48 The Moment of Realisation*
When Rassa finally woke up from his experience in Red Eye's - no Victor's - memories, he felt more mentally exhausted than he'd ever felt. He'd experienced an entire day inside those memories, experiencing life amongst a coven, a group of vampires, as Victor was crowned its heir. It seemed that unlike human society, titles were not dependant on bloodlines in Vampiric society. Whilst the Coven Head's children were the most likely to succeed, it was not necessarily the eldest nor a male heir, and they had to prove their ability before being officially named an Heir. If someone outside the bloodline proved to be better suited to lead, then that was who took over the job, plain and simple.
Rassa had thought it strange at first, but the longer he watched, the more he understood. Victor was in fact his father's third child. His eldest brother was too greedy and prideful. His elder sister, the second born, was too submissive to be a leader. Victor had been prideful and arrogant, but he'd also always put his people first. While Rassa had not experienced the memory, stories of Victor's work in stabilising disputes in some of the sub-covens of Star Crash had been quite impressive. It seemed he had gained a lot of respect from his peers and elders. So much so that no one but his older brother was willing to oppose him in ascending as Heir. His elder brother's opinion has been silenced by their father quite quickly.
In addition to this dynamic, Rassa also learned more about the Sanguine. For the most part, they were human. The length of their contracts seemed entirely dependent on the wish of their master, but most of them ranged from 2 to 10 years, depending on the youth of the slave. Rarely, slaves were serving under life contracts. This was mostly because their masters got bored with them quite quickly. It also didn't seem uncommon for a Master to drain their Sanguine dry. It was frowned upon, as it showed the Master didn't have control over his hunger, but it wasn't punished.
Despite these harsh conditions, the Sanguine didn't appear to be in the least bit unhappy about their situation. No, as Victor had explained when he had a spare moment to himself later on, the contracts were entered into willingly. This was when Rassa again brought up why he hadn't asked Jane.
"You need a readily available source to feed from. She seemed to be the most willing. The only one still willing after all of that," Victor stated, "If I'd succeeded, I certainly wouldn't have made the contract lengthy. Simply long enough for you to escape and set yourself on a better path".
As for if Jane would have been willing to come with him on said venture or not, evidently the slaves were quite obedient to their Master's will once contracted.
Shaking off his mental exhaustion enough to take in his surroundings, Rassa was surprised to see that he had moved. His cage now sat at the far end of a large room, though what was more surprising was that Rassa was no longer in the cage. He was still bound by the Anthrite chains which were in turn attached to a metal ring on one of the walls, but he was lying on a soft bed, and a bowl of water with a cloth sat beside him as well as a fresh set of clothes. Rassa looked around. How had he not noticed he'd been moved? His senses were unparralleled. the only explanation was obvious. Being dragged into Victor's memories clearly disconnected him from the outside world. Next time it happened, Rassa would need to feel that he was safe before entering into the memories.
As he took in the room, which also held all manner of books and experimental equipment, a door opened to the side and the Light Magician Arita entered.
She spotted him sitting up and nodded, "Good, you're up. I've never seen you sleep so heavily before".
Rassa decided not to explain what he'd actually been doing.
"I realise that bathing with the chains and putting on new clothes may be difficult for you, but the simple fact is I do not trust you enough to release you just yet. Can you understand this?" Arita asked.
Rassa could, but that didn't mean he had to like the fact. So, instead of replying, he again remained silent, expectant as she stared back at him.
Did she expect him to undress and bathe with her in the room?
Arita seemed to catch on after a minute, "Right...I'll give you fifteen minutes, then I'll come back with something for you to...eat".
She'd fed him consistently so far, so Rassa wasn't overly worried that she was lying. She left, and Rassa looked at his loose fitting chains. They'd been changed somewhat, so that now the Anthrite was wrapped around his neck rather than his wrists and torso. While it wasn't comfortable, it was better than being as restricted as he had been for the past few weeks.
Rassa almost ripped off his pants. He was happy to be rid of them, they stunk. Thanks to not being fed any human food the past few weeks, he at least hadn't had to sit in his own excrement, not that it made his imprisonment any better, but he did see it as a positive.
Turning to the bowl of water and the cloth, Rassa took a moment to look at his reflection, and after a moment of hesitation, turned to look at the life lines on his back. They'd changed again.
A chalice sat to one side, a representation of his discovery that he need not take a life to sustain himself. Whilst they were not red, two eyes sat at the base of his spine, drops of blood pouring from them like tears. And finally, some of the life lines themselves had changed, turning into something resembling chains rather than thick black lines. Rassa frowned at this development. Had he been too naive to believe that somewhere out there, there was someone who would treat him like an ordinary person? Who wouldn't tip toe around him like he could kill them at any given second. He could, but that wasn't the point. He despised the treatment he was receiving, but as he picked up the cloth to wash himself, reason made an appearance.
What exactly had he done to prove he was anything but a monster? Sure, he could control his thirst. And sure, he wasn't putting up a fight with the chains. But for all they knew he was just cooperating until he got bored and massacred a tonne of people again. Was it strange he was cooperating? Of course, but what sane human would let a wolf roam free amongst their sheep just because it wasn't hungry at that moment in time?
Rassa needed to prove himself if he wanted to be treated normally. The problem was...he wasn't exactly sure what normal was for someone like him.