The last thing Malphus needed was attention on him right now, he ran away from the mansion. Jumping through the walls to head towards the nearest village but knowing well about how the search was done, he instead started to run through the forest.
It didn't help that he was injured severely, his ribs broken as it started to poke his muscles and his body feeling as if it were spent with no energy but it wasn't time for him to relax.
Being the son of the Lord of Wovile, Malphus knew that even if he approached the magistrate or any of the assigned Dukes, help would be given but at the expense of his life as it would be again taken back to the Lord itself who was being controlled by his wife, that is his stepmother. The one person he believed who would aid him was the man whom his family had disliked for years. It was the Lord of Valeria. If he could find help right now, he was the only person he thought to be approachable.
He had taken the bottle from her entire collection out of mere curiosity but it seemed that the bottle he had chosen was of high importance to her. He didn't have time to find out what it was nor did he have enough time to ask what these parchments he were carrying was all about. The only thing he knew was that his life was in danger thanks to his usual snooping nose.
His current priority was to run away far from here so that none of the guards or the people who his stepmother sent after him would catch him.
Malphus ran as much as he could but his lungs were giving out due to the lack of oxygen as he had continuously been running. He didn't know where he was going or what the time right now was. With the thought of him wanting to escape, he ran with all his might when he came to hear to hooves of the horse that came to be heard in the forest. Taking shelter in one of the trees, he thanked himself for the years of experience he had in climbing on and off a tree.
When the people in the horses came to halt, they looked around, sniffing with their noses which he found to be rather strange.
Though some were men, most of them were women and it was in the count of eight people.
Malphus looked down at his hand. How precious are you for being chased by so many of them? He said it in his mind when he came to hear one of the women speak,
"Where is he? His scent is dead here," the voice came out coarser for a woman who looked young. Not that he was complaining but there was something very peculiar about this people. It was only when their appearances started to change did it dawn to him that these were not humans. None of them were humans here except for him who was clinging on the branch of the tree.
"He must be hiding somewhere here. You. Look at that side, and you on the right," one of the black witches ordered the two who were in front of her.
What was the possibility of the witches surrounding the tree he was in, thought Malphus in dry humour. Out of all the trees where there were several of them, they had to stand here. How was he going to step down now? Surely he wasn't planning on staying here on this tree all night.
"What do you think, sister wants from him?" asked another witch, "Isn't he supposedly supposed to be her son? Or is she planning to kill him the way she drove the first wife out?"
"She is never satisfied but that is how she is. Now look for him! Whoever brings his neck with the told parchments papers that have been stolen will be rewarded," said the second witch who had given our orders.
Malphus continued to sit in the tree until the witches had dispersed in the forest making him wonder how safe it was for him to get down and start a move from here. In no sense would he be able to fight the eight witches because who knew who would turn him into what with their spells. He waited for God knows how long before he stepped down from the tree while checking the moon that had come to stand right above his head. Reading the position of it, he hoped a good amount of time had passed and he finally stepped down.
But he hadn't gone too far from where he got down when he realized what he had left back in the mansion. All these years after his mother's death, he had wanted to leave yet he headn' for the sake of his baby brother but now that he did leave, he didn't know if he would ever come to meet his brother again. He hadn't even got to say goodbye before leaving the mansion. It wasn't his fault though for being beaten on his head to be dragged into the prison cell.
Maybe it was for the best to leave his brother Silas there where people who would look after him even though they didn't have the entire knowledge of who he belonged to. One day he would come back to meet him and he hoped that day his brother would understand why he had to leave. Knowing his stepmother, she would feed the naive boy lies but in time he would learn the truth about that woman who claimed to be his mother.
Not turning back and not wanting to regret anything, Malphus started to head towards Valeria.
The witch who had been given orders to corrupt the hearts had done her job without Malphus' knowledge. A village or two away from the borderline that separated Mythweald from Valeria had been poisoned with the last of the potion which had years ago been used to corrupt the pureblooded vampire's families.
Due to one of the Duke's in Bonelake, Leonard Carmichael who had been handling the case of the mass murders, along with the lord of Bonelake the plants and other major ingredients that was necessary to create the potion had been destroyed to the point that the potion could no longer be created. Ester had saved the last of the last without anyone's knowledge which she finally used to create the massacre of the villages through the help of the vampires whose hearts were completely corrupted and had turned insane.
When Malphus arrived at the borderline of the village, his huffed for air as he had continued to run through the forest. Finally, once he reached the village after which was where Valeria started, he bent down to place his hands to rest on his knees. Never had he run so fast in his life. Never, Malphus shook his head as if talking to himself.
What started as a sigh of relief, he turned shocked when he heard a high pitched scream in the quiet night. Worried where it came from, he wondered if the black witches had already caught up to terrorize the innocent souls.
Walking closer, he caught sight of a vampire drinking blood of a woman before tearing her head off. The lights coming from the lanterns that hung outside the houses wasn't enough for him to look at them. Malphus had thought that he had saved himself from the black witches but here laid an even bigger problem than before. He tched before jumping into the scene when another man was attacked but Malphus was a mere human. A human who was easily breakable by a vampire.
Already tired and out of breath, he tried to get the deranged vampires off of him by picking up a nearby stick to run it through the vampire's chest. One of the vampires came from back to throw him across the wall of the house and that was it for him. It was as if his body didn't want to move any further or rather it didn't listen to him. With the village men and woman running inside and out of the village, the vampire that had attacked him got distracted by the moving humans to leave him alone.
Malphus coughed more blood, the blood leaking out of his mouth to fall on the ground. The parchment from his hand had slipped away when he was trying to fight the vampire who had attacked him. With minutes that passed by that involved screams and death, his hands turned cold and motionless. When the Lord of Valeria arrived he was beyond angry at the sight that was presented in front of him. People's limbs were torn apart, the stench of blood heavy in the air. After rescuing the only survivor in this village which was a young girl.
"Either the council didn't do a good job or someone's transformation went wrong while turning the humans to a bunch of deranged half vampires," spoke Lord Alexander, "Looks like the council will be sending another notice to us. Sylvia, get this place cleaned up and the bodies buried. And ask Elliot to meet me once he's done with his current assignment."
"Yes, milord," the woman named Sylvia replied with a nod and continued, "I found this lying on the ground," she handed the parchment of papers which was in a curled state to him.
She saw him uncurl them, to see what it was and heard him murmur, "These are names," and as he scanned it one of his brows raised up, "Did you find anybody lying around when you found this?" he asked. This was no ordinary parchment, he thought to himself, the contents inside it was highly classified information.
"Too many. The villager's bodies are scattered all around the area. We don't know who it belongs to."
A young woman who entered the local cemetery of Valeria had come to visit her dead family when she caught sight of a grave that had been left uncleaned. Dirt and mud attaching to itself with no flowers to only indicate that no one remembered the person who was buried in there.
Her heart that brimmed with kindness, she pulled out her kerchief to clean the tombstone. Rubbing the dirt away while making sure every inch of it was clean. Finally, when the headstone looked decently clean she felt satisfied, a smile forming on her lips.
Having bought a lot of flowers for her family, she looked down at her hands to see the extra flowers that she remained in her hands to place it on the grave she had just cleaned. Bowing her head, she left the cemetery.
But what did the girl know what she had done? Part of the magic was split on her through the man she loved which was transferred to the body that had been dead for twelve years to only be awakened,