Valerie was still trembling, even when Theodore apparently had his fill. Her eyes were watering with how tightly she held them shut and she felt light headed, almost like she was going to faint. So she was in a slight daze when he lifted her head up and kissed her, the kiss pulling her back to her sense and her eyes flying open.
[i I never said you could kiss me… ]
The fleeting thought passed through her mind but she couldn’t speak, not yet. Her ripped throat still needed to recover a little before she could talk. So she kissed him back, adjusting her grip so she was holding onto him. Eventually, she broke the kiss to take a breath and she whispered out into the cold air.
“Stay with me? At least till morning?” Valerie’s bright violet eyes opened and looked up towards the Vampire who was holding her. She didn’t want to be left alone, not after what had just happened. The Queen needed to be with someone, even if it was an enemy who was there to keep her company. Without hesitation this time, she leaned back up to kiss him again, her kiss gentle and passionate.
It didn’t occur to her that they were being watched by Theo’s special group, nor did it occur to her that someone had probably already noticed she was gone. She didn’t think about ever seeing this Vampire again nor did she think about the war which was trying to kill them both.
She wasn’t going to beg Theodore to stay with her, instead she just let him break their kiss and she folded her arms around the back of his neck. She turned her head to rest against his chest and she could see that the snow fall around them had stopped. The snowy wasteland was now still and silent, and she was just barely aware of Theodore’s own growing heat as his fragmented memories enticed him to the idea of staying.
No one heeded her cries and no one came to help Artemis, Karim didn’t even whisper anything to her. She was completely alone and left to fend for herself. And hundreds of miles away, Joseph gave a small shudder as his bad feeling worsened.
He’d had a bad feeling all morning, not being able to find Artemis anywhere. He’d searched their room and all of her things were still there, even her armor, but she was gone. He’d walked through the dorms and even knocked on a few doors of the people they’d talked to regularly, but no one had seen her since the day before. He’d eventually followed the crowd of students to where the event of the day was happening, sure the hatching of a phoenix was exciting, but he was too worried to pay much attention to it.
The blood was unique and addictive. Unable to control himself, Thedore began biting other spots to get more blood. He could feel her racing heart and her trembling in his arms. Her temperature was dropping and the blood flow was decreasing. Thedore opened his eyes, getting back to his senses once he had his fill. He felt her head into his shoulder and her arms around her. It was not a position his victims usually made. He licked around his lips and let his eyes wander over her. He admitted that not many women had this beauty and attractiveness. When was the last time a female held onto him like that?
He once had a wife.
Did He? He could not even remember her face. It was long long time ago. But now that he thought about her, he could see fragments of lost memories of him stroking her silky hair as she stayed safe in his arms...
Theodore slowly stroked Valeri' s hair to recall his past. He felt the softness beneath his palm and slowly pulled back her head to see her face.
His wife stared into his eyes lovingly, her lips trying to steal a kiss from him...
Theodore placed a hand on the queen's face...
Her wife was quite short but cute, he always had to pick her up to give her a proper passionate kiss.
The vampire pressed his cold lips against hers and deepened his kiss as he tilted his head. His arm kept her tight against him as he rubbed her back gently.
He once could show love to the little woman of his.
And now he was tempted to show it again. To experience it once more.
Where was she? What was she doing here? Where was the academy? Artemis who was slowly recovering from the hard experience, started looking around with awareness. She looked up and noticed the black clouds forming in the sky. A storm was coming. The demon wrapped her arms around her bare body and wished she had her armor. Rain started showering the fields and she ran to find a shelter, ignoring the pain. Her feet dug through the mud and she stumbled a few time yet kept on running.
"This wasn't a part of the deal..." She whispered before suddenly shouting out through the thunder. "WE DID NOT AGREE ON THIS! TAKE ME BAAAAACK!" The Ba'al screamed and anxiously looked around for a clue to find her way. Before she could acknowledge her surroundings, another earthquake shook the ground and she fell down into mud. The shakes became wilder and the ground started cracking. Artemis gasped and scrambled up onto her feet before running away from the chasing loud cracks. For the first time, She admitted something.
Valerie stood as still as she could, her anxious nerves finally making her doubtful and squirmish. She then jumped as snow dropped through the branches onto her and again as a snowball hit one of her arms. She stared as the twins laughed and taunted her, seemingly completely bewildered until she realized that they wanted her to follow them. Without stopping to get her steed, she rushed after them, not slowing her pace till the sight of the frozen lake appeared in front of her.
