Chapter 21:


Vampire Lanterns

Adrik led Demyan to that place, where they were attacked. The dead bodies disappeared. "Interesting! Someone must have "cleaned up" after you two." Demyan looked at Adrik and summoned a small bat. He ordered it to find the hideout. Soon they were led deeper into the forest to a small hut.
Adrik peeked through the window. "I can see five men... I will take their souls and you can have their blood." Adrik's scary red eyes glowed at Demyan. His grey eyes glowed back at Adrik with a smirk. Adrik raised his hand into the sky. It became covered with dark clouds accompanied by thunder and lightning. "I always wanted to make a grand entrance."
The door on the hut shot open and both men in their demon and vampire form intimidatingly stared into the men's frightened souls. It didn't take them long, to get rid of those five assholes, who dared to touch Petrona.
Adrik done with the last man, looked at feeding Demyan, who sucked almost all of them dry. "You should clean up the blood after. You would scare her to death, if she spotted you like that. Probably she would expect you to be greatly wounded."
Demyan dropped the limp body, which was already empty of blood to the ground. His hunger was silenced. "You are right, she is too caring, without suspecting, what we are." Adrik paused for a second. "Yeah... you are right..."

After their return, Petrona still was sleeping. Demyan checked on her. "She runs a fever. What should I do?" Adrik stepped closer, to check himself. "We need to cool her down. Strip her naked..." Demyan angrily grabbed him by the throat. "What did you just say?"
Petrona touched Demyan's pants. "Please... don't fight..." Demyan in a blink of an eye lowered his face to her level. "How do you feel? What should I do, to help you?" She weakly smiled at him. "I will sleep it off, don't worry. Tomorrow, we will have a long journey ahead, so please, rest my Highness..." Both men looked at each other worried.

The next morning, Petrona felt much better and tried a little stretch. The stab wound hurt a little, but she was sure, to be ok. Adrik came from behind leaned over her and offered her a ride on his back.
She looked up and behind. "I am flattered my Lord, but I will be able to walk, without a problem." Demyan snapped at Adrik. "If it will be needed, I WILL CARY HER, so don't push yourself into our business, you can leave for the hills already." Adrik pointed with his finger at his face.
"Me? Leave? Of course not! I will go with you to the capital. You both grew so much to my heart, so it became hard for me to part our ways."
Demyan was overly annoyed by him. Still, it wasn't that bad of an idea, to have one more set of magic hands to guard Petrona.

At the capital, they were reunited with Mirko. He was surprised by an unfamiliar face. Petrona introduced Adrik during their shopping and told him everything, what happened. Well, just partly...
She couldn't admit to him, that Demyan killed the Rusalka queen Dana and that he also attacked Jegor. In her version Demyan just "negotiated" with the elf prince. About the stabbing, she could be truthful.
Mirko was shocked and wanted to check on Petrona's injury and told her to go see a doctor for the stab wound. Demyan reminded her about the fever she had. Mirko frowned. "It's dangerous for you to get sick again. Don't forget..." Petrona covered Mirko's mouth with her hand. Demyan now frowned and got serious, but kept rather silent. He planned to inquire Mirko later.
The capital was a melting pot of all those different races and hybrids among them, living in a utopic peace at one spot. Demyan was mesmerized by it. His mind crossed a wish for something similar at his Waste Lands.
He remembered the contract, he signed with his blood. Adrik knew, what he was thinking. He came to him and patted his shoulder. "I am glad you have the same wish as me. I saw this place so many times, but still takes my breath how wonderful it is."
Demyan was glad, he agreed to a better future for his own land. Petrona walked through the capital unmistakably. She was here so many times, that she memorized every single street and alley.
Adrik sighed. "We have new company..." Demyan glanced around. "I am sure, they won't try anything in the middle of the capital, but outside... We should split. You take the guy and I will take Petrona..." Adrik was upset. "Huh?! Why should I take the scrawny kid? You take him! I am more, than capable of protecting her by myself."
Demyan got into Adrik's face. "Over my dead body!" Mirko and Petrona looked behind them at the fighting guys. "What's this about...?" Demyan lifted Petrona into his arms and took off. "We will meet you at the bulwark!"
They left an angry Adrik and a puzzled Mirko in the dust. Adrik pushed a dagger into Mirko's hands. "We should run after them in a distance and kill anybody, who will try to harm Petrona." Mirko didn't understand at first, but as he saw the strangers running behind them, he went into a protective mode and indeed killed anyone, who got too close. They succeeded.
At the bulwark, all the thugs were left dead somewhere on the way in the middle of the road. Adrik looked back. "Such a waste..." Mirko stared at him. "What waste?" Adrik smiled and strongly patted his back. "Good job kid!" Mirko displeased. "I am not a kid!"
Demyan lowered down Petrona. She still tried to make out, what was happening. A familiar voice caught her attention. Luka happily screamed at them. He was glad to see her, but suddenly he smelled her blood, which made him worry and then, he caught a dangerous scent of...

"Petrona! RUN!"
He changed into his werewolf form and went straight after Adrik's neck.