“Another vampire then?” a third subordinate asked.
“Not likely,” the leader scanned the area once again. “I doubt a single drop of blood was drunk. It is everywhere, and it is hindering my ability to separate scents.”
“Well let us dispatch this Foundling and depart,” a subordinate suggested nervously. “Whatever did this is long gone.”
“I don’t like this Trang, it feels like a trap,” Tuan pointed out. Tuan was Trang’s second in command and until now had not uttered a single word.
“No, it is still nearby, I can feel it,” Trang had a look of apprehension as he spoke.
“Let’s just take our prize and go,” Tuan argued. “We have what we came for.”
“No, there is more to this, and I will know what it is,” Trang spotted a blood trail leading deeper into the jungle. “There, Xuan, Dai, Ba, follow that blood trail. Tuan you may dispatch the Foundling.” Lahn watched as the three men moved with unmatched swiftness as ordered and entered the brush in the blink of an eye.
“Gladly,” Tuan replied and moved towards Lahn and knelt down next to him.
“Before you kill me, can you answer one question?” Lahn asked. He was trying to ready himself for what was to come, whatever it was.
“I will grant your request,” Tuan replied as he placed his hands on Lahn’s head. “Ask your question.”
“Why did this happen to me?” Lahn closed his eyes, and knew for certain that his life would end once the answer came.
“Consider yourself lucky. Most of your kind never gets to know the answer to that question before they are culled.” Tuan strengthened his grip on Lahn’s head. “You were not meant to live this way, you were not meant to be one of us, so now you must be destroyed.”
“Then why was I made into this?” Lahn asked barely above a whisper and closed his eyes.
“You only asked for one question and I answered it,” Tuan replied having easily heard Lahn’s half-hearted question. “If you had asked for two you would know everything.” Lahn felt Tuan’s muscles clench, but then he suddenly released him. Tuan stood up and tilted his head. “Did you hear that?”
“Yes, I think that was Xuan,” Trang replied. “Let’s go after . . .” Trang was suddenly toppled to the ground as the limp body of Xuan flew out of the jungle and collided into him. Lahn opened his eyes just in time to see the olive skinned man emerged out of the brush. The other two hunters, Ba and Dai, were skewered through their hearts. He seemed to have no trouble holding them aloft on the bronze spear; they seemed to weigh no more to him than a pair of ducks.
“You stupid, arrogant, and stubborn vampires,” The olive skinned man screamed furiously! “You dare track me?” Trang walked up to the olive skinned man and looked him over. Lahn could now see him clearly, his cloak was now unfurled and could see that this man was wearing armor, but not just any armor; he was wearing the armor of a roman centurion.
“This is our domain and we will do as we please,” Trang replied. “You will tell us who and what you are.”
“Trot,” the olive skinned man replied and he thrust his hand into Trang’s chest and pulled out his heart. The strike was so fast that Trang did not have time to blink before he was staring at his heart. “My name is Trot.” Trang silently fell over which left Trot and Tuan staring eye to eye. Trot looked intently at Tuan. “Run or fight, you die either way.” Tuan turned and ran. Lahn watched in shock as Trot yanked his spear free from Dai and Ba. Their chest cavities exploded from the violent pull and they fell to ground motionless. Trot hurled the spear, Lahn watched as it flew unerringly toward Tuan. The spear punched through several trees, which splintered as the projectile shot though them. Tuan fared no better. The spear struck him on the back of the head and took his it clean off. As his body fell Lahn spotted large sparks of electricity which continued to kindle for a few minutes. Lahn did not speak as Trot pulled a gladius from its sheath and then one by one cleaved the heads of off of Dai, Ba, Xuan and finally Trang. After their heads were severed each began to burn as electricity erupted from within them. Within moments they were nothing more than charred headless corpses.
“Am I next?” Lahn asked as Trot approached him.
“You are a Foundling, and I promised a friend that I would never kill any Foundlings,” Trot skillfully cut Lahn free from the net with one swipe of his sword. “You are free to go.”
“Go where?” Lahn asked as he got up. “I don’t even know what I am supposed to do, how do I survive, will there be more vampires after me? What am I saying? I am a vampire? How is this even possible?” Trot watched as Lahn began walking in circles, checking his pulse, holding his breath on purpose to see how long he could go without breathing. With every new discovery Lahn got more and more panicked. Trot let out a sigh and struck Lahn on the forehead with the flat of his blade. When Lahn awoke they were in a cave.
“Where are we?”
“This is my home.” Trot had removed his armor and was now wearing a simple brown tunic. “I brought you here.”
“Why?” Lahn sat up and looked around. The cave was vast, but more surprisingly, it was completely worked. Every wall, floor and ceiling had been chiseled to a smooth texture. The furniture was entirely made out of wood and cloth. It was lit by several large braziers and a fire pit.
“Apologies for bringing you here, but I may have need of you,” Trot replied as he sat down across from Lahn. “I have proposition to make.”
“I am listening.” Trot smiled after Lahn’s reply.