79 The Victory Speech*
He was cold. He'd been cold for a long time though. So long that he'd almost forgotten what it felt like to be warm. It was only those times when the warm life blood of his prey gushed past his lips and filled him to the brim that he could feel warmth. But it wasn't really to the brim was it? Or was it? He couldn't tell. The infernal chains that had bound him for far too long had rid him of his ability to tell.
The rational part of him, the part that only ever appeared in Victor's rare lessons, informed him that he needed clothes to feel warm again. That blood wasn't the only answer. But it was hardly realistic for him to be given clothes. They barely fed him.
Thankfully, that woman had never returned. He'd had a hard time counting the days and the weeks in his anger, but she had yet to come back. He was torn on whether he was truly thankful for that or not. Thankful because he would never have to smell the revolting stench of her rose perfume again. Annoyed because he could not rip her limb from limb. He had been utterly violated, and he would be damned if it ever happened again. So he became the monster they all feared. It was the only way he could think of in his horribly weakened state to keep them away.
And it had worked. Alone in his solitude and darkness. Even the lessons were no longer a reprieve. Eventually he'd stopped asking questions. He'd just observed and drew what conclusions he'd wanted. Victor knew he was in pain. But Victor had never experienced what he had, no words of consolation would solve the problem, and Victor knew this. So he did the only thing Victor seemed to be good for these days. He kept up with lessons that became all the more rare. At the last feeding, Victor had shown him what he'd said was the final lesson.
Victor had shown him how to turn another Vampire. It was actually immensely simple in principle, but even Rassa, the boy who was thought to have been consumed by the dark, made an appearance at this lesson.
Victor was turning a human boy who had shown great loyalty to him in an hour of need during the conflict between Order and Chaos. It had been the boy's wish, and Victor had seen no reason to deny it. Victor had stated very clearly that the boy would not experience any emotional nor mental influence from Victor, he needed to endure the change himself.
"To teach you endurance," he had stated.
Then, Victor had extended his fangs, and held the boy still as he drained the boy nearly to the last drop. Rassa had felt how difficult it was to stop. How every instinct screamed at him to keep going. To take the last drop. But Victor had instead withdrawn, and looking at the near lifeless eyes of the boy had brought his wrist to his own fangs and torn his flesh, then placed it at the boy's mouth before his healing ability kicked in.
The blood had drained into the boy's mouth, and after a certain amount of time, the boy had suddenly moved, grabbing onto Victor's wrist and sinking growing fangs into it.
"They must drink until they are full," Victor had said, "And then they must sleep until the transformation is complete. If any of the steps are missed, or it is done out of order, the result will be quite horrid. A beast that only knows mindless hunger. In some ways they can be worse than Dhampir. What is most important of all is the intention behind it. Vampiric blood is the core of what we are. Out power and out link to Chaos. Given willingly, our blood can grant extraordinary things, sanity, health, or like in this ceremony a Turning. But taken and consumed without the consent of the vampire, especially with malicious intent…even it is merely a drop that is consumed, the afflicted will be reduced to a mere shadow of potential. A tainted form of chaos that is only obsessed with the hunger. That was how the word Gluttony came to be. Because they felt and witness our hunger, and they could name it as nothing more and nothing less than a Chaos Sin. Such is the power of ignorance".
Victor had turned to Rassa then, "Be mindful, little one. And take care of what is important to you. That is all that matters in Chaos. That what you care about, whatever that might be, is protected, and that you have the power and ability to protect it".
Rassa had turned to Victor, sensing the tone of his goodbye.
"Is it time?"
That simple question, the first one that Rassa had asked in months, was only given a small smile in return as the memory faded, and Rassa was thrust back into the anthrite Chains.
"When it comes, you will be given a chance. Don't waste it, or you will be stuck here for much longer".
Victor never elaborated on what that chance could be, but Rassa could guess. The Unsealing was a pivotal process, and one that encompassed incredible amounts of energy. Energy that even the anthrite might not be able to supress.
Rassa had bided his time. The rage simmering beneath the surface as he considered himself truly himself for the first time since that woman had defiled him. He found himself dreaming of what he would do once he got out. A long bath. Some clothes. A decent meal. But the truth was clear to him. He was kidding himself thinking of anything else.
Slaughter. It was going to be a slaughter.
The tapping of familiar footsteps approached, but Rassa didn't see the worth in acknowledging them. Not when he was awaiting something far more important.
"It could have been so much better for you had you just cooperated".
That voice. That scent. Perhaps he was worth acknowledging, if only to let him know what was coming for him. Rassa raised his eyes.
"Perhaps you might not even have had to remain in this cell, in those chains, for the rest of your pitiful life," Zaroth continued, "Perhaps your masters might have acknowledged you, and vaulted you above them. Their hope and saviour".
Rassa's eyes narrowed. He severely doubted it, considering how they'd used him. The Kildare family didn't tend to care about paying debts or getting even. They just cared about establishing and maintaining their place on top of everyone else.
"Now that you'll no longer be under my care, under anyone's care really, I guess you'll just be left to rot here. You were useless when you were born, and now, again, you will be useless," Zaroth said, "Nothing but the dirt beneath the boots of better men".
"I hope you don't mean yourself," Rassa's raspy and disused voice made an appearance, and Zaorth seemed surprised by the response. Clearly he'd been expecting Rassa to give his usual silent treatment. He appraised the boy, no, young man now, more closely.
"You seem to be in higher spirits, what has brought this on?" asked Zaroth.
Rassa bared his fangs in an almost feral grin, "Perhaps I am eagerly celebrating the day I'll be rid of the things that hold me back".
Zaroth chuckled, "Even after all this time, hope still hasn't died within you?"
Rassa sighed, "This isn't hope".
"What is it then?" asked Zaroth.
"You might not be the first to know, but I promise to tell you when the time comes".
"Giving out promises now, my you are in a good mood," Zaroth replied, "I hope it won't be dampened by me telling you that I have been summoned to our shared Master's home".
"The Kildares have never been and never will be my Masters," Rassa replied.
Zaroth's smile dropped. It had been his utmost order to never let Rassa know who his Masters were. How had the boy discovered it?
"Take care in your journey, Doctor Sagen Zaroth," Rassa grinned, "I would hate for you to die before I have the chance to pay you back in kind for what you have done to me".
Zaroth's eyes narrowed, and he turned with a huff, "You are mad if you ever think you'll escape those chains".
Rassa felt it then, that little click deep inside his soul. It was as if there had been a wall there blocking him from his true self. And suddenly, suddenly there was a crack. Miniscule and almost undetectable, but Rassa felt it.
As Zaroth left Jerrica, the joyful laugh of the monster in the deepest parts of the mines chased him like shadows did the sun at dusk.