G2A Many GEOs
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Chapter 28

Magus_Anon Sep 24th, 2019 896 Never
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  1. “Master Anon? Dinner is served.” Said a voice through your door.
  2.  
  3. Stretching your arms, you put away the book that you had been translating and follow the maid to the dining hall.
  4.  
  5. “Have the past few days treated you well?” she asked.
  6.  
  7. “It was difficult at first, but things are much better now.” You said.
  8.  
  9. True to Datoll’s word, Emballandae was actually tolerable when she was talking about her art hobby. She was prying and relentless with her questions, but it was better than being ordered around and condescended.
  10.  
  11. The maid opened the door and you entered the dining hall.
  12.  
  13. “Anon, how nice of you to join us.” Said Petropa from the head of the table.
  14.  
  15. The massive table spanned most of the room. Despite its great length, there were only four chairs at one end surrounding the plates and trays of food. The remainder of the table was painfully barren.
  16.  
  17. “Sorry to keep you waiting.” You said. You took the seat in front of the small platters of mana-treated food and began piling some onto your plate.
  18.  
  19. “Well, I must say I am pleasantly surprised. From what my darling daughter has been telling me, you’ve come to terms with your situation rather quickly. And here I thought that she would have to exsanguinate you a hundred times before you learned your manners.” Said Petropa.
  20.  
  21. You held your tongue and focused on the meal. Emballandae was easy enough to deal with as long as you kept her talking. Her mother on the other hand, was an entirely different animal. You had no idea how to manipulate her into being less of a cunt.
  22.  
  23. “Why is there a fourth chair today? Do we have a guest?” you asked, changing the subject.
  24.  
  25. Emballandae and Petropa shifted a bit in their seats.
  26.  
  27. “No, my husband will be joining us for dinner tonight.” Said Petropa.
  28.  
  29. Well that was surprising. You had never met the Chiropta patriarch. By now you had come to accept him as someone who was too busy to be seen. Unsure of how to respond, you let the meal continue in silence.
  30.  
  31. After a few minutes of quiet mastication, you heard the clatter of footsteps approaching the hall. Petropa poured herself another glass of wine and Emballandae began stacking some of her vegetables like cord-wood. You turned your attention to the door and waited.
  32.  
  33. “Sorry I’m late.” Said a man.
  34.  
  35. You could instantly tell that he was an incubus by the dull color of his skin. Though he radiated life and exuberance, his ashen complexion was more at home on a corpse.
  36.  
  37. “Ah! There he is! The man of the hour. It’s good to finally meet you.” He said striding towards you.
  38.  
  39. You were barely able to stand up and wipe your face before he grabbed your hands and flailed your arms around. You grunted in pain as he nearly tore your arms out of their sockets.
  40.  
  41. “Ha ha! What a goofy greeting! Did people really do that in your world?” he asked.
  42.  
  43. “Yes, but not like that.” You said. Even after his “handshake,” he was still holding onto your hands. You had to tug a few times before he got the hint and released you.
  44.  
  45. “Did I not perform it correctly? I’m sorry if that offended you…” he said.
  46.  
  47. Petropa cleared her throat loudly. For the first time, you saw her blush. She was already most of the way through her second glass of wine.
  48.  
  49. “Oh, right.” The man adjusted his neckwear over his waistcoat. “I am Cesbron Chiropta, husband to the esteemed Lady Petropa. Pleased to make your acquaintance.” He said with a bow.
  50.  
  51. “You as well.” You said swallowing your food. So THIS is why Petropa was so adamant about keeping him hidden.
  52.  
  53. The man took the seat next to Petropa and began to serve himself. You noticed several sets of puncture wounds on his neck as he stretched across the table.
  54.  
  55. “Can I just say what an honor it is to have you here? To think that our humble castle would house the first extradimensional human!” said Cesbron.
  56.  
  57. “Dear, please.” Said Petropa. Her soft voice was almost a plea. You had to stifle a grin lest you incur her wrath.
  58.  
  59. The man looked at his wife and smiled sheepishly. “Of course.” He cleared his throat. “I had hoped to discuss a few things with you and my daughter with all of us here.”
  60.  
  61. “Alright…” you said.
  62.  
  63. “As I’m sure that you have been informed, you are to wed Emballandae and carry on the great Chiropta legacy.” Said Cesbron.
  64.  
  65. “That’s what I’ve been told.” You said. Though you did your best to restrain yourself, the reply was a bit more sarcastic than you meant. Cesbron didn’t seem to notice.
