Updated: Aug 30, 2021
October 30, 20XX
Soundless lightning illuminated the eerily intricate gothic architecture of mansion Redon. The massive dark fields grew somber, with an encroaching fog flowing from the woods surrounding the estate. Silence prevailed in the mansion. No bone-crunching screams were ricocheting through the grounds from slaves slowly losing their spirits. Instead, their spirits gradually renewed. Servants, who had been scurrying through the mansion completing household tasks, were now retired.
All stood still in the luxurious bathroom. The room echoed with splashes as the stone tub overflowed with water and spilled to the white marble floor. The servants and slaves ignored their wet feet and sternly stared at the opulent toilet that unlocked their freedom.
Whispers of death and sudden doom sputtered through the crowd ending their bizarre silence with the rise of hope.
“The toilet must weep in joy as we do.” Esmeralda, an old sentimental maid, said.
“No, it weeps in pain for the royal pain.” A servant laughed, causing some to laugh along.
With his fading relief burdened by fear of a coming retaliation, a stout old man moved to the front of the crowd. He kept his hands in his pockets as he caught the attention of everyone.
“Whatever the reason, everyone must gather their belongings. We must leave before an immortal discovers this…sight could be the death of all of us.” Earl, chief of the housing servants and husband to Esmeralda, commanded.
The mention of potential danger caused a sudden uproar among the crowd.
“Where will we go?” A plump kitchen servant asked, clutching her apron.
“The immortals will surely demand blood for such a crime even if he is merely a vampire.” A muscular field slave yelled.
“It’s against the Immortal Creed, laws that we are blood bond to.” A scared servant girl wailed, falling to her knees tugging on her hair. A slave girl attempted to help compose her.
Esmeralda scurried to her husband’s side, wringing her hands in worry. “What will happen to us, Earl? We will never be safe from this.” Esmeralda said, clutching the pressed suit of her husband’s clothes, the status mark of his servitude.
“We will be,” Earl calmly said, patting his wife’s hand, but the look on his face read that he didn’t believe himself.
“How do you know that? Without a servant or slave to have witnessed his death on the toilet, there are no other immortals within the mansion to vouch for us. They will hunt us down for this sin.” Esmeralda shrieked, tears forming in her eyes. She shivered as she imagined her foul death. An immortal would certainly drink her dry after hours of being tormented. She hugged herself, trying to smooth away the fathom chill of death.
The bathroom grew silent. Everyone looked at the night's sky through the lavish glass ceiling. There were still six hours left till sunlight. If everyone could quickly pack, they could be out before their master’s death was registered and the mansion flooded with immortal knights.
“Sapphire is a psychic, and she should have had some vision of this incident or at least seen the toilet,” Earl replied, soothing his flustered wife with a tight hug.
“I’m sure she normally would have, but as of late, her vision has become seldom and inaccurate. So I doubt that she knew.” Esmeralda said, still slightly shaking.
“Everyone must pack and meet downstairs in 30 minutes,” Earl awaited the crowd’s attention. Having everyone’s attention, he continued, “It won’t be long till others come. If you choose to leave beforehand, then I ask that you be safe, but I believe we would all be safest together.” Some of the servants agreed, and others did not.
Earl wanted everyone’s wellbeing, but their choices for survival were their own to make. He couldn’t guarantee his safety.
Tightening his hold on his wife’s shoulder, he sternly whispered, “Come and don’t cry, for creatures like him deserve the pits of hell.” Earl gently guided his wife out of the bathroom.
He took the hidden stairway to the servant's quarters. Many of the servants ran rampant in the halls as they hastily gathered personal and lavished items belonging to the mansion’s deceased owner.
He pulled his wife into their room and shut the door. Throwing open two suitcases, he grabbed their clothes and threw them inside.
“Earl, not every soul deserves to waltz with the devil sometimes. God gives us second chances.” His wife chastised, carelessly tossing their clothes and mementos into the suitcases.
Her words didn’t sound believable to her ears, for her thoughts about their deceased master matched her husband’s. He deserved hell and then some.
Earl quickly joined Esmeralda in packing but refused to be defeated in their dispute. “You seriously believe in giving a soul such as his a second chance after he gained his riches from hustling a psychic human girl,” Earl replied. “Kidnapped, raped, and tormented thousands of humans under his domain.”
Defeated, only because she genuinely agree with her husband, she closed the suitcases and pushed him toward the door. “I wish his soul burns in hell after all the trauma. He troubled that poor girl and the rest of us. Sapphire is truly a strong one to have survived Rodas. But such is life for a human in Soulezan. I wish to go back to England. Be safe.” Esmeralda wiped the tears that covered her wrinkled skin.
As Earl turned to leave, Esmeralda grasped his hand.
“Earl, take the suitcases and wait for everyone to gather,” she sniffed and continued, “I must find Sapphire. I will not leave that sweet girl behind. She’s practically a daughter to me.” Esmeralda said.
“I know Essie.” Earl kissed his wife. “I love her like our own Lily.” He fought back the tears at the mention of their granddaughter.
He remembered she would have been the same age as Sapphire if Rodas hadn’t sold her into slavery. Their lives had been living nightmares under Rodas, and he was glad that Rodas had met his final death.
But deep down, a pang of despair had killed the last of his hope of reuniting with Lily.
Now, he wished her peace in his elder years and prayed his grandchild was amongst a kind immortal. Earl knew that would be fantasy, Soulezan wasn’t known for its kindness toward humans.
“In his final death, that bastard still owns us.” Earl slammed the last suitcase shut and bond the two together for easier travel. “I hope the devil is riding his ass.”
Earl barged out of the room, leaving a sympathetic Esmeralda behind.
Esmeralda hastily tried to composed herself and set about finding Sapphire. The girl loved the library she decided to begin her search there.
“Without the papers of Hominx, death will surely come. They’ll devour us, all of us.” A slave yelled, revolting Earl’s idea to bond together to leave the mansion.
