The Monster Inside: The First Vampire
96 A Morning at Port*
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The Monster Inside: The First Vampire
Author :Jelim
© Wuxiaworld

96 A Morning at Port*

Aegin watched from the other side of the room as Rassa slept. There were times when Rassa knew he was watching, and pretended to sleep just so Aegin would leave him be. What Aegin hadn't spoken about was the fact that Rassa faking it was very different to Rassa's actual sleep.

His sleep was full of nightmares, and it showed.

There were times, in this arrangement the three of them had subconsciously made, that Aegin knew he was overstepping Rassa's boundaries. But he didn't do it to pester or annoy, at least not intentionally so. Aegin did it because he'd been witness to it as every night Rassa slept through nightmares that he spent the rest of his time denying and hiding from. Nightmares were not just bad dreams. Aegin had seen on the Ridge how nightmares undid people. How it tested their mental strength to its limited then broke past it. Aegin could sense Rassa's intentions though. The Vampire had no plans to talk about them, and seemed, for lack of a better word, indifferent during the day. But Aegin had seen that too. He was withdrawing into himself. Looking and leaning on only his own experiences and abilities. He had no intention of seeking outside help, and Aegin could only watch as he withdrew further and further, and talked less and less.

It was not an ideal situation.

Aegin continued to watch as Rassa turned over, his face scrunching as if he was in pain. Aegin's eyes softened somewhat as he glanced out of the window, the first signs of sunrise appearing to the east. Sighing, Aegin approached Rassa and gave a light kick to his foot.

Rassa bolted upright, glancing up at Aegin with wide eyes. His expression was schooled immediately, but not fast enough for Aegin not to see the fear within them.

"Get dressed, we should head off soon," Aegin said, then exited the room.

He closed the door behind him, looking up to find Ebony cutting off pieces of bread and cheese for their breakfast. Aegin approached silently from behind. But she knew he was coming, simply sliding a handkerchief loaded with bread, cheese, an apple and a boiled egg his way. She didn't speak, simply glanced at him questioningly.

Aegin shook his head.

They didn't get along on anything. Except for Rassa's well-being. If Aegin had learned anything, it was that Ebony did not have any desire to cause Rassa harm. Her questioning look in the morning? Just to ask on whether or not he'd slept well. She knew he had nightmares as well, though did not seem as clued in as Aegin on what they were about. Aegin was sure she knew something about Rassa's experience at Jerrica, but she hadn't actually witnessed any of it.

Aegin took the egg and the apple, eating both as the two of them waited for Rassa to appear. Ebony munched on her own apple, as well as a wedge of the bread and cheese. She then tied her package and stowed it in one of the many pockets she tended to sew into the clothes she made. Aegin had to admit that at least those were useful.

Ebony then pointed to the jacket on the table, "I finished it last night. It'll be more suited to the winter months".

Aegin held back any snippy remarks and approached the jacket, removing his current one to try it on. There was fur lined on parts of the inside. Aegin hadn't realised they'd been able to afford it. He looked questioningly at Ebony.

"I don't need to make winter clothes for Phil," Ebony stated.

Aegin frowned, "What do you mean?"

The corner of Ebony's mouth tilted ever so slightly, proud she had noticed something before Aegin, "Haven't you noticed? He doesn't feel the cold".

Aegin paused, thinking back. He'd never seemed comfortable with the temperature at Jerrica. Did the chains affect that part of his abilities as well?

The door to the bedroom opened and Rassa emerged with his hood up to cover his face. Ebony picked up the key she'd been given and moved for the door, Aegin dropping the conversation as well to follow behind her, scooping up the remainder of his food along the way.

None of them spoke as they made their way through the streets to the docks, then turned to the eastern end.

The Docks at Port Lovolon were seperated into eight districts. Five Districts in the old city to the west of the bay, which included the Jewel, Peony, Silver, Salt and Cotton districts. While their names were given for what they had originally specialised in and had been made famous for, these days the districts were mostly designated by trade companies rather than by specific items. The newer part of the city to the east, possessed three districts that were named after their foremost trading companies; Azua, Token and Saah. Token was the eastern-most district, and the trading company that owned it was one of the most profitable in the known world. Unlike the Kildares, the Token family had elected to remain merchants and adventures, the ocean was their calling, and they made it their mission to connect the known world and bring treasures from all corners of it. They had even led several expeditions into the Wide Ocean, though like everyone else, those expeditions had never returned.

The one place the Token family had settled down in, was their Island amongst the Southern Isles. Isle Balthazar was named after the Token adventurer of the same name, and was the greatest gathering of the profession in the known world. Mostly because rumour had it the Merfolk visited regularly, and who better to consult on matters of the sea than those who lived in it?

The sun had fully risen above the Eastern horizon by the time Rassa, Aegin and Ebony had made it to the warehouses. Like every morning, they offered their services for the day in loading and sorting. The Dock Master appraised each of them, then told them he'd given them ten copper coins each for a day's work. The usual rate. Enough to buy food for the next day and have perhaps one coin left over - though of course, it would be an extra ten coins for this group of three. For what Vampire would eat or drink regular food when he didn't have to?

The three of them got to work.


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