Death Knight. It’s the strongest pronoun in this world.
This name, which has become synonymous with the title of Hero, and their power to manipulate a special blessed energy far surpasses many of the strongest non-human beings.
Many of the heroic tales tell their adventures, as the Order of Death Knights has established countless legends until now. They usually target Necromancers and Undead, but sometimes they also fight against Demon Kings.
Death Knights generally exorcise darkness. Their blessed energy is powerful, but it can only purify undead, and not demi-humans or dragons. That’s why, I can theoretically understand how one could have lost in a battle depending on the Death Knight’s ranking, but I can still hardly believe it even after hearing Monica out.
As evident from Senri, Death Knights are extremely strong. There is no way they could be captured by the bunch I can easily deal with myself. I have not had any mock fights with Senri recently, but I still have yet to catch up to her. Well, she can fly up in case of an emergency so it can’t be helped, but when you think about the physical abilities of vampires, this is not a normal thing.
Thinking about Senri somehow made me miss her. It’s a bit early but maybe I should go back…
But there is a Death Knight prisoner here. If this is true, they might be Senri’s friend and I’m sure she’ll be very happy if I help them out. Maybe she could even cheer me on with a little “Good luck, End” and give me her blood. At that time I’m sure she’ll forgive me even if I was a bit rude to them. My fangs are aching.
Besides, there is also a chance that this prisoner might have the same excellent quality blood as Senri. The possibility that they’ll let me have a little taste if I save them isn’t zero. It’s still really low though.
I follow Monica to go through the iron door that has been bothering me since I came here. Beyond the door lay the staircase to the basement. Apparently living prisoners are being held ahead. I can’t see any prisoners yet, but the stagnant air makes me feel the strong presence of death.
“I had not thought that… you would have interest in Death Knights, Lord End.”
“Well, they are my enemies, after all. I’ve even fought them before.”
Well, I was made to suffer one-sidedly though.
I was subjected to the Solar Penalty by Neville’s group and as for Epée, it needn’t even be said. Meanwhile, Senri won’t let me catch her or drink her blood to my heart’s content.
But, perhaps having misunderstood me, Monica could only let out an astonished voice. Looks like she really couldn’t imagine that I was Senri’s lap dog.
After we went down the stairs, we found brusque prison cells lined up. Several fully armed demi-human warriors were keeping watch nearby.
The smell of death and despair permeated the air. I couldn’t hear any voices from the prison. Perhaps they don’t even have the energy to scream anymore. The withered prisoners, dressed in rags, were being treated much worse than Roux.
The prison was divided into several sections. For women, for men and for elderly. They might have been divided by the popularity but the treatment in each section was pretty much the same.
I saw some girls, who looked the same age as Senri, but now that I have tasted premium quality blood, they couldn’t incite my appetite. I would be better off if I just released everybody and got blood from Senri instead.
It was a tragic sight, but I didn’t feel anything. The captives also didn’t say much after seeing me. Maybe they thought that I was some kind of a humanoid demon.
I lightly touched the ‘Night Crystal’ on my collar. While looking for a cute girl, who could provide me with decent quality nutritious blood, I grumbled.
“This is terrible.”
“We keep getting new additions and the taste doesn’t seem to be affected much from what I have heard.”
Seriously, this is why I don’t like barbaric demons. Besides, if they’re so skinny, hugging them wouldn’t feel very good either. Their skin doesn’t look healthy either and I’ll need them to take a proper shower too… I’m too used to Senri’s blood. Albertus’ was quite delectable too, so I can’t drink unsavory blood anymore.
“The women and children with soft meat are very popular. However, they are the most popular freshly caught, so there aren’t any premium quality goods left here.”
“Monica, give them proper nutrition and put them in a cleaner cell.”
Monica looks shocked at the words I said firmly, with all my heart.
“I’m a gourmet. I can’t drink blood of this quality. Make them exercise moderately too, they’re too skinny.”
“For us, feeding is not just a meal. I only came because you guys said that you wanted to apologize. Was it a lie? Or, will you be the one to provide me with your blood, Monica? Hm? Who do I need to beat in order for you to do as I say?”
I don’t just take everything in strides. I just want to drink blood deliciously and happily. It’s a time of dizzying pleasure for me.
It’s not like I had my expectations set very high, but there is a limit to how much of a let-down this could be. Regardless if I have to fight that Man-Eater or not, I still want to suck blood.
… Leaving Monica aside, I wonder if Senri would get mad if I drank prisoners’ blood? Still, it’s her fault for disappearing on me after promising to regularly give me her blood.
“I u-understand, Lord End. I will try my utmost best to think of something. Please have mercy on me.”
