: The Celestial Mark
Of course, Quinn had somewhat explained to Peter what he was planning to do to him. He wasn’t going to leave the latter blind about the situation, but of course, a lot of it went over Peter’s head. Even when he wasn’t a Wight, the latter wasn’t exactly the smartest person in the room.
However, even though Peter didn’t quite understand what was going on, he already had his answer.
“Of course, Quinn, you know that I don’t understand much, but honestly, I still haven’t forgiven myself for what I did to you; I almost killed you, and even after that, you saved me. In my eyes, my life is yours.” Peter answered.
One thing was clear: if Quinn were to die, then all those deemed as dedicated followers would die as well. Hearing Peter’s words made Quinn a little at ease, but he was still worried.
The first step of marking was to decide what exactly his marking would be. He had no clue and was up for choosing almost anything, but when thinking about specific objects, a system screen appeared in front of him.
It was a mesh of grid-like material in front of his eyes, and as Quinn thought about something, a falt surface 2D logo that only he could see would appear in front of him.
Of course, when thinking of vampires, a bat-shaped logo had come to Quinn’s mind. Ever since he had become one and during the time of his research, he noticed that many fantasy books seemed to link bats with vampires.
At the same time, the shape on the screen in front of him changed to that of a bat. However, looking at this made him immediately think of the other markings that he had seen on the weapons, among other things. The last thing he wanted to do was confuse his followers with others.
In the end, no matter how hard Quinn tried, he couldn’t think of anything unique.
‘I have a suggestion for you.’ A voice that had been silent for a long time in his head had finally popped up. It was his ancestor Ray, the great dragon of his time. ‘With my powers, I was also able to place a marking on others. At the time, we had created a group, naming it the Red Wings. The emblem was of a red-blooded dragon head.’
As soon as Ray said those words, an image appeared in Quinn’s head.
‘How…did you get it exactly right the first time?’ There was a slight surprise in Ray’s voice this time. The two did share some blood though, but it still felt strange.
‘Is this what it looked like? I mean, when you spoke, it just kind of came into my head. Why don’t we make a few changes in it and modify it a bit?’
When thinking it through, Quinn had come up with one idea. Behind the dragon head itself, Quinn had created a black shield, and then he added chains in a cross lined fashion around the shield. This was his little remembrance towards Arthur.
When using his shadow powers at his strongest, Arthur had condescended it down into a shield. At the same time, he was part of the Punishers, the ones who had the duty to keep order among the vampires.
Quinn knew he could no longer hold his previous standings with what he was currently becoming. Position such as Cursed leader or the vampire king – No, being a celestial meant he was above that.
Maybe, Arthur was a Judge the vampires needed, and perhaps Quinn could become that judge the world needed, by becoming the Punisher for not just the vampires but everyone in the world.
‘What the hell am I thinking?’ Quinn thought to himself as he shook his head and hit the confirm button on the screen. The next second, Peter suddenly felt a burning sensation on his body.
They heard a sizzling sound as if the mark was being branded on his skin using a hot iron. Burning a part of his shirt away, the marking could now be seen right there in the centre of his chest.
“Wow, it looks exactly like it did on the system,” Quinn said, amazed as he almost grazed his finger across it, slowly feeling the indented bits on his skin. GEtting closer Quinn’s face was quite close to his chest.
“I’m…sorry,” Jessica said, her face red, as she was standing by the cave exit and quickly turned away to head back inside.
That’s when Quinn noticed that the scene might have seemed quite odd from the outside since Peter had ripped his shirt open, and Quinn had not only placed his finger against his chest but was closely staring at the former’s chest. Quickly taking his hand back, Quinn cleared his throat.
Checking out the system, he could now see a dedicated tab for his dedicated followers, and there was another pleasant surprise.
[1 dedicated follower has been gained]
[For each dedicated follower, you will gain 1 Celestial energy point. As long as the dedicated follower is alive, the Celestial point will remain.]
Now Quinn’s total has gone up to 14. Gaining followers was easier than gaining dedicated followers, and due to the considerable risk, Quinn thought there was finally something worth the reward amount.
‘Wait, this means that whoever gave the celestial points to Tikker definitely knows that he’s no longer alive. I wonder what they will do then?’
At the same time, it was time for Quinn to decide something else. He could hand over and take points from dedicated followers as he wished with the help of the system. Since he was still plenty strong, with 14 points, Quinn gave four over to Peter.
The marking on his chest glowed when he did this.
“Do you feel stronger at all, or maybe like you can turn into a monster or something?” Quinn asked.
“I can feel an energy inside me, maybe my body is a little stronger, but I don’t really know how to use it,” Peter replied.
Just then, Jessica came out again and cleared her throat.
“If you two are done or not too busy, then we should head inside. There has been an update.”
For now, just Peter having the celestial energy would have to be enough. Perhaps through combat, he would figure out how to use it.
Heading inside the cave, they saw that all the other vampires had a pulled expression and were standing with their arms crossed, no longer relaxed like before. The room was a little tense making Quinn wonder if they had found out about what he had done.
Either way, it wasn’t like they could do anything about it themselves.
“I finally have news,” Hannah replied. “It looks like Tikker, and the other red vampires won’t be joining us after all. The higher-ups have instructed us to go ahead and start the mission on our own.”
The others had already heard this, and Quinn realised he needed to make a surprised expression, even though he knew something like this was bound to happen.
But there was one thing that he did find interesting: they hadn’t informed Hannah or the group of what exactly happened with Tikker, and instead of telling them to wait for reinforcements, they had told this group to continue with the task.
When Hannah tapped the ring on her finger, a red portal opened up in front of her. It was the new type of storage room created with more powerful crystals.
“Everyone place your masks or any item that will indicate that you are part of the Red vampires in here,” Hannah ordered.
One by one, they all followed Hannah’s order. Even Quinn placed the mask he had before inside the storage room.
“Now, remember we are going to join the Vampire Corps. This task is not small, and there is no time frame. Our mission is to try and gather as much information about the Red heart as possible. If not, at least try to obtain a high rank in the Vampire Corps. This way, we can be helpful to the cause. There are other members of the Red vampires who are already part of the Vampire Corps.
“If you recognise or encounter them, you are to do nothing and pretend you know nothing about them. They are strangers to you, just like any other member of the Vampire Corps. Any matters to do with the Red Vampires, we shall communicate through the base.”
She looked over to Quinn and his group.
“Sorry, although we are bringing you along, you will only be a partial member since you won’t be able to contact the base. Once this mission is over, though, I promise we will welcome you into the Red vampires.”
Nodding his head, Quinn gave a slight smile in response.
It was time for them to head to the Vampire Corps Unit, where most of the string ability users were present, giving Quinn a good idea of just who he might meet or learn about in the base.
‘One of my first, and most loyal friends…My blood brother.’
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