Chapter 15:

The Tower


It was approaching midnight, and a larger than usual ensemble had gathered at the top of 'The Tower'. The place was given that name due to its architectural reference being a tall narrow building (otherwise known as a tower) and because the inhabitants of said place lacked any imagination whatsoever.

The aforementioned inhabitants, of course, were students of Althaiez Academy. Or, to be specific, the mages and vampires of that student body, who, in the act of seclusion and 'preserving self-respect', had cut themselves off from the others.

Within this tower, only perhaps a five-minute walk away from the main building, was a party.

Assembled of more than several dozen students, who were by all means of an introverted demographic, there existed a common sentiment.

A sense of joy over the attack upon the cafeteria.

What came to befall those magicless and non-vampiric cretins was of little concern.

On the contrary actually. The more pain and suffering they supposed was inflicted upon them, the better. From what they’ve heard, an orchestrated attack of demons and monsters had been unleashed upon the cafeteria there, bringing with it havoc and destruction.

However dangerous it might have seemed, the student population of The Tower rested easy, knowing that said havoc was wrecked purely on a superficial level.

With only a single missing person having been reported, and the rest being mildly injured at best, there was no moral imperative to feel remotely bad or guilty for enjoying their suffering.

That and well, the idea a similar attack could take place where they lived, an foreign concept.

What the attack was made out to be in the general consensus of The Tower therefore, was simply their enemy’s inevitable comeuppance.

By all The Tower’s accounts, it was those Crilandese that caused such an issue in the first place. It was only under their sustained anti-magic/vampiric sentiment that the once intact student body had split.

Under their violence and brutality, it was them who had forced their hand, not the opposite.

The tensions were high before, and the Crilandese in particular, who despised mages and vampires, had as they would put it ‘wrought great turmoil and disturbance.’

So the solution was natural.

Move away, and conveniently pin all the blame on them.

It was a simple answer, one that diverted all problems and issues towards a specific population, regardless of the complexities of what truly occurred.

Whether it be justified or not, people would argue.

In the end, the result was the creation of an independently self-sustained colony inside the once shared magical study facility. A colony composed largely of three demographics.

The Vampires (of whom help run the United States of Aoel).

The Mages (of which include the Aoelian variety or Elves of the Faerindt Empire).

And any leftovers such as the very rare albeit present Crilandese mage or some other equally capable person who just so wished to join said ensemble.

Due to the conservative and rather secretive nature of both mages and vampires, the two groups tended to get along, often unanimously sharing an interest in committing war crimes or other human rights violations.

Though not all were stellar, and though there did admittedly exist some more than palpable tensions between the Elves and Vampires, in particular, it, in the end, still proved a more than satisfactory compromise.

Ultimately, thanks to what came to pass, they enjoyed each other's company.

At least for the moment anyway.

Beckoned by the sound of footsteps and the sputter of a dozen magical lights, a natural silence soon fell across the long hall. Turning their attention towards the far end of the room, they saw for themselves what had commanded their ever valuable interest.

Or to be more specific, who.

Valefar Sanguise Cruour was his name.

He stood atop a cylindrical piece of still moving water, just large enough to accommodate him.

His presence alone demanded a response from those watching, the type that urged others to heed and respect his words. The type whose outside vigour betrayed their innate maturity.

Those at hand saw for themselves a handsome vampire, pale of skin, strong of body and with swept back brown hair. His fashion was a strange blend of old and new. Choosing to wear dark trousers along a shin-length burgundy coat. The latter in particular, was evidently custom-made, with three separate coattails, and flowers embroidered in white.

As a person of higher status, they perhaps more importantly, also saw the insignia of his clan’s crest upon his chest.

The insignia of the vampire finch.

Preparing for his speech, the vampire squared up his shoulders, and with a low toned voice, firmly said "Attention."

His words, spoken in Classic Aoelian, the language of vampires, echoed throughout the space before giving way to a slight pause.

"I am Valefar Sanguise Cruor, and I would like to thank everyone that is here today."

Some at hand, who understood not what he said, only gazed on with empty eyes.

The vampire noticed, and proceeded to follow with a wry smile. Valefar’s next words were a repetition of his old, only this time in two different languages.

Those being Elvish and Lavayan.

Many, namely the Elves, looked on with lifted fingers and whispered words of approval. It proved rare for a foreigner to speak their language with such clarity, and even rarer a vampire. The Human Mages, meanwhile, were similarly impressed, albeit less so, given their already close relations.

In the short time he was on stage, Valefar had not only captured the respect of the Elves, but the Vampires and Mages too.

Playing this to his advantage, the Vampire gestured vaguely with his hands and gave those who listened a show of energy.

"We've been made aware that the insects and vermin at the other building have been under attack and would like to welcome you all in celebration of that fact."

Valefar watched the crowd for any sign of reply.

