The Rise of the Weak-Blooded Vampires

The night was cold and no stars, not even the moon is present in the night sky here in the village of Dobrovolsk.

"I should have fetched water before sunset earlier. Why should I partake in elders gatherings when I have no idea what to say and advise on any of their issues!?" the woman stomped the ground as she let her anger release from inside.

She arrived in the well when she notice the night insects stop chirping. She looked around lighting the surroundings with the lamp she has.

A movement sound in the grass swiftly arose from her left so she divert her lamp on it but no one is in sight.

"H-hello?" she can't see it but she knows someone is in the dark.

She heard movement from her left and when she pointed the lamp she saw a man in a devastating state.

She screams as the injured man walks toward her and his right hand is extended trying to reach her. His left hand is in his neck trying to cover the fatal wound, unfortunately, the blood came out like a river from his hand.

She walks backward then something or someone blocks her back and to her horror when she faced it, she saw another 'man' grinning with sharp white teeth reflecting the light on her lamp. She froze in fear and the monster bit her neck and sucked her life out from her body.

Before her eyesight shut as she get devoured by the monster beside her, he saw the injured man go crazy and transform into a monster as well.

---

"Goodness!" Alyssa exclaimed when Loren told her mother about Anastasia.

As usual, she has many questions.

"So you are telling me that the Garados are plotting something against us?" Alyssa is still in doubt.

Loren approached his mother and calm her down. He offered her a seat and gave her a glass of water.

"Your Imperial Majesty, I know that there are a lot of points to absorb and it all came suddenly but that is the truth. The increase of the number of attacks in the territory is the work of your enemies." Anastasia explained.

Someone knocks on the door which pauses the confusion in Alyssa's system.

"Come in!" Loren said from the person outside the room.

The chief of the royal soldiers Augustow came inside.

"Your Imperial Majesty. Your Imperial Highness. My Lady. There was a massacre from the Dobrovolsk village last night. We suspect that it was the Weak-blooded vampires who committed the crime" reported the chief.

Alyssa stood up and face the window.

"Where are these Weak-blooded coming from?" she asked whether to herself or to anyone from that room, not clear.

Weak-blooded Vampires are human-turned-into-a-vampire. They received plenty amount of blood from a pure-blooded vampire and submit themselves to them as pawns or minions. Weak-blooded vampires are loyal to their creators regardless of their choice. They are weaker and rely only on their monstrous speed and strength.

"If this is the work of an angel after you, how come that these attacks are unholy. What I mean Lady Anastasia is, something related to holiness and light. These are all darkness and madness. Vampires that attacked the villages are more like berserk and blood-driven" Empress Alyssa explains.

Since after the visit of the Queen of all Vampires, there are more attacks reported on the human villages and towns at the borders. Sooner or later, the blizzard will no longer be effective for casting away the invaders of their lands and the Imperial Capital will be at risk.

Descovick's main territory is the Kaliningrad Oblast region and the Kaliningrad City is the Imperial Capital. The other 5 regions are Central Russia where the capital of the country Moscow is located, Northwestern Russia has St. Petersburg-- a city of equal power to Moscow and the Imperial Capital of the Human Emperor, Southern Russia, North Caucasians, and Volga regions. The other remaining regions are the domain of other powerful Dukes: The Ural region is being governed by the Duke of Yekaterinburg-- Venicio Garados, Siberia Region is under the Duchess of Novosibirsk—Amalia Logoski, and lastly the holder of the biggest region-- the Russian Far East, the Duke of Vladivostok—Muscovante Valderak.

Although Russia is being governed by the Emperor-- a human king, it is actually a puppet of Descovick's empire and is to rule the humans on their behalf and from the public.

With the five regions as allies, 4 of them are under the Grand Dukes and Duchess and a Prince of the Blood Imperial who are all loyalists to the throne and to the Empress Regnant of all Russia Alyssa Descovick, they have greater power than the rest of the Dukes even combined, not to mention if we also count the Human Emperor and his subjects for numbers.

The room was put to silence for a moment. Everyone is thinking of who the enemies are.

"Who controls these weak-blooded vampires? And why are they attacking the villages and not the palaces?" Loren whispered but everyone heard it.

He then starts to look at the map and analyze the geography of the country.

"It is not possible that they came from the countries surrounding us, Mother" he said after looking at the map.

"What about those countries? Do they have their own Empires too?" Anastasia ask while she joined the Tsesarevich in checking the map.

"These countries-- Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Poland, and Sweden are countries under the Werewolf's protection. Any vampire will never choose to join forces with them just to destroy the Imperial Capital" explained Loren while pointing to each of the countries on the map.

"And the only way of getting in our ports is to get on a ship from St. Petersburg" added Your Imperial Majesty.

"We have to assemble our allies and demand their loyalties to the royal family again" declared the Empress and look to the Chief.

