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The ritual

===Ramona===

Vlad asked Ramona, one of the female Vampires servants, to help him give clean the boy as the smell was terrible, especially for him.

She agreed to help, as she was interested in finding out more about the boy. She knew her Vampire Charm wasn't as strong as it used to be, but it should work on a child like that. And she had felt that it almost worked for a few seconds, but then the boy resisted it. She had never encountered something like that in the past.

She was also interested in doing what the Werewolf wanted to do with the boy.

She had spent some time with Vlad and had understood his character to a degree. He was quite famous among the Vampire ladies, as he proved himself to be a great fighter and had protected them in many close calls.

But he wasn't her type, as he seemed to her, that he tried to play the hero role too much. He was trying to protect everyone, but sometimes that idea put them in more danger, as he wasn't willing to leave somebody behind. So she could understand wanting to protect your people but not being that foolish as bringing the majority in danger.

They were lucky until now that they hadn't had any losses, but it was just a matter of time if they continued like that.

Maybe now that the Princess was back, she would show him how a genuine leader should act.

She couldn't wait to see the Princess back in action

===Vlad===

He didn't know why, but he noticed that Ramona seemed to be deep in thought on something.

She was still helping him clean the boy as he asked her, but he was around her long enough to notice when something was on her mind. He also knew he long enough to know that he never should ask her what was in her mind.

She wasn't the sharing kind of Vampire, and she had beaten up one of his men for asking her a similar question. Instead, she valued her privacy more than anything and demanded the same for everyone else, unless she wanted to talk about it.

It took them some time to clean the boy, but fortunately, Ramona's Element was Water which helped quite a lot.

When they finished cleaning him up, they put him in some specially made clothes that could adjust to the size of the user. Unfortunately, his old clothes were too filthy and damaged, so they burned them. Finally, they put him to rest on the room's bed.

Vlad was curious about why the Vampires had so many bedrooms, as even if they had Trance that worked like sleep, they didn't need to get in one unless they were hurt or hadn't for weeks or even months.

Soon the boy started showing signs of waking up.

As he did and saw him and Ramona, the boy just stared at them.

"We won't hurt you. I know things are confusing, but I can expl…. "

"You two are a Werewolf and a Vampire. Aren't you?"

It surprised Vlad that the boy came to that conclusion by himself. Of course, the existence of the 8 Races wasn't a secret anymore, but it wasn't public knowledge either. For most people, they were still just fairy tales.

This time, the boy was calm, and Vlad didn't see any signs of fear in it.

"What you said is the truth. I am indeed a Werewolf, and my name is Vlad. This here is Ramona, who, as you said, is a Vampire. But how did you know of our true nature?"

The boy raised his shoulders and arms, signifying that he didn't know the answer to that question.

"I just knew."

Vlad was now more interested in putting his plan into action.

"What do you know about my people? About the Werewolves?" he asked the boy.

"Ehm…. you turn into a wolf… eat naughty children, and…. don't remember anything else."

Ramona chuckled at that response as she found the absurd stories the people were telling about the people of the 8 Races.

Vlad, on the other hand, didn't find them amusing at all. He would never eat a child, naughty or not. Humans didn't look that tasty to him or any of his people. Some wanted to kill them just for the adrenaline of killing them, but not to eat them.

"Well, turning into a wolf is something we can do. Eating children we can in theory, but we don't. More or less, we eat the same things humans do, and we just have some different methods of producing our food. From your calm behavior, though, I understand that you knew that we weren't planning to eat you."

Rubert nodded.

'A smart boy, indeed. He should be able to make it.'

Vlad just thought a little before he continued speaking.

"Would you like to become one of us? Then, we will take care of you better and will have an actual roof above your head."

That question seemed to trigger something in Rubert, as his face wasn't as calm as before but showed signs of confusion.

"Me? Become a werewolf? Is that possible?"

"Of course it is. Of course, you won't be a pure Werewolf like me, meaning some of our abilities will be weaker for you, but if you make it at that young age, you shouldn't be that weaker than if you were a Werewolf since birth. But I must warn you that it will be a painful procedure, and there is a chance that you won't make it and remain a human or die."

Vlad wanted the boy to join their cause as his guts told him the boy had great potential, even if he hadn't known him for long. He always trusted his guts, and until now, this proved the right thing to do.

"I will do it," the boy answered without a second thought.

The quick answer surprised Vlad, especially since he could see the conviction in the boy's eyes of wanting to do it and not being just a rush decision.

"Ok, then we will start right away. Ramona, we won't need your services for now."

"Oh? And just when it started getting interesting. But I guess you want to keep your rituals a secret. Well, it would be hypocritical of me not to respect your secrets. Good luck, youngling," and with that, Ramona left the room.

What she said was the truth. Vlad didn't want her in the room, as the ritual of turning someone into a Werewolf was a secret of his race, and he planned to keep it like that. However, it wasn't as easy as biting or scratching someone as it seemed to be what most of the stories about his people were among the humans.

Vlad pulled out a pouch that had some silver dust. It wasn't normal silver, but they embedded it with the moonlight of the third moon that only appeared for a year every a hundred years. So the moonlight embedded in the silver dust was from when the third moon was full, which happened only for one night every four months, meaning they only had 3 nights every one hundred years to make it.

The werewolves and their powers were connected with the moons' phases, as the closest one of them was to a full moon, the strongest they were, especially when the third was a full moon. Even when it wasn't a full moon, they were powerful, but they were at another power level on those nights.

Even the King of Vampires had said in the past that he would find it challenging to face a well-trained group of Werewolves during a full moon. That didn't mean that he would lose, but it would be difficult for him to win. But stories said that the King of Vampires was the strongest being among the people of the 8 Races and could face even the Dragon Race by himself. But he was an exception.

There were also rumors that the moon didn't exist until the Firstborn Werewolf asked his creator to make it. But, unfortunately, the Firstborn had died at quite a young age, not even reaching one thousand years old, and they did not record many stories from his time on paper or some other way.

The reason their Firstborn died was unknown, but he had a legal heir selected in case something happened to him. Although some weren't certain when or how he got picked to be an heir, most of the Elders were with his side of the story.

He made a circle with the silver dust, and he asked Rubert to sit at its center. After finishing the circle, he helped Rubert take off his shirt and then mixed some ink with the silver dust to draw special runes on his body.

It took him a few minutes to finish, as he had covered almost all his body with those special runes.

"Prepare yourself as it is going to hurt."

Rubert nodded and then opened one of the room's windows. It was a night at the moon was out, but it wasn't a full moon. Still, some moonlight got in the room and seemed to be attracted to Rubert's runes.

The runes changed color from black to white, and when all of them were white, Rubert started screaming.

The ritual had begun.

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6 Νοε 2021

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