Chapter 1:

Prologue

Blood and Silver


The girl couldn’t move a muscle. She couldn’t scream. She couldn’t even close her eyes. She had no choice but to witness the scene before her. Still as a statue, the girl watched as the man was beaten to a pulp.

She didn’t like the man. In fact, she absolutely despised him. For as long as she could remember, the man had taken advantage of her and soiled her purity. She wasn’t alone either. Dozens of girls were soiled by the man and his friends. Most couldn’t remember a time when they still retained their chastity. In it’s place, they only remembered their master’s twisted, fanged smile.

Her day had started out just as any other would. She was chastised, beaten, and made an example of. Then she was forced to remove her undergarments. But then, without signal, a woman burst through the door. The girl wasn’t too sure what happened afterwards since it happened so fast. Next thing she knew, the man was on the ground being beaten to a bloody pulp as the women all sat petrified in fear.

But the girl stood still, not because she was afraid of the woman, but because she wanted to see the man’s demise. Even as the man sat lifeless, each strike seemed like pure euphoria to the girl. The woman seemed to be enjoying it just as much. Both the girl and the woman smiled ever so wider with every strike to the man’s body.

The woman eventually stopped and began to walk away. But as she did, she noticed the girl. She was extremely frail looking and her skin was as pale, almost transparent. Her hair was black as night, cut short and messily. The girl was looking back at the woman with chocolate eyes. The girl saw scarlet red hair that flowed down to the waist. She saw beautiful pale skin as white as snow. She saw eyes that glowed bright with amber. And she saw a fanged smile.

But those fangs did not scare the girl like the man’s did. In fact, they comforted the girl. So the girl’s smile did not cease. The woman took notice at how she smiled so eagerly. The woman spoke slowly and in a seductive tone.

“Aren’t you afraid of me?”

The girl shook her head.

“That was amazing, miss” the girl exclaimed earnestly.

“Is that so?”

“Mmm” the girl nodded.

The woman looked over at the man’s dismembered corpse and back at the girl.

“Did that man do things to you?”

“All the time, miss” the girl nodded, “I’m really happy that he’s dead now”.

“Well if he did bad things to you, then he should pay you back in some way. But since he’s dead and I was the one to kill him, how about I give you something?”

“Well... in that case...”

The girl thought of what she might want. She had only wanted freedom from that man, but she had that now. She could only think of one alternative, so she went ahead and said it.

“Miss?”

“Yes, dear?”

“Is there any way I can be like you one day?”

“Well I can’t guarantee it,” the woman put her hand atop the girl’s head, “But there is a way that might work”

The girl perked up upon hearing this.

“What do I have to do!?” She asked excitedly.

“You have to pay a simple yet steep price,” she rubbed the girl’s head

“What do I have to pay?”

The woman’s smile widened.

“You must pledge to serve me in life, death, and beyond. Only then can you become like me”.

The girl hesitated for a moment. She had just won her freedom. She didn’t want to give it up so easily. And yet, at the same time, she didn’t know what to do with freedom. The only thing she really yearned for was to be like this woman.

“I’ll do it!”

The woman was taken a little aback by the little girl’s enthusiasm to give up her life, but it wasn’t the first time she had seen something like this.

“Then, tell me your name, dear”

“My name is Nadia, miss”

“That’s a nice name, Nadia,” the woman continued to caress her fingers through Nadia’s hair, “My name is Natalia, Natalia Cruxius”

“That’s a beautiful name, miss,” Nadia’s eyes gleamed, “I won’t forget it”.

“Now, Nadia,” Natalia’s hand moved down to Nadia’s cheek, “I need you to say ‘I, Nadia, pledge myself to Natalia Cruxius in life, death, and beyond”

Nadia began to feel an anxiety build in her stomach. She was afraid of messing up the words. Even so, she pushed the nervousness down far into her stomach and out of her lungs. She closed her eyes and spoke.

“I, Nadia, pledge myself to Natalia Cruxius in life, death, and beyond”

Nadia opened her eyes and saw a gentle smile on Natalia’s face.

“Now then, Nadia, as my servant, you must now do all that I tell you. Understood?”

“Yes, miss”

“Then, heed my command, and follow me”

• • •

Nadia sat anxiously waiting in front of a mirror. She was wearing an ornate white dress. Since the man had been killed, many years had passed, and Nadia’s face had matured. Her hair was still cut short, though it was fuller in volume and was much cleaner. Her skin had gained some color, and her body had become much more womanly. While her bust wasn’t much to write home about, her rear was very shapely. She was not the same frail little girl anymore.

“We’re ready for you, Nadia” said a playful voice from behind her. Nadia turned around to see her three bridesmaids.

