girlfriend every night. It will be time to turn her soon. I would like you to eventually turn her to be yours, I expect the responsibility for her will make you a better man, a better vampire. I want you to kill the woodsmith in town, you know, the one who has been making me all this grand furniture. Once you kill him you will be even more valuable to me, but if you screw up [. . .]" he gave him a stern look.
"I won't. I promise."
"You better not." Then Roul dismissed him and went back to his grand dinning room where his guests were eating.
Adrien casually walked into town as it began to get darker. 'I hope she stays put, this could be a nightmare if she doesn't.' He walked into a simple clothing store where the prices were modest and fair. He picked out some gowns that she could wear. Bringing it to the counter a very soft spoken woman stands at the ready.
"We all want to know Adrien, when did you get a daughter? And please tell me about her. If, that is, you wouldn't mind me asking."
"First, she's not my daughter. I'm watching her for a friend of a friend of mine. I'm not sure he's ever coming back, I may be stuck with her."
"From the size of these clothes I would guess she's about sixteen or seventeen. Am I right?"
"Yeah she's fifteen."
"Why haven't we met her yet?"
'I wish they wouldn't ask so many damn questions, It's really none of her business but people are going to start thinking I've kidnapped her or something far worse; that I've bought a little girl for sex. People do that around here. Think, think, think.'
"She's a little, [. . .] different." 'Okay, that's not a lie at least' "She doesn't want anyone to know so she's staying back for now. It seems as though her family just pawned her off on me so she is still feeling very betrayed and isn't ready to trust or meet anyone yet, but she's fifteen, I'm sure she will start to get antsy soon. She is still not ready to come out into the open though. Do you know what I mean? A teenage girl can be very emotional. Ya know?"
"My word! Poor girl. I hope she comes to realize that she's better than most."
"I'm trying to get her to be more responsible than them." He tells her reluctantly. "But first I must coax her out of her shell, then, I can see if I can get her out here to start socializing. Plus she needs to want to come out to be around other people. Just give me some time, and don't go telling everyone else that I'm doing this for her. People might think things and want me to do more favors for them. Do you understand my point of view."
"Of course Adrien. My lips are sealed. Not a soul will know."
He knows full well that everyone in town will know before dawn, maybe even before he leaves town to go back to the rendezvous point. 'Maybe this will get me more tips in my store, the more money the better. At least I'm making an honest living.' He chuckles to himself walking out of the store. 'Kind of.' He thinks with a grin on his face. 'This could turn out to be a good thing.'
Adrien walked away feeling pretty proud of himself. He walked past a beautiful woman in a light blue dress and beautiful long brown hair. It was getting dark and he was walking west so he couldn't see her eye color. It caused him to look back at her only to find she had been looking back at him with a smile on her face. She quickly turned back around pretending that she never looked back. As she walked forward, she strode with a certain amount of cockiness. She had caught his eye. That's all that mattered. When she looked forward with her proud grin there was a man standing there blocking her way so she walked to the left to try to get around him. He then moved to the side to block her from going straight. She looked back around to find Adrien still looking, it seemed, with a hateful look in his eyes.
For, there, was Canther, one of the ones that helped to turn hope. His eyes became narrow and he pursed his lips. The look of hatred in his eyes was all too apparent. His fists clenched in a fit of rage. The package he held for hope fell to the ground unnoticed. His eyes turned as black as the street under those oil lamp lights. He watched Canther moving her to the alley; the same alley where they turned hope. The young woman fell back into the alley. She looked back to Adrien, to see that he saw what was happening.
Adrien walked fast to that alley. He turned into the alley to find Canther trying to charm this young woman.
"You picked the wrong time and place to fuck with this young woman asshole! Yeah, you know me! You held me while your master turned a young girl. Do you remember that-Canther?" He said with his iridescent wings standing tall. Yeah, he was upset. Canther looked up and saw Adrien standing in the archway of the alley.
"Oh, this is way too good. Roul will reward me greatly for bringing back your head. That should be easy enough, I mean, you couldn't even save a young girl, just like you won't be able to save this one from becoming my next meal."
"We'll see about that!" Adrien rushes Canther, he grabbed him by the collar slammed him into the wall hard enough to bounce off the wall knocking them both to the ground with Canther on top of him. They hissed at each other, spit flying into each other's mouths.
Canther reached behind him in an instant and pulled out a daggar and slid it smoothly it into Adriens side causing a considerable amount of pain and a burning sensation that wouldn't go away as it normally would. 'Hope deserves better! I must kill him now and stop at least him from doing this to someone else.'
The stinger still stuck inside his ribs he managed to stand to face with Canther but Adrien was getting dizzy and his eye's started glazing over. He pulled the dagger out of his side and heard the clank of metal hitting stone. He began to get dizzy and his vision became blurry but before he passed out he saw a large plume of flame in front of him. He tried to turn his head to see where it came from but ended up on his face unable to move or see. His world went black.