I lied there, submerged in the Blood Pool. I felt it, the thick swirling of millions of thoughts of the millions of vampires before me; all of it making me tired, dizzy, and insane.
I could no longer keep hold of my own memories, unable to tell what was theirs and mine.
The Blood Pool made me live, but it was unbearable. I felt like I was too heavy to move, not even a twitch was plausible in here, or a blink for that matter.
My eyes were wide open, unable to close, as the blood burned them, making everything red.
My skin felt hard; harder than before when I was stronger than steel. It wasn't because I could feel myself, but it was just something I knew.
I couldn't smell, unless it was from the ever-swirling memories in the blood. The smells were constantly changing, but I wasn't breathing. It was driving me mad, I wanted it to stop, yet it would not.
Then I could feel it, the biggest sin of our kind. The blood inside of me as I constantly drank the blood in the Blood Pool. It was everywhere, in my veins, my heart, my stomach. It made me feel, whole. It made me never want to stop drinking it; it was the biggest sin of our kind, but here was the only exception.
I drifted to the bottom as I watched my body slowly regenerate as it had been doing. If you asked how long I'd been here, I would have no idea. It felt like a millennia, but I could have been days, or hours.
There was no logical sound from here, only from the memories, which seemed to never end.
Is this what changed all of us that ever came out of here? The inability to control anything from your senses, your body, or the memories?
I wish that they had let me die, it would have been easier, simpler. I don't see myself as living now, because I wasn't. I wasn't breathing, I wasn't feeling or moving, and my heart certainly wasn't beating.
I couldn't take it anymore, if I could I would scream, if I could I would cry, if I could I'd kill myself now.
Only I couldn't. I could only watch the thick redness around me will, my red tinted hair moved tauntingly in front of my eyes. And live through the memories until I "healed," and freed from this prison.
I slowly rose to the surface of the Blood Pool. I reached out, grabbing onto the ledge. Getting a firm grip I pulled myself up, and over the ledge. I was mostly naked, but that seemed less important at the moment.
My biggest concern was…. Who was I? I couldn't remember.
I looked down at myself, there was blood coating my body, but my hair was clearly flame red underneath, and my nails were black.
I slowly took in my appearance and glance up to find a young man standing there. His eyes green eyes were cautious and watching me intently. I tilted my head to the side. I remained silent observing him.
He moved very slowly, and instinctively I knew he was a vampire. I could sense an aura around him, an emotion, but unable to place what it was.
He approached me, moving with caution until he finally was in front of me. His eyes didn't seem to show confusion, but recognition. He must know me.
"Follow me," he said softly.
I tilted my head again, wondering why the first thing he would say was an order to follow him. Why should I follow him? I thought idly for a moment.
He didn't hesitate, and immediately turned and began to walk. I couldn't come up with a reason to not follow him; he didn't appear to have any aggression or anger. I could find, however a reason to follow him: he recognized me. I moved, slower than I would have preferred to follow him.
The night was dark, dimly lit for vampiric sight. I could see more, and I knew I could see more than the boy in front of me. Although it was brighter to me than to him—the night still seemed like beasts and ghosts would appear in front of us.
The night was to eerily quiet and empty in the narrow streets. The buildings were made from a beige brick, ranging two to three stories high. The roads were narrow and made of cobblestone.
Walking at our slow pace, it seemed surreal when the last turn suddenly opened to a large open area of white marble with a large white marble building. I notice him stop out of the corner of my eye. I focused my attention towards him to see him looking over his shoulder at me.
"I've been instructed to escort you to be cleaned and presented to the Elders," he told me.
My eyebrows knitted together in confusion. "Elders?" I asked slowly. Were they important?
He nodded and faced forward proceeding ahead towards the ominous white marble building. I reached the front doors and peered through. Inside was a large gallery with a large pool of water at it's center. The room contained large marble statues.
Entering we walked towards the large marble staircase straight back of the gallery. The staircase was large, leading to the second floor where one could go to the left or right. We walked up the staircase turning left. It was a short distance to the first doorway. The door was a dark and old wood.
The boy pushed through effortlessly and the hall felt as if walking into a new dimension.The hall was lit with iron torches, the walls and floor were slickly wet granite stone. Continuing to walk along the hall, blank red tapestries every so often appeared over old wooden doors.
