Kaelarn dragged the Count away from the ballroom.
He wanted to get out of there as fast as he could.
\'I must find out who that man is.
I can\'t risk angering both the Dawn Court and the Darkwatch.
With the support of the council of the Awakened ones, those filthy living-huggers might even wipe out the Night Court.\' He thought.
Master, why are we running away from a human Count Xolver was unable to admit his own defeat, let alone understand why a vampire who he considered nigh omnipotent would act so cowardly.
Kaelarn didn\'t miss his Vassal\'s allegations, nor the reproachful tone Xolver was daring to address him with.
Listen to me, you idiot. Kaelarn turned around abruptly with a glare that turned the Count into stone.
We are not running away.
I never run away! I\'m retreating from an unknown threat that you might have unleashed on our Court, you imbecile! Judging from his smell, that man is barely twenty.
Yet he withstood my mental powers and my strength without flinching.
It can only mean that he is an Awakened, and one with a powerful mentor at that.
He also has a Dawn Court pass and allies hidden inside this room.
I have nothing to gain from a fight.
If I win, the Night Court will kill me for having exposed my nature and ruining all our careful planning to get hold of this city.
If I lose, even if I manage to escape, the Night Court would have even more reasons to kill me.
Now shut up and follow me.
Kaelarn was already regretting having taken Xolver as his Vassal.
The same blind thirst for power that made the Count a perfect lapdog also made him dangerously stupid.
If the Night Court wasn\'t in dire need of the Xolver\'s Household riches and connection with the city Lord to expand their area of influence, Kaelarn would have already killed the Count for causing that mess.
Meanwhile, Lith\'s left wrist had swollen to the size of an orange and was turning purple because of the compound fracture the vampire had inflicted him.
His bluff would have been likely exposed if he hadn\'t cut off his pain receptors.
\'Dammit, that guy was really strong.
Even with fusion magic, I couldn\'t keep up with him and I\'m almost sure he used only a fraction of his powers.
Solus, do you have an estimate of his real strength\' Lith thought.
It\'s the first real blood core we meet.
I can only tell you that compared to Kalla\'s or the Count\'s, Kaelarn blood core was mostly composed of blood and with only a few tinges of black.\' Solus was still shaken by the unexpected encounter.
\'Maybe Lith\'s paranoia is affecting me too, but I can\'t help but feel him slipping away from me.
Ever since the academy ended, he doesn\'t need me as he did before.
Now he is able to relate to people when he wants to.\' She thought while looking at Kamila in envy.
\'Without a mana geyser, I\'m just a voice in his head.
I couldn\'t help him fight the feeling of isolation he felt while we were in the wild, just like now I couldn\'t help him against that vampire.
By my maker, I feel so helpless.\'
Lith are you all right Kamila had regained her cool the moment she had noticed his injury.
She took two long silver knives and handkerchiefs to splint the wrist, but Lith stopped her.
That was close, but yeah, I\'m fine. One of his rings released a white light that fixed his injury in a matter of seconds.
It was actually a true magic spell.
He couldn\'t waste a ring\'s charge that he might need soon.
Who was that man How could he be that strong She asked.
We have a situation. He activated his communication earpiece, replying to both Kamila and Jirni, to prevent the latter from ruining their plan by having the army and the Association storm the place.
There is at least a vampire in the ballroom who has turned Xolver into some kind of human empowered thrall. At those words, Kamila went pale while Jirni inwardly cursed.
What\'s your status Jirni asked.
I\'m not dead, yet. Lith\'s reply was the code word for I\'m safe, whereas if he said something like I\'m fine or Everything is okay it would mean that he needed help.
It\'s time to move to the next phase.
Vampires are outstanding necromancers.
If they are the ones behind the meat puppets, your little squabble may have tipped them off.
We need to wrap this up quickly. She had all the troops surrounding the Lanza Mansion prepare for action.
Jirni walked up to Hessie, Mynna\'s personal housemaid, who was serving drinks and snacks at the tables.
Inform the staff that it\'s time to serve dinner. Just like Mynna\'s role had been to assemble the suspects, Hessie played an important part in dealing with the preparations.
Leaving an empty room where Manohar could conduct his tests, allowing some of the troops to hide inside the mansion in case something went wrong, it all required the help of someone who knew the house\'s protocols to arrange things in a way that wouldn\'t alert the house staff.
It was another calculated risk.
Jirni had no idea who she could trust, but both Mynna and Hessie had a spotless past and had helped the investigation.
Yes, your Ladyship. Hessie replied while giving Jirni a deep bow.
Hessie was honored at the idea of helping the Royal Constable.
Since their last conversation, Hessie\'s parents\' neighborhood had become much safer.
Also, she felt like one of the main characters from the books she borrowed from Lady Lanza.
Once Mynna heard Jirni\'s order via the communication earpiece, her beautiful smile turned into a frown.
Are you sure you\'ve checked them all already She asked with an expectant look.
Unlike her dance partner, her mask was just a strip of silk with exotic plumes attached to it.
I examined them thrice. Manohar hissed, unable to hold his contempt anymore.
He hadn\'t been humiliated so much since that time Marth had forced him to attend an academy\'s board meeting without giving him the freedom to speak or sleep.
To escape from the clutches of that clingy harpy, he had managed to beat repeatedly his own spellcasting record, diagnosing multiple people at once every time the music stopped and Mynna introduced him to her guests.
We are on a tight schedule.
The fate of the world depends on this! He hoped to scare her, yet she giggled instead.
As you wish. She nodded.
We can continue this conversation later.
Othre has much to offer to a genius like yourself and so do I. Her seductive smile and sensual voice would have melted Manohar\'s heart, if only he had one.
Yeah, and if I had a silver piece for every woman who said that to me, I\'d be richer than the King. Her amiable mask crumbled for a split second before she regained her composure.
Yet there was enough rage in her face to make him wince.