81 The Unapproved Side Project*
Doctor Sagen Zaroth was truly a blessed individual. Blessed with good fortune. Blessed with great benefactors, and blessed with a profound knowledge the likes of which none other could fathom. He was truly in a league of his own, and confident of his proficiency. And finally, his benefactors had thought to have him grace their presence to talk of his truly exceptional achievements.
His absolute confidence in himself and his work was illustrated by his walk from the carriage to the Duke's main office. Head held high, shoulders back, and a condescending smirk condemning pretty much everyone else to be irrelevant to him. Truly, it was a grand achievement that had led Zaroth this far and he knew that he was valued by the Duke. First the Voluton Fruit project, and now this, there was truly no one else that the Duke trusted to carry out the darker side of research and development.
Though, on a side note that Zaroth himself was unlikely to acknowledge, there were probably few who would go as far as what Zaroth had just to constitute an achievement. Especially on a living subject.
Zaroth was announced by the beanpole of a man that the Duke called his personal advisor. Zaroth hadn't had much interaction with either the Duke or Ludwig, but he knew which one could give him more authority and resources.
"Zaroth," Cornelius greeted.
"Greetings to you, my Lord," Zaroth replied with a polite nod of his head.
Cornelius lifted his eyes over his desk to look over Zaroth, "Well get on with your report, I only have so much time to spare".
"Yes, my Lord," Zaroth replied, "As per my previous communications you should know that the pregnancy was far longer than anticipated, which I can only assume is the result of the subject's species".
"And the birth?" asked Cornelius.
"Unfortunately it was quite violent, my Lord," Zaroth replied, "The foetus was almost...impatient to leave it's mother's womb. It tore through her abdomen and then consumed what blood of hers it could before she died. The anthrite cuffs seemed to enforce the same restrictions upon it as its father, but I did not have much time to witness its further development before it was taken away. If I might be able to-"
Cornelius gave an anger sighed, "So not only did the pregnancy last longer than usual, but the foetus killed the mother purposefully during the birth?"
"Yes, my Lord," Zaroth replied, "If I could have some time to further observe and examine the infant, I'm confident that I could replicate the process".
"Replicate the process?" Cornelius growled out, "There are only so many courtesans with a suitable bloodline, and even fewer of them would be willing to enter into such a relationship with the monster I keep hidden in the most feared prison mine on the continent. Not to mention that reports seem to indicate that despite him being chained, your guards have been incapable of preventing him from injuring or killing anyone that comes near him. I would have hoped that Seri had survived, it was our only hope".
"My Lord?" Zaroth question.
"The child," Cornelius replied, "It had to be terminated".
Zaroth's eyes widened, "It was fine when it left the-"
"Well it seems the anthrite was more powerful than we thought. It made the child near crazed, and it injured and killed several of those guarding it before it could be contained. Even then it did not enter that status state you described its father had gone into when it starved. It just died," Cornelius angrily stated.
Zaroth frowned. So the child did not have all the abilities its father had. That was not what Zaroth had expected. Of course, the child was half human, perhaps a being that was conceived from two vampires would be more viable. He proposed this to the Duke.
"And where are you going to find another Vampire, Zaroth?" the Duke snapped, "The only one we have is the only one that currently exists".
"We could create one," Zaroth replied.
The Duke frowned, suddenly curious, "How?"
"Over the past few years I have been experimented on rats with the subject's blood. I have managed to allow the rats to sustain a state of heightened abilities after they consumed the subjects blood initially, and continued to consume any blood thereafter," Zaroth replied, "They were not exactly the same, but they were also not as they once were. If I could conduct human trials of this, there is a possibility I could find a viable candidate as a mother for a new child".
"Time, too much time," Cornelius muttered, "I needed an heir, and now the only one we had succeeded in getting was killed unintentionally through the neglect of both you and those who were tasked in guarding it and caring for it. The incompetence of you people truly astounds me".
Incompetence? Zaroth's eyes narrowed. He'd been called many things over the years. Incompetent was not one of them. Wait...had the Duke just said he needed an heir? How was that related to the subject?
"An heir, my lord?"
"Are you really so dull, Zaroth?" asked the Duke, "The subject as you so fondly refer to him, is my only Grandson".
Now it made sense why the Duke desired high class whores and not just any run of the mill one. If it were heirs the Duke needed, he would have to ensure that the bloodlines were as pure as possible. Kildares did not acknowledge those of the lower class. But wasn't the subject himself born of low-class commoners? Zaroth could only conclude that the sole reason the Duke had acknowledged Rassa was because of the curse that elf had inflicted on the Kildare bloodline years ago. Zaroth had not been privy to the true effects of the curse before this, and now that he was...it changed things. It turned out that the Duke was not after an exceptional army as he had been when Zaroth had worked on the Voluton fruit. No, Cornelius Kildare desired an exceptional heir. Why he did not just take Rassa as an heir was difficult for Zaroth to ascertain, but considering the boy's attitude towards the Kildares, which he had displayed the last time Zaroth conversed with him, it could only be assumed that Rassa had outright refused.
"Then...should I proceed with attempting copulation with another human again, my Lord?"
"After last time?" asked Cornelius.
"If I could keep the infant for further observation then perhaps I could work out a way to keep it viable in the long term, my Lord".
Zaroth had rarely if ever been reprimanded by his benefactor, but being on the receiving end of that dark and vengeful look in Cornelius Kildare's eyes was truly a place Zaroth never wanted to be again.