"You're late." Theodore’s voice cut through the quiet and it brought the Queen’s heart up into her throat. Why was she being so skittish? The awareness of her own demeanor passed through her mind like a breeze before she looked back at him cautiously. When he motioned for her to come closer, she hesitated a little then with careful steps, she walked towards him. He didn’t move till she was within his arms reach and when her cloak was suddenly ripped away, she froze. He didn’t need to rip this dress that she was wearing, the neck line was low and it could easily be slid down her shoulders.
Valerie closed her eyes under his stare and when he grabbed a hold of her, she held her breath, letting the smallest gasp slip out as he bit into her. She didn’t resist or fight back, instead she pressed herself up against him, wrapping her arms up around him and holding herself close to him. She winced and flinched as his sharp, gnawing teeth bit deeper to draw more blood, which wasn’t surprising. Her blood smelt sweet and it had a strong taste to it, strong like a rich wine. Every bite made more and more of it run, but there was no fear for her to bleed out, she’d already said before that she wouldn’t die from his feeding. Beginning to shiver with the cold and pain, the Queen hid her face against his shoulder, stopping herself from making any sounds or showing her pain.
Eric cursed and spat into the snow as he was knocked down, spitting out some blood since he’d bit his tongue, and he glared back up at Johar. He didn’t respond since he knew whatever remark he made would be in the same venomous tone and he stood back up slowly. It took all the restraint he had not to snatch the map from the minister and after glancing it over, he gripped in one hand and turned away from the minister, stalking away with his orders echoing in his mind. Immediately the spies noticed his movements and before they could follow him, the Hybrid had disappeared into the snow. He left no footprints and his silhouette was gone before it could even be seen clearly. The Light’s weapon was on the move and he was headed to the same camp the Northern territories were planning to attack next.
Karim glanced back at Artemis, watching her slowly pace and stagger, but he didn’t go after her. He’d had his fun and would let her go, leave her to wander while he left Nature to rage. He didn’t even tell her which direction she needed to go to get back to Noman’s land and back to the ridge where Joseph still was. It would take her a long time to find her way, but he’d leave her too that, not concerning himself with the poor little Ba’al again. The stars in the sky continued to fade and the thunder from the rolling clouds grew closer. Nature's chaos was spreading and now the All Demon’s presence wasn’t there to keep it at bay.
Half an hour passed and only the breeze met Valerie, caressing her figure. It was like Theodore had mocked her by making her wait. Maybe it was just a waste of time. Maybe there was no such thing as blood contract. Maybe it was a trap. Maybe the special were already on their way to destroy other training camps.
Snow poured down on Valerie's head before a snow ball hit her arm. The twins laughed at her from either side of the tree.
"Catch us if you can~ Your reward will be the thirsty vampire!" They sang and took off, still laughing.
Once they reached a frozen lake they just vanished like they did not exist at all.
"You're late." Theodore said, standing infront of her a few meters away. His fangs were bared and thirst waved in his eyes. It seemed like he was holding himself back and there was a fight inside him. Instead he motioned her to come closer until she was in his arm reach. With a swift motion her cloak was off and his claws tore through her new dress. Once her skin was revealed, Theodore stared at it before leaning down and without hesitation biting hard and without restraint to let the blood spill out in his mouth. His hands gripped on her side as her pulled her closer to himself to feel her warm body as he fed on her.
A hard punch sent Eric on the snow covered ground. "You do not use that tone when talking to me." Johar coldly reminded the hybrid before tucking his hand in his clothes and pulling out a scroll."This map. Go to the nearest main camp and wait there until the enemy attacks. You will slaughter the enemy. All of them. You are not going to let any of them flee."
"..." Artemis sat there, staring at something far away. She didn't even seem to be there..let alone listening. She then turned her head to a side and saw the torn fabrics once to be her dress. Only after a minute or so, the little Ba'al started trying to stand and failed a few times, her legs weak and shaky. She gazed around, like trying to remember where she was. She took a random direction and walked slowly, before having to sit again from the pain. "Joseph..." She whispered, continuing loudly but it was like she was talking to herself. "H-he knows many things. The...the sea...is very beautiful. He showed me..pretty crystals. His...lips were so gentle..." She touched her bitten lips, smiling to herself. "Back in Muerte, I thought I knew anything and nothing worth watching and praising. But...but there so many things in this world that take my breath away." She started standing again. "You...can never rewrite the beauty of world. You only can ruin...You just know one song while Lilith...created us with so many soft melodies...When...when Joseph smiles with those kind eyes,...I can hear the melodies. I have to see him again...I...I'm sure he has some bandages..." Artemis rambled, again standing and making slow steps.