“I favor splitting up. That way, not all of us will die.” A servant said before leaving the dining room.
“I’m sorry, Earl, but staying together after what just happened won’t keep us alive it’ll only make us an easier target for the immortals.” His old buddy, Joe Porter, said.
“Earl, I’ve respected you these last centuries under Rodas’s rule, but now we are all free to live again. I’m afraid death will meet us if we travel together. Separate groups will allow some of us that chance to live.” Joe said, causing a few followers to whisper in agreement.
“I’m going to miss you, Earl, and I pray God watches over Esmeralda and you. Hope to see you in a better chapter in life.” Joe hugged him before he picked up his worn bag and walked out of the mansion’s doors.
Sarah, James, Irvin, Eric, and little Sandy were just a few that followed Joe. Each person he had grown to love under his service of Rodas. Earl could no longer hold back tears as he felt defeated. A feeling of loss covered his heart.
Earl was going to miss Joe. He would never meet a pianist as talented as Joe was. The music had died under no one's fault. He hoped the music’s continuance through a rough journey. Joe had made his decision, and there was no way that he could sway his stubborn friend.
The immortals were coming quicker than grave robbers, and the price if caught wasn’t fine treasures but precious blood.
Earl threw up his hands. What could he do? He knew that staying together was the best way to avoid being killed, but still, some continued to leave.
They piled into several of Rodas’s extravagant transporters and flew from the mansion’s grounds without a trace of ever departing.
No matter how much he tried to sway them with reason, they chose separate paths to escape Redon mansion. Earl hoped they escaped Soulezan too.
“There are plenty of transporters. Best you be in a hurry, Earl, before the IK’s come knocking.” David, a friend and once Rodas’s skilled slave engineer, hugged him.
“We’ll be long gone before the immortal knights arrive. I hope to see you on the other side of freedom.” Earl tightened the hug. “Be safe, my friend.” Earl patted David on the back.
“Take care, Earl,” David called out as he entered the glossy silver transporter.
Earl watched as the transporter rose and hovered above him. The metallic transporter slowly dissolved into invisibility as it positioned in the direction of the woods.
A soft breeze fluttered the enormous black trees as the invisible transporter zipped above them and away.
“Goodbye,” Earl whispered. He always believed in allowing the fool to run its course, but now he wondered if he was the fool.
The papers of Hominx were a crucial factor to becoming a free mortal, papers neither he nor his wife had. He hated that he still felt like a helpless servant. All of his mortal life, he served Rodas, and after years of torment and the loss of his hope, Rodas still was winning control over his life.
The greedy bastard still clutched at the fate of being their cause of death. The arrogant mule still wrecked his life even in his final death.
A faint echo of Rodas’s evil, mocking laughter caused the hairs on his back to rise.
Damn you, Earl thought.
Looking one last time at the night’s sky, he watched thunder strike before heading into the mansion.
“Earl, I can’t find her. Sapphire is missing.” Esmeralda wailed, rushing to his side.
“Where could she be? Did you check the garden?”
“Yes, she was neither there nor in the lounge. But I found this in her favorite chair in the library.” Esmeralda said, handing her husband a sealed envelope.
Earl took the pale manila folder and opened it.
Upon seeing its contents, he dropped them.
His wife picked up the scattered scarlet-red papers and covered her mouth in shock.
The bloody crimson skull sigma restored hope. There were 1,500 papers of Hominx dated, signed, and approved July 6, 20XX.
“Sapphire knew.” They whispered in union.
A joyous death bares such sweet rubies
A blooming love, a new beginning
Rose petals are precious but reveal treacherous trails
A joyous death bares such sweet rubies
A bloody beginning blooms new love
October 31, 20XX
Sapphire knew. The parquet living room floor chilled her bare feet. The full moon glistened against her smooth mocha skin, irradiating her waist-length curly white hair and gold eyes.
Lightening flashed, shadows flickered across the train of her white nightgown. Silently she moved closer to the one who had ruled, stole, and haunted her.
Slight satisfaction crept into her heart at the thought of seeing karma answered.
At the age of five, she watched the gruesome deaths of her parents at the hands of Rodas.
He murdered her parents to kidnap her from the human world and transport her to Soulezan, the world of immortals, where he had forced her to aid him in establishing his powers.
Becoming one of the first successful vampires, not even Dracula had gained such merits within Soulezan.
Rodas met his final death, and Sapphire was eager to see her prospect in real life.
The cruelty he shown to the humans he ruled over was brutal, all stolen from their human lives by the very vampire that was now dead.
Countless times Sapphire had healed the vicious fang marks of feeding slaves, their throats torn to quench the thirst of their cruel master. By the grace of God, she had often saved some, but a severed throat wasn’t salvageable.
Plenty died, and she mourned each life, especially those who had been born in Soulezan and never known freedom in the human world.
It wasn't right the way Rodas treated the humans under his domain.
Even if the Immortal Creed stated that humans in Soulezan were animals, there was still a division of how humans were treated based on whether the human was a slave, servant, or phemans.
His cruelty was unnecessary, so much so that it was hard to tell slave from servant under his rule.
In Soulezan, there is little difference in the social ranks of the servants and slaves.
The slaves bled more likely to die before the servants, depending on the temper of their master. Often slaves were free labor workers and helped in the construction and feeding of the immortals and vampires in the land of Soulazen.
Servants were privilege humans that immortals and vampires kept as tools and pets to convenient their lives. Neither servant nor slave knew freedom.
Pheman’s, on the other hand, were free mortals able to reside on Soulezan and own human servants and slaves of their own. There were very few Pheman’s, but the few that exist were still under the command of an immortal master.
Being a psychic was the cause of her enslavement as a servant. She was a precious gem that had the powers of precognition and telepathy, gifts that he abused to heighten his social standings among the immortal council.
A priceless gem he had stolen and forced to better his life, and she had done her job.
