Is Death The Only Way To Escape?
5- Unexpected Surprise
Lucian slowly closed the door to his room with a sniff. Being a vampire had its own perks because no matter the bodys condition, the face would always be in good condition. No one would have known he had cried.
Now that he had finally let out the stress, fear and confusion he had been having since arriving at ”Night Falls ”, he could focus better. As he recalled Miless words, he remembered that the Silversteins were coming back soon. Right on time, the butler greeted him and told him that the family had reached the courtyard.
Lucian gave a curt nod before adjusting the collar of his suit. A passing thought appeared in his mind as he walked towards the Great Hall; for one as gloomy as vampire Lucian, he seemed to have quite a collection of suits and had a close relationship with his family. What was the reason that he was the only one left at the castle?
”Oh! Hahaha, Lucian is here! ”
Lucian glanced up to see his human mother raising her hands in a gesture of a hug.
Thalia Silverstein had wavy black hair as dark as night and sharp brown eyes. For a human in her fifties, Thalia Silverstein still looked younger than her actual age by ten years. Rumours outside the castle said that it was because she had the vampires helped to retain her looks or she had already converted into a half-vampire. Of course, within the family, everyone knew that it was just Thalias genetics that helped her, the vampires had nothing to do with it.
Faced with a sudden attack of familial affection, Lucian stiffly stood there while she gave him a tight squeeze. Thalia Silverstein felt her sons awkward posture and raised a brow at him.
Oh shiet! Breath, breath, you are now the 4th son of the Silverstein family, not orphan Lucian. You have a family. You got a mother, a father and siblings. Recall his memories. Recall them!
Lucian took a sharp breath as he blinked quickly.
”Mother. ” He smiled affectionately at her before giving her a kiss on the cheek, just like what vampire Lucian had always done. And it was also one of the traditions enforced by Thalia ever since she came into the stiff vampire family. Seeing that there was nothing odd with her son, Mother Thalia put down her guard.
In the game ”Night Falls ”, vampires are known to be one of the least affectionate races in Utaria because they believe themselves to be far above such things. Hence, having Aleister Silverstein, the current Head of one of the noblest families, marry Thalia was the first vampire-human intermarriage in the whole history of Utaria. It was unprecedented in their time and caused a massive uproar among the vampire and human communities. However, seeing support from the higher powers (the monarchy for the human kingdom and the high lords for the vampires) for Aleister and Thalias marriage gave courage to more interspecies couples to marry each other. Hence, entering a new age of children born out of intermarriages.
”Alright, thats it. Hands off, ” Lucians father, Aleister scowled at his son when he saw the mother and son were hugging too long. Lucian immediately moved away from his mother because he sensed the oppression from his voice and the vampire in him was instinctively obeying his instructions.
”Father, she is as much as our mother as she is your wife, ” the first-born daughter of the Silvertein family, Adriana, scoffed while rolling her eyes. ”Quit the jealous fit. ”
Aleister and Adriana stared at each other. Immediately, Lucian felt the hairs standing at the back of his neck. It might seem like a simple stare-down, but Adriana was trying to challenge Aleister. The only reason Adriana was able to withstand her fathers authority is that she was considered the heiress of the family. But she was yet to be announced because the familys second child and first son, Damascus, actually proved to be quite the rival for her.
Mother Silverstein saw the atmosphere in the Great Hall and immediately clapped her hands. That broke off the tension between Aleister and Adriana. ”Goodness, fighting again? Is there not a day that goes by that I can have peace? ”
”Fighting? Who was fighting who? ” A voice piped up and everyone turned to look at the darling of the family, Lycoris Silvertein, who was carried on Damascuss shoulders, entering the Great Hall. Her long silky brown hair was tied into two ponytails, making her look rather lovable and adorable. ”I wanna fight too! ”
”Lycoris dear, your father and big sister were talking, thats all. Fighting is not a good thing. ” Mother Thalia spoke to her nicely. ”When you have strength, you should use to protect people that you care about. That is how you become strong, understand? ”
Lycoris pouted before slowly nodding her Head. As the youngest of the family and the only one who inherited most of their mothers looks, she was pampered a lot like a princess but she was raised well with good manners. Of course, the moment Lycoris appeared in the room, Father Aleisters scary demeanour softened a lot and it seemed like the petty fight with his first daughter never existed at all.
Except for the signature red eyes for vampires, Lycoris looked like the carbon copy of Mother Thalia. As for Adriana, Damascus and Lucien, they mainly had gotten their fathers features. So, it was easy to see who Father Aleister liked the most.
