The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 42

Anton had hoped that his visit with his family would raise his spirits, but his father’s relentless negativity only made him more unsettled.  They invited him for dinner, but he said that Vasile was expecting him and that he needed to commence training.

He walked out the door and Constanta walked him down the road some way so she could talk with him alone.

“Are you happy with this apprenticeship big brother?” she asked.

“It’s only just started,” he answered evasively, adding, “Though I think I miss spending time with you three – especially you.”

“I love my big brother too,” she said, giving him a big hug, “But I worry about you.  If you died out there, it’d be horrible.  I’d be all alone, and so very sad.”

Anton was troubled by the thought of his little sister unprotected, alone, and vulnerable to the vampires of the night.

He decided to change the subject and said to her, “You know what I’m going to do for you?  I’m going to use my money to buy you some of Andrei’s vampire medicines.”  He expected this to make her happy, but when he turned to look at Constanta, her reaction was less than positive.  A disgusted look spread across her face.  Anton said, “They’ll make you stronger and healthier and more beautiful.  You won’t get sick anymore.”

“I don’t want to eat that,” Constanta said, continuing to embellish the look of disgust on her face, “It’s made from dead vampires.  Yuck.  It’s almost like cannibalism.”

“No, it’s just like the medicine that old apothecaries make from human corpses – taking dried bones and grinding them up and such to cure ailments.  Vampire wares are like any other medicine.  And besides, it’s not really cannibalism.  Vampires aren’t people.  They’re monsters.  Evil vicious monsters that would grab you out of your bed at night if it weren’t for Vasile and I.”

Constant remained unconvinced, but she was willing to concede, just for the sake of placating her brother and she reluctantly said, “I guess I can try.”

This made Anton happy and he promised wholeheartedly to bring her something within the next few days.

Anton was then off, quickly returning to Andrei’s where he found Vasile impatiently waiting for him.  Vasile told him as soon as he arrived, “We’ve got training to do.  We need to do more target practice.  I want you to be able to shoot an arrow through a vampire’s eye at a hundred paces.  And we need to start practicing your crossbow handling and knife-throwing.”  That afternoon, the two of them doggedly practiced until the setting of the sun, when they went out for an unsuccessful night’s hunt.

The next day the town was astir by the return of Magistrate Lucian.  He rolled into town in his elegant horse-drawn carriage, his usual powdered wig atop his head and a large smile on his face as he stepped out the carriage door.  Though he had not publicly announced it, the word had spread throughout Vallaya that it was concerning a treaty between vampires and humans.  Lucian simply had to convince all of the nearby towns and villages, as well as the landed aristocracy of the region, to join him in this agreement and it would be concluded.

When Andrei heard the sound of the horses and stepped out of his shop to see who it was, he saw Lucian, glowing with joy, waving to Andrei when he saw him.  He knew immediately that Lucian’s quest had been successful; he could see it in the way that Lucian glowed and swaggered.  Beniamin, Lucian’s secretary, seemed pleased with himself too, and followed behind Lucian, if not with the same swagger and confidence, at least with the same pleasure of success.

Lucian approached Andrei and said, “How are you doing?  It’s so good to see you.  You can’t imagine how successful my trip was.  I’m calling a town meeting.  Maybe we can get everyone together tomorrow evening.  Does that sound good?  Is your lovely wife back?  It’ll be a pleasure to see her once again.  I thank God every time she returns from one of those dangerous trips.  It’s so risky for a  woman alone on these roads.  I hope you’re not bitter about this agreement.   It’s not good for you, but it is for the greater good.  Without vampires to kill, your business won’t be quite as lucrative I imagine.  Though it seems like you’ve got huge stocks of those vampire wares, which should take many months, maybe years to sell out.  I think Vasile should be the one more disappointed.  Though I’ve heard he’s got gold enough stored away to live like a king for the rest of his life.”  Lucian’s words poured out of him in one continuous stream.  He didn’t bother to wait for answers to any of his questions, and finished up his sustained monologue by saying, “I’ll see you tomorrow, it’s been good talking to you,” and shook Andrei’s hand before he walked away.

<-- Go to Part 41         Go to Part 43 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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