Sorit gave Abantes a slightly saddened look, there wasn’t anything he could do right then. Walking Abantes out of the tent, he stopped the nobleman and sighed at his hurt look. “You won’t be gone from here for long.” He said, “The camp I’m sending you to is going to be moving to the front soon and you’ll be going with them.” He placed a hand on Abantes shoulder and his expression became stern.
“Dosia doesn’t want you to fight yet, but I do think you have something to prove. The battalion you’ll be going with will be attacking camps in the east of here, you won’t be apart of the main battle yet, but you must stay alive till the invasion begins. Stay alive till than and Dosia will have no reason to keep you away from the front.” With that he sent Abantes off, watching them go before returning to Dosia’s side. He wasn’t going to tell her that the camp he sent her cousin off to would be assisting the northern territories soon, but he felt that the young shapeshifter had a right to prove himself, even if it wasn’t on the front line.
Valerie listened till her minister left and she sighed heavily to herself. She knew Johar was smart, he would figure out soon that something was going on. She just hoped that he didn’t put the pieces together till after she’d completed the blood contract with that vampire. It wouldn’t matter much after that because at the end of the day, It was her decision to make the contract so she could leave without any further harm coming to her.
After a few hours with night falling, Valerie told her guards that she wasn’t to be disturbed for any reason that night and with the guards knowing not to come in and check on her, she slipped out of the tent through the back, her hood drawn up and her steps swift in the falling snow as she carefully made her way out of the camp. There were tracks of other soldiers having walked around the camp and her footsteps blended with them up till the edge of the camp. She found where the steeds were with after a slight consideration for what she was doing, the Grey Queen set off through the snowy night.
She didn’t go far, but she knew by the time anyone would notice her absence, if they disobeyed her order, the snow fall would cover her tracks enough that she couldn’t be followed. Valerie found a place to stop and she stepped under a tall pine, it’s long branches blocking out the snow and wind and creating a little sanctuary for her to stay and wait.
Eric, who had been lounging in a smaller tent then he’d had before, when Johar stepped in and ordered him out. With a glaring look, the hybrid began to get up and the sharp kick from the minister made him scramble to move quicker out of his tent. Staggering back up to his feet, Eric turned and backed away from Johar, glaring at him with his wings partially wrapped around his arms. “You want me to keep going?” He asked even though he knew that was exactly what Johar meant. Huffing angrily, he looked away and took a few steps, his tail lashing. He then stopped and turned back towards Johar, venom in his voice as he asked, “Where?”
“Artemis…” A voice, cool like the wind and soothing woke her and the first thing she saw was the blades of grass in between her fingers. Her hands were still riddled with small scrapes and cuts, blood having dried around the small wounds. Her arms were no better and her entire body ached from the treatment Karim had given her. Speaking of which, the shadow of one of his wings draped over her and his form sat calmly next to her, paying her no mind as she looked up at him. There was the rumbling of thunder in the distance but the sky above them was clear and full of fading stars. The chaos of nature was waning and would be upon No man’s land soon.
“You’re awake.” The All demon suddenly mused, still not looking at her and still with the strange voice he’d spoken in only a few times before. He waited till she’d sat up, ignoring her wincing and he brought up a clawed hand to shush her. “Don’t ask anything of me and you’ll be fine.” He said folding his wings back and slowly standing up. “Mother Nature grows restless but she does not dare to disturb my night. With just a song,” He continued, walking slowly through the grass. “A single song, I could destroy this world. Turn the dark to slay themselves and the Light to burn in flames. I could make all other races parish and rewrite this world completely! Writing over till nothing remains…” He paused and crossed his arms sighing.
“I can, but I shan’t. I could, but I won’t.” He grew silent and continued gazing off at the sky, not turning back to look at Artemis or even acknowledge her again.
Dosia did not have much else to do but to wait till the weather out there get better. She was slowly dozing off in her seat when Abantes asked for permission to enter and Dosia almost jumped at the familiar voice she did not expect to hear in the frontline. Abantes came in with proud eyes but his smile fell when he saw Dosia's glare.
"What is the meaning of this? Didn't we clearly mention that you are only allowed to serve in back up?"
"But...they called for the talented and..."
"And what makes you a talented?"
"I...I am a fair skilled shapeshifter-!" Abantes clenched his fists barking at his nephew. Dosia suddenly stood after slamming down her palms on the table.
