He barely dealt with all the pleasantries of visiting royalty, but this treaty would benefit his nation, so here he was, eating in the grand hall and making ridiculous small talk. "Ah, before you retire for your last night of stay Count Dracula, I have a parting gift you might enjoy." The King of Seaclya said.
"Oh?" The Count asked, trying to feign interest. The King raised his hand and gestured to the servants who left and came back with a dirty blond woman in chains. She wore a rich brown dress with a plunging neckline and white belt. Her wrists were shackled in front of her and was being led by a chain connected to her collar. She held her chin high and glared at everyone, instantly attracting the Count's attention.
"This is Ilmatar, she is...very unique. I believe a demonstration is in order." A knight stepped forward and unceremoniously plunged his sword through her heart. The count shot to his feet, shocked as he listened to the slave usher her last breath. Everyone in the hall however acted like this was an everyday occurrence.
"W-What?" But he froze as he heard the slave's heart once again start beating and she drew in a hurried breath, blinking her dark brown eyes open once more.
The King laughed. "Shocking, isn't it? No matter what we do to her, she never dies. Immortality. Isn't it fascinating? This, I offer you Count Dracula." The Count turned his own dark gaze on the King, who gestured to the slave. "She is yours Count." Dracula turned once more back toward the slave, who was ushered to her feet.
"I see. Take her back to my room." Chuckling, the King waved his hand for it to be done. As soon as he could politely depart, the Count retired to his quarters. He paused just behind the closed door. The slave was chained by her collar to one of the bedposts, she herself hugged her knees to her in the corner of the room. She didn't look at him. He heaved a sigh and slowly stepped toward the bed. He had noticed this before, but the scent of her blood...was something unlike anything he had ever encountered before. It wasn't that of human or vampire, it was something other. And for once in his life, he felt a craving far worse then even that for human blood. He sat on the bed with his back to her, closing his eyes as he fought against his urges. The only way he was able to stay in control was through experience. He had years of dealing and learning to control his thirst. "Come over to the bed." She didn't move. "I won't bite." He joked. Still no response. He sighed and went about getting ready for bed. He passed the slave one last look before going to sleep. He slept through the next day and awoke at night. The slave hadn't seemed to move at all. He sighed yet again and got dressed, often looking her way. She just sat there, arms around her knees, hugging them to her, head bowed. "Have you ever been to the Kingdom of Odivia?" He could barely believe he was trying to make small talk. She didn't react at all. He sighed, walking up to the post that had her chain. She didn't look up. He unwound it. "Come on, we're going now." She didn't move. He sighed. Then came over to her and knelt down. He undid the chain from her collar, still waiting for some sort of response. Nothing. He scooped her up into his arms, her eyes remaining downcast and her dangerous scent enveloping him. ~What a pain.~ They left by his carriage, the slave remaining as motionless as a doll. And the Count himself sighing quite a lot. That night at the inn they stopped at, he made some progress. She sat on the bed when he placed her there and took off her collar and wrist shackles. She sat there non-responsive as he moved around the room getting ready for bed himself, then laid down. After a moment, she flopped down as well. Late into the night, he heard the covers shift and light footsteps leading to the door...
She ran through the streets, lifting her skirts so they didn't get tangled around her legs as she took longer strides. This was the closest she had ever gotten to freedom, she could barely believe it. She dare not hope this would last however. It was bound to end with her back in captivity. But still...she had to try. She jumped, the breath leaving her as a shrill shriek echoed along the cobbled road. Her body went cold...but...she...just had to find out why someone would scream like that. What if it was another slave like her? Could she really just turn her back on them? After everything she'd gone through at the hands of others? With shaky steps, she inched her way into the dark alley that the scream had come from. She saw a buff bald man from behind holding a struggling blond woman. Her blood froze. Even though she only saw him from behind, she recognized him. There weren't many with shaved heads besides monks. It was Count Dracula of Odivia. Stealing her courage, the slave picked up a two-by-four leaning against the wall near some other garbage. She took silent steps up to them and as the Count turned toward her she swung at his head with all her might. With a grunt he fell sideways and did not stir. Ilmatar grabbed the wrists of the woman who was crying, blood streaming from two punctures on her neck. "Come on. You have to stand."
"Thank you, but we can't, not yet." She said, straightening. "We need to finish him off for good, or else."
"Forget about him, let's just go."
"No, it might surprise you to hear this...but this man is not human." Ilmatar froze. The phrase 'not human' usually applied to her. "He is an undying monster, a vampire. He will come back to life unless we pierce through his heart."
