Chapter 79:

The Vampire Court (Part 6)

The Children of Eris

Despite being the daughter of a prominent noble, Rebecca had never attended many balls or parties in her life.Bookmark here

She was only ever allowed to hold hollow birthday parties in which her parents would show off their wealth and influence, and would push her to one side. Bookmark here

They only allowed her to attend to help her find a suitable marriage partner.Bookmark here

No matter who they chose, whether they were handsome and kind or ugly and crude, they all made Rebecca’s skin crawl the same way.Bookmark here

Gingerly, she sipped from her wine glass and sighed. I wonder if I should be happy that those days are long gone.Bookmark here

Over two hundred days ago, when the Demon Emperor had arrived at her home, her life and the fate of Themis had changed forever.Bookmark here

For her, it was for the better.Bookmark here

She shook her head. Why am I still thinking about this even now?Bookmark here

“Lady Rebecca, is something wrong?” Jessica asked beside her.Bookmark here

“…I’m fine.” She smiled thinly. “The wine was just a bit stronger than I expected.”Bookmark here

“If you think this is strong, then clearly you haven’t drunk enough in your life, milady,” Cain chimed in before finishing his own glass. “This stuff’s far too weak for me to enjoy.”Bookmark here

“Well, you always went for the hardest ales when we were adventurers, so it’s hardly a surprise this doesn’t faze you a little,” Lucy said. “I have to admit.” She sipped her wine again. “It’s got quite a kick to it.”Bookmark here

“Not enough of one.”Bookmark here

“Cain, this is a formal ball,” Jessica reminded him. “They aren’t going to have strong ales and drinking contests.”Bookmark here

“I know, I know, it’s just…” Cain looked troubled. “I don’t really know what to do at these sorts of things.”Bookmark here

“You could always ask Lady Rebecca for advice. She’s had by far the most experience.”Bookmark here

“Only as a decoration, I assure you,” Rebecca said softly. The adventurers gave her pitying looks. “You don’t have to make those sorts of faces. I’m fine now. Ever since his majesty took control of the castle.”Bookmark here

“I heard from the kitchen staff that he was very scary that night,” Cain muttered; he shivered. “I can’t even begin to imagine how terrifying that must’ve been.”Bookmark here

“You’ve seen his anger before.”Bookmark here

“Not like what they described, milady.”Bookmark here

“It wasn’t as bad as they said, I’m sure.”Bookmark here

“They said he was so furious he could’ve gutted the lot of you.”Bookmark here

“He…could’ve, but didn’t.” Rebecca smiled. “Not after he learned what my parents did.”Bookmark here

“…Right.”Bookmark here

“…Could I ask you three something?”Bookmark here

“Of course, Lady Rebecca,” Jessica said.Bookmark here

“Do you all know what’s…happened to you?”Bookmark here

The three adventurers shot her a confused look, then looked to each other and then back to Rebecca.Bookmark here

“What do you mean?” Cain asked.Bookmark here

“I mean, you know.” Rebecca glanced over her shoulder and saw that no one else from their party was nearby. “That you’re Awoken?”Bookmark here

At that gentle whisper, Cain burst out into laughter and the two women smiled warmly at Rebecca.Bookmark here

“Of course, we know, my lady,” Lucy replied. Bookmark here

“And you’re okay with this?”Bookmark here

“Okay with what?”Bookmark here

“Being a part of his majesty’s forces.”Bookmark here

Cain stifled his laugh. “Why wouldn’t we be happy?” His eyes changed to a deep purple colour. “Thanks to Lady Mania, we’ve awoken to the greatest truth of them all; his majesty is the future of Aangapea.”Bookmark here

“That’s how we all feel, Lady Rebecca,” Lucy added; her and Jessica’s eyes became the same colour as Cain’s. “It’s thanks to his majesty that we’re still alive now and that we’re able to help guide Aangapea into the Demon Empire.”Bookmark here

“…Even after knowing what they did to you?”Bookmark here

“Lady Rebecca, are you-?”Bookmark here

“No! Of course not.” Rebecca grasped her arm and shut her eyes. “I just…”Bookmark here

“You’re still conflicted, after all this time?” Jessica gently asked; Rebecca nodded. Jessica wrapped her arms around Rebecca and brought her into a soft embrace. “I know what you mean to say but, I promise you, we don’t hate who we’ve become or what’s happened to us.Bookmark here

