Chapter 75:

The Vampire Court (Part 2)

The Children of Eris

An hour later, Lord Ruthven returned with a beautiful female vampire with blonde hair and ruby-like eyes, two attending knights and a small number of maids and butlers.Bookmark here

“Forgive me for the delay, your majesty,” Lord Ruthven said with a bow; the woman beside him curtsied. “It took me longer than I would’ve liked to finish my work.”Bookmark here

“It’s fine,” David said as the two sat down across from him. Bookmark here

“Then, your majesty, shall we just get right to the matter at hand?” Bookmark here

“Let’s. Tell me, why is it that you invited me here?”Bookmark here

Lord Ruthven snapped his fingers. Bookmark here

One of the maids behind him left the room briefly, then returned with a large pile of documents which she gently placed on the table between them.Bookmark here

“To discuss both of our futures, your majesty,” Lord Ruthven declared. He gestured to the documents on the table. “Please.”Bookmark here

David nodded to Eva who handed a document to Rebecca and the rest of David’s council. Bookmark here

The Demonic-Blood CovenantBookmark here

Described below in this document is Lord Ruthven’s proposal to his Imperial Majesty, the Demon Emperor, detailing the specifics of an alliance between the Demon Empire and the Vampire Court of Themis.Bookmark here

Clause 1 - All vampires across the world, regardless of social status, wealth, income and capabilities, are entitled to citizenship within the Demon Empire.Bookmark here

Clause 2 - Appropriate positions, titles and land will be granted to the eight highest ranking members of the Vampire Court (Lord Ruthven will provide the names of the eight at a later date). Further, at least two members of the Vampire Court, including Lord Ruthven or Lady Lilith, will be assigned to the Demon Emperor’s personal council.Bookmark here

Clause 3 - Per the signing of this contract, the Demon Emperor agrees to take Lady Lilith of the Vampire Court as his Empress. While the Demon Emperor will be allowed as many additional wives/concubines/slaves as he desires, Lady Lilith can be the only Empress.Bookmark here

Clause 4 - In exchange for the acceptance of the above clauses, the Vampire Court of Themis eternally pledges its allegiance and support to the Demon Emperor, his descendants and the best for his empire. This includes but is not limited to: financial support, intelligence from across Aangapea, the court’s military, the court’s influence and their assistance in managing the territories of the empire. Bookmark here

Clause 5 - As long as the above conditions are met, then the Vampire Court of Themis pledges to serve his majesty the Demon Emperor for eternity. Anyone caught breaking this Covenant without a justifiable reason on the Court’s side can be punished however his majesty decides.Bookmark here

After reading the proposal through, David couldn’t help but smile a little bit. Bookmark here

It’s interesting to see just how much Lord Ruthven’s willing to give me in exchange for his terms. These are, on the surface, incredibly advantageous terms for me with few downsides. Bookmark here

At least, on the surface.Bookmark here

He glanced over at Rebecca who was scrutinising the document.Bookmark here

I’ll have to consult the others before I even think about signing this. Bookmark here

“Your majesty, when I felt the disturbance in the air that marked your arrival, I knew that this world was going to change,” Lord Ruthven said. “I knew that the winds were changing and that those of us who have lived in the dark side of the Holy Empire would finally be able to step into the light, that we would find our place in this world.Bookmark here

“I spent months trying to find signs of you and your influence on our world, and I have heard many great things about you. Bookmark here

“I have learnt of your deeds at the Shadow Tombs and the destruction of Black Port. I have read countless reports about the Great Disaster and the ever-growing chaos in Stonefall. I know that it was by your magic that Karak-Harth arose from his grave and destroyed Teriscant.”Bookmark here

"You fear me then?” David asked.Bookmark here

“Far from it, your majesty.” Lord Ruthven smiled. “I am in awe of your achievements. There are few beings in history who could claim to have done even half of the things you have, myself included, and I envy that. More than that, your majesty, I dream of being a part of your great plans.”Bookmark here

“Oh?”Bookmark here

“And yet, you skulked around in the shadows for months whilst our Master achieved these things you envy?” Charybdis chimed in with a snide smile. Bookmark here

David glanced over his shoulder at her, but didn’t stop her.Bookmark here

“Forgive me, my lady, but what is your-?”Bookmark here

“Charybdis, Beast of the Ocean, Lord Ruthven.” She put on a fake sweet smile. Bookmark here

“Lady Charybdis, do you presume us to be fools?” Lord Ruthven bluntly asked her, a stern look on his face.Bookmark here

“Not at all. However, if you truly did feel his majesty’s arrival all those months ago, why is it only now, now that he’s earnt all of his achievements alone, that you offer your services to him? If you truly sensed that the times were changing and knew of our Master’s strength, why did you not offer this alliance sooner?” Bookmark here

Charybdis lost her smile and her eyes changed colour. “Are your convictions so weak to ally with our Master whilst he has power? Would you truly uphold your end of the bargain, or are you just trying to use his majesty for your own gains?”Bookmark here

“Lady Charybdis, the Vampire Court are not idiots,” Lord Ruthven said. “Whilst we have great influence and power, we only exert that strength when it is in our best interest. I did know that his majesty would change this world and I did search for him for months, but I will not deny that I only offered this alliance to him now after seeing what his majesty could do.Bookmark here

“The Vampire Court knows when to back a winning horse and.” Lord Ruthven smiled somewhat bitterly. “We know when to submit to those much stronger than us.”Bookmark here

“Is that why Saint Themis never fully destroyed the vampires?” Rebecca asked.Bookmark here

“Indeed.” Lord Ruthven met her gaze. “Despite what the Church might preach to its flock, Saint Themis made many compromises to secure her power, one of which was with us.”Bookmark here

“What do you mean?” David interjected.Bookmark here

“During the Battle of the Beast Woods, Saint Themis led her mighty army to fight us by the lake outside our walls. After a long and desperate battle, only she and I survived. Both of us knew that if we continued to fight, we’d both die and thus I offered her a deal.Bookmark here

“I swore that the Court would never bring harm upon her or her descendants and she would tell the world that vampires had gone extinct, keeping the members of the Court’s identities safe.”Bookmark here

“Would you not be breaking your deal with her by allying with Lord Allaric?”Bookmark here

“Not at all, Lady Rebecca.” Lord Ruthven grinned mischievously. “Lady Themis’s original bloodline died out seventy years ago. The heirs born at the time were from an affair the empress had with another noble. We vampires alone are the only ones who know of this.”Bookmark here

“How?”Bookmark here

“I could smell the differences in their blood,” Lord Ruthven said. “I went in disguise to a party the royals were hosting at their palace and smelt the difference. It wasn’t as pure or rich as Saint Themis’s had been.”Bookmark here

David couldn’t help but laugh. “I see, so that’s how you can keep your covenant and break it at the same time.” His expression stiffened and his aura grew. “Do you intend to do the same to me?”Bookmark here

Everyone in the room froze up for several, terrifyingly long seconds.Bookmark here

Then, with an anxious look on his face, Lord Ruthven spoke.Bookmark here

“Not at all, your majesty. If I ever intended to do that to you, then I would never have offered you my daughter’s hand in marriage.”Bookmark here

“Daughter?”Bookmark here

Lord Ruthven cleared his throat and gestured to the woman sat beside him, the one who had remained dead still and quiet since the meeting had begun.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“May I introduce to your majesty Lady Lilith, heir apparent to my estate and the future Head of the Vampire Court.”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.