Well enough to add twelve feeding domiciles, taken from top owning immortals to the four Rodas had already owned. He became a well-known vampire, but his voracious and arrogant nature caused him to deal with demons.
Dealings with demons were an illegal business blacklisted in the immortal society. An immortal could lose credibility with contracts conducted with demons, and a vampire would meet his final death.
Sapphire wasn’t surprised that Rodas was dead. It was a well-deserved death, and she only wished that she had the power to do it herself, but it was only within her powers to see his time of death. She appreciated the blessing.
Sapphire had envisioned his demise about three months ago and had said nothing to him or anyone else. Believing that everything is to happen for a reason, she devotedly and happily let him die, and he had perished on the toilet, pants below his ankles with blood on the side of his mouth.
A loyal cleaning servant discovered him and screamed at the top of her lungs before fainting, just as she had envisioned.
If only she had seen what killed him, but her precognition abilities worked on a scale of probability and were often vague.
Her visions were sometimes never certain because fate could change. Only the intensity and frequency of her vision allowed her to know for sure if an event was to happen.
Sapphire's visions seldom gave her all of the details, and she could only see the future of others. Sapphire could not see her fate.
Confident of Rodas’s death, after she consistently had dreamed it up until last night. The vision brought joy to her during the unpleasant times when Rodas had beaten, molested, and abused her.
Rodas had met his final death, and the devil had cashed in on his soul.
Finally, after 16 morbid years under his service, after he killed her parents and snatched away from her childhood and she had seen enough spilled blood at the hands of that creature, someone delivered justice.
If she thought the assassin was friendly, she might have thanked them, but she suspected the person wasn’t and murdered Rodas for their gain.
Her bare wet feet brought her to the final steps of freedom recognition. At first sight, Rodas appeared to be asleep on the toilet as he slumped over, just as she had seen in her vision.
Nearing, she noticed small traces of dried blood on the side of his mouth.
For the first time, Sapphire had psychically seen his dead body outside of her vision.
His skin crystallized and cold like solid ice as she touched his neck, signs that he was in final death and unable to control his body heat like a normal vampire.
His red hair, typically well-groomed, was now disheveled and tangled around his square face. His once beautiful face was swollen and purple as if beaten before dying.
Sapphire met his dead gaze. Rodas’s frightening bright green eyes were now dark and hollowed with death.
A flash of red light blazed from his chest, catching her eyes.
Pulling the silver chain from beneath his shirt and over Rodas's head, she smiled and kissed the great ruby pedant her mother once wore before Rodas snatched it from her cold dead neck.
Holding the pendant, she rubbed her thumb over the stone and followed the red, black and white mist that swirled within the ruby.
Her mother never took the chain off until Rodas snatched it from her dead body. It was her last keepsake of her parents.
“The phoenix stone will protect you, sworn to protect its true possessor. Forged by great power, you must be wise, for it will loan you unimaginable strength or suffering. Use it carelessly. You’ll pay its cost.”
Sapphire almost dropped the pendent as she heard the unfamiliar gentle voice resonating throughout the room.
“Who are you? Why should I?” She questioned, tightening her grip on the stone.
Circling the bathroom in search of the owner of the angelic voice. Finding no one, she looked back at Rodas’s cold dead face. She knew for sure that it wasn’t him.
Opening her hand, she looked at the phoenix stone in her palm.
The stone glowed red, tingling her skin from its slight heat.
Dear Sapphire, now twenty-one, I believe you’re ready to hold my power. I am Phoenix.
Sapphire looked at the stone in amazement. Had she heard clearly? Did the stone speak to her?
Twirling the stone in her hand, she studied its warm girth.
“Were you the one who spoke before now?” She cautiously asked.
The stone glowed brighter.
No, it was not I.
“Then it is you that I speak to stone, but who spoke before?” Sapphire asked.
Who else is here, but I Phoenix and no other. I do not know the person you heard, but I know that you must hold their words true. My powers are great and come with a price.
“Did Rodas pay your price? Did you send him to his final death?” Sapphire asked.
No, it was not I.
“Then do you know who killed Rodas?” She asked.
The culprit must not have wanted me to know, for a sleep spell cast, and from there on, I slept while Rodas was slain. I awoke by your touch. Beware, Sapphire, for whoever killed him is still lurking. Best, we are on our way.
Sapphire looked once more at Phoenix before she draped the chain around her neck and allowed the heat of the stone to fall closer to her heart.
We must leave or else risk losing freedom twice.
Sapphire’s spine grew cold as she felt the presence of immortals approaching the mansion. They were close but not near enough for concern.
Phoenix was right, it was time to depart. She saw the product of her vision.
Now, she could close the darkest chapter in her life and go in search of better lands within Soulezan.
“What do you say to traveling to Bast?”
Phoenix glowed warmly against her skin.
Bast populated with peaceful felines with a twisted honor code with no opinion or aid in the politics of the immortals. They tolerate humans but can be very lethal if you don’t honor their customs. To reside there, you must appease their goddesses Bastet and her temperamental sister Sketmet. Why didn’t you follow Esmeralda? You might have been happy.
Hiding within Rodas’s dungeon, where no human would dare go for fear of the torture devices he kept in there for his sadist amusement, Sapphire had waited in the cold, dank dungeon until all had departed the mansion.
Sapphire had only stayed behind because fate did not envision her to be beside her motherly figure, Esmeralda. Of course, she would miss Esmeralda and Earl, but she knew the two would live a happy life with the Redon Mansion and Rodas behind them. Sapphire also knew Esmeralda and Earl would be reunited with their granddaughter back in the human realm.
“Their fate is not aligned with mine, but happiness is to be gain in their future.” She replied.
Some will die, and others might suffer a much worst fate.
Sapphire nodded. Phoenix was again correct. Everyone had left, but it didn’t mean that all of them would survive.
Earl and Esmeralda’s group would live on, but for those that went on their own, tragedy was closing in on their door.
