He laughed at how enthusiastic she was about her lady. It made him smile widely. “I’m glad to see someone so into their job. You never see Knights who are so dedicated to their people.” He grinned, fangs poking out. He leaned his elbow on the armrest and laid his head into his hand, watching her intently.
As dinner came to an end- he excused himself from the table. “My maids will escort you to your room. The sun will be rising soon- so I will excuse myself to rest for the evening.” He smiled and bowed to her, “It was a pleasure eating with you tonight my dear. I hope one day you will return.”
And with that he exited- and the maids entered and led the girl to her chambers for the evening. The room was larger than the dining hall- with a large bed with brand new silk sheets- and a window that over looked the entire town and farther. The bathroom was large as well- with a tub big enough to fit 3 people.
The maids bowed to her and left, leaving her alone in the large room.
In the other part of the castle- Lucius had caught one of his maids. The maids and butlers of the castle somewhat knew about Lucius’ ‘Condition’. Many of them said it was just something to do with the full moon, and others said witchcraft. But he reassured all of them that it was a medical condition. His body did not have enough blood to keep going- so in order to survive he must drink the blood of others.
Lucius finished and let the maid go on her way, slipping some change into her pocket to keep quiet. With a frustrated sigh he sat down in his chair, pulling his fingers through his long hair. He was tired of the same- un-pure blood. He wanted something sweeter- more pure than what those maids gave him. More…
With everything so fancy, it almost felt like she was being treated like royalty! The big room was so huge it made her feel very…small. It was like a dollhouse. Sparkling clean and beautiful…it was unreal. Any regular citizen might have gone crazy living here confined to this seemingly perfect mansion…
After bathing, she changed her clothes into a nightgown brought to her by the maids. She sighed in relief when it fit-a cute cotton gown with puff sleeves and lace accents. She worried about the length, though…what if her tail wagged too quickly and everyone caught sight of her bloomers! Embarrassing! At least they were night clothes…right? Climbing onto the humongous bed, she stared longingly out the window. I wonder where everyone is right now? Lady must be fine on her own..but…I can’t help feeling lonely.
Despite how nice Lucius had been and the treatment she recieved, something still felt very off. Had he been drinking blood? And those fangs…
Her thoughts were cut short by a loud thump and a faint smell of iron. An attack of some sort? Where was her sword? Grimacing, she opened the door and ran towards the stench empty handed. Running through a maze of halls, she finally found the source of it all..a collapsed maid. “Are you all right? Can you stand?” All she received was a groan in response. Squatting down, she turned the woman over gently so she was now on her back.
Puncture wounds…? Well, it was clear this woman was still alive. The best thing to do would be to carry her back to her room. The only problem was…
"…Where exactly am I?"
He listened intently, nodding and taking sips of his “Wine”. His eyes never left her, watching her body language and facial expressions closely. How interesting her story was. It was really almost like a fairy tale. But it brought up many questions in her mind.
"So… tell me more about your lady." He smirked, taking another sip. "I’m very curious about her… you seem to care for her quite a bit."
He had never seen anyone so passionate about anyone else in his life- nor were they ever so passionate about anything. Most people, whether they be knights or normal people, went through their lives going through a routine- never really exploring their abilities or living life to the fullest.
He smiled admiringly at her, and leaned back in his seat. “I admire how brave and noble you are. Most people now-a-days are cowards- fools who don’t understand what adventures they are missing.” He snickered, “Like me.”
Lucius looked off sadly, sighing slightly. He was always stuck in this manor- at least until night. He had already traveled the world twice over in his time. But now, now he had settled down in a small manor somewhere in Europe. But still, this did not please him.
Her defenses went up as soon as he mentioned his curiosity about the princess. “My lady’s name is Sera-like I’ve said before. Sera von Garibaldi. She has two half brothers who rule the kingdom.” Belle was well aware Sera could handle herself…but something about this man screamed “predator”. She would listen to her animal instincts for now and only give him bits and pieces of information. Or well-that was her plan, until she got…carried away.
