Author: Demon Lord D (D魔王)
Editor: None – Still looking for one, contact me if interested!
Chapter 4: Duke Elmond
At the end of the secret passage was an ascending stone staircase.
Near the top of the stone stairs, a thread of light appeared overhead.
–Someone knew they were coming, and opened the door.
–After adjusting to the blinding light, Cain observed his surroundings.
The place looked to be a storage room, the trap door underfoot was carefully concealed in a shadowed corner.
“I don’t remember calling you.” The one who opened the door was a person dressed in trim butler outfit, he asked in a tone full of arrogance and distain, “Where’s Locke?”
“Edward? Toilet. Seems e’ ate s’thing bad.” Facing the questioning, the ‘servant’ replied with rough words.
“…Follow me.” Norman · George · Walt, the man referred to as ‘Master Butler’ in the Duke’s Manor, snorted coldly, turning around to leave with long strides.
The butler was in a very bad mood. Even though he hated Golden Tooth Shark, now he would be forced to personally go and make nice with more new mercenaries, this really was unpleasant.
And the situation in the duke’s manor wasn’t any less worrying. Before the war a third of the servants resigned and left the capital to escape, and the new replacements from the countryside, were brainless, and have never been through any etiquette training to ‘make them seem smarter’.
Like this new guy here, looking around all the while.
If this was before the war, even some of the picker merchants won’t want someone so coarse, for him to wear a uniform with the insignia so blatantly, walking on the carpet of the duke’s manor with dirty shoes. –It was an insult to the noble house.
“We’re here” the butler stopped, knocking on the door.
The door was made of thick wood with metal strips framing the four sides, once closed, no matter how loud the screams or cries, it probably wouldn’t reach the outside.
Even though it’s the middle of the night, the door still opened quickly.
The room was wide and elegant, filled with the scent of incense. The tapestries on the four walls were complicated and delicate, if she sees it perhaps even Queen Gracia would jealously scold “luxurious”.
There was only one window, very small, with bars along it, like a cage.
In the center was a marble altar, its design no different from those seen in the Holy Temples. But underneath the atmosphere of the environment, it gave off an ominous feeling.
The one to open the door was probably Duke Elmond. Very young, in comparison to his name and status, too young.
Long black hair, framing a thin face, carrying an uncaring expression common to the noble fops.
Pale face and dark bangs under the eyes fully indicated that this was an over-indulgent individual.
When he saw the servant behind the butler, and the elf in the servant’s arms, the duke revealed a smile like that of a child looking at his new toy, and even deigned to interact with the servant himself, ordering him to place the elf on the altar.
“My Lord,” the butler sighed softly, “though I have no rights to dictate your hobby, I still wish that during these unusual times you can…”
“Norman, my dear old Norman,” the duke laughed lightly, “you never could understand how to enjoy the finer things. – 400 gold was trivial, not even a month of the ‘Mermaid’s’ income, compared to this priceless treasure, what significance was that?”
“Money isn’t the problem, my Lord” the butler shook his head “Compared to the old King, the new Queen is…”
At this time the duke’s expression turned impatient, the butler could only hold his tongue helplessly.
“You can leave. – As for you, stay.” The duke pointed to the servant.
The butler bowed silently, left the room, closing the door behind him.
As the duke and the butler talked, ignoring his existence, Cain naturally sensed the reason. – They never planned for this ‘servant’ to continue living. Purposefully leaving him here was surprising, could it be that the duke had the habit of getting his own hands dirty, regarding silencing someone?
But afterwards, all of the duke’s attention was focused on his new toy.
He stretched his hand out, gently caressing the elf’s hair, saying in a tone reserved for lovers, “They call you Ellen. In the elven tongue it means ‘star’, right? – Such a good name.”
Cain cursed in his mind, reaching a hand for the sword hidden in his jacket. Even if the duke had some sort of strange tastes, like having an audience during the deed or threesome, he was looking at the wrong person.
“Then, let me teach you, a pleasure your celibate race doesn’t know.”
Cain’s heart froze, the sword that was drawn stopped.
The duke’s voice had a mesmerizing power*, of course it wasn’t the so-called ‘charisma’, but magic, very strong magic.
At that moment, the duke shuddered, stumbling backwards.
Cain immediately felt the power freezing him in place disappear.
“If the one making the ‘Siren’s Tears’ was truly a master illusionist, you might have gotten your wish.” The elf released the dagger, jumping down from the altar, “but, you were over confident about your magical abilities.”
The duke looked down at his own chest, the blade was already all the way into his heart, leaving only the hilt visible. Fresh blood rushed out continuously from the wound, staining the delicate silk shirt red.
Then, the duke laughed lightly.
“As expected, prey that struggles, is better.” He reached out his hand to pull out the dagger, dropping it uncaringly at his feet. “It’s been a long… long time since I’ve been this excited.”
The elf paled.
On the duke’s chest, the wound visibly started to heal, blood no longer came out.
“But, however disobedient the kitten, once it’s claws were removed, it’s no longer a threat.”
The duke moved towards the elf who no longer had his weapon, hand raised, nails long and sharp.
He smiled at his prey, revealing sharp fangs.
Suddenly a shadow entered his vision.
Almost at the same time, the duke once again felt a chill on his chest.
“A cat has nine lives,” the knight said, standing in front of the elf** “how many does a vampire have?”
He gripped the sword firmly, pulled out, and trust into the duke’s body once again.
Even without armor, a faint white light surrounded the knight’s body. It was a holy shield that blocked all magic.
The duke wiped away the blood at the corner of his mouth, revealing a slightly annoyed expression, but only slightly.
“That’s why, I hate knights, especially paladins. Even their blood stinks of holy water.”
The knight didn’t reply, only pulled the sword out once again, and thrust forward again.
But this time, his sword hit empty air.
The duke’s body had disappeared.
In its place, a bat flew up, through the bars and disappeared into the night.
Afterwards, a shocked cry came from outside the window, which quickly turned into a blood curling scream.
The elf rushed towards the window to look down.
In the duke’s garden, a night guard lay on the ground.
A large hole gaped in the guard’s chest, there was an emptiness, where the heart was supposed to be.
*勾魂攝魄 – Technically means “to grab and capture someone’s soul”. But I went with ‘mesmerizing’, google translate says ‘erotic’ though :3 I guess a vampires powers could be considered that? A little random trivia: 魂魄 means soul and in Chinese belief, a person has 3魂 7魄, which is the composition of the soul. They stand for the 3 spirits (life, memory and intelligence/reason) and 7 emotions (joy, anger, sorrow, fear, love, evil and desire). In death, the 7 emotions disperse, of the 3 spirits, one goes to heaven, one to the grave and one to reincarnation.
**Cain to the rescue! Woot! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist)
Wow, two in one day ;). Here’s proof that waking up early will result in more work done than staying up late at night. (Plus the fact that I only ever type out my translations during the day/work hours. *Whistles innocently* yay to procrastinating during office hours? — I do hope that no one at my work place ever sees this.)