The Chief of the Royal guards gave his salute and walk out of the room knowing what should be done with the Empress' command.

She knows that a civil war will happen very soon. Loren tried to calm her mother by giving her a seat but it won't help. The enemies are serious about overthrowing the Descovick family and knowing that another entity joined the other side is beyond their limits.

"Your Imperial Majesty, I agree with your plan. We have to call His Imperial Highness The Grand Dukes and Duchess, His Highness the Prince Vasilchikov Durnovo of the Blood Imperial, and the Tsar itself and proclaim to us their stand on this war. We have to gather allies as soon as possible" Anastasia firmly emphasized.

"Your Imperial Majesty, mother, are we going to send an invitation to His Highness the Duke of Yekaterinburg?" Loren asked with the thought of Elaine.

The said Duke was the only ally they had from the other nobilities outside the close or far branches of Descovick's family. The broken marriage between him and the Duke's daughter, Elaine, might not totally sever the allegiance between the two families, that is what he hopes.

In that instance with the help of the Chief of Royal Guards, messengers have been sent to the nobilities' domains as an invitation to the Imperial Capital once received personally.

On the castle of the Duke of Yekaterinburg.**

"How are you, father?" Elaine asked after entering his father's chamber. It was gloomy and dark, very unusual on its normal appearance of full in light and life.

The old man served himself a cup of wine before responding to her daughter.

"How can they humiliate our house, Elaine?" Swiftly and calm, she then approached her father to snatch the cup of wine in his hand and place it on the table nearest to his chair.

"Would you like to breathe some fresh cold air with me on the veranda?" She then asked when his father was starting to get upset when she stole the cup of wine.

The Duke accepted the offer.

After stepping outside the room, the cold wind started to blow gently.

She gasped air before speaking.

"I am sure that Descovicks have their reason behind it, Father. We know how difficult it has been on their household after what happened to the late His Imperial Majesty the Emperor" she tried to understand the situation, although it sounds unfair to her and to her household. And yet she can't hide her pain in the last words which her father felt.

Venicio reached for her hand and they both gaze to the farthest place where they can see.

She knew Loren as early as they were kids. Even from their younger days, they are destined to wed and be the bridge to connect each household for better Russia. She doesn't even know who the woman they called his wife is. The other thing was, before everything happened, even before the party, they never argued or whatnot to break the marriage plans.

And there she goes, unable to control her tears. The best that she can try is to not give a sound while the tears are flowing in her eyes.

"I know it affects you, my child. You don't have to hide it from me. Compared to me or to anyone, you received the fatal blow from this disgrace" She doesn't want to absorb those words her father is saying to her right now, or else, all of the efforts she's trying to take just to remain soundless and stiff on this moment will collapse.

The Duke, his father grip his hands a little, to make sure to comfort her in his best ways but that's that. She can't hold it anymore.

She then embraced him harder as she can and burst into tears, crying like a child. Her father hugged her tight as well and brush her hair with his tender hands.

Her heart was crushed into pieces. How can be the man who swore to love and cherish her suddenly change his mind in an instant and wed to another and to a woman from an unknown origin?

From that moment they are in, a knock from the door brought them back to reality.

"Excuse me, Your Grace, My Lady" her personal attendee.

Her Father wiped her tears on her eyes and cheeks with his hands and then walked back inside the room to accept the person knocking on the door.

"Come in. What is it?" her father asked.

"We have a messenger, Your Grace"

A Messenger?

"From this time?" her father asked again.

With her personal attendee to guide them to where the messenger is, she felt odd feelings from her father as they go to the throne room.

Why is he nervous? she asked herself as she felt the floor's vibrating his father's fast heartbeat.

They arrived and saw a vampire with the family crest on his right chest which symbolizes the Valderak's household.

"What is the Valderak's servant doing in my mansion?" his father's distaste swelled on his words.

Valderak household is not an enemy nor an ally of Garados. Her family is loyal to Descovick household and to the throne but never clashed with any of the opposing households such as the first mentioned.

They simply do not want to participate in any of each household's wars.

"Good evening, Your Grace, My Lady" politely, the man showed his respects.

She offered him a seat then after that, they sat on the sofa facing the Messenger.

"I am Benedict, His Highness the Duke of Vladivostok's Messenger. Your Grace wanted to propose an allegiance between our household to yours, Duke of Yekaterinburg"

In her peripheral view, she saw her father's fist closed with force. In all her days she is with him every meeting, she knows how politics works.

The Duke of Vladivostok, Duke Muscovante wanted to get her father's allegiance now that her marriage to His Imperial Highness Loren has been abolished. Moreover, the relationship between each household was surely been cut due to this.

"Muscovante really is not wasting time on this huh?" her father said with a wry smile.

"We are in deep sorry on what happened—" Benedict stop talking when her father stomp the table in the middle and completely destroyed it.