"Despite how cold she seems, she’s really very polite! She has a tendency to say the exact opposite of how she feels and when she gets shy and embarrassed it’s really cute~ Usually she orders me not to do anything without her permission because I’m clumsy but when patrolling the town together she’ll treat me to food once in awhile! Hehehe…"
Realizing her error, she cleared her throat and averted her gaze, blushing at the fact she had let her guard down so easily!
"I’ve been raised to protect my lady. Like I said before, the royal guard took me in as a baby rat." Her ear flicked as if to prove her point as she continued with a smile. "Besides…isn’t it normal for a knight to be loyal?" Truthfully, she didn’t think herself noble or brave at all. Most of the things she did for the kingdom were things she wasn’t proud of…but those were events she couldn’t speak or even write about with anybody.
"You aren’t a fool for being staying home where it’s safe! True courage is overcoming your fear and managing to work past it. In a way, it’s a reckless quality many are better without." She grinned toothily, buck teeth showing themselves. "With adventures come nightmares and ignorance is bliss."
Lucius watched her, eyes staring intently into her’s. That is when she looked up, looking rather upset and nervous. She spoke softly of his drink as he twirled it in his hand.
“Oh… This? It is nothing. It is simply something I drink from time to time- nothing more nothing less.” He smiled, “You could call it a wine fit for the dead.”
Lucius narrowed his eyes, but a smirk was still present on his pale face. He wouldn’t tell her it was blood- oh no. She would most likely try to slay him as some sort of beast. She would not see him as a gentleman anymore- nothing more than a mere monster. This thought made him frown and set down his glass, leaning back into his chair.
He sighed, rubbing his chin in thought. “… Tell me about those scars on your arms.” He quickly changed the subject, hoping she would not bring up his drink any further.
He was, however, actually very curious about those battle scars. What tales did she have to tell? He chuckled at the thought of such a young looking lady being able to fight so well. But who knows, maybe she was better than he imagined.
Wine fit for the dead…?
Her nose crinkled. The smell of iron was still thick in the air. Shaking her head as if that would make it fade away, she narrowed and closed her eyes, proceeding to clasp her hands back together and lean back in her seat.
"My scars stem from…a lot of events." Of course, there were more than on just her arms, but those were things she would rather not reveal. “Originally, I was found as a baby rat on the streets.” She said this with a sigh and little emotion in her voice. “I was picked up by the royal guard and trained to be a knight. The princess was kind enough to allow me at her side as a personal guard.” It was a funny chain of events, really. It almost sounded like it came from a fairytale.
"I guess you could say these scars are my source of pride as a warrior." A bitter smile tugged at her lips, making her appear much older than she seemed, but it lasted for only a flicker of a minute. That was all she would elaborate on for now. If he had a right to dodge questions, then so did she.
"To cut the stories short…let’s just say I go monster hunting in my spare time." Opening her eyes again, she stared piercingly at him. "Despite my appearance, I have trained all thirteen years of my life. In this short span of time, I have managed to take on and cut down anyone who poses a threat to my lady…and I will not hesitate to kill anybody who harms her." Her shoulders relaxed a tad as she took hold of a glass of water. Strange considering she was used to wine. "…But that’s my duty after all, yeah?" She finished with an innocent grin.
Lucius walked into the rather large dining hall, the table lit with candles and filled with a glorious amount of food. Enough to feed a whole army! He gave a proud nod to his servants, who bowed in return before moving to pull the seats back for them. One servant pulled Isabelle’s seat back, before pushing back underneath her as she sat. In front of her was a large plate of food, that was fresh and ready.
As Lucius sat- he smiled from across the table at her. His plate was empty, except for a gold glass next to his empty plate. He raised it to her, beckoning her to start as he took a sip of his drink. “Mm…” He smiled, licking his lips of the fresh red liquid. It was fresh blood- probably from one of the fresh meats his servants bought that evening.
"Ah, Miss Belle, when you are done you are free to follow one of my maids to your quarters for the evening. I have arranged for you to have a nice bath, a comb, and a suiting outfit to wear for tomorrow." He grinned from across the long table, taking another sip from his glass.
This was the most food she had ever seen in her entire life! Even the dinners at the royal castle didn’t quite compare to this one…it almost seemed…showy, to say the least. What would they do with all the spare food, anyhow? Still…she wasn’t one to refuse a meal. It came as quite a shock when the servant behind her pushed in her chair though…she wasn’t used to such special treatment unless it was out of fear.