"Enough of this nonsense! This is not childplay! You are going back! Sorit, get some guards to escort him back."
Abantes' pride was hurt. "I am not going back! I have to do something in this war, Listen to me, please!" But the queen turned away, not having it. Abantes' pleading eyes went over to Sorit to help him convince Dosia.
Weasel poked out his head to look around the camp before jumping out and switching forms. The boy immediately hugged himself and shivered in cold. "S-sir...L-let's G-go to soldiers' tent..." He took Ryuu's arm and pulled him towards one of them which already had ten soldiers in, staying close to each other to stay warm. They immediately welcomed Ryuu and let him sit among them before handing the two hot tea. "Crazy weather, huh." One of them commented with a southern accent.
Johar kept staring before getting a hold of himself and awkwardly he looked away, bowing his head apologizing quietly. Confusrd but still suspicious, The minister came out. His narrowed eyes scanned around the area but he could not see anything but snow. Sighing in frustration, he went over to the captain to ask about Eric. Once he was told which tent Eric was staying in, He headed over and just walked in with firm steps. "Come out." He commanded, glaring down at the hybrid but not without a kick to his side. "You think you are allowed to rest? You are going to keep on going. Some snow will not slow you down."
Away from war, in noman' s land, the lady knocked before coming in. "Wake up young ones, you don't want to miss the great ceremony of a Phoenix' s birth!" She said in excitement before looking at the empty bed of Artemis. "Hm? Where is she?" She heard water running in the bathroom and blinked. " A bath, this early? She always struggled to get out of bed on time! So what..." Her eyes dropped on Joseph and something silly came to her mind. Immediately she blushed, holding in a giggle. "Oh, my my...I Get it now...Sorry~" She closed the door instantly, calling out before leaving in rush. "Just get ready and come to the great hall quick!"
Ryuu was still trailing at the back of the group, shivering in the snowfall and cold wind. He managed a smile when weasle hopped back to where he was and curled up around his collar. This gave him a bit of encouragement to ride up to where Abantes was as they reached the main camp. “Any idea what’s happening?” He asked, but no one had much of an idea to why the climate had suddenly changed. But that’s what they were hoping to get more insight on. He didn’t follow the nobleman to the tent Dosia was in, he instead looked for a place to keep himself warm since he knew the Queen wouldn’t want to see him there.
Sorit had stayed with her as the weather grew worse and worse, his unease growing with it. Upon her order to send out those who could attack in this kind of weather, he nodded and quickly passed the order along. When he returned, he did so with a spy’s report saying that the army Eric was with had stopped completely and probably wouldn’t be moving any time soon. “I’m sure the northern territories will make good progress for us to follow.” He said after telling her the spy’s report. “If the weather changes again, we may even get a chance to get past the border and invade the Light Nation.” It was a hopeful idea, it would be devastating to the Light’s forces if they could make that work. But they had to wait and see if Mother Nature would calm down enough to let it work.
At Johar’s bursting entrance into her tent, Valerie only favored him with a glance before turning back to the planning table in front of her. She’d dismissed the generals and captain and she was alone with only her thoughts. That was until her minister rushed in. “Why have you disturbed me, Johar?” She asked calmly over her shoulder. The Queen had a heavy fur cloak hanging from her shoulders and she’d changed into clothes with heavier fabrics, hiding away the dress that had been torn. Her hands were covered by gloves as she handled the cold wooden pieces for the planning board and her face was partially covered by a scarf, keeping her breath warm and hiding the small cut she had.
Valerie knew he could feel it, knew that her minister could feel what she’d done. But she didn’t let on that anything was wrong. She wouldn’t give him anything but that feeling to guess on. “If you haven’t anything to say then leave me. There isn’t time to waste on silence.” She said in an equally calm tone, not looking back to face her minister.
"Dear gods. How did it get so cold?" Abantes whispered as he shivered slightly through the chilly winds coming from Light nation. They still had not met the snow yet they were already surprised. Weasel jumped from horse to horse to reach Ryuu since he had less armor and a warmer outfit. The small cold furry creature tucked himself in the Summoner's collar trying to absorb his warmth. They stopped at the nearest training camp to find out what was happening and prepare for it. The camp didn't know much about the weather change neither and they were just ordered to stay back since the condition was not suitable for another attack. However, Abantes preferred to lead the group to the main camp in case the Light planned on surprising. So they did not rest and moved on, soon the snow blowing on them. A wizard performed a spell to heaten up their surroundings but it did very little.