"I have no plans on seeking pity from you or to your master, Benedict. Get out of my sight and tell this to the Duke you serve--

Her father stood up and walk to the nearest window. His hands met on his back as he gazed outside.

"Garados household will never be anyone's ally"

She looked at his father with a surprised face. Does it mean that they will also cut ties with the Descovick?

"F-father..." she muttered.

"I understand, Your Grace. We know that you will answer to our aid in the future though"

The Messenger crossed the line so as a warning, she looked at him with monstrous eyes.

"It is best of you to allied on the east forces. You know that your territory hinders us to attack the allied western regions. If you will not be part of the eastern forces, your territory might turn into a battlefield and be destroyed. The Ural region acts as a neutral territory but also geographically in the middle of the eastern and western regions"

She contained herself from anger, he has a point though. They are at a disadvantage in geography once the war broke out. They are a neutral territory that separated west and east forces.

"I already said our stand on your struggles in power, Muscovante's messenger. Now, you may leave"

When the Messenger is gone, she then approached her father right away with no time wasted.

"You declare to the eastern forces that you are not a friend. Father, we have to choose sides or we will be caught up in the coup d'etat that they are planning against the Empress of Russia"

Her father faced him, bothered but trying to look strong.

"Do not worry, my daughter. Whatever they want from each other, if they step to our lands, I will make sure that they can never go outside"

She might not sure where will his father get the power to suppress the forces from all sides of their lands, but she knows that he is not lying. She hugged him to show her support for his father's bravery.

----

After a month when Muscovante's Messenger arrived in Garados' castle, the increasing slaughter of human villages and towns from the weak-blooded vampires sprouted on their territory.

"This is cruel!" Elaine protested when she saw the slaughtered village which happened only last night.

Adults and children were brutally murdered by the vicious monsters.

Every angle of the village has body parts of the victims scattered everywhere.

"We look further into the houses, my lady. We have no survivors. Aside from the deformed bodies or dislocated body parts, we haven't seen dead bodies which are intact or died only from blood loss" her Father's General reported.

She thinks there is something strange from the bodies in every place the slaughter happens.

"If we will do the math, I am not sure if we will have the number of bodies matched to the population of this village. Am I right, Sir Karena?" she then looked at her personal guard from the distance.

"Yes, my Lady. Same as the other places we visited. There seems to be a lot of missing villagers" agreed Karena who is checking an arm buried in a knee-height hill of snow.

"Does that mean that these weak-blooded vampires are also kidnapping a lot of villagers to feast in on their hideouts?" General Vladimir, his father's general pointed out.

That might be the reason for the missing bodies she thought. Besides, Weak-blooded vampires are no way to walk under the sun regardless if they apply a special oil they rub on their skin as sun protection.

"Who will form an army of Weak-blooded vampires?" she then asked her troops but no one can answer it.

They heard horses approaching them in a distance so they alerted themselves. There are 2 groups of people who ride horses, one is a human troop while the other might be from the Descovick's. Vampires do not need to ride horses for travel since they can walk or run faster than those animals. Their stamina is much more than the animals as well. But somehow, Descovick chooses to do the human way of travel which also gains critiques from other vampire nobilities.

"Vampires. The Empress troops!" General Vlad announces to everyone when they feel their auras approaching them.

When her troops ready themselves to welcome and give respect to the coming vampires, Elaine stopped them and walked toward the arriving Royal guards.

"I am in grave regret to inform you, Your Imperial Highness, that you and your soldiers are not allowed to be in these lands" she said when the group of them arrived and he saw Loren.

"How dare you talk to Your Imperial Highness that way! Cut off her head!" Augustow, Chief of the Royal guards shouted to call her out, and her rudeness.

When a soldier from Loren's moves towards Elaine, her troops move to defend their Lady as well.

"We will assume that your character mirrored the action of His Highness the Duke. Your rudeness to Your Imperial Majesty and to Your Imperial Highness will be considered treason! You are all sentenced to d--" Augustow wasn't able to end his proclamation of sentencing death for Lady Elaine and her group when Loren, Your Imperial Highness spoke.

"Stop it, Augustow" Loren said and get down from his horse.

"Your Imperial Highness, you and your forces no longer welcomed to Ural regions have you not made aware of?" cold but firm she proclaimed.

The Tsesarevich ignored her and continue to approach her and steal her hand.

"How are you?" she saw the worried face all over him.

She took back her hand from him and walk backward to give the distance from each other.

"I will repeat, Your Imperial Highness. We are siding with no one and will remain neutral in the face of your wars against the eastern forces. Please leave our territory at once" she once again informed the Tsesarevich.

"Please do not say that" She can see the sadness in his eyes.

Tears came to the sides of her eyes when she saw it. Why is he doing this?