Some would run into a group of immortal knights who would demand them to show papers of Hominx, and because they did not possess those papers, the knights would capture them; they would rape, slaughter, and feed on them, and those who survived, would be transported to the Breakers House. An enslavement concentration camp for humans to be stripped of their humanity and later sold as slaves.
“I could not save them all, but I tried to save some, Phoenix.”
Sapphire had bought papers of Hominx for everyone, but because of their free will, some chose to separate paths and would die. It was something she could not have prevented.
Free will was free will, and it was what decided people's fates, of whether they lived or died, succeed or failed. Free will balance with fate, controlled all. It was partially the reason why her visions were probable and could change. Even a goddess of fate couldn’t be accurately precise in her prediction.
Do not trouble yourself with grief. We must leave before your freedom is stolen too.
Turning to leave the bathroom, Sapphire gave a final glance at Rodas's corpse, wishing she could completely erase him from her life.
Without looking back, she said, “May you incinerate in hell, you barbaric ass.”
Entering Rodas bedchamber, Sapphire flicked on the lights illuminating the Victorian décor of the bedroom. The overly gaudy room made her sick with the pink and purple hues scattered across tapestries and drapes.
A single portrait of two black-and-tan cocker spaniels frolicking in a garden was the only redeeming quality. Luckily for her, the gold-framed portrait was a secret doorway to a tunnel that led out into the woods. She suspected he decorated the room in remembrance of the era in which he lived.
Jogging towards the king-sized bed, she grabbed her black jeans and quickly pulled them under her nightdress.
Pulling the dress over her head, she changed into a black shirt and threw her nightclothes in her black backpack that was pre-packed with necessities for her journey.
Grabbing her paper of Hominx off the bed, she tucked it into her wallet and placed the wallet in her bra for security. Her paper of freedom would be safest there just in case she lost her bag.
It would be a long trip, and the thunderstorm raging outside would make it an even harder one.
Quickly gathering her curly white tresses into a ponytail, Sapphire slipped into her black boots. The Immortal Knights would soon alert the immortal council, and only a matter of time before the mansion sieged, so tonight was her only means of escape.
The lights surged.
The room cast in utter darkness—a loud whirl of fluttering wings accompanied by beautifully enchanting voices hummed throughout the room. The soft, slow, and melodic sounds coerce Sapphire to follow.
Their call too enchanting to battle, she powerlessly turned towards the giant oval mirror atop the oak dresser. The mirror glowed hues of violet, scarlet, and gold around her reflection.
Mesmerized, Sapphire looked at herself in the mirror. Adorned in a white and gold corset gown with a silver crown on her head, Sapphire looked puzzled at her reflection.
The crown was beautiful, encrusted with glorious shimmering crystals, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds.
In her hand, she held a silver flame-crafted sword with a hilt enveloped with every imaginable jewel.
Through the center of the blade was a pulsating black vein.
From the vein, an ooze of auburn blood pooled below the dagger’s razor-sharp edge. The sword hummed under her touch sending small vibrating sensations throughout her limbs.
A surged of power shattered the oval mirror and cast the room in a warm starry glow before the lights turned back on.
“What is this?” Sapphire said, no longer wearing her simple jeans but the beautiful corset gown.
Aware of the flame-shaped sword in her hand, she examined the blade. With every slight maneuver, the sword sparkled, weightless within her grip. The wet vein pulsed beneath her fingertips as she followed its length down the blade.
Thick red blood coated her fingers. Instantly the blood vanished beneath her skin, turning her fingertips red. Before she could be alarmed, the tips of her fingers returned to their usual bubble pink hue.
Opening and closing her hand, Sapphire worried over the disappearance of the blood.
A miniature black spirit dragon’s head appeared from the dagger and bit her hand.
Dropping the sword, she clutched her hand, but there was no wound.
The sword floated ominously before her. Cautiously she reached for its ethereal weight.
Around her neck, Phoenix glowed a steady red flame.
Impossible, the sword of Jordan was destroyed centuries ago swallowed by a god.
“How can I possess something that a god destroyed?” She thumbed an unfamiliar black crescent stone in the center of the hilt.
A flicker of piercing reddish-gold eyes flashed inside the stone.
The fierce eyes disappeared as quickly as they had appeared, leaving Sapphire with a sense of impending doom growling in the depths of her belly.
Whatever the reason, Jordan is dangerous, it has chosen you, and its blood now courses within you.
Sapphire looked at the sword. “But why has it chosen me?”
That is a journey you’ll have to endure to learn its reason. Jordan’s appearance can only mean that the Devil Dragons still exists.
Jordan’s blade shimmered as if smiling in approval at Phoenix’s words.
“What shall I do then?” Sapphire asked.
Run and do not stop.
Grabbing her backpack from the floor, she opened it to place Jordan inside.
Before she could do so, Jordan flew from her hand and sheathed itself in a silver scabbard with a single black lotus etched in its center. Jordan secured itself in a black leather belt around her hips.
“Demanding little thing,” Sapphire said, rubbing the scabbard. Closing her bag, she draped it around her back.
Jordan knows its path, and it knows yours. For now, it might keep us out of danger.
“Regardless of Jordan’s intentions, we must leave. I feel chilled, immortals are nearing the mansion’s grounds.” Sapphire ignored the freezing sensation that alerted her of an immortal’s presence.
Closing her eyes, she could see a total of twenty cold bodies riding in five black transporters approaching the mansion.
“Twenty immortals are closing in, which means the council must be among them. Perhaps, his maker felt Rodas's death and alerted them.”
Take the crown and dagger of Jordan and leave this place. We cannot allow such power to fall into their hands.
Sapphire touched the crown on her head and gasp. “What does this mean, Phoenix?”
It means you better start moving those feet of yours.
Taking his advice, she gathered lullies from Rodas’s oak dresser. She would need the immortal currency to make it to Bast. She had about ten thousand lullies in her wallet.