After an hour, they saw the first guard wolves and barely saw the camp covered on snow and hidden in white. There, they had fresh news of the enemy also being held back by the sudden change of climate. This was a relief and they could change their plans with ease of mind. Dosia was still in one of the tents, warming herself with a blanket. She had wrapped the animal skin around herself, staring at the tent entrance.
This...was a blessing.
Eric was not going to reach the next camp before them.
"Sorit..." She called out and once he came, she ordered. "The wolf pack...and the northern neighbour can still fight in the snow. We should destroy as many camps as we can before the Demon reaches us."
Johar's army were moving towards east, where they could directly attack Deloriak pierce through its capital heart. They had noticed the temperature dropping but were still too far from the borders. The minister saw Bird landing down close to them before making her way through the marching soldiers to her master. She whispered the border's disaster and his eyes narrowed before turning to one of the generals and telling him to be in charge while he goes to meet the queen. Johar rode off before finding a covered spot to turn into his monster form and then flew off fast.
After half an hour he was there. Landing with a safe distance, he immediately changed back to his human form and frowned as his legs dug through the snow. Making some effort, he rushed to the location the army was stalling, heading right to the queen's tent. But...he felt...something...so nostalgic from a far far past...The minister froze in his place realising the it was radiating from Valerie's tent. Alarmed, he charged in knocking the shocked guards out of the way to protect his queen from the possible vampire with her. He entered in an offensive position, hissing and looking around. His aggressive gaze dropped on Valrie who was alone and was the source of..Was it a mistake?
"M-my queen..." He stared at her in disblief. "Why...this..."
Valerie broke their stare when the vampire took her hand, turning it so he could slice her palm. When he set his blade's edge down across her hand, her fingers curled up slightly, like she was going to grab the blade and cut herself. But she didn’t. She paused a moment before nodding and saying,
“I am.” The Queen openly winced as he sliced her hand quickly. She took her hand back after that as he let go of her completely. The force that had been used against her lessened and she was able to slowly stand, even against the little witches curse. Looking away from the vampire, Valerie turned and walked, calmly, to her steed. Upon reaching her mount, she looked back and asked, “What is your name?” There was a quieter breeze and the snow fall had lessened.
“...” She was quiet after receiving his name, and slowly, calmly without hesitation, Valerie turned her steed away and trotted out of the grove.
Once they were out of her sight, but she was sure she wasn’t out of their sight, The Queen dug her heels into her steed’s sides, making her way back in a quick gallop to the ruined camp. Her soldiers and guards had noticed her absences and were in a panic because of it. When she rode up, her soldiers and guards immediately went to her, relieved that she was alright.
“My Queen, where were you?” One managed to ask,
“That’s unimportant.” Was her response. “Have everyone ready to move, we’ll be leaving soon.” She ordered and stayed as her reluctant guards and soldiers obeyed her command. Looking back over her shoulder, she gazed back in the direction she’d come from but she couldn’t see the grove across the fields that were now being coated in snow. The cold wind howled around them and remembering the rip in her dress, Valerie retrieved a traveling cloak and wrapped it around herself, pulling the hood up and stealing another look back. She could also see that no one had followed her and after a few minutes, her escort departed with the soldiers that had been left behind.
Slowly as they advanced the wind and blowing snow grew more and more intense, so much so that it seemed like they were in the midsts of a freak snow storm. Eventually, after slower travel, they met back with the army that had stopped again and set up to wait out the snow storm. They didn’t know how long the storm was going to last, but Valerie had a bit of an idea to what they should expect. Making their way to a tent where the captain and generals were discussing what to do again, the Queen entered and dropped her hood, not waiting for them to formally greet her.
“Mother nature is distraught.” She commented, walking over to where the planning table was set up. Neither side would be able to more or attack easily with how the weather was, but it gave them some time, time to stall and to plan. Along with time for herself to think back over the blood contract she had just made. Her sliced hand curled into a fist and no one mentioned the slight cut on her cheek, but she hadn’t stayed to smooth out details.
How would he contact her? Would she just be left waiting or would he find her again?
It was so strange, so risky, but what is a life well lived without risk?
Theodore stared at her with unreadable eyes before his hands gently slipped down. "Go but...you should also do something on my own terms." He took her hand and turned it to reveal her palm. "Are you willing to make a blood contract that you will be back to me?" He firmly said, setting his blade on her hand to make a swift cut in case she agreed. "If you break the promise, your blood will be cursed." The vampire made another deep breath, Valerie radiating a tempting smell. His eyes never left her and they were not any less dangerous than before but even more excited and threatening. She just made his thirst grow by offering herself.