“I still have my old memories of our team and Roland, but all that does is remind me of how weak we used to be. We were naïve, foolish and had it not been for Lady Mania using us in her experiments, we would either have died that night or in pointless rebellion against his majesty.Bookmark here

“We are nothing but grateful to be standing here today.”Bookmark here

“Milady, with all due respect, you should be happy for yourself and those you helped,” Cain added. “Because of you, all those people at the Dread Keep are safe and alive. You helped protect the people of Black Port too and, I’m sure, you’ll do nothing but your best to look after the citizens of the Demon Empire. Bookmark here

“You have a right to happiness and you should be.”Bookmark here

Rebecca nodded and held Jessica back. “Thank you.”Bookmark here

“You’re very welcome, Lady Rebecca,” Jessica whispered. Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

After half an hour of introductions, David and Lilith were finally alone, allowing David to relax a little for the first time since the ball had begun.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry, Lord Allaric, I didn’t think that there would be this many people wanting to introduce themselves to you so soon,” Lilith confessed. “I hope they didn’t upset you.”Bookmark here

“Far from it; they all seemed like promising allies,” David said. “Still, I didn’t realise just how far reaching the Court’s influence was.”Bookmark here

Lilith smiled proudly at him before looking out at the hundreds of guests in the hall. “It’s amazing, isn’t it? My father made the Court what it is today almost single handedly. If it wasn’t for his guidance after the fight against Themis, our kind would have long since died out.”Bookmark here

“Then, I must offer my sincere thanks and gratitude to Lord Ruthven the next chance I get.”Bookmark here

“I’m sure that will make him very happy, Lord Allaric.”Bookmark here

“Lilith.”Bookmark here

“Yes?”Bookmark here

“You can just call me Allaric when it’s the two of us.”Bookmark here

“Ah.” Lilith smiled bashfully and looked away from him. “But that would be far too forward before we’re married.”Bookmark here

“Yet I can address you without saying lady? Doesn’t seem fair, does it?”Bookmark here

Lilith giggled. “I guess not…A-Allaric.”Bookmark here

David smiled. “Thank you, Lilith.”Bookmark here

Out of the corner of his eye, David saw Lord Ruthven snap his fingers at the orchestra who, after a few moments, began to play an elegant song.Bookmark here

“Allaric, may we share our first dance?” Lilith asked, holding out her hand to him.Bookmark here

“Of cour-”Bookmark here

Shit.Bookmark here

“Lord Allaric?”Bookmark here

David started to sweat.Bookmark here

I don’t know how to dance!Bookmark here

Not once had David ever danced in his life, not at weddings, at his school’s balls or discos, or even when he’d gone to friend’s houses for parties.Bookmark here

Hailey often used to try and make him dance, but he would always stubbornly refuse. Even when she did drag him up to dance, David only moved his arms a little unless Hailey helped. Bookmark here

“…Is something the matter, Lord Allaric?” Lilith asked too softly for anyone else to hear.Bookmark here

“…I don’t know how to dance,” David mumbled in shame.Bookmark here

He thought, for sure, that Lilith might laugh at him for that proclamation but, instead, she just smiled as sweetly as she always did. Bookmark here

She took his hand in hers and led him out onto a balcony, shutting the doors behind them.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry,” he muttered.Bookmark here

“Why are you apologising, Allaric?” She asked.Bookmark here

“Well, I mean, you seemed like you really wanted to dance and-”Bookmark here

“Would you like me to teach you?”Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

Lilith placed both of her hands on his hand and repeated the question.Bookmark here

“You…aren’t disappointed or disillusioned with me?”Bookmark here

“Of course not. If anything.” She giggled tenderly. “It just made me fall for you a little bit more.”Bookmark here

David’s face suddenly felt hot.Bookmark here

“Really?”Bookmark here

She nodded. “Really. I’m sure that there are many things that you can do that I cannot, Allaric, so I will no doubt have to rely on your abilities moving forward. You give off such an aura of invincibility that I feared that I would be nothing more than dead weight dragging you down. Bookmark here

“I couldn’t be happier to know that I could help you in some way, even if it’s just as simple as teaching you to dance.”Bookmark here

David smiled at her and lovingly embraced her cheek with his free hand; despite being startled at first, Lilith closed her eyes and nuzzled against his palm.Bookmark here

“…Thank you, Lilith. I would love for you to teach me.”Bookmark here

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She reopened her eyes and said, “Thank you.”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.