  66.  
  67. “Being the husband to a woman of status is not as simple as it sounds. There are certain duties that you must fulfill for her. As her husband, you are not only her treasured partner…”
  68.  
  69. Petropa nearly spat out her wine. She coughed into a napkin a few times and tried to hide her crimson face.
  70.  
  71. “… but also her right hand man. It is your duty to ensure her happiness. To the Chiropta family, that means administrative work. For the most part. There are other tasks that the men of the Chiropta family have but we can discuss those at a later time. It has come to the attention of my wife and I that you are not literate or fluent in Common language. Is that true?” said Cesbron.
  72.  
  73. “Well, kind of. I was getting pretty good at speaking Common until an incident at Admaz disrupted my lessons…” you said.
  74.  
  75. “Incident?” said Cesbron raising an eyebrow.
  76.  
  77. “It’s a long story…”
  78.  
  79. “Did someone try and rape you? Were you kidnapped?” asked Cesbron excitedly.
  80.  
  81. There was a thump from under the table and Cesbron winced.
  82.  
  83. “Perhaps you can tell me another time.” He said eyeing his wife with fear. “What is important is that you learn to speak and write as soon as possible so that you may be of service to my darling daughter when the time comes.” Said Cesbron.
  84.  
  85. Emballandae and Petropa were a blushing mess at this point. Neither could look at you or Cesbron.
  86.  
  87. “I understand. I’ve actually been trying to regain some of the skills I’ve lost in the interim.” You said.
  88.  
  89. “Wonderful! Starting tomorrow, you will be given instruction in the library on our language. In addition, you will also learn mathematics and other useful skills for serving as an aide to Emballandae.” Said Cesbron.
  90.  
  91. “You will also assist the librarians and Emballandae in learning your language. We will do our best to preserve your culture and language.” Said Petropa.
  92.  
  93. “Where is the library?” you asked.
  94.  
  95. “In the eastern wing. I shall send for someone to escort you.” Said Cesbron.
  96.  
  97. You nodded and finished the remaining food on your plate.
  98.  
  99. “Say Anon, I’ve read some of your notes, but I’ve always wanted to hear your language spoken in person. Could you say some stuff in {Englesh}?”
  100.  
  101. “Cesbron, dear, Anon is a very prideful human. You don’t want to offend him by asking him to speak in his language, it offends him.” Said Petropa.
  102.  
  103. “I don’t mind. Is there anything in particular you want to learn how to say?”
  104.  
  105. Petropa looked at you with a betrayed expression. Her eyes begged you not to enable her husband.
  106.  
  107. Tough luck bitch.
  108.  
  109. “Uhh… Sing a song!” said Cesbron.
  110.  
  111. “A song?”
  112.  
  113. “Yes! Do you know any good love songs?” asked Cesbron.
  114.  
  115. Emballandae and Petropa perked up at the mention of “love song.” All three undead stared at you in anticipation.
  116.  
  117. “I’m not very good at singing…” you said.
  118.  
  119. “That’s alright, just do your best.” Said Cesbron.
  120.  
  121. You thought about what song to sing and pulled off your amulet of articulation. Doing your best to keep a tune, you sang the first verse of “Hallelujah.” It was the only thing that you could think of.
  122.  
  123. “Wow! What a strange sounding language!” said Cesbron as you slipped the amulet back on. “Your people have quite the range of sounds. And there’s a symbol for every noise you make? Every one?”
  124.  
  125. “Some are a composition of letters. A “chuh” sound is {c} followed by {h}.” you said.
  126.  
  127. “Facinating.” Said Cesbron resting his chin on one of his hands. “What did that mean?”
  128.  
  129. “It’s a song about a man who loves a woman, even though she causes him grief. He can’t let go of her and can’t forget all of the good times they had in the past. I think…” you said.
  130.  
  131. “That’s so sad…” said Petropa. She looked like she was ready to cry.
  132.  
  133. “Well, you’ll have to write down the rest of it for us later. How are you feeling by the way? This realm has a much higher concentration of mamono mana than Admaz.” Said Cesbron.
  134.  
  135. “I’m well, thanks for asking. My body has been getting used to the demon realms over time. I don’t know how long it will be until I’m completely adjusted.”
  136.  
  137. “Good to hear. I was worried that you would become an emaciated husk if we brought you here. And are your accommodations suitable?” Said Cesbron.
