With Ken and Ray on his heels, Shin entered the Arkan garden and head straight to the castle. The young princes, as young as their looks shows, already know what awaits them, and they knew as well that they have to accept the punishment on their free will or dear Annie will pay greatly.
Shin seemed to be taking his time, and was whistling to himself when he suddenly made the declaration. “You know there’s no use in hiding them, brother…” he said good-naturedly, “You know what I’m capable of doing.”
“But, don’t worry…I won’t kill any of them.” Shin assured, “…as long as they don’t get in my way, and they are under you.”
The East Prince is not sure if he’ll really believe the King’s words. After all, he knew above anyone else how great the King’s hatred is for Igor’s pack; in fact, he should fell the same too since their betrayal caused the death of their parents and at least one third of the vampire’s population almost five centuries ago. Only he didn’t, rather, he even swore to protect them from his brother’s wrath.
For some centuries, Ken’s decision to help them has been an issue that caused many arguments between the two of them. That is, until Ken insisted that he took them to be his slaves and nothing more; the notion calmed Shin but, the he knew better than to believe it.
The King knew that Ken is the total opposite of the snob, cruel and serious vampire he wanted everyone to see. As much as they’re disinclined to admit it, they’re just the same.
But maybe Shin won’t really hurt them; after all, the reason why he’s here is because of Annie, the pack has nothing to do with it.
Apart from to his mother, the human girl had been the only one he felt inclined to love and protect with his life. From the moment he first locked eyes with her on her first day in the village, he knew that she will be the only one to complete him.
Unconsciously, he looked at the direction of her house.
“She’ll be fine, Ken…at least for now…” was all Ray said when he caught him.
Ken didn’t say anything and just clenched his fists. Weak. That’s what he is now; not able to protect the most important person in his life. In his brother’s presence, he’s nothing but a weakling.
And he hated it.
Hilda already attended on Annie’s wounds; Danny was beside his sister in the couch, looking at her as if she’s about to dies or something.
“W-What’s going…to happen…to them?!” Annie stuttered, “What’s going to happen to Ken?!”
“Miss Annie, don’t talk…” Hilda begged, “…It’s bad for you.”
“Ken…he…” tears were falling from Annie’s. Ken’s going to be hurt because of her.
“He’s going to be fine, sis…” Danny said with confidence, “He’s a prince. Princes were supposed to save princesses and marry them. On top of that, he’s a vampire…vampires are super duper tough.”
“Not really…” Hilda wanted to add but decided against it.
“Don’t be silly…” Annie tried to smile; Ray didn’t even stand a chance. But maybe Ken…
Annie shook her head and scoop up reality.
“Just rest, sis…You’re going to see him soon.”
Annie nodded and closed her eyes. She’s going to see him again, and everything will turn out fine.
So she hoped…
At the same time…
Shin and the two princes arrived at the dungeon of the castle that used to be the torturing area; a dungeon located several levels underground, not a speck of light reach it. But to vampires, darkness is as clear as it is at daylight.
The Vampire King saw the shackles and the thick chains as they entered. Without any warning, he sent Ray and Ken to be locked by it.
Ken and Ray hang a few feet from the stone floor.
“You know I hated being ignored. I hated it when my rules are being ignored.” Shine took out two whips, “And yet, YOU, of all the Vampires around, my cousin and brother, did it?!”
The princes looked away, Shin is really serious…
There’s a possibility that they might die on what he’s going to do, and yet they know that this is only the beginning…
“You know what these whips are made of?!” smiled Shin evilly, indicating to his weeps, “Azureus Minerules…a cursed mineral for us vampires…and my favorite toy.”
And with that, Shin begun whipping the weeps around him; they didn’t hit the princes at first but, when they did, it felt like they were covered with strong acid of some kind. Because of Shin’s fast movements, in a matter of seconds, Ken’s and Ray’s body were now full or gashes and covered in blood.
Vampires may have a fast regeneration but, Shin is using Azureus Minerules. With it, it’ll take a couple of days or weeks before the wounds fully heal.