The one who had spoke was Sophie, a girl Nadia had met soon after meeting Natalia. She had golden blonde hair that reached to the middle of her back. Her eyes were a bright blue and her skin had a light tan. Nadia didn’t like Sophie at first, but her playful nature grew on her, and they became best of friends. Beside her was Rikka, a reserved girl with purple hair, and Maria, a feisty, darkly tanned girl.

“Are you nervous, Nadia? Worried your dress isn’t good enough for her?” Sophie teased.

“Just a little bit,” Nadia said candidly, “but I’m ready to go”

As Nadia got up and began to walk out of the room, Sophie continued their conversation.

“I never would’ve thought you’d have a wedding before mine when we were growing up”

“I’m sure you’ll get married soon”

“You say that, but things haven’t been going my way recently. Besides that though, I’m really glad I get to be your head bridesmaid”

“So am I”

As they finished their conversation, Nadia reached the door leading to the cathedral.

“Are you ready, Nadia?”

Nadia took in a deep breath before replying.

“Yeah”

Sophie stepped beside Nadia and reached out her elbow. Nadia took hold of the elbow as the organ began to play inside. The door began to open, and Sophie began to walk Nadia down the isle. Once they were through the door, Nadia could see the magnificent scene of the cathedral. The roof seemed nigh unreachable and had a soft light seeping through it’s stained glass windows. The pews were all exquisitely designed with a dark brown wood. The isle was covered with a beautiful red rug leading to the altar.

And upon the altar was the most beautiful sight of all. Natalia, the woman Nadia had pledged her life to all those years ago, stood at the altar awaiting her bride. She also wore a white dress, though the design was much different. Since the day Nadia had met her, she had not changed much. Her hair was still the same beautiful, deep red. Her eyes still burned bright with amber. Her skin was still as pale as snow. She smiled softly at Nadia as she approached.

After Nadia reached the altar, the ceremony began. The preacher exclaimed to everyone the importance of the occasion. The two exchanged their vows. Nadia pledged, once again, to serve Natalia Cruxius in life, death and beyond. Then, the moment of truth came.

“Natalia Cruxius, you may now kiss the bride”

Natalia smiled. Nadia closed her eyes, trying to brace herself for what was to come. Natalia began to lean in, inching closer and closer to Nadia. Any then...

A blade pierced through Nadia’s stomach. She coughed up blood and opened up her eyes. She saw that Natalia was the one holding the blade. Pain shot through her entire body. Then, just as she could get back to her senses, another blade pierced her in the back. She didn’t see it, but she knew the blade must have been held by Sophie. Slowly, life began to fade away from Nadia.

“This is where my life ends” were Nadia’s final thoughts as a living being.

Then, nothingness. Nadia didn’t feel the warm glow of heaven. She didn’t feel the burning of hell’s flames. She simply felt nothing. She didn’t have a body, she didn’t have a mind. She was simply nothing in a sea of nothing.

But then, feeling began to return. It started at where her lips used to be. Then her mouth. Then her throat. It sread down to where her stomach was. Then, it began to spread throughout the rest of her body, until it reached her brain. Once it reached her brain, she began to think again. Then feeling returned to her eyes.

She opened them to see the cathedral before her again. This time, however, she was laying on something, angled somewhat backwards. A large bowl of a red liquid was being poured into Nadia’s mouth. It was tasteless at first, but eventually her sense of taste returned. When it did, she was met with a sweet, metallic flavor. As her sense of touch returned, she noticed that her stab wounds didn’t hurt anymore. However, a certain spot on her neck stung.

When Nadia came to, the bridesmaids helped her back up. She was laying on the stone tablet that was in the middle of the altar. When being helped up, Nadia noticed that the bridesmaid’s forearms were covered with bandaging. She now stood before Natalia, who was covered in blood, acting like the earlier event had not happened.

None of this, however, did not shock Nadia. In fact, she had expected all of this. Because this was no ordinary wedding ceremony.

This was the ceremony of a vampire bride.

First, Nadia had to be killed. Then, she was bitten on the neck by Natalia. After she had died and been bitten, she was laid on the stone tablet. The bridesmaids then spilt their blood into a bowl wich they used to pour it into Nadia’s mouth. After that was over and they had revived Nadia, the final phase of the ceremony began.

Natalia began to speak.

“Nadia, you have been through death, and through my will you have been brought back”

Natalia gestured her arms upward.

“On this glorious day, you begin you life after life, reborn anew. You are no longer simply Nadia, dear bride”

Natalia brought her arms down and gestured towards Nadia.

“You are now Nadia Cruxius, vampire of the great clan Cruxius. May you serve your name well”.

Stella Procella
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