  138.  
  139. “Yes. Everything you and Petropa have provided me has been wonderful.” You said.
  140.  
  141. “Wonderful! You know, I’m glad to see you eating. Our chefs had quite the time preparing meals that wouldn’t poison you, but by the look of your plate I’d say they made do.” Laughed Cesbron.
  142.  
  143. “Dear, I think Anon is finished with his meal. Why don’t we let him return to his quarters so that we can discuss our business.” Said Petropa.
  144.  
  145. “Hmm? Oh! Right. You too, sweetie. Go on back to your rooms.” Said Cesbron.
  146.  
  147. No need to tell you twice. Wiping your mouth, you stacked up your silverware and excused yourself. Emballandae followed you out the door as Petropa began to smack and scold her husband for his manners.
  148.  
  149. ~~~~~
  150.  
  151. “You were supposed to listen to me! What if he starts to treat Emballandae like that?” whined Petropa.
  152.  
  153. “Like what?” asked Cesbron.
  154.  
  155. “Like an equal! He has to learn that as a human, his place is beneath that of a superior being.”
  156.  
  157. “Really? Because usually you’re beneath ME.” Said Cesbron.
  158.  
  159. Petropa flushed. “Y-You are so insufferable!”
  160.  
  161. “But you still love me.” Said Cesbron.
  162.  
  163. “…Hmph.” Petropa turned away.
  164.  
  165. “Come here, I know you’re hungry. You always get irritable when you haven’t eaten.” Said Cesbron lowering the collar of his shirt.
  166. Petropa glanced at his exposed neck and squirmed. “I won’t forgive you that easily…” she said.
  167.  
  168. “Not even if I stroke your hair while you do it?”
  169.  
  170. Petropa’s frown wobbled and broke into a smile.
  171.  
  172. “Alright, fine.” She said.
  173.  
  174. Hurrying over to him, she sat across his lap and licked her lips. Cesbron embraced her and began to rub her back and run his fingers through her silky hair. Petropa cooed in pleasure as she began to make long strokes up and down his neck with her tongue to find his arteries. She knew where they were having been married to him for so long, but she savored the foreplay as much as the day they had met. Sinking her fangs into his skin, she let out a muffled moan of pleasure as Cesbron’s blood welled in her mouth. Cesbron let out an appreciative sigh as the feeling of warmth permeated his body. Gently massaging his wife’s back and scalp, they eased into each other.
  175.  
  176. “Lady Petropa!”
  177.  
  178. The door burst open and a ghoul carrying a letter entered the room. Petropa gagged and pulled away from Cesbron’s throat spraying blood across herself and her husband as she coughed in surprise.
  179.  
  180. “Lady Petropa! A letter fo-“
  181.  
  182. “I’M A LITTLE BUSY HERE!!” Said Petropa blushing furiously.
  183.  
  184. The ghoul gulped and tried not to smile as Cesbron began to blot at Petropa’s face with a napkin while she swatted his hand away.
  185.  
  186. “With all due respect milady, I think you should see this.” Said the ghoul.
  187.  
  188. “I don’t care what that damn letter says! Leave this instant!”
  189.  
  190. “But it’s from Choerteris!”
  191.  
  192. Petropa and Cesbron stared at her.
  193.  
  194. “…Choerteris?” said Petropa softly.
  195.  
  196. “Oh! That’s wonderful! Bring it here.” Said Cesbron.
  197.  
  198. The ghoul trotted over and handed Cesbron the letter.
  199.  
  200. “Give me that!” said Petropa snatching the letter out of Cesbron’s hands.
  201.  
  202. “Hey!”
  203.  
  204. Petropa ignored her husband’s protest and tore open the letter. Her eyes darted across the page.
  205.  
  206. “No!” she gasped. She reread the page and began to tremble. “No, no, no, no, no!”
  207.  
  208. “What does it say?” asked Cesbron.
  209.  
  210. Petropa stared into the distance.
  211.  
  212. “She’s coming home…”
  213.  
  214. “Well, it’s about time! Here I thought that she may be gone forever! We sh-“
  215.  
  216. “Do you understand NOTHING?!” shrieked Petropa. Cesbron recoiled in his chair as she grabbed him by the collar and shook him back and forth. “If she comes home now, everything will be RUINED! Not to mention, once she finds out…” Petropa gulped.
  217.  
  218. “Pet, it will be fine. I’m sure that she’ll be ecstatic to see her mother.” Said Cesbron.