With Rodas’s added lully, she could pretend to be a traveling wealthy human mistress. It was common for immortals to send their mistress’s on trips without accompanying them. It would be a perfect alibi.
Engrossed in stuffing lullies in her backpack, Sapphire didn’t notice the dark figure clouding the doorway.
“Happy Birthday Sapphire,” a virile voice joyously strummed through the bedroom.
Sapphire turned to see a muscular man leaning against the doorway. His blue-black hair, thick and shiny, fell in waves like a never-ending waterfall to his waist.
Casually he brushed his fingers across his fitted black suit, keeping his cool silver gaze on her. His acute slanted eyes never left hers as he gave her a charming smile revealing a sharp set of double fangs.
“Vasuan, she’s grown to be such a delicious woman.” The immortal in the doorway said. “Even her blood thrives with the surge of her unique nature.”
Faintly able to detect the cold sensation that alerted her that an immortal was near, Sapphire sought the second immortal while she kept the mysterious immortal in the doorway in her peripheral.
She had been unable to sense his presence until he had made himself known, and his aura had only remained noticeable for a mere instant before it vanished.
The immortal stood tall, watching her with a smirk on his face.
A quick chill ran down her neck, it was hard to trace, but Vasuan was somewhere in the room. Unsuccessfully she searched and still found nothing.
Fearful anticipation turned her stomach, yet she kept her confidence. Her freedom was her own, and she would die protecting it.
“Enough with your damned games immortal…show yourself,” Sapphire commanded.
The immortal in the doorway clicked his tongue and shifted his weight, “What vulgar language, little Sapphire, I will not have you swearing in our presence.”
A gentle warm breeze twisted around her, disturbing her hair and gown. Her skin tingled as if someone had caressed her cheek as the breeze blew past her.
“Volento, she has grown, merely twenty-one as of two hours ago. At least that’s what Rodas said her age was before we killed him.” The unfamiliar deep voice was kind before gradually becoming callous and twisted.
The voice alarmed her, sending chills across her skin. She slowly faced the immortal laying nonchalantly on Rodas’s bed.
He was Vasuan.
His hair was devoid of color like fallen snow, slightly shrouding calculating gold-rimmed red eyes.
Intensely he starred at Sapphire, studying her thoroughly almost as if he could see the very light of her soul. Sapphire shivered and stepped back from Vasuan.'
He was indeed, if not more frightening than Volento.
As she observed Volento and Vasuan, she noticed that they were night and day, angel and demon, and wondered whether the two immortals twins were evenly matched in power.
For a moment, Sapphire felt her heart slow as she found herself captured by their beauty.
Her mind having smitten her rising emotions, she questioned whether her latest guest was using his pheromones to induce her charging arousal.
Immortals were known for their powerful seductive pheromones, and she could easily detect and deflate this ability, but something was off.
Sapphire didn’t know if she was battling two vehement pheromones vying for her submission or if it was her attraction.
Rationale recalled that she was standing between Rodas’s murders.
“At least that’s what Rodas said before we killed him.” Vasuan voice echoed through her mind, automatically breaking her attraction.
Sapphire swiftly modified her fighting stance, prepping for defense and shielding her mind. She raised her fist and readied herself.
“Vasuan, you’re frightening our girl. Watch your conversation, brother.” A soft gust of wind cooled the air before Volento appeared, sitting on the edge of the bed with his back propped up against the canopy bedpost.
“ She looks as frightened as a fox surrounded by easy prey. I tremble to see her in anguish.” Vasuan pulled loose strands of wool from a very old white pillow with an elaborate embroidery of twin swans swimming in a pond.
“I once thought Rodas had impeccable taste, he designed the rest of the mansion quite nicely from the parts that I’ve seen, but this very room is so plain and tasteless. Its gaudy affluent Victorian décor reeks of his narcissism, how pathetically boring. Rodas must have cherished this human era. Perhaps because of his birth…or death...” Vasuan slashed the pillow with the length of his pinky nail, splitting the swan’s necks and spilling cotton.
“…Whichever… the damn vampire believed himself equal, no almost better than an immortal. Such arrogance needed to be corrected.” Vasuan finished.
“You make a point, Vas. Rodas was either extremely tactful or a very fortunate creature. He reached quite a high status in our society without an ounce of pureblood running through his veins. Sapphire, I bet you know what his key was, don’t you?” Volento crossed his legs and smiled, flashing fang.
“Silly me, I have not a clue, but either way, I want no part of you.” Sapphire smugly replied.
“You kept your wits and humanity. I love it. It takes a strong mind, I am impressed, but I won’t be satisfied until I had a test.” Vasuan steadied his stance and signal for her to make the first move.
“ I’ll let the lady go first. Give it your best I never hold back.”
“Vas, are you a gentleman or not? Challenging her on our first meeting, how very rude.” Volento said.
“If the lady raises her fist in confidence, then I accept her challenge as an equal fighter. Now, Sapphire, the move is yours.” Vasuan again signaled for her to attack.
“How sweet, if only your kindness knew how deadly I am. I accept your challenge.” Both immortals terrified her, but she wasn’t going down without fighting for her freedom. Keeping her stance wide, Sapphire shifted closer to the dresser, holding them both within her sight.
“I’ve never seen you amongst any immortal gatherings. Who are you, and why am I of concern?” Sapphire asked, hoping they couldn’t read her motives.
Eyeing the oak dresser, she slowly eased her way to the middle drawer to the key that held her freedom, if she could aim it right.
“Why little Sapphire, we want you, of course,” Volento answered.
Holding her hand out, she willed the piscol filled with synza bullets to fly into her hands.
Synza a deadly poison formed from basilisk venom and a wizard’s forged fire deadly to immortals. Synza was an effective poisonous weapon dangerous to an immortal’s life if the synza bullet came in contact with vital organs.
