"Ah, what is this?!" Foce carefully Jessie's hand and stared at the pink skin with a very red mark on the half of her right hand containing the hypothenar, where the vampire's thenar had been when they held hands, falling down the tower. She looked at her own hands and furrowed her brow, "Mine aren't like that, though...not even a little sore."
"I'm fine, I'll just swing left handed for a while from now on. I think that poison did start making your collarbone and shoulders turn pink, but drinking my blood must've healed you." she flinched a little as she started to close her hand around Foce's and growled as she wrapped her other hand grasped her wrist, "Arg! C'mon hand...eh?!" Jessie jumped a little at first, surprised, but leaned forward as the vampire lord cried on her shoulder, holding her tightly. She rested her injured palm's better half--the half under her forefinger and the thenar muscle--on the vampire's back, unable to give a soothing rub like the other hand, "Foce, it's alright now..."
"Is it? You could've died...I suddenly remembered something and...I don't know why, but it distracted me, i-it was..." she took a deep breath and took a moment to glance at the two swells in Jessie's shoulder where her teeth had been, there were pink marks where the poison must've dripped off her face. She laid her tear-stained cheek on the hero's shoulder and stared at the wall across the room, and squeezed her eyes shut as she felt the swollen bite fang wounds under her chin. For soe reason she couldn't bring herself to say it, even though it had just been one thing, so said something else, "It was...disorienting...like stepping out of the void and finding you there was...but it was so much more terrifying than exciting, and less like waking up, and more like stumbling into a nightmare...!"
"I'm sorry to hear that...sooner or later you'll remember why it made you feel that way...I promise to be there for you, then, too, okay?" Jessie smiled as Foce nodded, held her tighter. The vampire let out a long yawn that was interrupted by a hiccup, "I think you should rest now, Foce, you've had a pretty rough day. We have a spare room you can live in. Follow me."
The hero sluggishly rolled out of bed, careful not to fall and make herself look completely helpless, though she was a bit dizzy. She stumbled to the door and led Foce down the hallway, to the only marked door, the words "Spare Room" were written on a piece of blank paper, the first word set over a deeply crossed out word, while "Spare" itself was simply crossed out, "Guest" written over it, "Used to be the storage room. Uh, I scribbled it out pretty good, I was the definition of overkill back then. It's dark, for now, but I can look around for some candles."
"This is fine, thanks." Foce turned away from the room and sighed, "You should get some rest, too. I'll walk you back in case you fall."
Jessie's lips pulled into a firm line, but she chuckled and relented, "Well, I guess that's okay, but I don't plan on falling...but guess I don't want to be alone if that's added to the list of unexpected happenings."
"Is it a short list?" Foce gave her a curious smile, apparently having gotten away from the dreariness that had previously taken hold on her.
"Nope...and it's just gonna get longer, there's bad surprises, like the elemental priestesses suddenly falling into the abyss and the sage turning out to be our enemy, not to mention he's been lying to us all this time, and then there's good ones, like finding you."
She nodded slowly, unable to help the smile that formed as Jessie remarked on their meeting, and followed her back quietly as they to the hero's room. She felt strangely calm after all that'd transpired in the day, though she was concerned about what happened next, "So, what happens next?"
"We wait until my brother senses something that'll lead us to the priestesses." Jessie sighed, glancing at her new friend.
"It's my fault they're in the demon realm...if it hadn't been for the demons trying to revive me..." Foce stared at the floor when Jessie turned to her, "Who knows...maybe I am evil, maybe I made myself forget so that when I was free, I could trick you, people like you...maybe Vindicatus was right."
"I don't believe that." Jessie huffed, pushing the door to her room open, "I refuse to believe it, especially when you're so concerned that might be the case."
Foce smiled and looked up at Jessie, "I guess this is where I leave you to your rest."
"Yeah, still, it's just the late afternoon, feels weird to be crawling into bed at this time, at my age." Jessie was already bored, pretty sure she'd stare at the ceiling until dinner, "Anyway, I'm gonna try to sleep now."
"Okay, good luck." Foce smiled, turning slowly as the hero stepped inside her room.
"Thanks, I'll need it." she replied cheerfully.
Foce nodded and waited with her hands behind her back until the door was closed, then headed to the kitchen.
She wasn't sure if it was scent, but she knew that the others had gathered inside the kitchen.
"So, you didn't find anything outside?" Jacob groaned, probably rubbing his forehead, "Back to the demon realm for us this!"
"Well, I have more information on...her now." Ray let out a short sigh and sat down or adjusted his chair, Foce wasn't close enough to the room to see very well, but she could recognize their voices, and was pretty sure she could be their conversation subject, so kept her distance. Sarah spoke next.
"You just went and...what kind of information?" she started out irately, but it was as though she saw something that made her doubt herself.
Ray's voice dropped to a low tone that she had to step closer to hear, "I've been thinking on it, and I don't believe she's a vampire, at least, not in the traditional sense...but then, perhaps it was just forgotten that they have wings, or the effects of garlic on them was exaggerated."