  219.  
  220. “NO! She’s going to beat me up once she finds out about Anon! I just know it!” said Petropa. Cesbron pulled her into a hug and she curled up in his arms.
  221.  
  222. “You know I won’t let that happen.” Said Cesbron kissing the top of her head. “When does it say she’ll be back?”
  223.  
  224. Petropa read the letter again.
  225.  
  226. “…In a week.” She said weakly.
  227.  
  228. “See? That’s plenty of time. I’m sure that if you and Lussazan have a mature and rational conversation about Anon that you can explain everything to each other.”
  229.  
  230. “And the letter was sent four days ago.” Said Petropa inspecting the envelope.
  231.  
  232. “Wow, she sure moves fast. Still, we have time to prepare her room and get everything in order for her arrival.”
  233.  
  234. Petropa finished reading the letter and let out a little squeak. “P.S. I know about the human.”
  235.  
  236. “Oh. Well, that makes things a bit more complicated, but I’m sure that she’ll come around once you have a chat with her. She’s your daughter after all, you just have to be firm with her.” Said Cesbron.
  237.  
  238. Petropa buried her face in Cesbron’s chest and let out a long whine.
  239.  
  240. “Aww…”
  241.  
  242. She pulled away from him to see the ghoul maid smiling at them. “G-get out of here you! Tell the guards to be on high alert! I want DOUBLE shifts to protect Anon. Choerteris is not to come within fifty feet of him. I want the castle to be ready for lockdown on a moment’s notice!”
  243.  
  244. The ghoul gave a small bow. “At once, milady.”
  245.  
  246. Petropa sighed as Cesbron cleaned the last of the blood off her face.
  247.  
  248. “I think you’ll need more than blood tonight.” Whispered Cesbron.
  249.  
  250. Petropa blushed and squeezed him. “…Carry me.”
  251.  
  252. Cesbron chuckled and lifted Petropa up and off of his lap. Savoring the sensation of her hair brushing up against his neck, he carted her off to their bedroom.
  253.  
  254. ~~~~~~~
  255.  
  256. “The… plant was moving to sky?” you said.
  257.  
  258. Emballandae snickered. A look from the ghost instructor overseeing your lessons glared at her.
  259. “You read all of the symbols correctly, but the conjunction icon between ‘plant’ and ‘wood’ makes the word into ‘tree.’ The second part of the sentence has the ‘aspect of’ symbol and references the item from the beginning of the sentence.”
  260.  
  261. “The tree was tall?”
  262.  
  263. “Yes! Very good!” said the ghost.
  264.  
  265. “Congratulations, a whole sentence!” snorted Emballandae.
  266.  
  267. You bit your tongue and copied the sentence down onto your paper. Scribbling a quick note in English about what the sentence was and how it worked, you set to work translating the next one.
  268.  
  269. “He should learn how to write my name too.” Said Emballandae watching you write.
  270.  
  271. “Why is that?” you asked.
  272.  
  273. “Since you’ll be taking it once we’re married.” Said Emballandae giving you a confused look. “Isn’t that the way things work on Earth?”
  274. “Yes, but it was the woman who took the man’s name.” you said.
  275.  
  276. Emballandae thought for a minute. “Oh, yeah. I remember something about that now. What a strange world… How do you spell my name in your language anyways?”
  277.  
  278. You wrote her name out as best you could and handed it to her. It was always a bit strange to know that it was up to you to come up with the English spelling for everything you saw here, and that there was no one else to correct you if you spelled something the wrong way. If Lussazan really did link the worlds, it would be a real pain if some English majors started correcting the spelling of everything.
  279.  
  280. “Eh- no… {Eem-bee-ayy-luh-luh-ayy-en-dee-ayy-ee}… That doesn’t sound right at all!” said the tiny vampire.
  281.  
  282. “That’s because you didn’t pronounce the letters right. They make different sounds depending on what comes after and before them.” You said.
  283.  
  284. “What?! That’s ridiculous! It’s already a pain to have to sort these things into the right order, but now they change noises randomly too?” she said.
  285.  
  286. “It isn’t random…” you said calmly.
  287.  
  288. “Alright you two, back to work.” Scolded the ghostly librarian.
  289.  
  290. You returned to your exercises and began practicing your symbols again.
  291.  
  292. The ghost looked up at the giant clock that hung in a chandelier in the center of the massive library.
  293.  
