Chapter 25: Immortal Species (Two)
Red. The color of blood.
He shook his head feeling dizzy.
'Where am I?'
Sharp pain assaulted his chest and abdomen.
He groaned in bewilderment. He opened his eyes in a daze only to see bloodiness in front of him.
At this moment, a familiar and gentle voice said, "Qiren. Do not move! Hold on a little more! The ambulance is coming."
He was calm for a moment but at the next moment, the pain in his chest and the dizziness in his head became more intense.
"Wu Qiren!" The voice became more and more alarmed. "You cannot die here! You… Right. You still have not changed the world! How could you die here? You still have not changed the world. What qualification do you have to have a baby with me then?"
'Change the world? Have a baby?'
His sobered up a little and breathed heavily. He felt much better.
In a bloodied state he endured the acute pain and put on a forced smile.
"Is the Second Year Syndrome treatable…ahh1"
The familiar voice was seemingly crying tears of joy. However, the weeping laughter seemed to get softer and weaker like a candle about to die out.
He suddenly panicked.
'No. It will not happen.'
He smiled painfully and wanted to call out to that voice. He wanted to joke around with her as usual. However, when he opened his mouth, he found that he could not call out her name.
It was still red and bloody in front of him but his whole body felt hotter.
Thales fell into a thicket of grass. He opened his eyes and became fully aware.
"Damn it! What happened?" By Thales' side was the pale-skinned blond-haired man cursing angrily.
"How did it use up so much blood?" His voice was filled with suspicion and dissatisfaction.
Thales realized that the blond-haired man turned into watery blood and took him flying at high speeds. Thales had another flashback. In that fragment of dreamland, it seemed he 'lost control' again,
'This time the displacement is effected by the blond-haired man through watery blood?'
Thales felt as though he had just got off a roller coaster, crashing on the ground and coughing dryly.
'Fortunately, I have experienced carsickness… Er, 'man-sickness with Yodel before this.'
Thales thought to himself as he shook his head, trying to get rid of the disturbing red blood color from his mind.
"It is obviously almost time to go. Could it be that the injury has not yet healed? The Blood Image Dance is no longer proficient..." The handsome blonde murmured and rudely grabbed Thales.
'It looks as though it is already dusk. Has the sun set behind the hill? It is also a bit cold. Are we outdoors?'
Thales could clearly see that they had fallen on a dusky trail by a thicket of grass. In front of him was an expansive manor with a large garden.
A flag flapped at the iron gate located between the garden and the dusky trail. Weeds grew thick at the manor as though its owner never took care of it.
If not for the fact that it was less refined, it could have been comparable to Mindis Hall.
'That flag.' Thales narrowed his eyes and saw three strange petals. It was red, blue and green in color.
Thales recognized the flower. It was the favorite flower of Wu Qiren's first girlfriend.
'Is this an Iris? Is this a noble's coat of arms? This is probably one of the 'enemies' that Gilbert mentioned. What terrible luck. I fell right into an enemy's nest.'
"Go quickly! Little whelp of the mortal species!" The blonde impatiently pushed him towards the manor.
Thales' thoughts furiously churned and reasoned.
'Looks like this handsome young man knows how to speak and is not just a brute that is difficult to tame. On top of that, he had also left behind other words such as how this was just an exercise and how it was fortunate that the sun was about to set.'
Thales thought it was fortunate that the guy seemed rational and then tried to find a countermeasure. The JC dagger was at his waist but it was evident he could not hope to 'put this dagger to the man's neck' or anything like that. He also could not suddenly injure himself to inform Gilbert and Yodel as it was too meticulous and obvious.
He could only gather intelligence first.
"Hey!" Thales turned around and shook off the blonde's hand. "I see you have the demeanor and temperament of a noble. Your actions must match your appearance. Pay attention to your manners!"
The blond-haired man was stopped by this remark.
"Manners? Demeanor?" The man grinned and deliberately revealed his two ferocious fangs. "I need to show manners to food fated to be eaten?"
