Chapter 9

Chapter 9

The light still lingers in the room as I remove my sunglasses. I’m not immediately attacked so I’m guessing my backup plan worked. The thralls should just be knocked out but the asshole of a vampire should be dead now. I don’t move to immediately check. I don’t have the energy. I just need a moment to catch my breath and think about tonight. Either I’ve lost a step or two or these vampires ore getting stronger. Then again, I made a lot of mistakes tonight I wouldn’t usually make.

I feel a sharp pain stabbing at my flesh as I sit up. I’ve got a few broken ribs for sure. I’m not dead and the vampire is. We’ve got all the people abducted and I know a sunlight grenade was a valuable investment. Mother Dalia is going to be pissed I went against orders. All in all I would say that’s still a win for me. I guess I’ll be benched again. I don’t mind this time, it’ll take some time for the ribs to heal even with magic. He did a number on me that’s for sure.

The first thralls start to wake up. The sounds of them suddenly feeling all the pain from the beating they took is comical. They don’t even realize they were beating the crap out of me a few minutes ago. They converse with each other unsure of their surroundings or if they just had some crazy dream. None of them bother looking at me, which is fine. I’m still kind of pissed at them, I know it wasn’t their fault but damn, they didn’t pull any punches.

I wait until they’ve all seemingly awakened before I stand up. I wipe the dust from my clothes and tuck my sunglasses away. Before I say anything, I make my way around the room collecting my guns and knife as they watch in confusion. In a situation like this I need to let them know I’m calm and fully in charge of the situation. Otherwise they could panic and that might cause some other issues.

“Alright people,” I command their attention from the center of the room. “You have all been abducted and turned into thralls of a vampire. You were drained of blood and used to carry out all sorts of evil. One of those acts of evil was trying to kill me. I’m still a little pissed about that one. If you’re in pain, it’s because you did not kill me. The vampire who controlled you is dead. If you look at that pile of dust over there, you can see what is left of him. If any of you would like to stay here, you are free to do so. I am leaving, you are free to follow. Any questions?”

Elser would be proud at the way I can imitate his heartless leader gimmick. I make my way over to the door and the kid from earlier is still laying on the floor knocked out. He might have been a fresh thrall. Otherwise he would be awake with everyone else by now. Then again, his clothes are old for sure and the dirt on his face isn’t fresh. His bushy hair tells a different story. Perhaps he fought against becoming a thrall and it drained him. I’m not sure.

My entire body aches and pops as I bend down to check for a pulse. Still kicking, he’s coming with us then. My legs almost give out as I cradle the kid in my arms.

“Leave him, he’s dead or close to it. Let’s get out of here,” a large balding man hollers from the back of the line.

“How about we leave you here instead,” I ask, there’s no response.

I lead the survivors through the blood bank. Some of them place their hands on old chairs or the walls. I’m not sure if they’re fond of the place or just want it gone from their memories. Either way I push forward and they follow. It might look like they’re nostalgic, but they want out of this place. My knees pop as I make my way up the stairs carrying an additional person. They can barely carry me right now.

“You still with us kid,” I ask when I think his eyes are open. My mind might be playing tricks on me because he was still out.

When we make it to the house level of the building I put the kid on the old kitchen table and instruct everyone to wait. I make my way to the front of the house to see if fighting was still going on. Outside the sun has started to rise and bodies of Strigoi started to burn. The others are licking their wounds and patting each other on the back about the battle they just had. It’s all clear. From the location of the bodies it looks like some of the Strigoi may have started fleeing once my fight started down lower. The vampire probably lost control when he tried to control my mind. Either that or they just broke free of his control when he died. I can’t see any of the people I came with seriously injured so that’s another point in the win column.

I head back to the house with a new energy knowing everything had worked out. A win indeed tonight. I grab the kid and lead the others to the front porch. Eyes start to dart to us immediately as they realize I have the survivors. Elser’s eyes cut through the crowd instantly. While the others seem excited about a successful mission it seems as if he’s trying to kill me with a look. One of these days he’s going to have to realize I might not do everything his way, but the way I do things gets the job done.

“Don’t worry, they’re friends,” I assure those following me as I make my way down the porch stairs and towards the battlefield. “Medic,” I call out over the field. A few students instantly rush over.

Elser doesn’t budge. He hasn’t taken his eyes off me since I walked through that door. He’s not happy, but screw him. We got the win tonight.


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