Chapter 1763: A dark life.
Deep underground in a place where no light shone, there was life. An entire town had been created, with houses, living areas, markets and more. However, what stood out the most in this underground town was a massive tower that almost pierced the top of the ceiling.
One could hear loud grunts echoing throughout the town. The sound of weapons clashing against each other and banging off the armour. The deep and heavy pants of tired people trying to catch their breath.
"Remember, we are in a new age! We are not like the old!" A middle-aged man shouted with his hands behind his back as he overlooked the people training in an open area.
The most notable about these people who had chosen to live underground was their glowing red eyes. This was a vampire settlement, but not the same as it was in the past. They were not above grounds, and no castles, families, or leaders existed.
"Unlike those before us, they believed that the humans would never catch up to us. They believed that they were the superior race and we are but it was due to their passivity that we are in the situation we are in today!" The man shouted.
"This is why we have trained every day, to grow our strength to prove to them that we are the superior race!"
"Whether you wish to control them or turn them into one of us, you must ensure that you are strong enough to live!"
Hearing these words seemed to inspire the vampires, as they used more of their vampire aura to coat their weapons and armour and continued to train with each other, striking harder and faster.
However, it suddenly stopped when the vampires heard the sound of high heels slapping the hard ground. They paused what they were doing and began to line up in a single file, and then at the right time, they all bowed down.
"We welcome you back!" They shouted in unison with their heads bowed down.
Peaking through, they could black boots made of beast skin that spiralled up towards the knee. Then a little bit of skin was shown, revealing a part of her pale thighs, before having more armour covering her groyne area and heading up towards the rest of her body.
Besides her thigh, her skin was only visible from her neck and the gap between the armour on her shoulders and forearms. Her face was stoic, showing almost no emotion, while two dark purple horns were poking out through her short hair.
Then finally, there was the weapon on her back, a longsword, although it was thin compared to the usual two-handed longswords. It was pitch black, and on the hilt was the marking of a single eye with wings.
She was one of the Red Vampire leaders, Layla Munrow.
"It seems you have come back to us in one piece." The man who was training the others was the first to lift his head, but he kept his hands together in a respectful position.
"Yes, I have, but no one else has returned alive," Layla responded. "It's a good thing you are all training because, from the current situation, it's not long before a war breaks out."
Walking ahead, it looked like Layla was heading for the tower, but not too far behind her was another woman who had her hair tied up in a ponytail. Though, she didn't adorn an armour; instead, just a black dress.
She looked fairly old compared to the rest, but she never strayed too far from Layla.
When the two finally entered the tower, Layla let out a big sigh.
"We should rest after what we have been through." The woman said.
"I wish we could, but we must act if we want to get through this. It would be best if you got ready to call all of the Red Vampires back."
"I know it will tire you out, you did your fair share back there as well." Layla smiled.
While walking up the stairs outside, she noticed a shadow casting over the candlelights in the tower. The tower was one of the few places that had light in the entire town. And as the shadow enveloped the candlelights, all of the candles went out as if a blanket of darkness had swallowed them, and a second later, they lit up once again.
"It looks like he has returned," Layla mumbled. Then, without turning around, she spoke to the old woman beside her, "Jil, it would be best if you head back to your room."
Without waiting for a response, Layla put pressure on the step below her front foot and then began to sprint. She ran up the stairs at an incredible speed, eventually reaching a pair of double doors. Pressing her hands, she pushed it open, and here in the large and mostly empty room, she could see a large figure standing there.
"Ah, I see you have returned as well." The voice said as the man turned around, revealing himself to be Laxmus, but he had a giant smile and a dark red crystal in his hand.
"Red heart! You finally got it!" Layla said, walking closer to Laxmus, who soon covered it in shadows, making it disappear. Seeing this made Layla wonder if Laxmus was keeping it safe or trying to keep it away from her.
"That belongs to me just as much as it belongs to you," Layla said, already reaching for the sword on her back. "You have to tell me what you plan to do with it."
Although Layla seemed a bit out of sorts, Laxmus didn't let that spoil his mood.
"It will take some time to learn how to access its power. Originally I was planning to use someone else, but that idea went out of the window." Laxmus replied.
"Either way, both of us are servants of Immortui. So you don't have to worry. When I hand over what Immortui wants using the power of the Red Crystal, I will tell him that we have achieved this together.
"And then finally, rather than just being servants of Immortui, we will also have the power to stand by his side. To do what we wish and even create our own life in this world." Laxmus clenched his fist as if he was crushing something in it, but there was nothing.
"Well, you better act fast," Layla replied. "The Dhampir are advancing, and it looks like they know where this place is."
"I tried my best to slow them down with a task force, but they were too strong this time. It looks like the one they call Queen will be helming the attack herself."
This information seemed to make Laxmus frown, but soon the smile returned.
"I will be ready, and this will be no trouble." After saying these words, a shadow obscured Laxmus's entire body, and he quickly disappeared.
After their short talk, Layla decided to walk out of the tower and head somewhere else. Soon she was found at the edge of the town, where there was almost nothing, no houses or anything and instead just several walls until she finally placed her foot on something on the ground and pushed it down with the right amount of pressure. Next instant, she heard a clicking sound, and part of the wall started to move.
The secret door closed behind Layla, and she continued to walk down the tunnel and could hear the sound of breathing in the distance.
"I thought you would come back with the heart... now you need to explain everything. How did Laxmus manage to get the red heart" Layla had stopped in the middle of her sentence when she saw Xander kneeling beside a certain someone with a large hole in his chest.
Upon seeing the injured man's face, her heart thumped, and her face paled as a fury of emotions appeared on her stoic face - from panic to shock.