The office where Edvard was ‘self-practising’ was under repairs, so he was relaxing in his room. While doing so, he looked in his wardrobe for a few new shirts. When he opened it though, he found the whole wardrobe filled with dark leather-type clothing, something that really wasn’t to Edvard’s style.
He noticed a bright orange shirt in a corner, which he eventually decided to wear instead and switched out his clothes.
‘The vampires should really learn a thing or two about fashion from the humans. Why are all my clothes so dark?’ After getting his clothes on, Edvard looked at his hands. They had mostly healed up but weren’t looking as well as they were this morning.
He speculated after an hour or so, the wounds would heal, and his hands would be back to normal.
‘We, the Originals, have always had a faster self-healing rate than regular vampires. With that strange substance, the green liquid blood, the healing ability got even better, yet my hands haven’t yet healed from the encounter against the red aura.’
Ever since the strange fight with the intruder, Edvard couldn’t get the man known as Quinn out of his head.
‘I guess if he was a student of Arthur’s, it would make sense for him to stay quiet. Besides, I think there would be quite a few that wouldn’t be happy that there is a Punisher around in these parts, but still, why would he claim that he was a King of all things?’
Closing the bedroom door behind him, it was time for him to leave. Walking toward the exit of the castle, he noticed a beautiful lady waiting for him, Muka, and along with her was an old man with a goatee beard who went by the name Milner.
Muka nodded at Edvard before placing on her large helmet, covering her entire face, as they left the castle.
“You have such a pretty face. It is a shame that you have to hide it.” Edvard said. After exiting the castle, rather than walking toward the city, they took a path that led them behind the castle.
“It’s better this way. It isn’t right for me to attract so much attention. You are our leader who is trying so hard to stand out.” Muka replied.
The comment was most certainly about his bright orange shirt, and sunglasses, but Edvard didn’t care and just laughed it off.
“You know, I think it’s worth just being woken up every 1000 years or so to see how the world has changed. You know these shirts were pretty popular back in my time.” He chuckled while replying.
Milner also smiled, albeit on because of the same reason because he thought it was impossible.
“Even during my time, no one would wear such atrocious things.”
While talking and teasing each other, they finally arrived at their destination. Behind the castles, there was a very large joint garden. It was filled with all sorts of different plants, hedges and more and was beautifully laid out.
When building the settlement, they felt it was too beautiful to destroy. Whoever had created such a thing must have put a lot of effort into it, and the strangest thing was how the plantation here was still robust despite the vampires using a special device to block out the sun.
Not only did the vampires decide to keep it, but they had decided to make it their meeting place as well. The garden’s centre was paved with stone and surrounded by large hedges.
On the stone was a round table with ten seats, and the other vampires had already arrived, each with two other associates.
“You’re late, Edvard.” One of the youngest-looking men at the table said. Unlike the others, who were dressed mostly in black, he stood out due to his thin white clothing. The man also had a well-defined jawline and swept-back hair but let a single strand drop down on his forehead.
“Did you not hear the news about the state of my castle, Hikel?” Edvard replied back as he casually pulled a seat and sat down.
Hikel Talon was the current leader of the Fourth family.
“What happened? Was there an attack?” One of the others asked.
“No attack.” Edvard quickly said and moved his fingers, checking if they were okay, but they still were slightly damaged, moving slower than they would have. “I was testing the new blood that that person gave to us.
“I wanted to see how well it truly improved our abilities,” Edvard answered. “The liquid is strong. I think everyone would do well to keep it on them if need be for emergencies.”
The others started to laugh at the table as they heard us.
“Do you think of us as weak? We are the Originals. The ones that created this whole race in the first place. And don’t forget that vampires exist even today, which is a sign of our power in itself.”
“But we are not all here are we?” Edvard replied. “Where are the other Originals? I’m sure you heard the tales that have been told to us by our ancestors. Of the constant infighting, Laxmus being raised back and the troubles they caused.
“The fact that not every Original on this table proves something, that even we can die.”
There was silence from everyone at the moment until one eventually spoke up.
“I still think our current state is at its strongest. Unlike before, the Originals are more united. On top of that, the past kings, leaders, and the strongest vampires who ruled during our entire time are awake.”
“That person showed us the threat though,” Hikel said. “We all saw what they could do. I don’t think that man was trying to trick us when he gave us this blood. I believe he wishes to see the vampires grow stronger than ever.”
Hearing this, Edvard had a thought, the person he faced was certainly a vampire, and it didn’t look like he had even attempted to use all of his power. If there was a vampire like them on their side, he doubted they needed anything to worry about.
Exiting the castle, Quinn had taken Minny out of the shadow and grabbed his hand as they walked around the settlement. It was safe to say that he was worried. He had caused a commotion and showed his powers, and he was pretty sure that the leader had seen his face.
‘Now there’s going to be a manhunt for me all over the settlement. If I’m with Minny though, no one will suspect a thing, right? I hope I didn’t hurt him too much, either. Some of these vampire leaders can be pretty unforgiving.’ Quinn thought.
However, the strange thing was there was no panic. The guards didn’t seem to be on high alert, and there was no search team as such. And as he walked around, he could hear rumours of how the Ninth family leader was just practising a new set of skills in his room when there was an accident.
The news spread far and wide, and many people were talking about it.
‘Is this just what has been spread around to the public now? There isn’t one thing about a suspected attacker. Which must mean that the Edvard guy hasn’t told anyone about it, but why…?’
It wasn’t very clear, but for now, Quinn could still walk around most of the settlement with his face covered. He thought it would be easier this way to spot Layla or for her to spot him if they were to run into each other, but what would Quinn do now?
“Dad…can we go back to the cave,” Minny asked. “I’m just worried if mother goes there looking for Minny, she will get worried, or blame Minny for leaving. Shouldn’t we have left her a note or something?”
Quinn thought about it for a while, and since there was nothing he could do now but actively search for Layla, he thought it wasn’t such a bad idea. So the two of them started to walk toward the main exit of the settlement, and when they did, before reaching the exit, something that had never happened to Quinn before occurred.
A stroke of luck, good fortune? Maybe after all his troubles, for once, the world wished to reward him because someone was leaving the settlement at the same time, and this person was very familiar to him.
“Layla!” Quinn immediately called out.