Belle waited patiently until he had taken a sip from his glass. It was rude to eat before one of higher status than you…that was what she had been taught. Watching him intently, she looked down at her own food as she was granted permission to eat and carefully cut into the bloody steak with the silver utensils. Even if it was poisoned her body had been trained to withstand it-fit for a knight of high status!
Just as she was going to take a bite, the familiar iron scent of blood hit her nostrils. Where was it coming from…? She studied the man sitting across from her intently, gently placing her fork back onto her plate with a clink. She had heard the rumors. Witches back in her home country who cursed people and lived off of flesh…but surely they didn’t exist, right? Besides-Lucien was a man. Men couldn’t be witches! At least, she hoped not. Belle couldn’t help being paranoid though.
"I’m very thankful for all you’ve done for me, and forgive me if this seems out of place or rude to ask…but…" A small frown tugged at her lips. "What is it that you’re drinking?"
Behind his hair lied pointed ears, which twitched to the sound of her stomach. growling. He also could sense her worry about things she may need for tomorrow. “… I sense you are hungry. I assure you that my servants will have a meal prepared for you and myself. Also- I am sure one of the maids has spare clothes for you.” He smirked, the tip of his fang barely poking out from his lips.
He chuckled as they reached the front gate of the manor, pulling his arm away from her momentarily to open the gate- before setting off up the winding road that led forward to the front steps. Once there, a butler opened the door for them. “Please… do enter, Miss.” The old butler smiled feebly.
The main room was dimly lit- the only light source being candles from the chandelier and the ones that hung on the walls. Lucius handed his cane, coat, and hat to the butler- before walking up to her. “You must be starving, poor thing. Follow me, I shall lead you to the dining hall.”
Belle couldn’t stop herself from blushing yet again. One of the maids…spare clothes?! Her tail visibly stiffened and twitched as a nervous chuckle came out from her lips. Hopefully…there would be at least one petite maid, usually things had to be measured specifically for her due to her…less than average bust size.
Following him up the steps to his manor, she began unbuttoning her cape, following Lucius’ suit and handing them to the butler as well. Now that her arms were revealed, battle scars that had been hidden now showed themselves, healed enough to only leave thin white lines in their wake. As a knight she was quite proud of them…but as a lady, she would rather not have them at all.
Saying a small thank you to the butler, she feebly followed Lucius once again-which wasn’t hard considering his pale hair was a blaring signal when the light shone on it. Salivating at the thought of food and good times to come, she hummed a lullaby until they arrived.
He chuckled at her enthusiasm and clasped his hands together. “Good! Then it’s settled, you will be spending the night in my Manor.” He smiled, walking to her side before looping arms with her. “If you don’t mind~” He grinned, his fangs bared as he began to walk with her towards the manor.
He wouldn’t admit it out loud- but he was rather amazed that she would even consider going to a strangers house for the evening. Especially one as… weird as he was. “Hmm…” He hummed to himself, looking at the night sky. The moon had already began to lift it’s way up, and he knew that soon it would be time to feast. He may have to return to the streets or use one of his maids. Yes… the one with the chestnut hair. Her blood was rather sweet…
Was it just her or was there a…predatory look in his eyes? Chuckling nervously, she allowed him to take her arm. It was hard to keep up due to his long legs though…her with her 152 centimeters and him with his…tallness.
Tapping her finger on her chin, she couldn’t help but note his fangs. He didn’t have cat or wolf ears…and he seemed to be human…maybe it was a sort of genetic defect? Well, she would try her best not to bring it up. After all, he was giving her a shelter for the night. Wait, now that she thought about it, she didn’t have a nightgown or a hairbrush or a different change of clothes for tomorrow at all…! Getting lost…it really was a pain, wasn’t it? And…also…
She was hungry. She reddened from her neck to her face, trying to mask the noise with a cough. “E-Excuse me.”
Lucius was very pale and cold, yet very young and lively looking. His hair was a pale blonde- almost white, and his teeth- oh his teeth were slightly sharp on the canines. Odd for a young man his age, but maybe it was given to him at birth, even if he knew damn well they weren’t.