  294. “Goodness! Look at the time. I have to reorganize the financial report section. Can I trust you two to finish your work?” asked the ghost.
  295.  
  296. “Yes ma’am.” You said.
  297.  
  298. She smiled. “So polite! I think this castle could really benefit from having more people like you around, Anon.” She said as she hovered away.
  299.  
  300. “He’s not that polite!” called Emballandae.
  301.  
  302. The ghost ignored her and she sat back down in her chair with a huff. Closing the book she had been assigned, she pulled out a fresh piece of paper and began to sketch something.
  303.  
  304. The two of you sat in silence as your quills scratched away at the paper. Occasionally you would glance up to see what Emballandae was drawing.
  305.  
  306. Today, it was a sketch of a man in a butler’s outfit pouring a glass of wine for a voluptuous woman resting on a sofa. Her hand was outstretched with a wine glass, though she was looking away from the butler out a large window. Both characters had a warm smile on their face.
  307.  
  308. “What are you looking at?!”
  309.  
  310. Emballandae leaned forward to cover her drawing.
  311.  
  312. “Sorry, didn’t mean to pry.” You said returning to your work.
  313.  
  314. “Well just keep your eyes over there, okay?” she said.
  315.  
  316. You wrote out a few more lines of text and set your quill down.
  317.  
  318. “What made you so interested in art anyways?” you asked packing up your things.
  319.  
  320. “What?”
  321.  
  322. “I was just curious. You seem very passionate about art. More so than any other topic.” You said.
  323.  
  324. “I just like art, okay? It’s a noble thing, your peasant mind wouldn’t understand.” She said.
  325.  
  326. “In the same way that a noble mind can’t understand anything other than classical art?” you said.
  327.  
  328. “No, that is COMPLETELY different. The problem is that they have the capacity to understand it, but they REFUSE to see new art as anything but an affront to creativity and the death of a paradigm. You see…”
  329.  
  330. She broke into a long-winded speech the politics and intricacies of art culture in Tomb Haven and the undead aristocracy.
  331. “… causing a cultural void and stymieing creative expression by creating a bottleneck through which only traditional art and artists can pass.”
  332.  
  333. “You like the creativity aspect of art, huh?” you said.
  334.  
  335. Emballandae stared at you. “That’s all you heard? Did you listen to any of what I just said?”
  336.  
  337. “I heard the rest, but I didn’t understand much of it.” You said.
  338.  
  339. “Creativity is the heart of art. So yes, in that sense, I do enjoy it.”
  340.  
  341. “I can tell.”
  342.  
  343. She gave you a skeptical look. “What do you mean?”
  344.  
  345. “You just seem like a creative person. The kind of person who resents being told to do something that they aren’t passionate about.”
  346.  
  347. “Passion has no place in high society.” Said Emballandae.
  348.  
  349. You chuckled. “What? Why not? Everyone’s passionate about something.”
  350.  
  351. “I can’t afford to waste my time indulging frivolous hobbies. The mamono of Tomb Haven will come to rely on me one day. I cannot fail them by succumbing to selfish fantasies.” Said Emballandae.
  352.  
  353. “Even if it means you are unhappy?” you asked.
  354.  
  355. Emballandae glared at you and packed up her things. “I’m leaving. You can find your way back to your quarters.”
  356.  
  357. She shoved her chair under the table and strode off out of the library.
  358.  
  359. With a sigh, you dipped your quill in an inkwell and finished the last of your work.
  360.  
  361. ~~~~~~
  362.  
  363. Returning to your room was a bit of an ordeal, as it was the first time you had returned from the library. Thankfully, the butlers and mamono around the castle had come to expect your helplessness and were more than happy to guide you back to your room. Especially a certain zombie that made no attempts to hide her lingering gazes over your crotch and butt.
  364.  
  365. As you arrived at your room, you noticed that there were more guards than usual standing outside.
  366.  
  367. “Uhh, hi. Am I needed for something?” you asked one of them.
  368.  
  369. “No, Master Anon. Pay us no mind, Lady Petropa has merely assigned us here for your safety.” Said one of the guards.
  370.  
  371. You nodded and entered the room as they held the door for you.
  372.  
  373. A butler was busy hanging up some of your clothing in one of the spacious closets.
  374.  
  375. “Master Anon.” he said brusquely.
  376.  
  377. You recognized him as one of the servants you had seen in Emballandae’s room.
  378.  
  379. “Oh! It’s you! Lazar or something?” you said.