"That's a lotta perhaps, Ray." Juliet sighed, and after a moment of hesitation, she spoke again, "But your point is undeniable...I suppose you've already figured out the truth?"
"Wings suggests harpy, but succubus could work, though I'd assume the wings to be more leathery." Ray's thoughtful hum killed the silence before it began, and when he had finished thinking, he continued, "I haven't heard of either bearing sharp fangs, maybe she's something else entirely, an ego spawned from the hate of the up until now entombed vampire lord."
"So, either a violent killer or a seductive demon...peachy." Jacob snorted, his chair creaking as he leaned back.
Yes," Ray's chair scraped against the floor, and Foce slowly backed away, "but so far she hasn't done anything wrong, let's just remember what her elemental affinities apparently are: Dark, wind, and perhaps earth...the underworld did quake as she stepped away, and crumbled as though it replied to her awakening."
"Either way, silver will be quite an advantage against her, she's dark after all, we're fine as long as we keep our wits about us. Oh, we should have us join our party properly, too, so we can figure out what her stats are." Jacob's words made Foce feel chilly, but she knew that he was right, she was dangerous and needed an eye kept on, apparently nothing good came from demons or others strong with the power of darkness, which explained her being sealed.
"I was thinking about asking her later...feels odd to ask now, knowing that we have to spy on her. I suppose there's one more thing to worry about, why did she get sick?"
"I haven't quite figured that out, yet." Ray replied, when he let out an enlightened gasp, "Perhaps she's a powerful creature of darkness, one who's body well reacts to anything that could harm her...that explains the teeth, she may have trained herself to react in ways that would keep her alive, and hide who she really is!"
"That's one idea, but I had a different idea: Foce is a demon, dark creature, whatever, maybe she's got garlic allergies, doesn't matter; what does matter is that the garlic didn't kill her, that could be because she's out of touch with her inner vampire, it's so locked up inside her, buried in the depths of her heart where not even she can find it, and what happens when a mage of one affinity ceases the use of that element? The Ratio of Elemental Opposition tells us that a theoretical earth mage won't easily survive lightning mage's attack, they'll both probably survive the same number of hits at the same level.496Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡqc7vP7twkz
"So...Foce is of darkness, but the light powers of a full bulb of garlic isn't enough to kill her, because there's not enough darkness for it to react with and combust. The power of a mage is in the mind, but a vampire's darkness is in the heart." Sarah's conclusion was the last bit Foce stood around to hear, she immediately backed up down the hall, keeping an eye behind her just in case someone saw her.
Foce reached the door to her room before anyone left the kitchen, she was very relieved as she grabbed the doorknob and pushed it open, then loudly pulled it closed again, and turned to see Ray leaving the kitchen. He noticed her and gave a small nod before continuing to his study.
She continued to the kitchen, Jacob had been going that way, and quietly stepped around her, "Excuse my sudden departure, but I have an airship to pilot."
The vampire girl merely grunted to let him know she heard, and glanced in turn at the other three in the room with her, "Is there any food I could have here?"
Juliet nodded and grabbed a bowl and spoon, "Romeo and I made some soup, figured we should make something easy for Jessie to eat quickly."
"You guys really look out for each other, huh?" Foce blurted, realizing she may have verbally touched a sore spot, but she kept her game face as best she could, it was probably best if she spoke as though none of her words could harm them. She just sat silently and waited for her meal to be brought to her.
Sarah smiled sadly as she set the bowl of hot soup down, "We try to do what we can." there was so much more Sarah wanted to say but couldn't, she wanted to tell her the mistakes they could make, the fears they have, even if it was a little thing, she felt a great strain from discussing Foce behind her back, and was sure the others weren't taking it too well, either.
The vampire lord nodded emphatically, "That's all any of us can do, I guess..."
"Umm...it's not my place to ask, but are you...referring to a specific incident?" Sarah inquired, worried Foce was subtly telling her that she heard everything, and was trying not to resent them for it.
The purple eye girl shrugged, her white locks bouncing with the movement, "I keep wondering...if I locked myself up, why? What would convince me to do such a thing...and I keep thinking and wondering, it just doesn't make sense, unless...unless you people are different from the ones I hid myself from all those centuries ago?" she forcefully brushed her hypothenar over her eyes, her other hand was balled into a fist and pressed into the table, "I feel like there's so much...so much I need to know, but once I find out...I know it'll hurt...I accept it...but the anticipation is killing me!"
Sarah stepped back when the vampire girl slammed her fist into the table, "If you want, I'll get my dark knight gear ready and we can spar? These two lovebirds probably prefer working on dinner alone anyways."
"Are you sure? I don't know how strong or weak I am..." Foce glanced down at her hand and Sarah gave her a reassuring pat on the back.
"It's fine, if you knock my hp to zero in one hit, I'll be critical, but it's not like it'll kill me as long as you don't go in for a second swing...guess it'd help if you synchronized with our party stone first, though, get a better sense of how we compare to each other." she started to leave the room, but turned when she had entered the hall, "Come with me, you need to be the one to create your Synchronicity Crystal."496Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ0wnyskqqYu
Foce nodded slowly and followed Sarah to the study.496Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ2oCfMgPmT7