"Is the Lady, your wife knows about this?" cold but brave, she then tell the man which paused him.

There's a pinch of pain on her heart when she saw him stop approaching her like he was turned to stone.

She gave a sigh of disappointment. She slightly bent her knees to give respect to him and then walked away.

"Elaine, wait! Please! I will protect you. I won't let anyone hurt you" She heard him while trying to cope with her.

Before he can do any more emotional damage to her, she faced him again and slap him in the face. Hard as she can.

He paused, not sure how to react. Everyone was surprised at what she has done.

The Royal guards with Augustow's signals to step forward to them to punish Elaine for what he had done when Loren extended his arms and counter signals to stay wherever they are.

"Do not ruin us further, Your Imperial Highness!" She shouted, begging for him to retreat.

Then on, when he saw her in that state, he lost his energy, and like a lamp losing its light to the night, he gazed down.

She wants to run towards him and hugged him and comfort him but no, she is the one who is suffering here. Before her tears came rushing out of her eyes, she runs toward Sir Karena to seek comfort. Sir Karena then hides Elaine in her robes to protect the lady while she cries in pain.

---

When they received the news that the Messenger, tasked to go to Yekaterinburg was killed, Loren suddenly formed his troops to go to the Ural region himself. The Empress allowed him to do so even though the travel will take 2 weeks and killing a messenger is a clear statement of rejection.

Anastasia saw Loren's forces return after those weeks. She run towards the gates wearing her biggest smile to tease the crowned prince. But in all surprise, he doesn't even look her in the eyes or even respond to her when she welcomed him.

The guy is lifeless.

"What's his problem?" she asked one of the men who were with him.

Augustow responded with a wry smile before bowing to her then left.

She didn't let the man slide so she followed him until he arrived in his own room.

"What is your problem, Loren? Have you talked to the Duke of Yekaterinburg?" Loren sat down to the side of his bed and took off his boots. Throwing it into the room.

He is not in the mood to talk if she will base it on his actions.

She didn't buy it and she walked towards him and block his face with hers.

"Hey, why are you mad?"

He looked at her sharply so she slightly back down.

"This is your fault" almost whisper but there was still sharpness in his words that make their way to reaching her ears.

He is silently looking downward.

She knows what he is talking about. She can also see his mind in chaos- agony, sadness, and anger.

"It's your fault" he repeated, now soft-spoken but solid.

Even though he does not explain what happened. She kinda knows. The Ural region is that woman's home after all.

"Yeah, and I am sorry" this is true. But she knows too that that is not enough to subside his anger.

He stood up and approached her. Eyes to eyes, she saw the burning anger from him.

"I can't even hold her hand because of you"

She did not respond. Guilty.

"I can't protect her because of you"

She did not respond again and gazed down. Guilty.

When she looked up to see his face again when she no longer heard any of his rants, she saw his face change from being angry to sad. His eyes were red and tears are starting to fall down his cheeks.

He looked away and went to the veranda.

Slowly and soundless, she followed him.

"Was this necessary? You proclaiming to everyone that you are my wife? Did you get that that hurt my love and gave us more enemies? I don't want this! I don't want any of this!"

Looking at the right angle of his face, she saw him crying in frustration, looking from afar.

She gently holds his hand which was closed, pulls his arms, and makes him face her.

"No. Proclaimed to everyone that I am your wife was my fault but unintentional. I have no knowledge of the situation I was in at that party and I only think about how fascinating your race is. I don't know that you have a fiancee, it was not intentional, Loren" she said apologetically.

He didn't say a word. He just looks at her trying to toughen his act.

"I am sorry. My target was the Duke of Yekaterinburg, he is to you too since he might be the one moving the weak-blooded vampires that attacks human settlements in this country"

"You think she knows his father's doing?" Loren now talked.

He has cold eyes looking at her.

"She doesn't know" Which in fact, is true.

It seems that The Duke is working in the shadows without his daughter's knowing. She saw hope in his eyes after what she said.

"If that's true. I need to rescue her. She will be caught up on the treason of her father!"

"But the first thing you have to solve is why are they attacking not only our regions but their regions as well. And where do these monsters taking their hostages"

"H-how did you know that?" Loren asked, confused.

"The wind talked to me" Anastasia answered. Anastasia back down went to the door and open it.

"You have to be prepared for the worst, Your Imperial Highness!" she advised and went outside and close the door.

After two or three steps away from the Tsesarevich's door, Anastasia rests herself by pinning her back to the wall. She gazed down.

"It hurts!" she said talking to herself, or more like a question, while her hands are in her chest feeling a little pain inside.

In that very situation, she didn't feel the Empress coming toward her. It was too late to change the getup she was in when she gazed up and saw her in front of her.

Smiling and a little worried, the Empress just asked her this--

"Anastasia, can I talk to you for a moment?"

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