With the weight of the piscol in her hand, Sapphire fired two shots at Volento’s heart. Volento dropped to his knees, clasping his heart.
“Damn, the girl can aim. Vasuan, get her. I’m fine.” Volento gritted his teeth and patted away the flames engulfing his smoldering shoulder, an effect from the synza.
His once fine suit jacket was tattered, burnt, and hanging.
Disheveled midnight hair curtained his silver red-rimmed eyes. His sizeable clawed hand clutched the wound where his visible intact heart still thumped—alerting her that he wasn’t an ordinary immortal.
What are they? She wondered to herself.
Fleeing, Sapphire pushed a tiny black button opening the giant gold-framed painting of two black-and-tan cocker spaniels.
“And where do you think you’re going?” Vasuan asked, grabbing her wrist.
“The hell away from you!” She shouted, aiming and firing the piscol in his thigh.
Taking Vasuan’s moment of weakness, she climbed into the doorframe. Never looking back, she lifted the hems of her gown, thankful that she still had on her boots as she ran down the stone tunnel.
Flashes of lightning flickered at the end of the tunnel before a loud crack of thunder erupted.
Reaching the exit, Sapphire tripped and fell out of the belly of a willow tree, falling onto the cold, damp ground. The silver crown toppled from her head and rolled away from her. Deciding to leave the crown, she stumbled to her feet.
Don’t leave the crown of Jordan!
At Phoenix’s command, she regained her composure and dashed, snatching the crown up.
Sapphire ran from beneath the willow tree. Rain immediately fell harshly, smothering her hair and clothing against her skin.
Sapphire ran along the murky pond’s edge until she reached the woods' entrance searching for a dense place to conceal herself.
Ducking behind a tree, she held her breath and listened for the immortals.
Peeking around the trunk, she pressed herself against the black slimy bark and waited.
Volento calmly walked a few feet past the tree she hid behind. Snatching the remains of his tattered suit-jacket, he cast the shreds to the ground revealing his well-defined physique.
Sapphire caught her gasp as she saw no signs of the synza bullets having injured him.
He stood wholly healed with flesh and bone in tack. Turning his back to Sapphire’s hiding place, he tilted his face to the sky and sniffed. Volento was hunting her, and she knew the rain wouldn’t deter his keen senses.
Sapphire watched from her hiding place in the tree as he pocketed his hands and pulled a cigarette from his pant’s pocket. Strolling through the open area, he lit the cigarette with a flame protruding from his thumb.
Inhaling, Volento slicked his drenched charcoal hair from his face and exhaled. Flickering his cigarette, he turned his back to her and walked away.
Slumping to the ground, Sapphire closed her eyes as she prayed he didn’t find her.
Listening to the natural sounds of the woods and the sound of the rain falling, she calmed her racing heart and waited for Volento to leave the area.
“Are we to keep this up all night, Sapphire? I don’t mind this game of hide and seek, but I’d rather take you home where it is warm and safe.” Volento said, standing before her with his arms folded across his chest and the cigarette hanging out the side of his mouth.
Not giving him a chance to catch her, Sapphire hiked up her gown and fled from him.
A burst of warm heat streamed past her before Volento reappeared in front of her. His soaked black hair fell forward in his face, partially masking his chilling smile.
Volento exhaled smoke, “But I warn you, humans are easily prone to sickness and disease, so our game here shall have to wait for better weather. I don’t want you catching a cold.” Volento rubbed the water from her cheek.
“I can take it. I have an excellent immune system, but I wonder if you do if a synza landed in your heart.” She briskly responded, not shielding the hatred behind her words as she shoved the piscol directly near his heart.
He laughed, a response she hadn’t expected an immortal to do after she had threatened his life.
Sobering himself, he smiled down at her. “Try me, little Sapphire. You are neither strong nor fast enough.” He inhaled his fag and continued, “You’re unsteady. Let me help you.”
Sapphire looked down at her shaking hands as Volento steadied hers.
“Keep calm, aim at the heart, and never miss. Less you want death to greet you with your demise,” he whispered.
Shoving his hand away, she slapped him, “Why are you doing this?” she asked, her emotions rising as he was playing with her.
Volento smiled and rubbed his cheek. “A human has never struck me. How adorable little Sapphire.”
“Answer me,” she demanded, aiming the piscol at Volento’s head.
Volento took a moment to enjoy his smoke, making her wait.
After a long drag, he exhaled, “Not the mind but the heart. It’s the only way you can ensure survival.” Volento gently gripped her wrist and repositioned the piscol over his heart.
“Why don’t you answer?” she asked with a slight whimper escaping. He wasn’t an ordinary immortal. He lectured her on how to kill one of his kind, a crime punishable by death.
“You would be safe and happy under our household, Sapphire.” Volento gently took the crown she clutched in hand and secured it on her head. “The crown of Jordan has never been more beautiful.”
“You know who Jordan is? Who is he?” She asked, lowering the piscol.
“Keep your aim up!” Volento reprimanded and repositioned the piscol at his heart. “Never let your opponent distract you. Keep your guard. And yes, I knew who he was?”
Sapphire's aim faltered slightly, and again Volento corrected her.
“I don’t understand,” she asked, “What do these items mean? Why aren’t you afraid that I might fire?” Confused, she searched for answers in his silver eyes.
A soft light entered his eyes, warming them. “I am unafraid because I know you understand I am not a threat.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure. I could kill you,” Sapphire and ready the piscol chamber.
“Shoot, and I will still live. My system is insusceptible to synza, as you’ve seen.” He flatly stated.
“I am more concern about how you came to possess the crown and dagger of Jordan and know nothing of his fame.” He answered, compelling her to answer honestly.
“Well, recently, I became their guardian.”
He chuckled, “I believe they’ve become your guardians,” he corrected.
Sapphire wanted clarification, but before she could ask, he began again.
