Three weeks had passed since the day of gathering in the mansion; Katie gradually got adjusted to the new environment. She was familiar with a few of the servants who were extremely kind to her while there were others who didn’t bother to even look at her. But that was not what she had to beware of – it was the ones who hid their hate behind their smiling faces.
Katie had visited her parents’ graves twice in those three weeks of time, spending all day there, doing nothing but stare at the graves until Elliot came to fetch her. Elliot and Sylvia had been busy along with Alexander due to which Katie spent most of her time either in her room or the horse shed or the kitchen of the mansion. It gave her comfort when she visited the graveyard, thinking they were there sleeping peacefully as she had seen them last time, without having the knowledge that one day, it would only be the trace of their bones left behind.
On one side was a young orphan who was blending in with her unknown fate while on the other side were the four regions of the Empire that seemed to be in an internal cold conflict as the Lord of the North had made his decision to step down from his title of Lord. The man had no direct heir to take up the title which had led to many men and women fighting for it.
The West region was under Lord Delcrov, the East region by Lord Rune, the North by Lord Herbert and lastly the only human Lord, Lord Norman who took over the south. To maintain peace between the four lands there existed the Council that upheld justice. Amongst the four well-known Empires, the human Lord named Norman was greedy by nature. He disregarded the vampires’ strength and if fate prevailed, he wanted to reign over the entire Empire. Though he was growing old and would one day turn into nothing but dust, he wanted to be the absolute ruler.
In the evening, after a few rounds to the nearest city, Alexander was in his room with a woman in his bed.
“You have a lot of energy today Lord,” the woman moaned as Alexander thrust his hips forcefully into hers. The woman in his bed was a maid who worked in the castle and it had been near to an hour since they started with the pleasurable deed.
He sank his teeth into her neck as he drank blood from the female vampire. It didn’t matter to him if it left a scar later as his teeth sank deeper into the flesh.
Being a descendant of a pureblood, he could drink blood from other vampires to fulfill his bloodlust.
For some reason the blood wasn’t enough to satisfy his needs nor was the maid as he tore the flesh out of the neck leading the woman to go limp and fall on the bed. The white sheets soon absorbed the bloody liquid around the girl’s neck.
Alexander looked at the lifeless body and ran his hand through his thick hair, sighing in the process. Moving away from the bed, he pulled out the black robe that was lying on the chair to cover his body. Lighting a cigarette he took a large puff from it, letting the smoke fill his lungs before he blew it out through his lips in the air as he sat next to the window.
He noticed the sun had almost set with only orange streaks in the sky.
With the years that had passed by, Alexander had grown to be one of the most powerful vampire Lords who the people had grown weary of. He had a calm demeanor that scared people more than the other rash and temperamental vampires as he had his own way of handling situations. It was the calm before the storm.
A knock was heard on the door. It opened to reveal Elliot who was holding a book that read ‘Bedtime stories’. His brows furrowed as he sniffed the air and looked at the bed with raised brows.
“My…You have already killed two women this week and one the previous week. You know we are not growing women like chicken in the farm,” Elliot said not fazed with the sight of a dead body next to him as he sat at the edge of the bed.
“Ask the maid to clean up before we are back from the Council,” Alexander ordered while he tapped the ash from the cigarette gently.
“Do you know what the Council is going to decide on tomorrow?” Elliot asked trailing his finger on the woman’s neck.
“How would I know,” Alexander said while gazing at the horizon.
“Aye, but don’t you know most of the things that are already happening or about to happen in the Empire?” his third-in-command questioned him and chuckled. “Knowing you, I believe you have already decided on what you want the outcome to be,” he said, making the vampire Lord smile.
“The Empire is like a game of chess,” Alexander said taking one last drag before he threw the bud out of the window, getting up and walking towards the closet, “where men and women fight for or against the leader. I already have my pawn in place for the game that is yet to begin,” he smirked.
“I see. I’ll be heading next door then,” Elliot said slapping the book with his free hand and began walking but stopped midway to turn back, “Don’t you think you should change Katie’s room with the activities that goes on here?” he asked jerking his head towards the bed.
“The room is soundproof except for me. Why? Do you want her next to your room?” Alexander asked narrowing his eyes to which Elliot raised his hand in surrender.
“Was just asking. After all, she is an innocent child,” Elliot said carefully before leaving the room.
The following morning, Alexander and Elliot had left the castle in the coach with a few other men to accompany them to the Council. It was a two-day journey as it was situated in the midst of the forests atop the hills. The path began to be covered with mist as they approached the Council court. The building was old and made of pure marble. There were tall pillars in the front side of the entrance, ceilings as high as the sky. The people who ran the council were a mixture of humans and vampires, to maintain the necessary balance and impartiality. As they stepped into the building, they crossed the initial base where the paperwork of the empire was done by people sitting at their desks.
Reaching the court, they entered the Grand Hall where the human Lord Norman was already present, trying to get a favor from Matthias who was one of the Council members.
“Good day, Lord Alexander. I hope your journey was smooth,” Matthias greeted him politely once the Valerian Lord came into his view, ignoring whatever the human Lord was speaking just a few seconds ago.
“It was indeed, as smooth as the day is going to proceed today,” Alexander replied taking in his surroundings, “Lord Norman, fancy seeing you here and here I thought last time was the last I would see of you,” he chuckled.
Hearing this, the human Lord’s eyes flared with anger but he covered it with a smile, “Hello to you too Lord Alexander. What can I say, the world is round that we have to meet like this,” he replied, “Looks like the Council will be starting soon.”
It was easy to detect the hate he portrayed towards the vampire. Be it strength, immortality or looks, Alexander excelled in everything.
“Lord Alexander is it always necessary to agitate him right before the Council starts?” asked Matthias looking at Lord Norman walk away from them.
“I find it entertaining to see a man fired up and speak out what’s in his mind. Especially a man like him,” Alexander said.
“You find it entertaining but we councilors, on the contrary, are the ones who have to bear him,” the man said with a tired expression. He saw the Head of the Council make his way to the high seat, “I think it’s time to take our seats.”
The Head of the Council sat on the high chair while five of the Council members sat at a lower level to the high chair. Other Council members and the Lords took their seat in front of them, facing the Head Council.
“Good day to everyone present here in the Council court,” Reuben, the head of the Council greeted everyone, “I believe everyone we require to go ahead with today’s meeting is present here with us. As we all have come to know Lord Herbert has stepped down from the title of Lord after a hundred of years of rule over the North region.”
“It has been customary for the heir to take the title but as Lord Herbert has no direct heir the position is open for others to nominate the right candidate as they see fit. It is also kept open for well-known people who have shown great courage. Does anyone object to this trial?” he asked clearly and loud enough for everyone to hear.
“I do,” came the response from the center of the seating area in front of the Head Council.