Artemis felt weak and helpless, clinging to anything to make up for what she had done. She sobbed silently shaking her face with silent pleads as he refused to do as she begged him to and she lost her color as she realised Giving herself was not simply death.
She was going to suffer more.
She was confused and frightened of what he meant but could not even ask because she was even more afraid of the answer. Slowly she stood by his gesture and
tried to keep her shaky legs up. His tail flicked around her and she held her breath, her form so small and defeated in his presence as he barely explained what was going to happen to her. Tear up lives?
His wings shadowed over her and she wished it was death but the chances were thing. "What..." It was not her usual tone, it was more a demon whimpering in defeat. "What...are you d-doing?"
Now she wished she had her armor on sonar least she could feel so vulnerable. She turned her head away from Karim to give one last gaze to Joseph's bed, at least he was going to be left alone.
Valerie closed her eyes as he wiped a finger over the cut on her face, and she looked back at him, her eyes no longer looking as light and bright as they had before. “What do I seek? You ask?” She questioned and chuckled softly. “What I [i want] is to be free from harm and to be able to leave this place with my life. But what I [i seek…?]” She trailed off and slowly, calmly smiled back at him, so slight and so deceiving.
“I seek nothing of you or of the Dark, nor do I seek anything of the Light that shelters me. What I seek, I have yet to obtain, and you are right that isn’t something so simple that this material universe can offer.” She sighed softly, bringing one hand up to rest on his own that still held her by her shoulder. “There is such a thing as giving out of kindness and with the life I've led, I know very well what that has gotten me. I also know how much it can take, time for the most part. It has taken years from me but… That was what I had to lose to gain what I wanted.”
She steadied her sights, setting them back onto the Vampire who was still before her and whose attention she still had. “What I am offering you, it is not out of kindness. I know what kind of creature you are and I know you will accept nothing less than what I would selflessly give. Now tell me, will you accept my trade and let me leave on my own terms or will you keep me here for reasons not yet spoken?”
Karim looked down on Artemis as she dropped to her knees to beg and he let her, watching as her composure cracked enough to let her cry in front of him. But that didn’t matter much.
“[b My, what a tempting plead, especially since you know first hand how greedy I can be.]” He hissed out the words in a soft tone and knelt, still looming over her but now he was closer to her face. “[b But I cannot take both. I take your heart and yourself won’t be as sweet. I take you and your heart will be ruined. Hmm…]” The All Demon brushed one clawed hand against her cheek and he cradled the side of her face gently. He met her tearful gaze with a cool expression and he spoke in a low rumble.
“[b I will tell you what will happen after Eric’s time as a weapon is done. He will not suffer by my hand but he will remember all that happened. His Will, will become his own again and as for Joseph. I will let him be. Not because you’ve asked but because he hasn’t anything other than his life to give. Taking his life will not help me. Neither of them will suffer anymore than you will.]” His voice was so calming, but it held a dire undertone as his mind returned to what she said she’d give him.
“[b Now, you are what I will take, not your heart, because you won’t ever heal if I just take your heart… [i Artemis?]]” He cooed, standing back up and letting his hand slip away from her face. “[b Do you remember what you said about me before I sent you here to this ridge? Remember when you said I was just as desperate as Lilith was, well, I am going to prove you wrong. You see, I don’t need a heir. But… It is quite entertaining, ripping apart lives….]” He chuckled darkly, making a motion for her to stand as his tail flicked around her and his shadow melted with hers. His wings opened again and his gleaming eyes pierced into her. Karim had already made his decision.
“[i [b Let me show you how I do it.]]”
[b Her entire immortal life for his undying hunger and hid very own satisfaction.]
Theodore could not help but suddenly shiver, his breathing becoming uneven from the price she was offering. To claim something as his...The vampire closed his eyes trying to calm his crazed mind as she almost lovingly touched his scarred face with her soft skin. His fangs were on her veins, ready to take her blood and taste it for the first time. Everything was being offered to him,...yet,
Theodore pulled away and placed his hands on her shoulders to turn her completely to face him. Bloodlust was waving in those eyes as he whispered,
"What is it that you seek? You surely what does it mean to offer yourself to a vampire. Say, what is the immortal queen looking for? I doubt if it is protection or even a simple spying." His finger gently brushed the blood off her face yet he did not taste it since he knew he would not be able to think straight after that. Angry huffs of the Succubus and the amused whispers of the twins did not reach his ears as he just stared into the eyes of the might queen in his grasp.