At the end of the hall, he opened another door which lead again, to a new surreal surrounding. The walls were wooden, and floors wooden with gas lamps lighting the hall. There were some random slim chairs with tall backs ornately carved. This hall had a warmer feeling to it than all the rest I had witnessed.
We reached the end of this hall, and enter into an elegant, relaxing, and ethereal like hall. The walls white, but painted or covered in embroidered silks with phoenix's, peacocks, dragons, and other creatures. We didn't continue down this hall, rather, we made an immediate right, opening a sliding door into an equally tranquil room.
The room was larger than I had anticipated.
The room showed small bushes and trees aligning on the back wall. The floor, up to the gardened wall had wooden floors, and largely at the center held a bath, made with black marble, square and in-ground with a fountain flowing water into the bath without the bath ever overflowing.
The right wall hung a silk embroidered silver dragon on the blue silk. The walls were bared a white paint, and a stool held a blue and silver robe and towel.
"Go ahead in," he ordered, his voice gentle rather than rough.
I looked down to my hands, which now were covered in crusted and dried blood. I should bathe.
I peeled off the scraps of ripped clothing off my body, and slowly emerged into the bath, feeling a sense of calmness overcome me, as the water was gentle and warm, smelling deeply of a flower I could not identify.
He handed me a sponge so I began to clean off the blood that had crusted on me. He saw me, but his eyes did not overly linger on me while I bathed. Since he wasn't gawking, I decided not to kill him.
As I got out, he handed me the towel for me to dry up. I attempted to finish quickly so prevent him from seeing me naked longer than necessary. He took the robe from his other outstretched hand.
He turned the the other wall, which I had not much bothered to pay attention to, to find that it was not a wall but a paper screen door that was open leading to another room.
He began to walk into this room, and so I followed him in, and there were basic garbs of clothing on a lounge chair, and a desk containing a few various items, including a brush for my hair.
After I had dressed myself, and halfway finishing my hair he suddenly spoke again. "This is for you," he said holding out a vial of blood.
At the sight of the blood, I began to realize how thirsty I was.
I grabbed it and drank it deeply. And suddenly. Suddenly I remembered everything.
The city. The city had no name, it just was. The Elders, they just were. There was no questioning them, they controlled everything, and to question or defy them meant death. There were no secrets from the Elder's, they knew everything. They decided everything, when you ate, where you slept, who raised you, what your job was, absolutely every aspect of your life.
Their laws were simple: Eat only on food days, unless life or death. Do not leave the people. Do your job and do it right. Follow every command given. Do not question the Elder's. And never feed from another, it is the deepest sin, with the only exception being the Blood Pool.
No one had ever seen an Elder, but the fear of them is what unifies the people in the city.
People who emerged from the blood pool were not the same as they were. They had the skin color the same as food, but red tinted hair and long black fingernails, and that they continued to grow black forever.
Their personalities were different, scanning everywhere all the time with fear and confidence, eyes constantly flickering to every person in a room. They no longer spoke to people, isolating themselves, and that they know things that even the Elders did not know, describe history from before time in complete and utter detail.
I was one of the brightest in the city. I was loyal to the city and to the Elders. When I came of age, I was selected for assassin training. I graduated training, the hardest of all.
Most trainees died in training, only a handful, maybe less graduated. You couldn't really tell how many graduated, because by the last few days, each was separated to their final exam.
I never saw the Elders either, but I knew there were four, one still not of age, whereas the other were older than I was. Although I was loyal, I still feared them. I feared what would happen next. They gave me a second chance at living when I failed my mission. I couldn't go back to that mission now... so what would they have me do? What would they do to me?
As these thoughts bounced around, I really looked at the boy, and realized it was the one who "saved" me.
"I am to take you to the Elder's," he told me softly. He turned to look behind him and at the doors which lead to the hall. "You aren't suppose to remember, you cannot let them know," he barely breathed. I almost didn't hear him with my heightened senses, but he said it urgently, so I nodded to let him know I did hear him.
My anger simmering, not only did he pour water on me to "save" me, he also gave me memories that I had to hide knowing about to the Elders. He was making my life a lot more difficult, because by telling the Elders the truth I could be jeopardizing my own life. By lying I would still jeopardize my life, but at the least I would live a little longer, perhaps.
"Come, let us go and see them," he said aloud again. I placed the brush down and stood up to follow him.
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