“Jordan was king of the Devil Dragons, an old extinct dragon clan that succumbed after Jordan’s fall. It was a popular belief that the crown and dagger had perished along with him in death. But you, a mere human with extraordinary abilities, hold both items. Where did you find them?”
Sapphire lowered the piscol and grasped the sheath around her waist. “They appeared before me. I didn’t find them.”
Volento reached for the dagger. Sapphire stepped back and aimed her piscol at him.
“What value is it to you, an immortal?”
Taking another long drag, Volento continued, “Little Sapphire, tonight you’ve shot me, slapped me, and now threaten to shoot me again. I believe a spanking is in order for your disrespect.” Volento tsked her.
“You’re attempting to kidnap me. Sorry if I make you bleed in the process of keeping my freedom. Be happy I haven’t killed you yet.” She aimed at his heart.
“Such a high threat with no real power. I like your spunk, my dear, but I could force you to my will, but here I am…appealing to you in hopes that you might come willingly. Sapphire, you hold that piscol, but I am still in control.” Volento smiled.
“Why did you kill Rodas?” She asked, taking a few steps back from him.
He moved closer to her, the piscol inches from his heart.
“Why not kill Rodas? Perhaps, you were attached to your scumbag master?” he asked a hint of jealousy.
She laughed, “Hell no, I’m glad he’s met his final death. What I want to know is why did you kill him?”
"I had my reasons.” Volento shrugged his shoulders and cast his dead fag to the ground. He lit another.
Sapphire rolled her eyes, irritated at his nonchalant treatment of her as if she wasn’t a threat when she held the piscol so close to his heart.
“The council will have your head for his final death.” She retorted.
Volento smiled, revealing his double fangs, sadistic amusement lit deep within his silver gaze.
“Rodas trained you well in the ways of our laws, but of course, he did. Your psychic abilities provided him with the resources he needed to gain his power. Let me tell you this, little Sapphire, if you believe the council will protect you, you are wrong. If my brother and I leave you here in the rain, they will exploit you beyond anything Rodas has done to you.” Casually he exhaled a large sum of smoke into the air above her head.
She coughed. The smoke wasn’t ordinary tobacco. It had a strong spicy scent and left her feeling high and lightheaded.
Ignoring him, Sapphire shivered. Rodas had one of the worst reputations as a master for his cruelty and short temper. Strong-willed humans were sent to him to be broken by his whip. The sadistic bastard loved the challenge of breaking the wills of others; having a firsthand witness to his torments, she could only imagine the councils' capabilities. Rumors from others told her she had it easy with Rodas compared to the powerful council members.
At least with Rodas, she had been able to outwit him and avoid being raped and bitten. Another shiver ran down her spine as thoughts of the councils’ cruelty unnerved her.
“You were lucky to have survived with your will intact. Your value spared you from his full brutality, but it will not protect you from the hands of the twelve immortals. They want claim over you because of your powers, but now that you carry two precious items, the dagger and the crown belonging to Jordan, they’ll use you until they’ve conquered the twelve immortal kingdoms unifying Soulezan, and have taken control of the dragons.”
“Dragons? Aren’t they nearly extinct? Why would the immortal council want control over them?” Sapphire asked.
Volento exhaled, “Why else but power.”
“And you don’t think that the council wouldn’t send you to your final death for murdering Rodas, take possession of me, and continue with their plans?” She asked, never lowering the piscol from his heart.
Volento laughed, “The council wants a war. They will surrender, or I’ll kill them like Rodas. Rodas possessed blood that was rightfully ours. He refused to relinquish our property, so we sent him to his final death. If twelve fucks intends to use what is ours against us, then I shall simply have every one of their heads if they try me.”
Sapphire had the urge to laugh, but the unsettling threat of Volento’s words scared her. Seriously, what was this creature that stood fearlessly in front of her, speaking easily of killing twelve ancient immortals without hesitation of their formidable power?
Sapphire needed to know more about Volento and the blood they were claiming ownership of, but time was limited, and she didn’t care about aiding another immortal in the game of their politics.
Soulezan was in the beginning stages of a world war, divided by the Elitist supporters who wanted to keep the twelve immortal councils in power, and the Royalists, supporters who wanted to terminate the council and place the royal families back into power.
She didn’t particularly like either of the two potential political parties because neither cared for abolishing human slavery. However, she hoped that the Royalists would win because they favored keeping the existence of Soulezan a secret from humans on earth, while the Elitists wanted to punish the humans on earth and force them into servitude under the Elitist Empire. For that reason, Sapphire supported the Royalists. Still, she wanted no involvement, for she was only human. It would be difficult for her to negotiate her abilities to protect the earth and the humans in Soulezan.
“I’m sorry, Volento, but I won’t have my freedom taken again.” Sapphire aimed at his chest, purposely missing his heart. Swinging her backpack at him, she knocked the cigarette out his mouth.
The red swallowed the silver in Volento’s eyes. The redness sparkled with determination showing no weakness.
Fearful of him her feet sprinted and fell fast against the wet ground as she fled.
Fighting against exhaustion and the burning in her legs and feet, she ran further. Ignoring the pain from the scratches she received from the bushes and trees she scraped against, she kept running.
The rain poured harder, and the coldness she had suppressed now breached her bones. Sucking in as much air as she could, she ran blindly through the rain.
Heart racing, ears pounding, and the rain suffocating, Sapphire bolted into the opening in the center of the woods where an oversize dead blossom tree bloomed black crystalized roses with burning petals.
The roses were known as the promise rose created by three gods of destruction. They bloomed throughout Soulezan, but no one knew what the promise was.
Several dozen surrounding dead blossom trees haloed the dark sky with their golden enflamed petals. In the center of the dense area was the most prominent and brightest burning dead blossom tree.
The rain did not fall onto the trees as the roses' burning petals vaporized the water.
The dry ground made it easy for her to walk, but her soaking gown's load was weighing her down.
