‘Feeding’ is an ability much like the abilities a ghoul possesses, such as ‘Sharp Claw’ and ‘Sharp Fang’.
Though lesser vampires do not possess what makes vampires the powerful demons they are, the ability of ‘feeding’ is something a few among them are capable of using.
There is a scent in the air. A sickeningly sweet scent.
Vampires do drink blood, but not just the blood of any human.
They can distinguish between whose blood can and cannot be consumed. That is probably another one of their abilities. Perhaps with enough experience, they can even discern the health condition of their prey.
Actually, with my senses having become acute, I can vaguely understand other’s emotions through their scent. So, anything is plausible.
I am in a pinch right now. I have had to leave the merchant group because of Oliver. However, by no means is it the end of the world.
What would be the end is if Senri abandons me and I end up having to fight her. My life is still hanging by a thread.
I had not foreseen that Oliver would completely admit defeat. When even a girl like Albertus was hellbent on driving me to a corner, would anyone ever imagine that, Oliver, who was obviously much older and a fully-grown adult, would easily submit simply because I showed my true self.
Thanks to that, I have an enemy in the name of the merchant group.
Though I am aware of the whole story behind how werewolves are created, there might be more to it than I imagined.
And I also may have had a more naive view of what it means to be a vampire.
The only thing that could scare a monster that tore mercenaries to pieces as if they were no more than sheets of paper is… an even stronger monster.
Oliver had certainly shriveled up. His prickled fur and gigantic body had figuratively shrunk and he had his ear cocked, watching my every move.
Even I should be able to easily kill him as he is now.
There was a demon standing before me. A demon with a female body.
Her clothing was black, basically an ensemble of only unmentionables and she had a huge pair of wings on her back. A twisted horn adorned her head.
She had curves unlike Senri. Her overexposed body was voluptuous and lascivious, along with refined features, I would probably have gaped open-mouthed had I been human.
However, what concerns me now is someone’s blood and not their appearance.
The comrade that Oliver had summoned – a demon by the name of Monica Ultivia, emanated a strong sweet scent akin to a spoiled fruit.
I had not realized it back then when she had disguised herself as a human, but it seems transformation enables one to alter their scent as well.
Monica’s reaction upon laying eyes on me was much the same as Oliver’s. And after hearing about me being an ‘Ancestor’ from Oliver, her expression warped further.
Senri taught me a lot about the undead along our journey, but it looks like the information may have been rather subjective. Well it is not so surprising as the viewpoint of Death Knights whose purpose in life is to hunt down vampires and ancestors must be quite different from a layperson.
“Ancestor?! Impossible… why, here of all places…”
“I had the same thought. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine for someone to get in my way in such a remote area.”
Demons are monsters that often appear in legends and fairy tales. Quite different from vampires, they corrupt and incite humans and are bitter enemies of God.
They are more muscular than humans as a whole, have an array of evil spells under their command, and are certain to be the mastermind behind the scenes in situations such huge wars or gruesome incidents.
I do not know much about their combat abilities. And of course, this is my first time seeing one in the flesh.
However, if Monica is primarily a magic user, then I should have the upper hand in a fight between us. She did not appear to be as afraid of me as Oliver, but I did catch a glimpse of dread on her face.
Generally speaking, I should be the stronger one here.
Monica was battered and bruised. However, the fact that she could get away with light injuries after clashing with Senri, is ample proof of her having stood her ground.
Should I kill them? Well it does not really warrant consideration, I should kill them. Monica and Oliver are not really my enemies but they are Senri’s. And it goes without saying that Senri’s enemies are my enemies as well.
I left the merchant group and did my best to throw suspicion away from Senri.
Knowing her, it is least likely that she will chase after me, but neither can we meet up that easily.
There is also my resentment towards these monsters for killing the mercenaries who fed me beef jerky.
I should be able to kill them now. I can strangle Monica to death and gouge out the heart of Oliver, who cannot seem to exhibit his full strength due to some kind of trauma.
Maybe she could sense my thoughts, for Monica drew back a step. Oliver was still pathetically quivering in his boots.
However, at the same time, “What comes after?”, was a thought that crossed my mind.
