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   Chapter 14

The Woodlands By EJBowman Characters: 9985

Updated: 2017-12-22 12:02

Neem remained in high spirits now that Rekou was finally on his side. Even the blood-sucking sessions he had with King Klav III did not seem as despondent now that there was finally light at the end of the tunnel. The nymph’s main problem was that the vampiress was not making haste when it came to planning their escape. Every day he would ask her if she had a plan, and every day he would receive the same frustrating answer: “in due time.”

It was also concerning that the King had taken notice of his more spirited attitude. Klav sat back and dabbed his mouth while eyeing the nymph intently.

“You’re eyes have become more green over the past two weeks,” he noted aloud. “Or maybe it’s just the lighting.”

“Just lighting,” Neem quickly assured the vampire while clasping his bloodied neck.

“Maybe it is,” the King replied sceptically. “Or perhaps you’ve come to adjust to your new life as a blood slave—that is the preferable reason.”

“This madness isn’t something I will ever adjust to,” Neem hissed.

He instantly regretted his spiteful tone when he saw anger flash through the vampire’s eyes. The King could kill him whenever he liked, but now that he and Rekou were finally planning an escape, that was the last thing he wanted to happen. Acting high and mighty around the King was unwise.

“I’m sorry,” he murmured begrudgingly.

Perhaps it was more suspicious that he apologised. King Klav certainly looked distrustful with his cocked eyebrows and narrowed eyes.

“You’re quite the enigma for such a child-like being, Neem,” the vampire noted. “I don’t like it. I accept your apology. However, you are not to be this stubborn at the upcoming party or no amount of apologising will save you.”

Neem’s ears automatically perked up at the mention of a party. Nymphs enjoyed festivities, but he doubted vampire parties were of the same breed.

“A party?” he questioned.

Although the King usually viewed the questions of blood slaves as disrespectful, he would ignore it just this once: “The King and Queen of Borovnia are coming in order to sign a peace treaty. The entirety of Primye Dinastoro must be on their finest behaviour, yourself included. If they see you—a mere blood slave—acting disrespectful, then it shall be assumed that I am a weak king. And if that is the case… I will use you as a demonstration of my strength and ruthlessness.”

Being cruel and threatening me doesn’t mean I’ll be more submissive, the nymph thought, but dared not say. He had antagonised the vampire enough for the day.

Neem’s legs trembled as he stepped off the table. His spirit had been slightly uplifted, yet his body was still gradually deteriorating. He prayed he would not just be a sack of bones by the time the escape plan came to fruition.

The Goddess will give me the strength to run, he assured himself. However there was doubt resting deep within his stomach. The Nature Goddess had sat idly by as Jaiya was killed, and he was captured, enslaved, and bra


I’m not offering my blood to a blood wolf, he thought. So perhaps the Goddess will forgive me if I don’t stop Rekou and the blood wolf from killing small creatures… providing the creatures don’t go to waste.

“There are many variables with this plan, and a lot could go wrong… but it’s the only chance we’re going to get. You must promise me that escaping is what you really want,” the vampiress said in a severe manner while maintain eye contact with him.

Neem scoffed at her doubt in him.

“How could I not want to escape? This place is killing me. Escaping is my only chance of survival… and yours too.”

“I just had to be sure,” Rekou replied defensively. “I have established a suitable life here, and I don’t want to lose it if you’re not fully invested in this escape.”

“I am,” he assured her again. “This is all I want.”

The vampiress smiled while patting his head. She then stood up and looked towards the door.

“Be ready with the map after the party. I will collect you as soon as it’s safe to sneak out of the castle.”

At first, the nymph forgot what a ‘map’ was, then he remembered the crumpled up piece of paper in the chest. He gave her one nod of approval.

“Now I must attend to the King,” Rekou murmured to herself as she opened the door.

Neem, again, wanted to ask her why she always had to go to see King Klav III, but she was gone before he even opened his mouth.

She’s so afraid of what will happen if we get caught, he thought. But surely the risk is worth it if this is our best chance at escaping?

Neem was incapable of comprehending what their punishments would be if they were recaptured. His blissful life in the Woodlands had not prepared him for the grim reality of what lied beyond the Goddess’ domain. He assumed that having scalding iron pressed into his back again was the worst thing the vampires could do to him. If he saw the world through Rekou’s eyes, then he would know there were far worse punishments than branding.

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