He gripped his cane, smiling at her question.
"Well, I just recently settled here, so I’m not really sure if there are any Inns in this part of town. But- you are free to stay at my place if you wish." He smiled gently at her, tapping his cane against his foot lightly. He knew she would most likely say no- but there was no reason not to ask. "I have a guest room that was just decorated. It’s rather lovely." He chuckled.
Clasping her gloved hands together in delight, a bright smile showed on her face. “You would really let me do that?” Her tail began wagging so quickly it became one constant gray line in the air. It had almost seemed she had forgotten the oncoming danger she sensed before.
"I would very much appreciate that." The place he lived was convenient as well-placed at the top of the hill and overlooking the town…maybe, if she were lucky enough, she would spot the princess’ red bundle of hair from afar.
She didn’t mind having to sleep in a man’s house for a night. He seemed friendly enough. And…even if he were to pull any dangerous moves…she would be able to take care of him. She wasn’t a private royal guard for nothing!
He pulled his hand back, sensing her uneasiness as she pulled back. He leaned on one foot, eyeing her with his pale blue eyes. Tapping his cane on the sidewalk, he couldn’t help but smile at her feeble voice. Just as he thought, she was as gentle and little as a doll. He nodded, tilting his head at her. “I see… well, let us say that it was both of our fault.” He chuckled.
"Lucius." He smiled, "I live in the mansion up on the hill." He nodded to the large mansion behind him. He tapped his cane once more, bowing and holding out his hand to take hers. Once she gave him her hand, he kissed the back of it lightly. "It is nice to meet you, Isabelle of the Royal Guard- Private Knight to Sera Von Garibaldi!" He chuckled. Such a long name for a teeny tiny thing.
She took note of how cold his hand was. Had he been outside for a long period of time…? She didn’t bother pulling back as he kissed her hand-she was wearing gloves-and formalities were just formalities after all. He appeared to be a noble, well mannered and pleasant. Despite the way he looked though, there was something a bit unsettling about him. Studying him up and down as discreetly as she could, Isabelle attempted to take note of all his features. His attire was nice enough…but…a cane? Bad back? Surprising for such a young man. Unless…he intended to use it as a weapon at one point.
She gripped the hilt of her rapier on instinct, ready for action if need be.
"Just Belle is fine," A grin tugged at her lips. "Mr. Lucien…if you wouldn’t mind, do you think you could show me to a place I can stay for the night? It seems I’ve lost sight of My Lady…and I’m afraid I don’t have a way of contacting her."
He blinked at the noise she had made- and noted the ears and tail. How odd… But he wasn’t one to judge. After all- he was a creature of death and night! Lucius smiled at her, holding out a hand to help her up. “No no my dear, it is all my fault. I wasn’t watching where my feet were taking me.” He chuckled.
As he helped her up, he noted once more at her height and clothing. It was odd to him- but after you’ve been alive for so many years, things do tend to look alien. “Ah, here-” He brushed her off with his leather glove, swatting away the dirt gently. She looked so fragile, like a doll almost. “Again, I’m very sorry for bumping into you. Sometimes I just let my feet carry me, and I don’t realize where I am going.”
Her face went a dark shade of red. He may have only been brushing her off, yes, but the only ones who had a tendency to touch her were the knights who trained her (for combat only)…and the princess, though that was usually with a sheathed sword, considering she disliked physical contact. Clasping her silk gloved hands together, she backed away shyly, tail wagging in embarrassment. For a noble to be so clumsy! Especially one representing the royal guard…!
Clearing her throat, she shook her head, curls bouncing this way and that. “N-No, I am at fault. I have a tendency to look at the ground while I walk…hehe…!” But often, she knew the area so well she did not need to look ahead. She was about to ask the man where they were before realizing she had forgotten to introduce herself. “Ah-! Excuse me! I’ve been rude, haven’t I?” Gently tugging at her skirts, she curtsied to the taller male before her. “I am Isabelle of the Royal Guard, Private Knight to Sera von Garibaldi.” A practiced smile tugged at her lips and she gazed at him through long lashes. “Who might you be?”