"So what! He's unconscious right now, let's just get away!" That's all she wanted to do! Get away! Escape! But everything was going wrong. She ran back into her owner and this girl was ruining her escape. The woman stumbled to her feet and went to a discarded palate, tearing off a broken piece that was sharp on one end, and came back. ~Am I really going to watch her kill him?~ Ilmatar warred with herself for a moment, then gritted her teeth and snatched the piece of wood out of the woman's hands. "No."
"You stupid human." Horns grew from the woman's forehead, the whites of her eyes faded to black and her eyeteeth elongated. "Protecting a vampire?" She grabbed Ilmatar and the slave screamed at what she was looking at.
A rough hand yanked Ilmatar away from the woman, slashing the demon with his sword, then turned and scooped Ilmatar over his shoulder. "You're coming with me." He said grimly.
"Waaaiiiiit!" The woman shrieked after them even after being struck by the Count's sword. The wail froze Ilmatar's blood and she shivered. "I'll kill you! I'll kill you! I will kill you and feast on your flesh!"
~Damn it.~ Ilmatar thought while the Count ran through the streets. ~Damn it, damn it, damn it.~
The Count marched into the inn, passing some of his entourage in the pub area. "Be on guard, there is a demon in town and she is likely to come after us." He turned to another of his men, "Take some others to guard you and ready the carriage, we are leaving as soon as we can."
"She's pissed at you Milord, isn't she?" Ilmatar was surprised one of the men dared to speak back to his master.
But the Count just sighed. "Yes yes, I know this is my fault, just be on guard and let's get the hell out of here."
"Yes Sire!" The men said in unison and disbanded. The Count carried Ilmatar back to his room and he sat her on the bed. She watched as he packed up then took her hand and she let him lead her back down to the waiting carriage outside.
"I-I'm sorry for hitting you." Ilmatar finally broke the silence in barely a whisper. Her voice fearful, completely different when she almost had her freedom and she was talking to the demon before.
"I understand." The Count said, his chin in his palm as he looked out at the night behind the windows.
Ilmatar fiddled with her dress and finally gathered up the courage to speak again. "And th-thank you for saving me."
"Think nothing of it." He muttered, still looking out the window. Ilmatar drifted in and out of sleep throughout the night, Dracula watching over her. It was toward evening of that next day that something happened. The count had been sleeping, but his dark eyes suddenly shot open and he grabbed Ilmatar and hugged her close as something smashed into the carriage, busting the door in and splintering the wood. Ilmatar heard the Count grunt and looked to see the demon pinning his head against the back of the carriage. The slave grabbed a piece of splintered wood and slammed it into the she-demon's side.465Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡXA11tWWgA9
"You...you..." The demon was so enraged she could barely speak. "Don't get in my way!" She turned her attention on the girl in the Count's arms, not paying attention to her surroundings. Dracula's soldiers had enough time to enter and pierce the demon with their swords. She shrieked like a banshee. The Count let go of Ilmatar, snatched the demon's wrist and drew her into the shadowy corner, baring her neck and biting down. Blood bubbled up her throat and she choked, steadily growing weaker until there was nothing left. Ilmatar watched, sitting where the Count had left her. His guards and servants were bustling about outside but she ignored them. By the time another carriage was brought, the sun was setting. They transferred to the new carriage and were on their way to the town it had come from. They settled into an inn and Ilmatar was surprised when, once again, she was not chained. She waited until the Count was asleep, then once again slipped out. She made it through town and all the way to the woods. A blur of reddish-orange leapt at her. She jumped when another form was beside her and grabbed the fox before it could sink its fangs into her. The Count bared his own fangs and growled. The fox lowered his ears and yipped. Satisfied, Dracula dropped him and the fox scurried away, his bushy tail disappearing into the darkness.465Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡSCXCQgnaOg
"Ilmatar." The Count sighed. "There is something I must tell you." He paused a second, turning toward her, then continued. "Your blood is much more intoxicating than anything else. It attracts us all. Vampires, demons, werewolves, everything. If you want to not die, you are going to have to stay with me."465Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡvjqkgQKgsB
"You're saying I have to give up my freedom."
"I'm saying you have to stay under my protection to live." He considered her all moment. "Either stay with me, or leave and become someone's meal." She looked at where the fox had disappeared, then back at him before bowing her head. She'd go with him. Right now she was trapped and could only choose him. But there had to be a way to live without his protection. She'd find it. Someday. And earn her freedom.ns 188.8.131.52da2