Alexander was awake when the coachman came to relay the message Elliot had sent to him.
Hearing the news he left the castle immediately with two of his guards and leaving Oliver, his second in command to fill his absence until he returned back.
As he headed towards the town he noticed the temperature was decreasing while he rode on his black horse. Arriving at the town, he was greeted with the strong stench of blood in the air from every passing house. He pulled back the horse to a halt and got down on the ground.
“What happened?” Alexander asked Elliot reaching the house.
“All the townspeople were dead by the time we arrived, including Katie’s relatives but we couldn’t find her cousin’s body. His body is missing with few others,” the third in command replied with a frown on his face as they entered the house.
“The guardsmen are scouting all the houses, ask them to find the trails that left the village. We need to check if anyone made it out alive,” the Lord of Valeria ordered.
As he stepped into the room he found the girl sitting on the ground, her back on the wall with her eyes closed. Her breath coming in steady pace. Sylvia stood next to Katie with her arms crossed in deep thought.
“Any information?” Sylvia asked seeing Alexander and Elliot enter the room. Hearing Sylvia speak Katie opened her tired eyes.
“Nothing as of now,” Elliot shook his head with a sigh, “Everyone’s throat has been slashed quite effortlessly. Do you think its vampires?”
“It’s hard to say what happened here but I might have an idea on who caused it,” the Lord replied walking towards the bodies and sat down, touching the blood on the floor and feeling its texture on his fingers, “Even though every victims injury is on the neck vampires normally like to bite before they begin feeding.”
“Massacre?” Katie asked looking towards Sylvia and she nodded, “But why mass murder for no reason?”
“It isn’t for no reason,” Alexander replied, “When the vampires began their existence with the humans there were also witches that came into the frame. Witches were more brutal when compared to the vampires when it came to killing.”
“I thought witches had gone extinct,” Katie said clutching her hands together.
“Not all witches are bad,” Alexander said while walking towards the window, “There are few good ones but due to the fear that was instilled by the dark witches both of them were driven out of the Empire few centuries back while most of them were burned alive. The dark witches since then have tried to resurrect power in different forms.”
“Its just a theory as we aren’t sure what happened here. For now we’ll have to wait,” he said as his eyes met hers, “The council will be looking into this as a high priority while I’ll have a search party sent to find the missing people.”
Katie only nodded her head and when she turned around her eyes fell on her relatives dead bodies. Grief and sorrow filled her with the tears that formed in her eyes.
The bodies were buried the following day in the very cemetery where her parents had been buried.There was no one to mourn the dead except for Katie and none of them were sure if the missing people were even alive or not.
The loss Katie felt was something no one could understand right now.She wasn’t able to digest the fact that she had lost her relatives to the gore like murder that occurred and had broken down in the cemetery.
Alexander had to speak with one of the Council member therefore he asked Sylvia to take Katie to the mansion and tend to her.
Reaching the Valeria Lord’s mansion, Sylvia took Katie by her hand as the girl didn’t move from her seat.
“I’m glad I got your room cleaned up not too long ago. We didn’t move anything it’s just as you left,” Sylvia said leading the way towards the bathroom. She made sure to keep the conversation light, “I’ll give you some space to get yourself cleaned up while I go get your breakfast.”
Katie nodded with a small smile. The girl was stronger than she looked yet so delicate, she thought to herself and exited the room.
Once Katie removed her all of her clothes she stepped into the bathing tub that was filled with warm water. She sat down, leaning her back towards the edge of the bath. Flashbacks passed through Katie’s eyes that were memories of her deceased family.
It was as though it was just few minutes’ back her aunt was nagging her cousin Ralph that he needed to bring wooden logs from the forest.
The knock on the door startled her and she instantly covered herself with her hands.
“Oh my you’re still shy,” she heard an elderly woman’s voice behind her, “Sylvia asked me to help you and I see you haven’t touched the scrub. I’m Daisy,” she introduced herself with a motherly smile.
It is said that when someone is kind to you, it makes you cry harder and that’s what happened.
“There there,” the woman patted the top of Katie’s head as her sobs echoed in the bathroom.
“I’m sorry,” Katie apologized wiping her eyes.
“That’s alright, dear. I heard what happened and I’m sorry for your loss,” Daisy said taking the scrub from the stand and applying a white liquid on it, “Few years back my family were killed by the rogue vampires. My only son and daughter-in-law were killed right in front of my eyes mercilessly, leaving my grandson and me alive.”
“I am sorry,” Katie said to the woman wondering what impact it might have had on her as she had seen them get killed before her eyes, “Do you hate vampires?” she asked making the woman smile.
“Why would I? Just because one of them turned out bad doesn’t mean you hate other vampires. True that characteristically vampires aren’t good ones but neither are human kind. We all have our flaws and good points. Lord Alexander was the one to provide shelter to us,” the elder woman said as she scrubbed Katie’s back.
“When one door closes a window is opened. We can only hope that our loved ones soul is in peace and live for the ones we hold dear to our heart. Don’t you have someone you hold dear?”
“Someone dear to me?” Katie prompted thoughtfully.
Katie wore a light pink dress that went up to her ankle that had floral prints on it after she was done with bath. Daisy had left the room after Katie had completed her bath. She was braiding her hair when Sylvia reappeared with a servant carrying two trays of food.
“Where would you like the tray to be placed Lady Sylvia?” the servant asked politely.
“The bed should do. And can you ask someone to come up here and change the sheets once we head out,” she ordered making the servant reply a ‘Yes, Lady Sylvia,” and left the room without glancing around with a blank expression.
“Are people normally that polite here?” Katie asked Sylvia.
“Just some of them,” Sylvia pulled the lids setting plates for Katie and her. Sending Daisy up turned out to be a good, Sylvia thought to herself, Katie looked much better though she didn’t know how long the atmosphere was going to stay the same.
When Alexander returned to the mansion it was midnight.
A servant came to take his coat when he entered the main door. Giving it, he took a deep breath and looked up. Walking up the stairs he was greeted by his black cat, Areo.
“Alexander,” it was Sylvia.
“You haven’t gone to sleep,” Alexander commented raising his brows, “Waiting for Elliot?” he asked with a chuckle.
“Why would I be waiting for him,” she snorted as she rolled her eyes and continued to speak, “Did you meet up with the council?”
“Yeah. Mathias was around thanks to the Winter’s celebration saving me from traveling back and forth to the Councils. I sent a letter to Reuben myself to make sure that none of the information is manipulated or missed,” Alexander said as the cat walked around his legs and rubbed his head lovingly.
“I see,” she responded, “Katie is sleeping in the above room and the door is a little creaky so don’t open it if you don’t want her to wake up,” she said knowing well the man in front of her already knew where the girl was.
She saw his expression relax so ever slightly that went almost unnoticed when she said she was sleeping. She had known Alexander before he was given the title of Lord and it made it easier to decipher his impassive expression at times.
So he was worried about her, “I’ll be heading to sleep,” she turned around waving her hand in the air.
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