  380.  
  381. “Lapan, sir.” He said coldly.
  382.  
  383. You watched him go about his work.
  384.  
  385. “Is something wrong?” you asked.
  386.  
  387. “No sir.”
  388.  
  389. “…Because you seem a little tense…”
  390.  
  391. Lapan threw down the shirt he was holding and marched towards you.
  392.  
  393. “You may have the rest of the castle fooled, but I know the truth. Lady Emballandae has told me EVERYTHING. I think it’s despicable that someone as crass and ungrateful as YOU gets to be the one to marry such a beautiful and benevolent woman as Lady Emballandae. So you can just drop the act, because I see right through it.” He said thrusting a finger in your face.
  394.  
  395. “Act?”
  396.  
  397. Lapan huffed and returned to the laundry. “You would do better to marry one of the peasantry. I think we both know it would suit you far better.”
  398.  
  399. “Big talk coming from a butler.” You said.
  400.  
  401. Lapan clenched the last shirt he was hanging and stuffed it into a drawer. He shoved you aside with his shoulder on the way out, slamming the doors shut behind him.
  402.  
  403. What a bastard.
  404.  
  405. Walking to the window, you watched the castle courtyard shimmer in the endless twilight of the dark realm.
  406.  
  407. ~~~~~~
  408.  
  409. “Anon.”
  410.  
  411. You put down the notebook you were writing in and listened. You thought you had heard a voice, but it was faint.
  412.  
  413. “Anon.”
  414.  
  415. Walking to the door, you opened up to find Lussazan staring up at you. The guards looked at you uncomfortably as the petite lich hovered between them.
  416.  
  417. “I require your presence for an experiment.” Said Lussazan.
  418.  
  419. “Yeah, alright. Let’s just get this over with.” You said. She floated down the hall and you trotted to keep up with her pace.
  420.  
  421. “So what are we doing today?” you asked.
  422.  
  423. “A blood sampling.”
  424.  
  425. “Well that’s easy enough. How much are you taking?”
  426.  
  427. “However much she wants.”
  428.  
  429. You slowed. “However much who wants?” you asked.
  430.  
  431. “The young Lady.” Replied Lussazan.
  432.  
  433. “Emballandae?” you asked.
  434.  
  435. “Yes.”
  436.  
  437. “What? Why?! I thought you said I was still too weak to be transformed.” You said.
  438.  
  439. “You are. But if the blood is consumed through a transfusion, demonic energy can be prevented from entering your soul.” Said Lussazan.
  440.  
  441. “So is she just going to suck it through a straw?” you asked.
  442.  
  443. “… It’s not a straw.”
  444.  
  445. Wonderful.
  446.  
  447. You entered the dining room where Emballandae and Petropa sat next to a chair supporting a large contraption. It looked like a small engine rather than something that would gently pull blood out of your body.
  448.  
  449. “Oh, I simply cannot WAIT to hear what he tastes like!” squealed Petropa. “To think my daughter will be the first mamono in history to taste the blood of an extra-dimensional.”
  450.  
  451. “Just get it over with and spare me the indignity of having to hear a critique of how I taste.” You said, rolling up your sleeve.
  452.  
  453. “Hmph! Rather crass for something that is no more than sustenance.” Said Petropa.
  454.  
  455. “You should be honored that one of such high status is even interested in tasting your essence.” Said Emballandae.
  456.  
  457. “Can you stab faster?” you asked Lussazan as she prodded your arm looking for a vein. She gave you a look that told you she didn’t want to be here either, but you were all in this together. Wiping your arm clean, she inserted a needle and twisted a knob on the machine.
  458. It hummed to life and a stream of blood meandered up the tube into the device. Emballadae held a second with a mouthpiece attached to it. It looked almost like a hookah pipe. You watched as the blood poured back out of the machine towards her lips. Emballandae and Petropa squirmed in excitement as the fluid reached her.
  459.  
  460. As the first drop of blood entered Emballandae’s mouth, her eyes went wide and she let out a resounding gag. Tearing the tube out of her mouth, she coughed into her arm and hammered her chest.
  461.  
  462. “Well? What did it taste like? Did some go down the wrong pipe?” asked Petropa with a hint of concern.
  463.  
  464. “It’s a little bitter...  and spicy. Kind of sour too. I’m fine.” Wheezed Emballandae. She took another small sip and gagged. Her face contorted into a sickening grimace as her eyes watered.
  465.  