I am a monster. I do not have the tiniest of intentions to betray Senri, but an undead would benefit more by being on Oliver’s side if anything.
I may possess superhuman abilities… but I am incredibly weak to sunlight.
I need a base. Romberg is not an option anymore.
It is the first line of defense against the Demon King, so they are sure to be completely protected against vampires as well. I may have been able to sneak into the city in the form of a dog, but news of a vampire capable of transforming into a fluffy, cute, little dog with a long white fur coat must have already spread everywhere.
I need to make a decision. Before the sun rises.
Kill or keep alive to make use of them. Naturally, I would need to kill them someday even if I choose the latter, but I need to make the best choice that would guarantee my survival.
The cloak I blindly grabbed on my way out was terribly ill-fitting. I am not armed either.
Monica knelt before me, as a knight would before a king. She tucked in her wings and uttered in a trembling albeit dignified voice.
“Your Highness, pardon me. I never knew that a King would be a part of the merchant group… please allow me to apologize. That said… from here on out, that is, between here and Romberg is our King, Lord Rainel’s territory. Generally we wouldn’t let anyone in, but I would like to humbly invite you by way of an apology.”
What? You would really invite me? Even though I am still just a lesser vampire?
Romberg does kindle my curiosity, but this is the Demon King we are talking about. A being I had best not make an enemy out if I wish to survive.
Although I do feel uneasy to be away from Senri for too long, I fully believe in her. I am sure she feels the same way.
“Though we are currently engaged in battle, our victory is certain. I’m sure Lord Rainel would also be pleased to meet you as there is no King of the Night among his sworn friends.”
“… You would also provide me with blood?”
“O-Of course, yes! Be it a hundred or two hundred humans, we can make the necessary preparations! We have more than enough prisoners at our disposal! Any number of them could be given to Your Highness.”
Oliver answered fervently, as he jumped to his feet, with drool dripping from his mouth. His breath came out in puffs and he reeked like a beast.
I spotted a fiery tongue inside the mouth that opened wide enough to chow down on my head.
I do not need a hundred or two hundred humans.
“I’m a gourmet, Oliver. Delicious blood was supposed to come into my possession. The merchant group is huge after all.”
“… I-I’m sure your expectations will be met.”
But they are prisoners, aren’t they? Prisoners are usually not in their best of conditions.
They cannot be malnourished. Nor can they be under stress. It has to be a woman.
And a virgin. Also young. Even better if it is a Death Knight.
Though I doubt anyone would taste better than Senri.
I licked my lips. It has been a few days since I last fed.
“Let’s see, how about I start with you then, Monica? I’ve never had the blood of a demon before.”
Hearing me, Monica who was kneeling until then, looked completely taken aback, let out a low scream and began to tremble.
Monica smells simply too sweet. Her scent feels a hundred times more concentrated than Senri’s, akin to an overripe, spoiled fruit.
That said, I doubt there should be any problem with me drinking her blood. I am a vampire after all, and taste aside, it should not really result in indigestion.
Monica replied, still quivering.
“P-Pardon me… but that would be impossible… as I’m not human. I’m a demon. My blood is cursed in a different way from the blood of Your Highness.”
Apparently, vampires cannot feed on demons. Maybe the hint of decomposition in the scent is the reason.
However, I smiled.
“Curses…? I’m terribly fond of them. My ability as an ancestor pertains to that field, so curses don’t affect me. It’s not as if there’s garlic mixed in with your blood?”
“… Please… have mercy on me!”
Monica bowed so far, her head almost touched the ground. Looks like she really is against it.
Considering how vampires are known for draining all the blood from their victims thereby killing them, her reaction makes sense.
Well, Senri was also unsure as to what could happen to me if I were to absorb multiple curses, so I suppose I will let it pass for now.
This is certainly a risky choice. However, it appears Oliver and Monica really do not doubt that I was no more than a pet to Senri. If I play this right, I might be able to make my way out of this pinch.
I nodded as regally as a king would.
“Well, have it your way. It’s not my intention to make an enemy out of the Demon King either. I’ll have you guide me to him before sunrise then.”