He studied the endless faces in the crowd, watching through the gloomy curtain of darkness with perfect night vision. Seeing only glee and other like-minded responses, Valefar exhaled a sigh of relief.


Perhaps rather abruptly, Valefar cut his speech short. He almost certainly could have spun a longer speech if needed. But he didn’t. His set of eyes instead gazed wearily to his servant in the far corner, as if to say ‘this is loathsome.’

The servant, in response, gazed back as if to say ‘do continue.’

Valfear stared back for a second, a pull of his lips in motion. But an instant later, they reverted back to a smile. He remembered he had to put the front of a leader. That he was an heir of one of the Twelve Master Vampire Clans.

It’ll be over soon enough. Valefar mused.

His own preferences, though, more often than not, resigned him to peace and quiet.

As such, Valefar gave a reluctant final bow, before entertaining a final round of applause.

He then proceeded to turn right. On the ledge of the stage, the vampire set foot on what seemed to be empty air.


The sound of a splash came from underneath his feet. They were the result of newly formed water steps. Which, despite their liquid nature, did not drench their immediate surroundings.

Valefar, who stepped onto four or so, then reached solid ground. A light sigh breathed from his mouth as he made his way to his servant.

The sounds of claps thereafter, soon transformed into that of fervent discussion. Now that formalities were over, a more natural comfort seeped in.

Under the astonishingly beautiful and welcoming accommodations offered, it proved only natural.

The whole room had been tailored to perfection, after all. Lining the outer rims were countless drinks and foods, each one sublime in its own way.

You need only think of a dish, politely ask the local chef, and it would be served.

Making up part of the culinary experiences provided were fountains of blood, roasted pigs stuffed with honey and tracta, and exotic stews a plenty.

For those brave of heart, dishes made of monster meat were available even.

The food, even so, only served to be a fragment of the experience.

One of the other key characteristics of such an experience was the sheer effort that went into the interior design.

Ankle height, along the floor, was what seemed to be an illuminated body of liquid. Shining with patches of pink, red and blue, the liquid in fact looked like a mix of ocean and the contents of a nebula. With bubbles of coloured gas swirling through and fro, dissipating in and out of sight like a falling star.

Said water, of course, held only the gentle sway of its thalassic counterpart while excluding the wetness that came with it. Leaving it a distinctly illusory experience for the most part, as if being gently pushed by waves.

Furthermore, a similarly themed cosmic decoration rode along the ceiling.

Only there lived a series of countless constellations and miniature stars, each one as clearly defined and detailed as the eye could see.

All in all, as the elves often would say, 'Au Cialis.'

Life is sweet.

Was it a general saying? Sure. Was it perhaps not applicable to all moments of life? Also sure.

But even so, it was telling that such an exorbitant claim resonated with even the most tense and apprehensive of those present.

One of the uneased ones, being none other than Tommy Sessogun.

Standing still in a corner, the boy known as Tommy quietly sipped on his cup of juice.

Much like many that were present, he was a mage. A skinny human of average height. He wore a black robe coming down to his ankles, accented with two lines of silver running down its length.

Tommy also happened to be a son to the Sessogun line.

One that, on the wrong occasion throughout history, chose to side with the wrong force at the wrong time and hence lost a great deal of its wealth and power.

Therefore, he was known only to others as that boy with short ash blonde hair and red eyes.

"Au Cialis Tommy,” said a strangely accented high-pitched voice.

"Au Cialis La,” he replied, somewhat bitter.

Life is sweet indeed.

Tommy's glare rose from his drink. He bore a faintly amused expression when he realised someone was in front of him.

Beyond his arm’s reach, a girl blinked prettily.

Margherita Paradez-Molla.

A human, around his height, with short curly brown hair. She wore a long red dress fitted with frills, both at her wrists and reaching down from her waist. More than that, though, Margherita was also notoriously beautiful, to the point where even one as stoic as Tommy would admit to it.

Margherita had an enchanting pair of literal magic pink eyes, a shapely face, and just a generally receptive smile that lent her a great deal of popularity.

The opposite of the seemingly lonesome Tommy.

Or so it seemed.

In one way, the two were actually quite similar.

To an even lower standard than Tommy, Margherita's lineage was actually completely unknown.

A total enigma in both renown and skill.

At first she had been berated for such, having been regarded as some mage from some backwater dung heap. That type of treatment, however, lasted only short of two days upon her arrival.

When she suspected an opportunity arose, Margherita challenged the mages who wronged her, and burned them alive just short of the brink of death.

And just like that, the problem was solved.

Such occurrences were more than common around these parts.

So long as you spare a mage from death (the end of one's lineage), the matter was relatively tolerated within the eyes of society.

To wound a family's pride dishonourably was one matter, to do so in a mutually agreed upon duel was another.

Steward McOy
Kya Hon
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