The Monster Inside: The First Vampire
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177 The Strange Fool*
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The Monster Inside: The First Vampire
Author :Jelim
© Wuxiaworld

177 The Strange Fool*

Iah and Sharli had returned from their visit with Falla feeling quite disconcerted. Falla had seemed somewhat distracted, and had insisted that they do nothing despite Rassa clearly being in trouble. Iah and Sharli of course didn't agree with her entirely, after all, he was their benefactor, but they were also severely lacking in ideas on what they could do.

They were just a couple of ordinary commoners, the only difference between them and slaves was that they had hadn't had a master to serve. Their conditions had been that poor, and they'd been incredibly grateful to Rassa for what he'd done for them. He'd practically adopted them. Gave them food, clothes, rebuilt their home and pushed for them to be educated. All in the span of a few weeks. Some might think is strange that they had grown so attached to him in such a short time, but after sitting on the edge of a cliff for so long, their lives reliant on a thread of hope, they'd finally found something to reassure them. Something to hold them up in times of trouble.

Now that something was threatened, maybe even on the verge of death...were they really going to do nothing?

Yet they had no other clues as to what they could do. Rassa had clearly left them in Falla's care. It wasn't that she hadn't done a good job in his place, she had. But Falla had her own business and people to take care of, the Ruin was clearly a secondary priority to her, especially considering her earlier decision.

"We should get passage south," Sharli hurriedly insisted as she paced up and down the kitchen, "If we can go south we have a better chance of finding out what happened".

"Rassa told us to stay here, and Miss Falla should know more than us regarding this," Iah spoke hesitantly. She knew Rassa wouldn't have put them in Falla's care if he didn't trust that she knew what she was doing. It didn't sit well with her to stay put, but Falla must have had her reasons.

"Rassa could be on the brink of death for all we know!" Sharli snapped, "And Miss Falla clearly has other priorities".

"Sharli, we can't just leave, what about Kit? What about all the other kids here?" asked Iah, "You promised to look after them".

"They've got plenty of money now," Sharli said.

"Oh, sure, give the two dozen 8-13 year olds access to the coin vault. They won't misuse that," Iah grumbled.

"Well...you go then!" Sharli insisted, her eyes clearly desperate.

"Sharli, I don't have the confidence to find him on my own," Iah said, "And you're too frantic, you'll probably get into more trouble. Face it, neither of us are a good choice for pursuing whatever has happened. We aren't equipped to deal with whatever they've faced. He's Rassa for goodness sakes. A Vampire, whatever got to him must have been powerful".

"Inktress," an unfamiliar voice interrupted their argument, and the two sisters turned hurriedly to face the doorway.


A young boy of no more than eighteen stood in the doorway, though he appeared younger thanks to his child-like eyes that were wide with wonder and curiosity. He was quite plain looking, with very short brown curls and the tanned skin reminiscent of someone like themselves who had spent their lives on the Isles. He was dressed in clothes that appeared little better than rags, and he stank as if he hadn't washed in weeks. The way his strange eyes - one blue and one brown - darted around the room, he appeared no less than crazy.

Behind him, Kit stood, giving the older boy a weird look.

"Kit, who is this?" asked Iah.

"He was peeking into the work room from outside," said Kit, "He said...he said the Mist brought him here".

"He's a Magician?" asked Sharli.

Kit shook his head, "I don't think so. I can't sense an element on him".

"Hey, kid, why are you here?" asked Iah.

"The Mist speaks. I listen," the boy replied, his eyes darting around the room as if he was following something. Iah followed his line of sight but couldn't see anything but the regular kitchen she was used to. She shook her head with a sigh.

"I think we should take him to get some help," Iah said as she stood, "I don't think he's...all there".

"He's alive," said the boy.

Kit frowned, "Who's alive?"

"The Moonshadow," said the boy as he pointed to a corner of the kitchen then looked over his shoulder at Kit, "See".

Kit frowned, looking at the top corner of the kitchen where the boy pointed. He watched the corner for a moment, then turned back to the boy, "What are you-"

The boy grabbed Kit's shoulders and pointed, "Don't watch, listen".

Iah and Sharli looked at each other with concern. The last thing they needed was the crazy boy influencing Kit. They stepped forward in order to seperate them when Kit's eyes widened and he suddenly took out the tracking gem and activated it.

"Mr Moonshadow, he's..."

"We know, Kit," said Iah, "Miss Falla insisted we should stay here, but-"

"We should," Kit said, "He's okay".

Sharli frowned, "How do you...?"

"Well, he's not dead..." Kit said, "He's not exactly alive either, but he's not dead. That's why there's a change in the line. Remember what Mr Moonshadow said? The connection will be affected if the state of the holder's blood changes. The fact that the connection is still there means he is still alive".

"But we should help him, shouldn't we?" asked Sharli, "After all, if he's between life and death it must be something serious".

"The Inktress caught him off guard," said the boy as his eyes looked around, "He was unprepared to face her in the middle of the day. Especially the way he is".

"What do you mean?" asked Sharli, "And how could you possibly know that".

Kit looked at Olly, then vaguely glanced around the room, "I don't know how he's doing it without Life Lines, but he's reading the Mist. Listening to it. The Mist is literally telling him".

"Then, can you confirm it?" asked Iah. She had no understanding of the Mist other than the fact that it connected Magicians to their Elements.

"Not exactly, I can only get vague feelings and intentions from the Mist," said Kit, "It's always up for interpretation, but what he's doing...it's like he's actually communicating with it. I've never heard of anyone being able to do that. Not even Mr Moonshadow".

"What do you mean, 'especially the way he is'?" asked Sharli, "Rassa is powerful, more powerful than most Magicians".

"He has access to his matured abilities, and yet he does not," said the boy, "His human values hold him back. He is too terrified of what he will become if he lets them go, but thanks to that, he cannot release the full potential of what he is".

"This is..." Iah frowned, "You do realise that to us that sounds like speculation, the words of a crazed man-"

"Fool," the boy said, "They always called me a Fool".

Iah looked away awkwardly, and Sharli sat in silent contemplation to the side.

"Well, I don't think you're a fool," Kit grinned, "I've never seen anyone read the Mist like you can. But that doesn't change the fact that you trespassed. Why are you here".

"The Mist told me to come," the boy replied.

"That seems..."

"Like a rather thin excuse," Sharli concluded, "Look, miraculous ability or not, he was spying on you in the workshop, and you know that Rassa didn't want you sharing your craftsman abilities with anyone".

Kit sighed, "That's why I caught him".

"We should bring him to Miss Falla, she'll know-"

"Falla Startree seems to have plenty on her plate already," said Sharli, cutting off her sister, "He can stay here under watch until we decide what to do with him. Can you watch him, Kit?"

Kit shrugged, "I guess, but-"

"Good," Sharli sighed, "We might know Rassa is alive, but he's clearly still in a position where he can't come and aid us if something happens. We need to start looking for a way to look after ourselves".

Sharli looked at the boy, "If you try to run, I'm sure your Mist can tell you what will happen".

Then Sharli turned and walked out.

Iah sighed, "What's you're name?"

The boy met her gaze for the first time since he'd come in, and seemed to actually focus. The look in his eyes...it was like that was the first time he'd been asked that question.

"Olly," he replied.

"Well Olly," said Iah, "I think you should go with Kit and take a bath and get some new clothes".

Kit grumbled as he turned to walk away, "I'm only ten, why do I have to look after him?"

Iah couldn't help but smile sadly. True, Kit was only ten. But he'd always been far more mature than his age. Perhaps Olly might help to balance him out in a way. After all, Iah didn't believe Olly was as much of a threat as Sharli did.
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