Chapter 11: Burn it All Down

Vlad’s favorite answer.

“Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell; And in the lowest deep a lower deep, Still threat’ning to devour me, opens wide, To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven.”
― John Milton, Paradise Lost

“Did you see her?” Vlad demanded.

“See who?” William prodded, dragging out the end of the last word.

“The girl! She didn’t leave the cookies!” Vlad sucked in a breath as he considered more of the facts. “If she ever even had them…Damn it all! She never even had cookies!” 

“There is no girl here,” William said slowly, approaching Vlad as if he were feral cat, “But we do have the information you requested. Would you like to talk about that?”

Vlad hissed. He was not a child and he wasn’t crazy. The girl must’ve slipped around the side of the house, cut through the woods. But it was dangerous in the woods. His eyes darted back and forth as he began to consider all the possible horrors she could face picking her way through the shadows of the mountains. Perhaps it was good he kept this form, he could travel faster in his true form. Maybe even cut her off at the pass. And once he did locate her, and tried not to ring her neck for being so careless—

William broke into his thoughts. “…I said, the translation says the owl was the cause of a fight between the gods. Elmira, Goddess of the Hunt, wanted to use it to make her followers—“

“Yes, yes, I know that,” Vlad waved a hand dismissively. “The Goddess Elmira has a statue of some bird. Blah, blah. The feathers can only be used to undo states. Etc, etc. I sent you out so you could find new information, not repeat to me what I already know!” 

William ran a hand over his head. “Well, I think you missed at least a few important facts—“

“No William, don’t bother,” Caleb interjected. “King Vladislaus is in one of his moods.”

That smirk! Vlad blinked slowly as he registered his offense. Moods? Caleb was the one who had been in a terrible mood as of late. Vlad clenched his fists. Once upon a time, Caleb would deliver bad news over a stiff drink followed by a session of plotting revenge. Even though he had been so young, it was Caleb who took over battle operations when William fled to Selvadorada. Yes, they had clashed over the last 200 or so years, but this disdain Caleb had was new. 

Once upon a time, Caleb would deliver bad news over a stiff drink followed by a session of plotting revenge.

Maybe he was the one who needed to spar now.

“Mood? You must have me confused with one of your precious sims, or, sages help us, your witch friends,” Vlad snarled, a dark energy rolling off of him.

O-kay, well, this is about to go poorly. I don’t think you lot are in a place to have this conversation so let’s take a breath and—” William started.

“Oh rest assured, sire, I would never confuse you with a witch. Not ever. That would be an insult to the witches!” 

Caleb sneered the word sire. Sneered it! Vlad felt his blood beginning to boil. This sparring match was going to be good. 

Don’t do this, his conscience warned.

But all Vlad could think about was how much Caleb needed this for his own good. How long had it been since he had taught a lesson in humility? 

“I love it when you call me sire,” Vlad smiled. “It reminds me of your place.”

“Are you mad? Vladislaus!” William tried again. But Vlad was past letting the vampire deescalate the situation. He flicked a hiss in Caleb’s direction and let some of the dark energy thrumming through him curl tendrils around Caleb’s neck.

“William Redding is not the only vampire who’s not afraid of you!” Caleb shouted.

“Oh really? That’s new,” Vlad said, picking at his nails as if the entire conversation bored him. This is a mistake, his conscience promised. Already, the anxiety had begun to crawl up his back, bringing sharp pangs of uncertainty.

Vlad pressed on. “I suppose you’ll be wanting a challenge then? A spar? Who knows? Maybe you’ll even beat me.”

“There is no maybe about it,” Caleb glowered as he rushed to change into his dark form and attack. William heaved a sigh and hung his head but it barely registered on Vlad’s radar.

“Come on then,” Vlad leered, and welcomed the onslaught.

    7 comments
  • Dolly Llama
    November 11, 2019

    Loved the descriptions of Vlad reminiscing about everything he’s lost, especially paired with the tour around the museum. Very visually effective! I don’t feel bad for him, though. There’s some disturbing parallels between him and the current political climate…

    • feroshgirl
      November 17, 2019

      Thank you! And yes, there are 100% some disturbing parallels and it has been a joy writing Vlad’s complete dismantling…er…journey. Haha, I was listening to a great romance podcast (Fated Mates) and they were talking about how they love to see an alpha hero broken down because it’s like reading a cathartic dismantling of the patriarchy and I just screamed and cackled because YAS QUEEN…and now that I’ve shown the depth of my nerdom and the intersection of all my interests, I’ll just umm…see myself out lol.

      • Dolly Llama
        November 17, 2019

        Haha. Dis-MAN-tling the patriarchy. Haha.

        Great to see him hoisted by his own petard in the previous chapter, too. Have you heard of Delinquent Sims? Her blog tears into MRA/Redpill types and it’s choke-on-your-Sunday-mimosa hilarious. (Plus, this’ll become clear later, but Shu’s success with women is explained as him being pretty much the anti-alpha. He internalized from a young age that it’s his job to provide heroic amounts of emotional support to the women around him—throw in ‘Neat’ and we have a deal.)

        You don’t have to feel self-conscious about being a nerd on your own blog! You’re in good company.

  • theplumbob
    July 5, 2020

    I do feel kind of bad for him, the way he reminisced about his wife and son, it’s easy to forget the times when Vlad was just a regular ole’ noble, so thank you for painting that picture so well! I also enjoyed the little shoutout to Princess Cordelia and her pirates haha!

    Ah I see, so he will not be competing himself… makes sense, although a part of me would love to see Vlad on TV lol!

    • feroshgirl
      July 5, 2020

      Yeah, Vlad has a pretty dark past. I mean in some ways, I think all these immortal creatures do, but I wanted him to be a complex character.

      Oh man, I got deep into the Princess Cordelia lore in an old story that I abandoned. I couldn’t make it fit this time but this was my one little moment to play with it just a little bit!

  • Yimiki
    January 26, 2021

    Is that Marcus Flex as a rookie vampire? xD

    Ouch. Poor Vlad. Doing everything possible to return to his former self and reunite with his family, only to find out that you lost track of time and that family has lived half a lifetime without you. That’s got to hurt. I love the little bit of lore with princess Cordelia and the glimpse into Vlad’s past that we get through a museum. It’s true for humans too – the older you get, the more you begin to fear change. It must be even worse for centuries-old-vampires like Vlad.

    • feroshgirl
      January 26, 2021

      Why, yes it is Marcus Flex lolololol I love using premades in my story. I don’t know why. I just feel like that dude deserves a vampire life.

      Ah! Thank you for spotting the Princess Cordelia lore. A bajillion years of ridiculous sims lore goes into my brain and get mixed up with all my dark musings and out comes Vlad as one of the many “pirates” who had a run with the infamous Cordelia.

      Its funny you picked up on how human Vlad’s emotion is. I mean, he sees himself as a monster, as so seperate from mortals but the thing he wants — just to go back to how things were and make the world stop changing — that’s a basic human emotion. At its mildest form, its “old man yells at cloud.” Taken to its extreme, its “get a powerful magical item so I can literally change the world back to the way I want.”

      We’ll have to see which one Vlad ends up going with…

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