Artemis held her head at those hefty prices. They all were unfair and the last one caught her off guard. She felt dizzy and trapped, not feeling the strength to argue him. What to do...what to give up...what she will miss the least...She leaned against the wall.
Sight? A dark world...then how could she fight?
Will? Never. She did not trust him.
Strength? That was frightening.
Time? What if it was her happiest moment to be?
Herself? What did that even mean?! Was it a kind of suicide?!
All those choices rang in her head and she finally sat down, shutting her eyes tightly. She had to end it now! Just get rid of him! Choose one already! Suddenly she remembered the current ongoing disasters...The war, Eric, Her eyes dropped on Joseph again. He was troubled because of his brother and his brother had to put him in troubles because of Karim...
"W-wait...I...I got it." She shakily said, afraid of her own words but she wanted to...make things slightly better because...
It was all her fault.
She brought back Karim for her own desires. Even Eric warned him, she even tried abusing Joseph when he was injured for the stupid circle...
All her fault.
This war, Eric, Joseph...
And here she was wishing for a stupid romance? She was nothing better than even the cruel minister. She was twisted in mind, She kept blaming others, blaming Eric. Oh how he kept telling her to stop!
Artemis did not deserve anything.
Muerte did not need a fool princess like her.
Joseph did not deserve to kiss a low demon like her.
None of the worlds wanted her.
"I...I...will give [b two]." She slowly stood, clenching her fists as still she kept looking away.
"Only if...it is not a deal...I am begging you." The once proud princess suddenly dropped on her knees and grabbed on his clothing in a humble manner. "Please...please if...if you are not going to let go of Eric, when you...wheb you are done with what you want, make him forget. Make him forget what he did and don't make him suffer. Please let Joseph be. Let the brothers live in peace...And...and I give you my heart...and myself. Take them whenever and however your like but please...I don't want them to suffer from my mistake." Tears dropped down on floor before she hold them.
There was a rip, a tear in her dress, and Valerie stared as his blade tore down through her sleeve after carelessly slicing a small cut into her cheek. She didn’t respond when he asked if she had anything to tell or give up and she turned at his touch, turning towards him. Whatever curse or power that was suppose to hold her down didn’t stop her from moving and she gripped the vampire’s arms as his lips touched her skin.
“I said you would get nothing from me come any harm.” She reminded in a quiet whisper, holding onto him with a relatively tight grip. “But I am willing to make a trade.” She bowed her head, leaning close to him but not letting his teeth near the side of her neck as she whispered. “My blood for your words, my [i life] for your hunger and [i satisfaction.]” She paused and slowly lifted her head, giving him the opportunity to bite her.
“I can assure you that your bite won’t kill me, I have plenty to share.” She leaned even closer to him as she said this and brushed her cheek against the scarred side of his face. This gesture was almost loving and she could feel his cool breath on her neck, his sharp teeth grazing over her skin.
“An answer will suffice.” The Queen whispered, waiting for him to act or respond.
Karim caught sight of the faint blush as Artemis looked away from him, considering before making her decision and pushing his wings away. He sighed, folding his wings away from her and stepping back, looking unamused again.
“[b Fine. What other suggestions do I have?]” He asked almost to himself be speaking to Artemis again. “[b Then how about your will? Your strength? Not the kind I took from Eric but… The other one. Hmm?]” He gave her a moment to think before giving her more options.
“[b Or maybe one of your senses, like your sight. One of the ways you experience this world and your own in. Or perhaps some of your time... A few months or maybe even a year? Or maybe even… Even yourself?]” He didn’t elaborate on this last suggestion, he just eyed her, giving Artemis another moment to think and respond.
Theodore did not seem to see her any different from his other victims but if anyone knew him enough, they could recognize that his movements were slow and careful around her. His eyes were set on her, not letting a move to slip. She knelt on her own will and after reminding them her immortality and then surprisingly suggested negotiation. The Duchess rolled her eyes. "This little old bitch talks too much. Let's just stab her for fun and rip off that face to reveal her rotten flesh!" She spat, hating any other beautiful ladies especially Light types. The twins were already whispering to each other and giggling quietly like Valerie had said something funny. Theodore took his time approaching Valerie from behind then stood, humming thoughtfully. "Civil." He repeated softly before his blade touched the side of her face, the cold metal caressing her skin. "You have learned well to talk like civillian through your endless years but it is pathetic you could not even stop a war. You could not even protect your borders from Dark. Hmmm...What could I possibly need from an immortal queen? Queen...does it make any difference for me? You are just another blood vessel and I do not care if you get to live after being drained or not. I can't even say if your immortality makes your blood any better..." The blade make a small wound on her cheek, drawing out a little blood. Theodore sniffed the air and smelt her blood.