The man purposely ground his sharp fangs.
'It is really similar to that creature from my memories.'
Thales leaned ahead and glanced at the two fangs. He contemptuously curled his lips and said, "Your attitude towards food is terrible. You do not have the talent of a gourmet. The mental and physical conditions of the food could affect its quality. What are you going to do if your rudeness affects its taste?"
The handsome blonde was stunned for about three seconds and his malevolent expression had half relaxed. He then replied, "Nonsense. Little whelp, you certainly have guts." The man then laughed and added, "However, you are not the first food that was courageous. No need to try your luck. You cannot escape."
"So that my flesh and blood would become tastier?" Thales showed an expression as if he finally understood. He then unexpectedly walked towards the manor.
The man had gotten ready to carry him to the manor ahead when the man saw him walk to the front by himself.
The blond-haired man stretched his hand to scratch his head, puzzled at the food (he felt disdain in calling them 'prey') that did not seem to have any intention to escape. Half-way through the man felt that this was inappropriate and could only put down his hand. He then quickly kept up with Thales with a speed visible to humans.
"Not your flesh and blood. Just your blood. I believe you should have been injured recently? The smell of blood is drifting everywhere. Tsk. It is so fragrant I feel like having a mouthful first."
The two continued to move forward.
"Then how do you prepare to eat me? Do you nibble or just suck the blood? From where do you start? Do you use seasonings?'
"The Tuvalus like to eat their meat raw. They enjoy the howling of their prey. We generally suck the blood directly and it is divided into neck food and wrist food. As for seasonings… Wait. Why am I talking about these to a short-lived whelp like you?
The blonde stopped and looked at Thales who evidently did not behave like a seven-year-old.
"I am destined to be food right? Shouldn't it be a virtue to be polite to food that willingly gets sacrificed? Isn't that a virtue? Food that was in a good mental state may even taste better."
"You… are weird as food. Do you think your actions would make me release you?"
"It is hard to come by good food. Of course, it must be rare. Come. There is no need to stop. Let us continue walking. What is your name sir?"
"Young whelp? Why do you ask? Do you want revenge?" The blonde stopped again. His suspicion and vigilance of the boy increasing.
"With your skill, it would not be easy to take revenge on you. Since I am already about to be eaten by you, you should at least tell me your name, right? Besides that, isn't shouting hey inconsiderately too boorish? Mm...You are not an illegitimate child without a surname right? You should at least have a name."
The blonde seemingly felt his pride stabbed by the last few words. He then proudly replied, "My name is Istrone van Leica Liszt Corleone from the Night Kingdom. The Leader of Seven Pillars, the Corleone Family's first-class Blood Knight."
"Come. Come. Let us keep moving. So why do you call me a mortal?"
"What else could humans who have lifespans of less than one hundred and twenty years old be other than mortals? Even young whelps like you would live another ninety years at most." Istrone showed disdain.
"So you guys are 'immortals' that have longer lifespans compared to us?"
"Of course. A vampire's lifespan is endless, more than what the inferior mortals could imagine."
Thales quietly filed away the information in his mind.
'Istrone Corleone. Mortals. Immortals. Night Kingdom. Corleone Family. The superior vampires. The most important point was that he did not seem interested as to why I appeared at Mindis Hall. This may be my only way out… Oh. I had forgotten that he wanted to 'eat' me'.
Thales and Istrone walked into the manor. The transmigrator's eyes narrowed. At the entrance, two fierce-looking men wearing red scarves headed towards them.
'The Blood Bottle Gang? Why are they here?'
"Tell me. Why did you we stop here? Is it better to simply fly in?"
"If it was not because of the Blood Image Dance… Sigh…"
The handsome Istrone suddenly realized that the mortal whelp could understand his words. So, he gracefully cleared his throat and indifferently continued.
"Hmph. I would have flown in if this was my territory. However, we are only guests and need to maintain respect and courtesy towards the host."
'An immortal that pays attention to elegance.' Thales thought to himself.
