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The Monster Inside: The First Vampire
Author :Jelim
© Wuxiaworld

153 An Exchange*

"So you have no idea who it was?" Falla asked the next morning as the group sat down for tea in the Ruin. The second floor had been completed, and construction of the third floor had begun. It was not quite comfortable inside the Ruin, just less than a fortnight after it had been brought. If anyone else had been witness to its construction speed, they likely would have been astounded. That and untrusting as to its foundations. Falla had arrived early, she'd been informed the night before that Aegin, Ebony and Rassa were all leaving that afternoon to board a Token Trading Vessel to the Southern Continent. Falla was not sure it was a wise choice as there was still so much that needed to be done here, but nevertheless she did not argue.

She had been able to tell that Rassa did not desire to have anywhere tie him down. It was a noble pursuit, but Falla also knew that it was unlikely he could keep up such a goal forever. One day, he would find a home, and find himself feeling all kinds of wrong at the prospect of leaving it behind.

"No idea," Rassa replied, "She gave me no name. No other indication of who she was apart from the fact that she was the rightful owner of that statue. Even then I've got no idea how she showed me or what she showed me. I guess that could have been a lie too".

"Still, a woman with the ears and tail of a fox? Even if it was a rumoured story that we'd heard before it sounds a bit outlandish," Aegin said, "In the Fairy Forest I guess it could pass, but here? In the Southern Isles? The most we may hear about is the merfolk, and they tend to keep to themselves anyway".

Whilst Aegin had a point, Rassa knew what he'd seen.

"Whether or not I saw her, or if she exists at all, she has left now with no clues I can easily decipher about her existence," Rassa replied, "If we happen to encounter her again in future then we'll deal with it then".

"Well said," Falla agreed, "Better not to dwell on something that disappeared out of our lives as fast as she appeared into it".

"On that note," Rassa said as he produced a Tracking Charm and placed it on the bench before Falla, "This is my gift to you before we depart".

Falla frowned, picking up the charm, "And what does this one do, I wonder?"

"Put simply," Rassa said, "If you choose to use it, you will be able to find us if you need us just as we will be able to find you".

Falla frowned, "Just like that?"

Rassa nodded, "Some will power is involved but the charm will lead you to us if you need to find us".

Falla looked at it a moment, "The implications of this..."

"That's why I'm giving you a choice," Rassa stated, "Kit, Iah, Ebony, Aegin, Sharli and I have all made a decision to mark a charm of our own. They all belong to the same sequence so we can find each other if need be. Yours is the last stone left unmarked for the sequence. If you decide to add yours to the sequence, you'll be able to find any of us just as we will be able to find you. As far as I am aware, nobody is capable of tapping into that sequence and using it against us. That is not to say they won't be able to one day, but even then they will need extensive knowledge of the sequence and of those in it, not to mention the ability to carve the runes".


"And how long do you suppose it will take somebody to figure it out?" asked Falla.

"A decade at least," Rassa replied, "As much as I would like to put faith in today's Magicians, they are, simply put, a fragment of their former selves".

"Former selves?" asked Falla.

Rassa shrugged, "It's a long story".

Falla sighed, turning away upon knowing that Rassa would not share further. Then she gave a firm nod to show her resolve, "Very well, I accept".

Rassa called Sharli, Iah and Kit to the room so that their own charms were present as Falla placed a drop of her blood on her own charm to add it to the sequence.

The sequence completed, they all pocketed their charms and spoke of it no more.

"How long will you be gone?" asked Falla.

"Six months at least," said Rassa, "Though I don't expect this journey will take years I haven't ruled it off the table. There is so much of the world we have yet to see. It would be wasteful for me to abandon the opportunity".

"Even with these people here waiting for your return?" asked Falla.

"Why do you think I am leaving?" asked Rassa.

Falla frowned, "Sorry?"

Ebony leant forward, taking Falla's hand gently, "Falla, Rassa is not like us. He will not simply grow old and die. He has a very, very long life ahead of him. Do you think it is fair of us to ask him to remain in a single place for all that time? He certainly views it as unfair for him to ask us to rely on him for our lifetimes. He is not leaving because he does not appreciate you, nor is he leaving because he does not want a friendship with anyone here. He is leaving because, quite simply, you should all live your own lives. He has given you the means to do so, what you do with it inevitably is up to you".

Falla paused, taking in this new information before she looked at Aegin then back to Ebony, "Then why are the two of you going with him?"

Aegin smirked, "Cause he can't get rid of us even if he wants to".

Ebony smiled in agreement, "Someone has to be a voice of reason".

Falla sighed, seemingly considering this for a moment before she reached into her bag and pulled out a small box which she handed to Rassa, "A gift. It may be a little guady and extravagent, but I think it suits you".

Rassa frowned, taking the box and removing the lid. Inside was a metal bracer about half the length of his forearm that was carved with curling lines and patterns. In the centre of the bracer however, was a flat gem stone that had been inlaid in the metal. Opaque with the slightest tinge of silvery blue in its colour. A moonstone.

Rassa gave a small smile, "It's beautiful, but you're right, a little to gaudy for now".
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"Just put it on," Ebony sighed, "You can hid it under your sleeve if you're embarrassed".

Rassa frowned at Ebony's words. What did she know?

Rassa decided not to question it. The group finished their tea and then bid farewell to Falla. The girl in Rassa's mind had now become a strong and independent woman. He was happy for her, and perhaps, given time, he may become better at forgiving the child that was. Looking at the noonday sun, Rassa put on the bracer she had given him and slipped his shirt sleeve over the top. The weight of it felt comforting. Something he hadn't felt for a long time.

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