In mid-flight, scorching hands wrapped around her thin waist and pulled her back against an even hotter chest. Expecting pain, she flinched but found only the gentlest soothing caress.
“Let me go, Vasuan.” She yelled instinctively, knowing Vasuan was the one who captured her.
His laugh was gentle, but he became commanding. “You got spirit Sapphire, much admirable,” Vasuan said, locking her in his arms. He inhaled her scent from her neck and kissed her temple.
“You are such a wild cat for a human. How did Rodas keep you locked up for so many years without being murdered by your sweet hands?” He gripped her wrist, forcing her to point the piscol away from him and out of her hand.
“I stayed in captivity to help the men, women, and children he tormented. Now that they are free, there is no reason for me to bond to another immortal’s will. I will kill any creature that stands in the way of my freedom.” Struggling against his hold, Sapphire head-butted Vasuan with the back of hers and slammed her foot on his toes.
More from shock and not from pain, he pushed her to the ground freeing her from his hold.
Sapphire escaped Vasuan’s advances. Determine to have her freedom. She didn’t give him a chance to ensnare her.
Rolling herself to her feet, she stumbled into a run, grabbing the piscol from the ground.
Vasuan appeared in front of her. She slammed into his chest.
Cupping her face, he tilted her head back to meet his warm hazel gaze.
“Sapphire, you are safe with us,” he said, rubbing the side of her cheek. “We aren’t trying to take your freedom but provide it along with our protection.”
Taking a step back, she fired two rounds at him, practically hoping on blind will that she had aimed correctly to hit some organ.
Did I get him?
Sapphire asked herself as she ran away.
She heard Vasuan curse, but she didn’t bother to turn back to check on her handy work. She had a chance to make it if she kept running.
The transporter Rodas kept hidden in the woods was nearby. A few hundred feet, and she would be able to escape.
Escaping us won’t be that easy. Volento’s coming for you, dear Sapphire. Now sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.
Vasuan’s gentle voice was a mantra in her mind attempting to break her will and force her to fall into a deep slumber.
Both Vasuan’ and Sapphire’s wills clashed like thunderbolts. The fear of losing her freedom pushed her to fight against his mental chant.
She quickly recovered and secured her mind, discovering that he could persuade and read her thoughts. Keeping a steady pace, she fled further through the patch of dead blossoms.
Vasuan’s mental powers were fearsome. Her vision blurred, and concentrating became harder as exhaustion rose. Sapphire lost feeling in her feet, but her will forced her on.
Halfway through the muddy woods, she stopped and ducked into an opening in a tree.
Trying her best to refrain from thinking, she regained her focus, slowed her heart rate, hoping not to alert their sensory abilities. Sapphire knew Volento was nearby. “There is no place where you can hide. We will always find you, now come Sapphire. You are cold from the rain, and those wet clothes are heavy and irritating your skin.” Volento’s voice boomed throughout the moss-covered tree she hid in.
Opening her eyes, she met his gleaming silver ones as he crouched at the entrance.
Unafraid, she kept her voice low and steady, “Never, I will not submit myself to another immortal. You can all drink blood in hell with Rodas.”
Sympathy reflected through silver crescent eyes, no longer the demonic red she had seen when she shot him.
Volento smiled and held his hand out to her. “I will never harm you, little Sapphire. Accept what is before you and allow us control.”
“I will not.” She aimed the piscol directly at him and fired until the echo of the last bullet screamed through the woods.
When she didn’t see him, she scurried out of the hole in the tree.
Fleeing into the dense woods, she spotted the transporter. Its shining silver metallic gloss reflected the woods behind her.
She could feel Volento was close. Willing the door to swing open, she leapt towards the entrance. Warm arms caught her waist and pushed her to the chilled ground.
Volento’s heavy weight fell against her as he entrapped her beneath him, causing the piscol to fly out of her hand.
Elbowing and kicking him, she tried her hardest to break free, but his firm grip subdued her as he held her wrists in one hand and pushed more weight on her knees.
And then his beautiful voice sung throughout her head in a language she didn’t understand. Her tense body melted like water, and then she felt a peaceful calmness overcome her.
“You’re a lovely human but a hazardous one,” Volento said, holding her wrist above her head. He moved closer as if he was going to kiss her lips.
Sapphire turned away, her heart rate tripling. He chuckled and kissed her forehead.
Before he moved away, she head-butted him. His loud groan was the only satisfaction she got from causing him pain.
“Very dangerous indeed,” Volento said, clutching his head and managing to restrain her.
“I see you have things under control. Damned girl tried to kill me. She needs more work on her aim, but she’s got courage. It is best to put her to sleep before she does any real damage to herself or us. Let’s get out of here, or our fight with the damned council will be sooner than we expected.” Vasuan said, emerging from behind a tree with a bullet wound in the center of his hand.
The synza bullet fell to the ground as the wound sealed itself.
She didn’t understand. The synza should have been so strong that neither of them could function. They weren’t ordinary immortals at all.
“What are your house names?” she demanded.
“Now she thinks to ask,” Vasuan mumbled under his breath as he gathered her backpack.
Volento released her hands with her still pent beneath him.
“Angel,” he whispered.
Her eyes widened.
She heard the house name and recognized it as the 9th royal family rumored to have fallen during the age of chaos. How was it possible that there were two remaining descendants?
Stroking her cheek Volento spoke softly to her, “Sapphire, we must depart from Redon Mansion. Either come willingly or asleep in my arms. The decision is yours, but the result is the same. We offer our protection under our household. I give you my word as an Angel.”
“Go to hell, immortal demon.” With one lasted attempt of escape, she punched Volento in his manhood.
He didn’t even flinch. Instead, he hit her with a mental directive that demanded she sleeps
With the last of her strength, she slapped him and faded into a vivid dream of two dragons soaring above a fallen kingdom.
Remember the reluctant night entangled in fear
Full moon above woods rain and thunder near
All in anticipation for dreams to come
First, of many nights we called you ours