The two helpers from the Blood Bottle Gang walked up. They looked at the two with bad expressions and said, "Who is it?"
However, Istrone furrowed his eyebrows. With a cool expression, he interrupted them with disdain.
"Get lost! Inferior mortals!"
Thales' expression twitched as he took back his earlier words.
A few minutes ago,
After the fiasco from the 'One Night War', one of the few Blood Bottle Gang members who were in power rushed back to the capital. One full day after the battle the head of the Psionic Warriors, 'Red Viper' Nikolay, still looked hard pressed.
In the very least, together with the other three Psionic Warriors, he had to preserve the current status before the Blood Mystic, who had stayed hidden for a very long time, rushed back.
First, he had to deal with the aftermath of the One Night War. Other than the explosion, there was also the issue of the Air Mystic disappearing without any trace. His personal bodyguard, that lunatic with the sword, was lying there with Ralf. Their upper bodies were almost cut open. One could only guess that Asda had also been killed. So, Nikolay had to make certain that the Brotherhood's three Assassins, especially the Black Sword himself, was in the capital before he could leave in peace. (In fact, Tinker, who had just come back from the Red Street Market, thought that he was oversensitive. Even if the Black Sword was at the capital, the man would not bother looking at him.)
Tinker and Noumea were amongst the few Twelve Strongest of the Blood Bottle Gang to return. ("Shit. So it was the cowards who would live to the end."- Nikolay) They would not say what happened at the Red Street Market except that there was fear and panic. Nikolay had given up looking for the truth. As for revenge for the Air Mystic, he would discuss this with the Blood Mystic once that person returns.
The Blood Bottle Gang's morale took a huge blow after losing the highly profitable Red Street Market that they had occupied for a long time. Most of the common helpers had begun to waver. Their customers, regardless of whether they were nobles, merchants or people from the same trade, expressed deep unswerving friendship to the Blood Bottle Gang, but at the same time reduced all their dealings and withdraw their funds. Some even broke their contracts. (Shit! Calm down. Stay calm. The debt of blood must be repaid! – Nikolay)
The Blood Bottle Gang members whose morale had fallen at the other districts in the capital retreated when confronted with the irresistible 'inferior' Brotherhood. It could be imagined that when the news spread nationwide, the fight at every branch would likely end up the same way.
Second, the major supporter behind the Blood Bottle Gang, the Covendier Family with the crest of the Tricolor Iris was indifferent even after finding out about their crushing defeat. He did not appease them nor did he reinforce them. He also did not even spend a single copper to comfort them.
What Nikolay resented the most was that they had previously done a lot of dirty work for them all over the kingdom. At this crucial moment, Seychelles, the Knight of Termination did not even let him in through the front gate of the Duke's manor. That afternoon, he was even ordered to 'thoroughly investigate the theft at Mindis Hall'.
'Theft? Shit. Which part of me looks like a police investigator? Can I cut that part off?'
Thinking of police officers, Nikolay became even more furious. 'Damn. That cop of the West District. That Lorbec or Lockerbie is usually smiling. I am not sure if he has dispatched people at the crucial moments of the One Night War to reinforce, did we not agree to have police-community cooperation? Forget it.' Nikolay suppressed his unhappiness.
'Lorbec had used all sorts of excuses when he wanted a few corpses. The funny part was that he acted like a righteous envoy. After receiving so many inducements you act like a righteous envoy? What are you doing talking about righteousness in front of me, Nikolay? Which part of me looks like a good person? Can I cut that part off? Damn. In the old times, I would have gone to his house, strip his wife naked and hang her at the doorbell of the Western City Gate.'
Besides that, Nikolay wanted to settle a matter involving Covendier's three vampires. The vampires were unexpectedly sent to the Blood Bottle Gang's branch in the Eastern City District. (The Vine Manor was actually also Covendier's property.) 'Take good care of them? Did you think we are entertaining lost puppies? They want the blood of ten people every day! They even asked for supra class masters! Good. Now we might as well find the Black Sword, knock him out and then tie him up before giving him to them! I already sent them all the Blood Bottle Gang members that I disliked and it is still insufficient! I even had to softly persuade that cop for corpses! Which part of me looks like an animal breeder? Can I cut that part off? The most annoying part was that the number of vampires were not many, but were short-tempered and bossy. They looked at me as though I am a dog!'