  466. “Don’t force yourself…” you said.
  467.  
  468. “S-shut up!” said Emballandae. She reached for the tube again, but pulled away with a wretch as she brought it to her mouth.
  469.  
  470. “Guess I fail the taste test.” You said.
  471.  
  472. Petropa’s powerful hand clenched your shoulder. You remembered that unlike her daughter, there were consequences to being a snarky asshole in front of her.
  473.  
  474. “The essence of a man is an acquired taste. I’m certain that you will come to enjoy the taste of his mana in time.” Said Petropa, squeezing you for emphasis at ‘acquired taste.’
  475.  
  476. Lussazan finished scribbling some notes and turned the machine off.
  477.  
  478. “No! Wait! I’m not done yet…” said Emballandae weakly.
  479.  
  480. “There there dear, Anon will always have more blood for you. You can have more when you’re feeling better.” Said Petropa.
  481.  
  482. Emballandae wiped her eyes and nodded.
  483.  
  484. “Now then, why don’t we-“
  485.  
  486. “Lady Petropa!”
  487.  
  488. A guard burst into the room.
  489.  
  490. “What is it? Can’t you see that we’re busy?” asked Petropa.
  491.  
  492. “Yes milady, and I’m sorry to bother you, but you requested to be updated whenever there was more information about the urgent matter you briefed the guards on earlier.” Said the dullahan.
  493.  
  494. Petropa stood up. “Anon, why don’t you go back to your room. Actually, you’ll be moving. I need that guest room for someone else. The maids will move your things.” Said Petropa striding over to the guard.
  495.  
  496. The undead lifted her severed head to her mistress’ ear and whispered something.
  497.  
  498. “Already?! Damn…” said Petropa pounding her fist on the nearby table.
  499.  
  500. “What’s wrong dear?” asked Cesbron.
  501.  
  502. “Nothing. Guard, pack whatever you can of Anon’s possessions and move him to the west tower. Dear, you’re coming with me. Emballandae…” Petropa stared at her daughter. “Uhh, I guess you can have the rest of the day to yourself.”
  503.  
  504. The guard hurried over to you and pulled you out of the chair. “This way master Anon.” she said dragging you away.
  505.  
  506. “What? Where are we going?” you asked.
  507.  
  508. “Your new room.”
  509.  
  510. “What about my things? Should I go pack?”
  511.  
  512. “Your things will be delivered to your new quarters. This way please.” Said the dullahan turning up a flight of stairs. More guards moved broke away from their posts to flank you as you were ushered deeper into the castle. You had never been here before…
  513.  
  514. “Is something wrong? What was the ‘urgent matter’ you were talking about earlier?” you said.
  515.  
  516. “That’s classified. Rest assured master Anon, no harm will come to you.”
  517.  
  518. The guard’s sincere words made you feel a bit better about the sudden relocation, but you knew that there was absolutely some sort of mamano out there that posed a serious threat to your pelvis and life. Whatever it was, it must be absurdly powerful to spook Petropa and the guards.
  519.  
  520. “Is it a dragon zombie?” you asked.
  521.  
  522. “No. Now please, no more talking.” Said the dullahan.
  523.  
  524. You sighed and accepted that you weren’t getting anymore information out of the now platoon of guards accompanying you. The sound of clattering armor filled the hall as you delved deeper into the fortress.
  525.  
  526. ~~~~~~
  527.  
  528. “Of all the times that bitch comes back…” muttered Petropa.
  529.  
  530. “Dear! I know you and her have had your differences, but she’s still our daughter.” Said Cesbron.
  531.  
  532. “Not the way she acts! All I asked of her was a bit of respect. A touch of dignity. An ounce of grace. But no! She had to ruin my reputation! Tomb Haven still laughs when they hear her name.” said Petropa.
  533.  
  534. “You can’t make her into someone she isn’t. The sooner you accept her for who she is, the sooner you two can start loving each other again.” Said Cesbron.
  535.  
  536. “Love. Hah! She hates me. And she makes damn sure that I know it.” Muttered Petropa.
  537.  
  538. “You know that isn’t true. I’m sure that if you stopped nagging her about drinking blood that you would become friends in no time.”
  539. “I’m not interested in becoming ‘friends’ with her. She has stained this family’s glorious image for too long! If she tries to interfere with our plans…”
  540.  
  541. “She only saves humans that she thinks need rescuing. Are you finally admitting that keeping that young man trapped in a castle against his wishes may be a bit immoral?” asked Cesbron.