If he could have his way, Aleister Silverstein could make Lycoris the heiress of the Silverstein family. However, that was irrational, and Aleister wouldn want to see his precious baby daughter suffer the weight of the familys legacy. He would let Adriana and Damascus take over the family when he retired. Adriana might look like a hot-headed child but she was bold enough to go Head to head with him, suggesting that she would not waver in front of the vessel families. While Damascus might seem quiet, Father Aleister knew that whatever job he was assigned to, he would do it with no mistakes.
As for Lucian, Aleister stared at his son awkwardly looking at the family as though it was the first time he was seeing them. Perhaps it had been a month since they last saw him, but he seemed a bit different from when he insisted on staying back while they were going for a vacation to their smaller mansion in the capital city.
Lucian was sweating internally as he watched his family.
It was the first time he had seen such an affectionate family that included him in. As an orphan, he and Miles aged out and was unable to be adopted into any good family. So, they became the big brothers to the other younger children of the orphanage. As for having a father and mother figure, it was an unthinkable situation. If he did not have vampire Lucians memories of his life before possessing his body, he would not have known how to act appropriately. Then, he felt a slight tug at his coat.
It was Lycoris who was grabbing hold of his coat. Her large red eyes were sparkling at him. ”Brother Lucian… When we were at the holiday mansion, I missed your stories. You got to tell me one later before we go to sleep, okay? ”
There was a series of quick flashes through Lucians mind. A brief upturn of his lips appeared before they returned back to normal. Lucian could feel a pool of warmth forming from the depths of his cold heart, an expression quite unfit for vampires in general.
Huh, I never expect him to be a great storyteller. And a bookworm too. This could be useful for me. ”Of course, Lycoris. I missed you guys too. ”
”Then little brother, you should have went with us, ” Damascus said. ”The ladies in the capital missed your presence. ”
Lucian gave a sheepish smile. ”Is that so, brother? I thought you would prefer my absence to find the girl you like. You are not getting any younger. ”
A glint in Damascuss eyes sent shivers down Lucians spine. He definitely hit a sore spot. ”Well, even if you were there, I doubt the girls would like a vampire with four eyes. ”
And what is wrong with that?
Lucian wanted to jab back but Mother Thalia was starting to look a little scary at the side the longer they interacted. It was true that Lucian inherited more human aspects as compared to his older brother and sister. He did not have a perfect eyesight and needed glasses when he read books. It didn helped when vampire Lucian could spend days in the familys library, dubbing him the familys scholar. Also, he wasn as fast or as strong as them. Even his supernatural healing abilities made his father worry about him even though he might not always show it.
The older siblings have proven themselves to be as powerful as pure-blooded vampires. While Lucian somehow had inherited both vampire and human features. As for Lycoris, no one in the family could take off their rose-tinted glasses to see her traits. However the family initially had seven children, but only four survived to grow up healthily. The siblings that Lucian could never meet met their demise early during birthing or early child rearing as a result of the clash between the genes of a vampire and a human. And none could ever be born as a human because of how potent vampire blood is. Hence, all the surviving children in the Silverstein family had red eyes, a surefire indication that they were vampires.
”Ah, since we are just back, let us… visit the graves of your brothers and sister. ”
Mother Thalia quietly said as a pained look flashed across her face. Seeing the look on her face, the stoic Father Aleister placed a comforting arm over her before steering her to the outer court, where graves were laid neatly under the giant oak tree. The children followed after their parents quietly.
Although Thalia never spoke much about her deceased children, they were thorns in her heart. Adriana and Damascus gave each other a glance. They remembered how heart-wrenching her sobs were when she lost their third sibling. Lucian grew up lucky, but when the fifth and sixth children (twins with a boy and a girl) passed away not long after she had given birth, Thalia spent many days sitting in front of their graves. She was expressionless in those days, neither sleeping nor drinking, withering herself slowly that it terrified Aleister and the children. Of course, baby Lucian was barely two years old and could hardly remember those moments. It took a travelling priest to convince her to eat something, and then, did she slowly recover from her depression.
Streamer Lucian, however, remembered reading about the tragedy of the Silverstein family because it was integral to finding one of the keys to unlocking the Universal Library. This story was also released after vampire Lucian Silverstein died in the war of the five races. His death caused such a huge heartbreak within the family that the family gradually declined for reasons unknown in the story of ”Night Falls ”.
After all, love could actually make… and break a family apart.
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