Thus, with a bad mood, Nikolay took his entourage to the Vine Manor in the night. He lightly waved his hand as a greeting to the other Blood Bottle Gang members whose expressions were equally bad.
When he walked into the main building of the manor, to the stone staircase, he heard faint sobbings and wretched cries from below. This made Nikolay who was already in a terrible mood even more distraught.
He resisted the urge to think about the 'blood food' in the dungeon (many of whom were his former colleagues and subordinates). His face was ashen as he went up to the second floor. He pushed open the wooden door of the main hall and looked displeased at the few people in front of him. To be precise, there were two people and their food in front of him.
One was pretty, fair-skinned, had a red ponytail, sexy and was attractive. The woman that looked like she was about thirty years of age wore a noble's horse riding clothes. She gently pushed away a man whose eyes were in a daze.
The seductive woman licked the bloodstain on her lips. She gave a captivating smile to Nikolay and extended her finger to wipe away the blood at her chin.
The man that was pushed away seemed like a plundered civilian. He looked absent-minded and his skin was deathly pale. He fell to the ground and twitched. His breathing became weaker and weaker as he soon perished.
There were at least seven to eight of these that had died from excessive blood loss in the hall. The corpses were dried up with bloodstains everywhere.
Fresh blood dripped slowly onto the ground and the table, the sound utterly terrifying.
At the full-wall window in the hall was a similarly luxuriously dressed old man with white hair. He stood with both his hands on his back and seemed to be waiting for the moon to rise.
"Oops." A gentle voice came out from the woman's mouth. Her eyes lit up. "Have you sent us something nice to eat? Are there twenty people? Was there any supra class? Any virgins? Any young children?"
'These damn vampires! Did they go out hunting for living people again?'
"Miss Rolana! Mister Chris! I just wanted to tell you something." Nikolay suppressed the unhappiness and disgust as he said unhappily to the two vampires, "The twenty corpses sent here in the afternoon is the limit. Our blood bank reserves are not that high."
When Nikolay said the words 'blood bank', he remembered the anguished cries in the prison cell and felt nauseated.
"Oh?" The attractive Rolana laughed. Her lips curled upwards and her eyes gradually showed a dangerous gaze. "Can the blood of those dead people be eaten? What we want is the blood of the living."
"Otherwise, if and when I see you Blood Bottle Gang members come and go, I might not be able to resist…" Rolana revealed her sharp fangs and adopted a charming posture. She placed her forefinger on her sharp fang. With the light from the Everlasting Lamp along with the bloody backdrop, Rolana had a strange malevolent beauty.
"Three distinguished guests. Please understand. The Eternal Star City is the capital. Our capabilities are limited…" Nikolay suppressed his anger and quietly replied.
"Aiya. But didn't that young and cute Iris Duke said that he could give as many people and as much blood as we wanted? If he found out how his loyal dog is entertaining the guests, he may not give you bones to eat. Haha."
'Loyal dog? Bones? Fuck!'
As he listened to the peculiar humiliation and mocking words from the arrogant vampire and then thought of the Iris Duke's attitude after the defeat at the Red Street Market, also all the irritation he went through the entire day, Nikolay felt a huge fire burn in his heart.
"Fucking bitch! There are no living people!"
Nikolay roared as he ruthlessly slammed the table with his palm, disregarding all the bloodstains on it.
"Do not think I do not know that you vampires only need the blood of the dead to keep living! You do not need the blood of the living at all! This is no longer like hundreds of years ago!"
"I worked so hard to bring all these living and dead here. There was even one supra class and you complain that it is still not fucking enough?"
"If you want to eat, eat! Otherwise, get lost! I am not easily frightened! Worst comes to worst, we will just part ways! We will just pull back our troops and fight!"
