The Monster Inside: The First Vampire
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155 A Dark Shade of Ink*
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The Monster Inside: The First Vampire
Author :Jelim
© Wuxiaworld

155 A Dark Shade of Ink*

"Glad you could join us," Midas remarked as he welcomed the three of them on board, "I hear you're on night duty, Rassa, so best you get some sleep for the next couple of hours so we don't have you dozing off whilst on watch".

"Aye, Sir," Rassa said, after which he bid farewell to Aegin and Ebony and disappeared below decks.

Midas pointed Aegin in the direction of Jorl, who waved eagerly upon seeing a familiar face.

"You get going, still got plenty to load and prepare before we set sail with the tide tomorrow morning," Midas said. Aegin gave a cautious glance to Ebony, but seeing the young woman boldly standing her ground, Aegin only gave a small grin and an acknowledgement of the order before he moved to do as he was told.

After this, Midas turned to Ebony and looked her up and down, "Smart for not picking a skirt considering you'll be in the crow's nest. But won't you be drawing more attention to yourself dressing like this?"

"So the Captain approves of that behaviour on his vessel, does he?" Ebony cut back.

Midas's eyes narrowed, "You might be a woman, but you're still a sailor under my command, get to helpin' Isaac with the ropes".

"Aye, Sir".

Midas's eyes followed her shortly before shaking his head and turning his eyes to the loaders.

"Oy! Tie them right or risk 'em falling and breaking in the bilge! Like to see you idiots cleaning that up!"

***

Rassa was woken from his barely dozing sleep just a few hours later. The sun had dipped below the horizon, and the rest of the crew were settling in for their evening meal. The Miranda sat low in the water, its hold full with the cargo it would be taking to the Southern Continent. From the smell, it was several barrels of wine, fabrics and jewellery.

Rassa cared not for the cargo however, he wasn't on this ship for that. Rassa made his way up to the foredeck at the front of the ship, making himself comfortable. With his senses, nobody would be able to sneak past him even if he dozed off. Still, as he leaned against the mast and surveyed the night celebrations happening in the Port, Rassa could not help but relax. It was a beautiful and charming atmosphere the likes of which he had seen little of.

The lanterns that lined the streets were of multiple colours and depicted various languages and symbols from cultures the world over. Rassa truly felt that it was a celebration the world should be proud of.

As midnight approached, a bells tolled, ringing loudly through the streets for nearly thirty seconds before they fell silent. With them, the entire crowd fell silent with them. After a short pause, a set of fireworks burst in the sky over the port city, and various other fireworks could be seen in the distance above the other inhabited areas of Rouke Island. The fireworks depicted a symbol of a blooming flower that was circled by a snake eating its own tail. The symbol for the Elenius Trade Company that speciallised in medical supplies.


From the colour of the fireworks, a dark red, Rassa assumed they had placed third and would be given the Bronze Trade Token.

A cheer arose, then another firework was launched, this time a silvery white, and the of a ship on the waves, the Token symbol.

Second? The Silver Trade Token. An honourable position no doubt, but who was first if not the Token Group?

Rassa's silent question was answer just a minute later when the gold firework burst in the sky, the symbol? A mountain of gold bars shielded by a palm tree. Judging by the sounds that came from the shore, there was surprise, respect and joy from the citizens of the port.

"Ishta's company," Ebony informed him as she approached, Aegin in tow.

"It appears his gaudy appearance wasn't for nothing," Rassa commented.

"I hope Falla is careful," Ebony said.

"I'm more concerned about Sharli," Rassa replied.

"He's an ass, what comes will come, nothing we can do about it now," Aegin stated.

Rassa and Ebony turned to look at him, and Aegin shrugged.

"What?"

Rassa sighed and shook his head with a small smile.

"While you're right, its a good thing you don't handle the business side of things," Ebony stated, "Your attitude is so..."

"Carefree?" Rassa offered.

Ebony paused, "Sure, let's go with that".

Aegin frowned, "Well what were you going to say?"
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Ebony waved him off, "Nevermind".

She turned to Rassa as Aegin continued to protest, "Are you okay for dinner?"

Rassa smirked, "I'll handle it fine".

Ebony rolled her eyes, "I wasn't offering, was just going to point out that there is someone watching from above".

Rassa nodded, "I know".

She waved goodnight and then turned to go back towards what would be the Cabin Boy's area but had been given to Ebony as the only woman on board, Aegin protesting the entire way.

Rassa shook his head at them, then settled in as the night became somewhat silent once more. It was almost perfect as he let his senses spread out. The pale moon high above him to keep him company, the shadows long and dark, ready to pounce at a moments notice. It was peaceful.

Almost.

What was that?

It disturbed the shadows. Made them feel thick and heavy. It shaped them differently, differently in a way that felt entirely unnatural to Rassa. He frowned, his eyes opening. Something wasn't right.

Rassa concentrated, the feeling, it was coming from the water line on the boat, a presence there that disturbed him. He retracted the shadows ever-so-slightly away from the water line and up the side of the ship's hull.

The sludge like darkness recoiled, then, as if knowing it had been detected sunk deeper to where Rassa could not see it. He waited, waited for it to resurface, but he felt nothing. Releasing the hold he had on the shadows, the fell back into their natural place.

Rassa thought for a moment. It was clearly intelligent, and the way that it functioned, although unnatural, had felt just like a Magician. But it had not felt like a Shadow Magician. It had felt heavier, more tangible.

Rassa had heard about and read about Magicians who could use more than one element before. They were exceedinly rare as the elements had to be awoken at the same time, and could not function seperately. Rather, it was as if the elements merged. The training of these Magicians was rather difficult as while teacher of the individual elements could give guidance, it was ultimately still different than the combination of merged elements. This time, if Rassa's thoughts were correct, one of the merged elements was Shadow. The other...considering where it was, water?

A Shadow and Water Magician...an Ink Magician. Well, at least that sounded better than sludge. Though Rassa wasn't sure if he should praise or condemn this new individual yet.

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