Looking down towards his chest, Vincent saw the glow through his clothing. Just seconds ago, it hadn’t been like that before, so he could only assume that the change was happening because of one reason.
Seeing this, Vincent lowered Quinn, whom he held in his arms, and the glow around his chest started to fade. But then, when he lifted Quinn again, it began to get brighter. Vincent continued to do this a few times, moving him up, then down, up and down again.
“Interesting…” Vincent commented.
“Can you tell us what the hell you are doing?” Jake replied.
“It’s the Nest Crystal,” Logan answered, his eyes wide. “Quinn had turned into this form because he absorbed the Nest crystal. Since the Nest Crystal in your body is reacting to it, Vincent, it must mean there’s a chance Quinn…is alive.”
Hearing these words was the hope that everyone needed to hear. The hope that they were all looking for.
“But he’s dead as well.” Logan placed his finger on his chin, not entirely understanding the situation Quinn’s body was in at the moment and making everyone drop their happy expression in an instant.
“Is he alive or dead? Which one is it?” Layla asked.
“Whatever the case, it seems to be drawing energy from the Crystal. Perhaps if Quinn can use this energy, then he can live.” Vincent said. “We don’t know what state Quinn’s body is actually in. If we wait any longer, there is a good chance we might miss an opportunity. If allowing him to absorb a nest crystal will bring him back, then so be it. I have already lived a long life.”
The others seemed saddened to hear this from Vincent. They hadn’t known him long, but sacrificing one life for another just seemed strange, and most of all, they knew it wasn’t what Quinn would have wanted.
“Calm down, Romeo. There is no need for anyone to sacrifice their lives.” Logan explained. “Our best bet is to head to the settlement’s lab to work out how the Crystal is working on Quinn in the first place. Remember, there is another Nest crystal in the vampire settlement.”
“The clones,” Jin muttered as he had figured out what Logan was talking about.
“Correct, the Nest crystal used to create the human clones. Also, the relationship between the vampires and the humans are good, and I am sure many in the Cursed faction will be willing to help out the vampires for the time being. Also, the vampires have ample blood storage anyway, so that should be enough for a while.
“There are other nest crystals out there we can use. We don’t need to sacrifice anyone for Quinn.”
The smile had returned to the group’s faces, and each of them started to head towards the settlement. That was until they saw several small black ships falling from the sky. Some of those in the group had seen them from before.
They were Dalki combat ships, and they weren’t just the small pods the Dalki would usually use. Instead, these were scouts or battleships. Each of them crashed into the ground, hardly slowing down, and then coming out from them were the Dalki themselves.
The first one they could see was a two spike Dalki.
“Who are these? I thought we destroyed all of their motherships?” Vorden frowned.
“Indeed, we did destroy all of them,” Sam replied. “But there are still a few stray Dalki’s out there. The only thing I can guess is they saw the broadcast, and they knew that Graham was fighting on here. Maybe, seeing what state we were in, they’ve come to try to finish us off.”
Seeing the Dalki, there the group readied themselves for battle. For some reason, the two spiked and three spiked Dalki just didn’t seem as threatening compared to what they had just been through. However, as each of them tried to gather some of their strength, they realised something.
Their bodies were extremely weak and tired. They had rested during Quinn’s fight, but they only realised now that being so close to the battle, due to the pressure of everything going on from Quinn and Graham’s battle, just being next to them had drained and tired them out.
“I don’t know about the rest of you…but this fight might be harder than we thought,” Vorden said.
Just before the Dalki could reach them, though, they saw a young blond female’s figure running fast through and swinging her giant sword. It erupted into flames, having slashed the first Dalki in half.
“Erin! She’s still alive.” Layla was thrilled, and it looked like Erin, unlike the rest of them, had plenty of energy left to spare.
“All of you head inside the settlement!” Erin shouted. “Do whatever it is you want. Quickly.”
Her hands were tense, and others perhaps would have thought it was because she was worried about the Dalki in front of her, but instead, it was something else.
The group used this chance to run forward together, but they saw that more Dalki ships were landing. A few of them were worried that Erin might not be strong enough to deal with the incoming Dalki on her own.
They even paused as they had entered the settlement and turned around.
“We will stay and fight,” Jin said as he stood with the rest of the vampire leaders. “This is our home to protect, and that is our king. Besides, we have help on the way.”
Looking up, they could see multiple ships returning. It was the rest of the vampires, including the royal knight Muka. They were returning not just to help but because they were coming home. Seeing this, they were more confident.
“Fex, you should go with them.” Silver said. “He’s your blood brother, right, and maybe they can do something, but if they can’t, it will be your last chance to say goodbye.”
Fex wanted to stay with his sister, but she was right, this was a crucial moment for him, and he decided to follow the rest inside. Before they headed to the lab, Layla glanced in the distance at Erin for a second.
‘I feel like you should be with us as well, but I can tell… you’re not coming with us for a reason, right, Erin? Is what they said… is true…that you can’t control it anymore?’ She thought but quickly turned around, realising she needed to focus on someone more important right now.
The group followed Vincent and Logan and eventually found themselves in the special lab – the lab where all the clones were made. The process was automatic, so even now, they could produce clones, and for most of them, it was tempting to consume some blood because of their current weakened state.
Thankfully, Vincent said they did have containers in the lab that they could eat from. At the same time, the others were recharging themselves, Logan and Vincent got to work. They placed Quinn on a special bed. There was an experimental room at the back of the main factory of the lab.
Perhaps to see if they could improve the process or something else. Still, it was perfect for them. The computer monitored Quinn’s state, and the two were gathering information. And finally, they took out the Crystal from the factory and ran a few tests on Quinn to test his condition.
The others could only wait patiently for the news while the fighting continued outside, but it didn’t take long for them to get an answer.
“Guys…right now, Quinn’s body is incredibly weak.” Vincent started to explain out loud for the others to hear. “The signs of his current state are similar to when vampires go into an eternal slumber. It’s almost as if his body had decided to put him in one forcefully. Usually, a drop of blood from the same family line, even those that he had created, would work, but in this case, it doesn’t seem to be the case.”
“As for the Nest Crystal.” Logan took over. “The good news is the energy is being transferred over to Quinn when it’s next to him. It seems to have a good effect on bringing his body back to the way it was. Perhaps this might even wake him up, but there are two things we really don’t know.
“One of them is how much of the nest crystal is needed for him to absorb before he can wake up. Would absorbing the whole of the nest crystal even wake him up? On top of that, perhaps his body still needs rest to recover from what has happened.
“And the second is the rate of absorption. Due to Quinn’s weak body, the Crystal is absorbing at a prolonged rate. For now, Vincent has suggested that we put him in one of the Tenth family’s chambers, along with the Crystal, allowing his body to absorb it.”
The others were silent for a while as they processed what the two of them were telling them. After all, Vincent and Logan were the most intelligent people the group knew.
“So…are you saying Quinn will have to go into eternal slumber in those chambers…and with the nest crystal. When you say that the absorption rate is slow…how long…how long will it take for him to absorb the whole Crystal at the rate he is absorbing it now?” Sam asked.
“It’s hard to say,” Logan replied. “The absorption rate could improve as Quinn’s condition improves. His body might start to recover even quicker; there are too many variables we can’t account for, but if he is the way he is right now…ten years…yeah, it will take at least ten years to absorb the whole Crystal.”