"We are from Blood Bottle Gang of Constellation, we repay blood debts! We are not like Covendier who dies for his friends!"
There was a moment of silence, except for the heavy breathing of the Red Viper in the hall. Even Nikolay's entourage retreated back a little from fear.
After that, Rolana's expression changed. She extended her fangs and her expression turned malevolent. Her originally alluring voice like a spoiled child became sharp and wild.
"Inferior mortals! I will be polite and give your master some face! Blood of corpses? You yourself could live on water, vegetables and rotting flesh. Why do you need to drink wine and eat meat? You worked hard? That half dead supra class was just used by you to avenge private wrongs. You just want us to help you settle your internal affairs. You want to talk about repaying blood debts to the Corleone Family? I can have you experience your paying of 'blood debts' right now!"
The anger in Nikolay's eyes became more intense. He gritted his teeth and pulled open his scarlet jacket. The sinister Rolana gave a delicate cry and jumped onto to the top of the chandelier. She brandished her fangs and claws like a cat.
Just at the moment both sides had their daggers drawn, the old man at the window turned around.
"Rolana. Be mindful of your manners."
"Mister Nikolay. There is no need for this. If we fall out, the one embarrassed would be Duke Zayen."
His voice was not loud but clearly resounded in the ears of everyone in the hall.
Chris Corleone, the white-haired old man suddenly appeared in front of Nikolay.
Before the boss of the Blood Bottle Gang could react, Chris stretched out his hand and patted the Red Viper's shoulder.
The old man's act restrained Red Viper's anger.
Rolana descended back to the ground and returned to her captivating appearance. She laughed but her eyes still looked fierce.
"Apologies. They are still young and cannot control their temper." Chris gave a cryptic glance. His wrinkled face was dark and silent.
'Young?' Nikolay cursed in his heart. 'You have the nerve to call a monster that is several hundred years old, young?'
However, Nikolay still suppressed the anger in his heart. The circumstances do not favor him.
'This old monster looked sickly but the skill he showed with his hand just now… With my own capabilities, I would not be able to deal with him.'
"How about this? The past few days have been exhausting for you. From now on we will deal with the matters of food by ourselves."
Chris' eyes remained fixed like his lifeless tone.
'You will solve it yourself? Based on the characteristics of the vampires, hunting for prey outside would eventually turn into a disaster! But doesn't that concur with my wishes?'
"Let's go!" Nikolay waved indignantly. "Take all our brothers away."
"Oh? Are you not even leaving one behind? There are people who still want to apologize here…" Rolana alluringly lay down on the bloody table and returned to her coquettish self.
"There is no need!" Nikolay turned his head back and replied. "It is best to avoid making Miss Rolana unable to resist."
The thugs of the Blood Bottle Gang followed behind Nikolay and went downstairs. No one felt regret leaving the nauseating manor.
After a while, only the sound of Rolana's weird laughter and the dripping of blood remained in the hall.
Nikolay soon went far away.
Rolana suddenly got down from the table. Her face was cold and stern.
"Did he notice something?"
Chris shook his death-like head. He looked like a white chess piece from afar. "This guy did not but Covendier had certainly noticed something strange. After all, so much blood is enough to feed a squad of Blood Knights."
Rolana lowered her head. "However, this is still not enough. I just wasted another one just to put on an act. I will go hunting again."
"Fortunately, we have chased away the Blood Bottle Gang as planned. This will give us some time before we get exposed."
Chris suddenly turned his head back about a hundred degrees and looked out the window. His nose twitched a little.
"Istrone has returned. He also brought back… this fragrance… It is high-class blood."
His figure reappeared at the window. The moon came out.
Nikolay took the Blood Bottle Gang group and angrily stepped out of the manor.
'These damn vampires… hm? That white-faced vampire has returned. Didn't he follow those mercenaries to Mindis Hall to find treasure in the afternoon? So, he also knows how to use his legs to walk, using the main gate?'
