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The ritual and the cell

===Vlad===

The ritual should last five to ten minutes, depending on how much power the boy could handle, but the entire process was too painful. But after two minutes of screaming, the boy stopped making any noise and stayed still.

Vlad could tell that the boy was still alive and could see him breathing at a normal rate, almost like nothing happened. The boy's unnatural way impressed once more to suddenly calm himself and increased the feeling that he had found something pretty good.

Five minutes passed, which was the minimum of the ritual, but moonlight kept being drawn by the boy's runes.

Five minutes became six, six became seven, and times passed, and more moonlight was drawn to the boy. When ten minutes passed, that should be the maximum for this case, and the ritual hadn't ended.

'Could I have done something wrong?' he thought.

This was the first time he had done the ritual himself. He was quite young for a werewolf, and turning someone into a werewolf wasn't that common event, but he was one of the lucky ones to be present in a few, even if he didn't help back then.

He couldn't stop the ritual, as that could cause a sudden release of the gathered energy, which could harm both him and the boy, so all he could do now was keep watching.

Fifteen minutes passed, and he noticed the moonlight gathering slower at the boy.

Finally, the ritual was over, as almost thirty minutes had passed.

This was unheard for Vlad, as the more human had lasted was twenty minutes, and he was an adult one. Adults, even if they wouldn't be as pure werewolves as if they turned at a younger age, could handle more energy that could cover the difference a bit.

The runes on the boy had become pitch black once more, and Vlad couldn't detect any of the silver dust in there.

Normally, only a part was consumed, and the greater it was, the more powerful the result, but Vlad never heard of one having consumed all of it. Of course, since it was a boy with a smaller body, he couldn't use it as much as an adult, but Rubert had consumed almost half of what an adult could at best have consumed.

Vlad double-checked to see if that was really the case, and he truly found no trace of the special dust on its body.

In terms of power, that could mean that the point had the potential to be as strong as an Elder. In the werewolf society, someone didn't become an Elder because of age but because of proving their power.

Still, reaching that power was a possibility, not something that was certain to happen.

Vlad cleared the boy, who remained still even after the ritual was over. Vlad noticed he seemed to be asleep, which was a common side-effect after the ritual. It should take him a few days before he was awake again, especially since there would be some changes in his body.

The energy was still in it and changing the body, but Vlad could see some of those changes already, as the boy's nails started becoming more claw-like, as he also started having some facial hair.

Vlad put the boy back on the bed.

He then headed outside, and he saw Ramona sitting on a chair not too far from the entrance of the room. She was reading one of those human books, the ones they called novels.

"So it is finally over? It became quite pretty fast. Don't tell me he died, and you actually ate him." the female Vampire asked with a smirk on her face.

Vlad knew she was kidding, or at least he hoped she was. Sometimes he wasn't certain what Ramona really meant or wanted.

"He is resting. He should be out for a few days. I would appreciate it if you had someone feeding him. Especially some meat. I will go on another expedition on gathering some."

"I will take care of it," Ramona assured him.

As he started heading downstairs, he saw another female Vampire running towards him in a hurry.

"Is everything ok?" he asked her as she reached him.

"I have a message for you, mister Vlad. Elder Gareth said we are going to need a replacement human for the Princess to feed with."

"Did something happen to the man I brought?"

Vlad knew the Elder wouldn't ask him something like that just because the Princess was hungry or in a hurry. So there had to be another reason.

"He told me that the Princess told him to tell you so, as she had plans for the human. However, I am uncertain of what the plans would be, and Elder Gareth didn't seem to know either."

Vlad thought a bit about it.

'Could she go to drain him completely? It doesn't sound like a move the Princess would do based on what I had gathered for her. Maybe her hunger was greater than I assumed.'

After thinking a bit about the possible reasons, he turned his attention to the messenger once more.

"Thank you for the message, Ecaps."

Vlad didn't remember the names of every Vampire, but Ecaps was one of the few he did so for three reasons.

The first reason was that she was the second oldest of the Vampires, right before Gareth, but she wasn't an Elder as she hadn't completed her eighth century yet, so she was still far from reaching her tenth. Unlike Gareth, whose appearance was that of an Old Man, hers was more of a middle-aged woman. She was even older than the Princesses, as she was serving the King before they were born.

The second reason that Vlad remembered her name was because she had a child. It wasn't someone she turned, but one she actually gave birth to.

He knew that outside the royal family, and some that were in the top ranks of the Vampire society, no Vampire could have a child. However, Ecaps seemed to somehow get approval from the King even if she was just a servant.

Her child was in the middle of her fifth century, and she seemed to have shown some talent during the training with Elder Gareth these past couple of decades.

The last reason was that she was an excellent tactician. They had a few years back found out a board game the humans called Victorum. It was a game that only two could play, and each person had control of different pieces, each with a different way to move on the board or the battlefield, as they called it. The final winner was the one who killed the enemy commander, so this was a perfect game for a tactician.

Vlad had 20 matches against her, and he had lost all of them.

Even Elder Gareth couldn't win against her every time, but he won at least half the time. Still, it was impressive, as she had less than half the years of his, and she hadn't been part of wars or real battles.

Vlad made his way downstairs and continued heading towards the cells. He wanted to see the prisoner's face with his eyes.

As he reached the entrance for the stairs leading to the cells, the two guards that should guard the prisoner were guarding this entrance and stopped him from progressing.

"By orders of the Princess, nobody is to go down to the cell." So the vampire guard told him.

Vlad turned towards the werewolf, who soon just sighed and started walking away.

"Where do you go?" the vampire guards shouted at him.

"Taking a break. I am certain you can handle everything yourself. Master Vlad isn't one not open to new ideas."

His tone wasn't even close to persuading someone. It was true that Vlad was listening to others and taking advice, but once he had decided, there wasn't anything one could do to change his mind.

"Ok, listen, mister Vlad. I…"

The Vampire didn't get the chance to finish his sentence, as part of the wall from behind him extended to hit the back of his head in dominant force and precision. This was a trick that Vlad had been practicing for some time. Fortunately, the guard was surprised and not one of the toughest they had around, so that simple attack worked.

Vlad caught the unconscious body and took it with him down the stairs. After they reached the end of the stairs, he left the body in a corner.

He continued his way toward the cell the man should be, which he noticed the door was open.

As he got inside, he saw the naked princess playing with the hair of the completely pale now human. At first, he thought that he was dead, but then he noticed some of him breathing normally.

As he entered the cell's area, the Princess turned towards him.

"Oh…. my hero is finally here." She said as she stood up and headed towards him, seemingly not caring that he was watching her in her birth suit.

Vlad was just frozen in place at that instant.

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TheShingPen

6 Νοε 2021

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