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.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 96

Lucian trailed a good distance behind Flaviu on foot, watching him as he entered in through the Terem gates, walked through the main square and turned off down a side street towards the guard station.

There Flaviu found Cezar standing guard, and he ordered, “I want an inventory of the gunpowder we have in storage.”

Cezar responded with an emphatic “Yes, sir,” and then ran off to another building nearby, while Flaviu sat down and relaxed

Lucian took out his paper and wrote down a few more notes before Flaviu started to turn in his direction, and he had to hastily hide behind the nearest building.  Lucian didn’t bother to check and see whether he’d truly been spotted, and instead, simply ran off, leaving the city.

He continued walking at a brisk pace directly into the woods.  Within only a few hundred paces he heard a hissing from the trees, which sounded distinctly like a vampire trying to get his attention.  A tree swayed with a creaking sound above him, as the vampire bent the tree and then leapt to another.  A moment later Uta dropped from above directly in front of Lucian, so close to him that he leapt backwards away from her.

“No need to be frightened,” Uta reprimanded him, spreading a wicked smile across her face.  Her dark hair and eyes contrasted strongly with her pale skin, and she always partially leaned forward when she stood, leading with her nose, which seemed to smell the emotions of those she interacted with. “Do you have anything for me?” Uta asked.

“I took some notes,” Lucian said, extending the piece of paper that he’d been writing on.

“Asha’s not much of a reader,” Uta said, looking at the piece of paper, which Uta hadn’t the capacity to read either, and tossing it back to Lucian, “Just tell me what it says.  I’ll remember.”

Lucian briefly recounted what he’d seen, checking his notes to make sure he didn’t miss anything.  In response, Uta asked, “What did Andrei, Flaviu and Vasile talk about at this meeting?” clearly displeased with the thinness of the intelligence Lucian had provided.

“I don’t know,” Lucian admitted.

“What did Flaviu want with the gunpowder?”

“I don’t know,” Lucian admitted, “For guns I assume .  They must be planning an attack.”

“This is not enough,” Uta told him, “We need more information.  Most especially we need to know when this attack is and how they’re going to attack.  Now, get back to Terem and find out what you can, and if not there, go to Vallaya.”

Uta, at these words, then turned around and ran away as fast as her legs could carry her in the direction of the coven.

When Uta arrived at the coven, she relayed the information to Asha, who was at the time in her room standing in a tub of warm water, while two male vampires scrubbed her body with soap.  She smelled fresh, with a hint of frankincense to cover up the normally pungent vampire odor.

Asha turned to look at Uta while she relayed the information.  After heard all the information that Uta had to provide, in a moment of angry caprice she slapped Uta across the cheek with violent force.

By way of apology she admitted, “You don’t deserve that.  It’s not your fault.  It would be better if you passed that on to Lucian.  I’m afraid you’ll have to help him.  Go to Vallaya.  Spy on Andrei.  Tell me everything you see, and if you can find Vasile, see what he’s doing as well.”  Asha then added as she turned her head downwards and looked at her naked body, “I think I’ll visit Beniamin, see if I can ply my wiles on him, to see what he knows.”

“You have a most beautiful physique,” Uta concurred with a nod.

After Uta left, Asha asked to be dried off and brought her daylight clothes.

Oana continued overseeing the carving of the altar in the arena, which had been progressing well.  Much of the outline of the altar had been carved into the wall, with only a little bit of the rough work left.  Detail work would follow, and that would take nearly as long, but it would still be useful for fulfilling its pious purpose even in rough form.  It provided a space to pray before and praise the almighty, which she believed even those trapped in this horrible place ought to do.

Oana herself, even felt the compulsion to praise God as she observed how excellently the work was progressing, and took the opportunity to lower herself to her knees and pray.

While kneeling she heard behind her the sound of many footsteps walking in unison.  As Oana turned around she saw Dragomir standing at the center of his entourage.  Without a word of explanation he grabbed Oana’s wrist and pulled her towards him.  He dipped a bit of fabric into an inkwell and then drew an X on the back of her hand with the ink.  He then forcefully grabbed her other hand and drew an X on that one too.

“I gave you many warnings,” Dragomir said, “Don’t pretend you didn’t know this was coming.”  He then pushed her to the ground and walked away with his entourage.

Cornel’s blacksmith shop was nothing more than four walls and a roof, with a great furnace at one end and a large door at the front to open it for customers.  Tools and metal implement lied about everywhere and the floor was simply the bare earth beneath, cleared of all grass or plants.

As Vasile entered into the hot room, he saw Cornel pounding away at a wedge of metal that was to make the head of a shovel.  Cornel raised his head when he saw Vasile entering and said to him, “Welcome.”

Vasile greeted him, and said, “I’ve come to ask you a favor.  We’re going to be attacking the vampire’s coven.  As you may have heard, we think they have hundreds of humans being held captive.  We have some troops from Terem joining us, but we would appreciate your help in this battle.  Any strong hand that can wield a weapon is of value, even if you have no combat experience.”

Cornel didn’t say a word, but simply set down his work and walked over to a wall, where many tools were hanging.  He selected what looked to him like a suitably large double-bitted axe and held it in his arms, feeling the weight and swinging it  to see how it felt.  Then he walked over to Vasile and said, “I’m ready. Lead the way.”

Vasile smiled and said, “I appreciate your enthusiasm, but not right now.  In a few days we hope.  I’ll be sure and tell you.”

“Just tell me when and I’ll be ready,” Cornel said, setting down the axe and returning to his work.

In a bush behind the shop Uta hid while this short transaction was taking place.  She watched as Vasile left the shop and walked down the village main street.  He passed the church and walked the road towards Josef’s farm.  She didn’t think she could follow him directly without being seen, since this would require her to walk directly through the center of town.  She decided to take a long, circuitous route, and meet him at Josef’s, his most likely destination.  For this purpose, she darted through the woods towards the edge of the city, zipping through forests and fields, hiding behind shrubbery and trees.

She arrived just in time to anticipate Vasile’s arrival, lying flat in an irrigation ditch within hearing distance.  In the early hours of evening, with the sun low, Josef was heading indoors when Vasile and Josef intersected each other in front of the house.  After a quick greeting, Vasile explained to Josef the same thing he’d explained to Cornel about their attack on the coven.

After listening to Vasile’s words, Josef looked out across his fields thoughtfully and asked Vasile, “Will I die?”

Vasile admitted, “I can’t guarantee you’ll survive.  But we shall do what we can to preserve you.”

“I’ve got a lot of people that depend on me: my wife, my son, my landlord.  But there’s also my daughter.  She depends on me too.  You think she’s alive down there?”

“Lina thinks it’s unlikely she’s been killed.  If she is alive we shall save her, with or without your help.”

“Is my son going?” Josef asked.

“He has assured me that he will be joining us.”

“You’ll take care of my wife and daughter, should both my son and I die,” Josef asked, and Vasile nodded.  “Then do you have need of an arquebusier?” Josef finally asked, “I’m experienced and have a steady aim.”

Vasile replied with a smile, “Yes we do.”

<-- Go to Part 95         Go to Part 97 -->

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

No comments:

Post a Comment