Nikolay had thought that when the vampire was in a hurry, like what he had once seen, he would transform into watery blood and flow around.
'That white-faced vampire even brought back a boy? Damn. He also went out hunting for food? Looking at the way he is dressed, he must be from a noble family. However, he is covered in injuries… That is not right. That child does not look like he is being held hostage. Their footsteps look as though they are walking as a group.'
'That's right. I need to ask about the theft at Mindis Hall.'
While Nikolay was thinking, Istrone and Thales entered the manor.
From afar, Thales already saw the Blood Bottle Gang that was walking out.
When he thought of the flag with the Iris flower, he gloomily cried out in his heart. He knew that the had to remain calm so that he could find a way to survive the dangers ahead.
Istrone gazed fixedly ahead as though he did not pay attention to those from the Blood Bottle Gang.
Nikolay waved his hand and the Blood Bottle Gang stopped and waited for Istrone to come over.
However, the handsome blond-haired vampire simply snorted through his nose. His head looked towards the side as he impolitely walked past the Red Viper. It was as though he had no words to say.
However, the vampire immediately noticed that the human that was not even as tall as his waist strode forward with his head held high. The kid huffed and synchronized his pace as he walked past Nikolay with his nose held high.
'What kind of situation is this? Is he using his master to bully others?'
Istrone resolved himself to punish the child that loved to play dumb.
Only Thales knew that he himself was pretending to be calm by strongly suppressing the beating of his heart.
Nikolay's anger rose again.
"Hey! Pretty boy!" The Red Viper blocked Istrone's path. "Have you completed the task His Excellency the Duke has asked you to do?" Nikolay asked in a bad mood as he looked at the handsome vampire.
'His Excellency the Duke?' Thales secretly questioned.
Istrone looked up at the human who stopped him with disgust.
"The stolen treasure at Mindis Hall! Did you remember? You even took four groups of mercenaries with you!" Istrone's gaze towards him made Nikolay full of anger. Nikolay walked up to the vampire's nose and loudly shouted, "Pretty boy. Shouldn't you have obtained something?"
'Repulsive mortals!' Anger welled up in Istrone's heart. He originally wanted to deceive the mercenaries by sending them out and then hunt them one by one, treating them as an excellent source of blood to bring back to the manor.
He never expected the weird masked man to finish them off at Mindis Hall.
'As for the theft at the Mindis Hall, this was something requested by the Duke of the Iris Flower.'
'I still need to say something.'
Istrone turned to look at Thales. Nobody knew his state of mind that had already turned ice cold.
'What do I do? What do I do? What do I do?'
'Calm down!' The boy told himself. 'I must save myself!'
His brain spun wildly as each report and element flashed through his mind and regrouped.
Istrone lowered his head and looked at the boy. He wondered what to say to Nikolay so as to not lose face in front of the mortals.
Nikolay looked at the arrogant Istrone. He followed Istrone's gaze and then turned to the little boy beside him.
"Hey, kid…" Istrone said without paying attention.
Everyone looked at Thales. At this moment, Thales took a deep breath.
'According to the Second Year Syndrome, I am the man that is to change the world. How can I die here?'
After that, the others saw the seven-year-old boy's expression turn cold. He shouted before Istrone could say his next words.
"Yes. Your Excellency!"
Istrone froze for a moment. 'This brat. Why is he suddenly so respectful?'
However, before he could react, the situation changed.
Thales stepped forward without hesitation. He was like a loyal guard standing in between Istrone and Nikolay.
And then, under the bright moonlight...
Everyone heard the voice of the young boy with an annoying expression looking at the man currently in charge of the Blood Bottle Gang, the head of the Psionic Warriors, Red Viper Nikolay. The childish voice had an arrogant tone as he shouted,
"Get lost! Mortals! His Excellency, the noble Istrone Corleone does not need a lowly and talkative dog meddling in his affairs!"
Middle School / Second Year Syndrome. Those with it act like mature know-it-alls or think they have special powers, being obnoxious, arrogant, etc. Some may also recognize this as Chuunibyou.