"You still can talk on your knees. Is there anything you wish to tell? Wish to give up?" The blade slowly moved down to her collar and tore the fabric. "I doubt it. You have all the time to waste..." The blade tore through the dress halfway before pulled away his weapon. "But I have very little patience for a mere Light."
Slowly he knelt as the scent of blood invited his over. An arm wrapped around her bare shoulder as his cold lips, colder than snow touched her shoulder and moved to her vein.
Artemis was slowly reached for the knob when the massive wing blocked her and she gasped, backing away from the All Demon as she kept staring up at him. She stopped her steps as he suggested taking her feelings. Trapped in a corner, she stared at him in pure confusion. This was not a price she expected. Why did he need such a thing? Was it even possible to hand over a part of your soul? The little Ba'al looked away, thinking about it. No more despair, disappointment or sorrow. She would become a great leader without them. Could easily rule over Muerte like her dear mother. When was the last time feelings did any good? Even her love for her mother was troublesome...Slowly she rose up her head, revealing a convinced expression before suddenly she caught the sight of sleeping Joseph over the approaching wings. Her eyes widened slightly.
He had feelings. He showed them with no fear and they...shared a wonderful kiss. Did she have to forget it all? The feeling of his lips touching hers...A faint hint of blush appeared on her face as she slowly shook her head. "N-no. I n-need M-my heart more...than you. What is your...other suggestion?" She tried to push away the wings which were going to envelope her.
Valerie didn’t react to the whispers around her but she was pulled from her thoughts as she heard the branch snap and the Succubus land in front of her. The twisted voices of the twins or the rambling of the man who was still hidden didn’t distract her either as she stood her ground. The only thing that made her weary was the familiar feeling, a feeling of something she recognized, one of her feathers. Slowly she knelt, not letting the force or magic pull her down, but sinking to her knees at her own accord and she heard one more voice from someone approaching her from behind.
Glancing over her shoulder, she looked up to see what had just called her ‘A fool.’ He was tall, taller than she was and she could see his light brown eyes were narrowed, scorning and the side of his face was burned and scarred. His wavy red hair was tied back loosely and it just accentuated his harsh expression. She could see his fangs as he drew closer and keeping her calm, she looked away, turning to look dully straight as she spoke back to the Vampire.
“I suppose you’re here to kill me?” She inquired, keeping her tone soft with the harshening wind and he expression blank under their watching and glaring eyes. “I might as well tell you that no sacred weapon, spells or curses, from now or forgotten, can kill an Immortal…” She paused and turned her head again, waiting and listening to hear if the Vampire would stop walking or move around to face her. “At least… Nothing you have with you will complete that feat. But perhaps you want something else?” She then said. “Let me up and we can discuss this civilly.” It almost sounded like she was pleading, but she wasn’t afraid. Valerie didn’t know exactly what this mixed group wanted but she didn’t think it was to kill her.
That would just be too easy.
“Need I say, if you bring any harm then you will get nothing from me.” She added in a lower voice, waiting to see what the Vampire’s next move would be, since he seemed to be the leader of this little group.
Karim raised an eyebrow at Artemis’ hissing and he leaned back slightly, crossing his arms. “[b You think so?]” He asked coyly as she spat that he still owed her. “[b Hmm, interesting you say that since I’ve never broken any of my promises to you.]” He said, slowly noticing her inching her way towards the door. Shifting over to the end of the bed that was closest to the door, he suddenly opened one of his wings and blocked her way, standing up to step in front of her as he continued talking. “[b That seems like another conversation for another time, dear Artemis. But back to what I was speaking of, how about I give you a few suggestions.]” He offered, “[b For instance, your heart. I would gladly take that as payment for this deal.]” He watched as her eyes widened and he sighed, elaborating on what he meant.
“[b No. I do not want your actually heart. I don’t want to kill you. What I mean is that part of your soul, the sentimental part, with all of your emotions. Your heart.]” He grinned a little and began stepping towards her, both of his wings now opened and curling around like clawed hands reaching for her. “[b You give that to me and you will never feel pain and never suffer. You’ll never feel sorrow or regret, you won’t ever feel envy or jealousy, and you’ll never be disappointed...]”
That sounded like a good offer. Never having to worry, never having to suffer.
It really sounded good, too good to be true.
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