Monica turns pale and takes a step back, but my sight stays nailed to her exposed soft-looking neck. The act of sucking blood seems to be accompanied by a strong feeling of pleasure that drives people crazy. This is the reason why vampires are feared and the reason why some humans voluntarily side with them. Wouldn’t everything work out as long as I just bite her? There are cases when people aren’t affected at all like Senri and Albertus, but those two are obviously abnormalities.
Noticing my gaze, Monica hides her neck and her flashily exposed chest with her hands, but her gesture further arouses my feeding impulse. Judging from the fact that she has acknowledged Ogres for their strength, she won’t be able to push me away.
There, I strongly shake my head.
No, I can’t do it. I’m a peaceful vampire. I can’t do something as shameful as attacking an unwilling girl, and if by some chance it turns into a habit, I’ll be exorcised by Senri.
What if I turned into a dog to lick and chew on her? … Nono, that’s not good either. I can’t suck blood in my dog form.
The place Monica led me to, while being wary of me, who was obviously obsessed with thoughts of drinking blood, was the prison cell at the very back.
It was a particularly big prison cell. Three bored-looking fully armed ogres, perhaps acting as guards, were crowding together at a place where they could see inside the cell well.
The moment I got closer, I felt the shining positive energy that set this person apart from other prisoners.
My instincts were hindering me from getting closer. Something boiled up in the depth of my mind. This is probably―― my fighting spirit. While darkness is the enemy of the light, the light is also the enemy of the darkness.
Senri rarely wrapped herself in light energy because she was often with me and when she did, maybe because we were allies, I never felt like this. This is something I’m feeling for the first time.
Monica warns me in a quiet voice.
“They have killed about thirty strong soldiers. We have bound their limbs completely but they still have some spare strength. Please be careful.”
Not showing anything outwardly but still stroking my chest in relief, I reply.
“It’s fine… They’re weaker than Neville.”
They have a sufficiently strong energy, but they’re weaker than any of the Death Knights I’ve seen. It may also be because they’re imprisoned and weakened, but they seem weaker than I expected.
Looks like Senri, Neville and Lufry aren’t as low-ranked as I thought. They’re the subordinates of Epée the Destroyer so it makes sense, I guess.
Thus, I came face to face with the captured Death Knight.
The Death Knight was hung up on the wall, both of their arms restrained with metal rings. Their legs were shackled, and giant metal balls were noisily rolling around the wide cell. Their trained body was full of scars, perhaps the result of torture, and stained with blood. However, from the fact that they were slightly moving. I could induce that they were still alive.
No, they were probably exercising their power. Using blessed energy takes a high degree of concentration. Even more so if the caster is physically weakened. Their face that was pointing down, was raised up and their questioning gaze caught my figure. I could clearly see the smoldering blaze of fighting spirit behind those eyes, which belonged to the person who looked like they were on the brink of death.
I instinctively retreated, opened my eyes wide and exclaimed. The voice I managed to squeeze out was quivering.
“Isn’t… this a man?”
“Huh? Y-yes. We do think, that this is a man.”
Monica says strangely. Nobody, nobody told me about that.
I don’t want to drink man’s blood. It’s not that I can’t drink it, I just absolutely don’t want to drink it. Well, if I’m close to death, I’ll drink it hesitantly, but that would be my last resort.
This is probably something all vampires would understand. It’s one thing to lick the blood that got splattered on you, but if you have to bite somebody’s neck, it better be someone of the opposite sex. And it would be even better if the other person has goodwill towards you. This probably has to be connected to that time when I felt my vampire urges and libido merging together.
Tied up in the prison cell was a bulky young man. His abundant black hair was let down, and his trained body was overflowing with the same simplicity and elegance as the perfect sculpture. He was quite handsome and his face was full of vitality. But he was a man.
If I were a female vampire, I would happily drink his blood, but I’m a man. With this, even if I help him, I won’t gain anything. And, I’m so afraid of Death Knights that if I don’t gain anything from saving them, I don’t want to save them.
I’m almost in the mood to just turn back on my heels and find some delicious looking girl from a different cell.
I thought it would be a girl because Monica made it a point to bring him up, but this is way too disappointing.
“I was tricked… how cruel.”
“?! N-no, how could I trick you―― P-please quell you’re a-anger, Lord End.”
I had high expectations because it was the same Death Knight… I even thought it would be a cute girl like Senri. Well, when you think about the gender ratio of Death Knights, it was unlikely, but this is just too much.
Monica seems very scared, but Demon King Rainel’s army is the worst. As I thought, Senri is really the only one for me.
Well then, how can I get Senri to give me her blood in the most pleasuring way? I looked at the beast-like knight before me and started to ponder seriously.