  542.  
  543. “Nonsense! A human should be thankful that I didn’t crush him under heel for his insolence. The fact that the Chiropta family even acknowledges his presence is more than he deserves.” Said Petropa.
  544.  
  545. “So that’s how you feel.” Said Cesbron.
  546.  
  547. “Yes.”
  548.  
  549. “Well try not to destroy too much of the castle when you fight with her this time, alright?”
  550.  
  551. “Wh- What do you mean ‘this time?’ There won’t be any damage. Choerteris will fly in with that insufferable bravado of hers and I’ll crush her in an instant. Just like last time.” Said Petropa.
  552.  
  553. “Maybe unlife has skewed your sense of time, but the last time you two fought, it took three days of nonstop fighting before I could get you two to agree to a truce…” Said Cesbron.
  554.  
  555. “And she was inches from death the entire time.”
  556.  
  557. “You hid behind me and begged me to stop the fight because you were tired and hungry.” Said Cesbron.
  558.  
  559. “I did not! I had far more important things to do than waste time brawling like a savage with my daughter.” Said Petropa.
  560.  
  561. “Of course… So is Choerteris coming here or not? What did the guard tell you in the dining hall?”
  562.  
  563. “Apparently Choerteris ran into a harpy that owed her a favor, and arrived here sooner than we anticipated. She’s at the front gate now.” said Petropa.
  564.  
  565. “Really?! That’s wonderful!” said Cesbron.
  566.  
  567. “No, it isn’t. With her damnable senses I’m sure that she’ll be able to find Anon no matter what dank crevice we stuff him into. And once she finds him, that insufferable sense of justice means that she’ll bail him out without any regard for the bigger picture. Damn her! How many times must she sully my name?!”
  568.  
  569. Cesbron and Petropa walked down the last flight of stairs to the main entrance. Petropa adjusted her clothing and took a deep breath.
  570.  
  571. “I know you insist on coddling her, but remember this: she is NOT welcome here at this time. We do not want her here, and she does not want to be here. Confirm nothing of Anon’s presence. And for the love of Lilith, don’t gush over her again. It’s embarrassing.” Said Petropa.
  572.  
  573. Cesbron nodded and they exited the castle.
  574.  
  575. Every guard at the gate had their weapons raised and pointed at a single figure standing at the center. She had a simple cloth bag slung over her shoulder, and an estoc hung from her ragged leather belt.
  576.  
  577. “Well, well, well. Here I thought that you may have finally disowned me.” Said Choerteris.
  578.  
  579. “Choerteris.” Said Petropa.
  580.  
  581. “Mother.”
  582.  
  583. There was a palpable tension as the two stared in silence at each other.
  584.  
  585. “Choerty! I missed you so much! Come here!” said Cesbron breaking the silence.
  586.  
  587. The guards looked at Petropa for instruction. She covered her face to hid her blush and waved for them to open the gate.
  588.  
  589. Cesbron ran forwards to embrace his daughter.
  590.  
  591. “Hi daddy!” said Choerteris returning the hug.
  592.  
  593. “You should write more often! I was worried that you got hurt!” said Cesbron.
  594.  
  595. “It’s hard to send mail when I’m on an expedition.” Said Choerteris.
  596.  
  597. “Well you’ll have to tell us all about it over dinner! I can’t wait to hear about all the exciting adventures you’ve been on.” Said Cesbron.
  598.  
  599. “Dear!” exclaimed Petropa.
  600.  
  601. “What?”
  602.  
  603. Petropa clenched her teeth. “Fine. She can come in. But she’s leaving as soon as she’s had a meal, understood?”
  604.  
  605. “Your mother missed you so much too. She would never write because she’s too embarrassed to make it seems like she cares. Every time I got a letter back from you she would cuddle up behind me and read it over my shoulder.” Said Cesbron.
  606.  
  607. Choerteris giggled. “I thought she may have had a hand in some of the questions you sent.”
  608.  
  609. Cesbron and Choerteris laughed and talked as they wandered away from the gate into the castle. Petropa bent over at the knees and clutched her head.
  610.  
  611. “Lady Petropa?” asked a guard nervously.
  612.  
  613. The vampire looked up at her with tired eyes.
  614.  
  615. “Shouldn’t we follow them?”
  616.  
  617. Petropa sighed. “I suppose we should.” Standing up, she slowly followed her husband and daughter into the castle.
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