Why did I have a habit of being kidnapped lately? I’d been taken up through the three floors of Libellule Manor until we, we being myself, Morrigan and Unnamed Vampire, reached the attic which was almost another floor. This appeared to be the only place the hermit hadn’t looked after. The entire room was bleached white with dust and cobwebs. Two sets of footprints dressed the snowy floorboards, barely noticeable in the mottled white light cast out from the bleached windows. The hand was taken away from my mouth and myself spun around to face my kidnapper.
“Sorry about the hand thing, you have a habit of being a little loud when you need to be quiet”.
My kidnapper was in fact none other than Aya, a light sprinkling of dust in his hair.
“Come on, we’ve got some snooping to do” he said and headed off towards a pile of boxes.
“And the potential for some great thievery” Morrigan said and headed for another pile of boxes.
I had no intention of stealing from Tawny or the hermit but I didn’t see any harm in looking around. It was mainly dresses, bed sheets and other such things, nothing particularly important. Next to Aya stood a tower of boxes, each box increasing in size as the tower grew. He sat cross-legged on the dusty floorboards, rummaging through an equally dusty chest. He was so caught up in his rummaging that he failed to notice Morrigan stumble backwards into the chest or the small ivory case that fell from the top. Morrigan regained her balance as the case hit Aya’s head and exploded in a mass of white powder. He looked up from the drawer he was searching through, completely unaware as to what had happened. He turned his head and I couldn’t help but laugh, he looked like a ghost. He grinned a handsome toothy grin and shook his hair like a wet dog. The powder fell out in a puff of white, though it left a light dusting on his nose. I brushed it off with a smile. Our eyes seemed to meet for a second too long. Then it was two seconds, five seconds. A whistle from Morrigan disturbed our staring match. It wasn’t a wolf whistle, it was a whistle for our attention. She stood, holding out an unrolled parchment, almost not moving. Aya and I moved to her side to look at the parchment. It was old and yellowing but otherwise in perfect condition.
“What kind of whacked out language is that?” Aya asked.
“Ancient French” Morrigan replied with the same lack of expression I’d seen in Lilith.
“Can’t be. I don’t speak French but I understand that part perfectly” he said, pointing at the parchment.
“So? I can read some of it too”.
“I didn’t know you were bilingual”
“You also didn’t know I went out with a girl”.
Aya’s jaw dropped. Morrigan still studied the parchment, following a sentence with her finger.
“You’re serious? You, Morrigan, the one who is almost repulsed by female blood?”.
“Who said I was in it for the blood?” she said evilly, still staring at the parchment.
“You have some serious stories to tell, girl” Aya said with a laugh and returned his gaze to the scripture.
They studied it for a while before Morrigan rolled it up and started walking out of the attic.
“We have to take this to Tawny and Lilith. They’re the only ones who can read the rest of it” she said and left.
Aya smiled at me and led me out of the dusty room.
“What languages are in this?” Tawny asked, looking at it.
Morrigan sighed. “Ancient French, Japanese, Italian and…” she looked at Aya.
“German” he said simply.
“Why so many languages?” Tawny asked, puzzled.
“Only one way to find out. Read it” Aya said and the five vampires nodded in unison.
“So, me first. Now, it’s Ancient French so it might take some time. Right, “At the beginning”, no wait “In the beginning the Golden Kings created the Warm-bloods. The Golden Kings gave many gifts to the Warm-bloods and asked only that they be loved in return. But the Warm-bloods took these gifts for granted and soon began to forget about the Golden Kings. The Golden Kings warned the Warm-bloods but they ignored them, they fancied themselves above the Kings. So the Kings created a race above the Warm-bloods who knew not of the Kings’ existence but knew their purpose was to enforce a discipline upon the Warm-bloods. The Warm-bloods named this race the Cold-bloods for their lack of emotion and compassion. And so the Warm-bloods lived in fear of the Cold-bloods and the Cold-bloods envied the Warm-bloods’” Tawny read slowly, stumbling over a few words here and there before looking up.
She passed the parchment to Morrigan and Aya whispered to me “Italiano”. Morrigan sighed again and looked at the text.
“The war between the two bloods continued for generations, with neither race gaining the upper hand. War raged until a child was born. This child was the child of a Warm-blood and a Cold-blood. Such a child bought an immediate end to the fighting. The child lived for seven years and during this time both bloods prospered. War resumed when the Half-blood child died, undoubtedly at the hands of the Cold-bloods. The war between bloods has continued for centuries, spreading throughout the world’. It… It cuts to Japanese there” she spoke just as slowly with a nervous edge to her voice.
Lilith took the paper and read, still lacking any emotion. She spoke faster than Tawny and Morrigan, as if the contents of the scroll didn’t matter to her. “The Golden Kings look down on the world they have created and know there is nothing they can do to stop it. However, one day the Kings will set another Half-blood in the midst of the warring sides. This Half-blood will unite the Warm and Cold-bloods and bring forth an era of prosperity and acceptance”.
Then with even less expression than before she slid the parchment to Aya and returned to whatever it was she had been doing.
“Legend says this Half-blood will be the daughter of a misfortunate Warm-blood female and a Warm-blood Wiseman. She will live in ignorance of the secret that lies in her blood for eighteen years, at which point she will thirst for the essence of the Warm-bloods yet can survive as either race. She will consort with Cold-bloods, one of which will be her soulmate, one her confidant and one her killer. Her five consorts will be tested in the reading of this scripture, which will be found several moons before the eve of her eighteenth birthday. If all five passages can be read then you have found the Half-blood of legend and I must congratulate you” Aya read with a puzzled expression.
Fang picked up the scroll and looked it over twice. He turned it over and lay it back down on the small table we had all gathered at.
“There. The fifth passage” he said, clearly pleased with his detective work.
“What language is that?” Tawny asked, gazing at the scrawled handwriting.
“Can you read it?”
“Of course I can. ‘If you are reading this then I pray to the Golden Kings that you have been unable to read a passage or do not know who the Half-blood is. Alas, I fear this will not be so. I must beg you to find the Half-blood and destroy it! No good will come of unity with monsters such as the Cold-bloods. Poison is merciful, quick, painless depending on the dosage. But this child already has poison running through their veins. Find them and burn them, it is no less than the witch deserves. She is one of them. She will be one of them before her time. Yet her killer still persists, somewhere close to her heart… I leave this scripture to my good friend Auguste Libellule, as I know his daughter Mairie is a skilled linguist and his wife Gisele a skilled treasurer and I am certain it will be safe in their hands. And remember; fire to boil the monsters’ blood”.