After a couple of minutes of continues whipping, Shin stopped. Almost all of the princes clothes were reaped, no skin not covered in blood. The two kept in to themselves the excruciating pain that overwhelmed them, the sensation is not new to them even though vampires almost never felt physical pain, and the mineral is rare all throughout the world that almost no one had ever heard of it.
They’ve faced this fate many times before. Let’s just say, the King is especially strict on his rules to the princes, and even stricter on giving his punishments to them.
“That’s your punishment for betraying a King...” he looked at Ray, “…and for falling for a blood bag.” he turned to Ken coldly, “This is just the beginning for you my dear brother.”
Suddenly, the shackles unlocked and the two fell on the cold floor. Ken looked up at his brother.
“That human is bad news.” Shin said the word in disgust, “She’ll either cause the clan’s downfall… or yours.” Ken glared. “They will get her one way or another…convince her to join them, and then what?!”
“Annie won’t do anything like that.” Ray stated tiredly, flinching as he struggled to sit and lean back on a nearby wall.
“Oh?! But, she will.” hissed Shin, “Humans are bound to betray vampires.”
“She won’t convince wolves to together join forces with them and betray her lover.” wheezed Ray, the pain worsen in his seated position.
“She’s not Alicia.” was Ken’s added reply.
Shin looked at them blankly.
“They already know about Azureus Minerules, in fact they’ve been doing expeditions for its mines.” said Shin turning away, as if none of them spoke, “In no time, they’ll find one. All they need is a prince with an unworthy human and we’re doomed.”
“I’ll protect her. She’ll be safe in the castle. They won’t even know about her.” held Ken.
“DON’T BE CHILDISH!” came the older King’s booming angry voice. “You can’t keep that human in your castle forever!”
“Maybe I can’t but, she won’t betray me.”
Shin calmed down, reminding himself how stubborn Ken can be if he wants to. There’s no point in arguing with him, for now.
“Say what, I have a wonderful plan to get rid of her for good.” Ken looked like he wanted to struggle his brother. “In seven days, there will be a tournament in my palace. And guess who is the price?!”
“You can’t–” Ken’s voice shook.
“Of course I can.” smiled Shin, “Con and Jason are already heading to collect your blood bag.”
Ken growled and lunged for his brother but, the King just lazily waved a hand and sent Ken a few feet backwards with his blow of fire.
Laughing like a maniac, Shin turned into bats and left the dungeon.
“Damn!” cursed Ken in frustration. What had he got Annie into?!
“You’ll just have to win Ken…you can do that.”
“Hell!” exclaimed Ken, “Of course I can!”
“I always knew you’re the only one who can do the things I can’t…” Ray chuckled.
“Anne once told me that everything happens for a reason.” Ken struggled to stand up, and head to Ray’s direction, “Maybe Hilda’s just not the right girl.”
Shin returned to his vampire form in front of the castle, still laughing.
What’s so funny?!
He stopped by to see the garden, it had improved a lot since the last time he saw it. Ken must really be enjoying himself with his food.
Suddenly, he moved to dodge an attack. And he never expected from who it came from.
“You really tend to betray your master’s orders, huh?!” was he’s answer to the attack, “I believe you were ordered to hide until I had gone back to my turf?!” he smiled emptily, as a horde of young wolves surrounded him. The wolves growled fiercely before they charged to the vampire but, he wasn’t at all bothered.
They’re obviously not ones of the pack members that were old enough to witness his power, his wrath, for they wouldn’t if they are.
When he came to attack the wolf nearest to him, a bigger and older wolf suddenly appeared between them and had obtained the King’s attack instead. It was Igor, and his left eye slashed. Blood was visible, the wound must be deep, the kind in which he won’t be able to use his eye again.
“I beg your pardon, your majesty.” said Igor, bowing so low despite his condition, that his nose touched the ground. “They’re young are reckless.”
The younger wolf attempted to growl but Igor silenced him with a glare.
“I believe so…I am too when I was younger.” smiled Shin, not really caring on what had just occurred, “I told your Master I won’t kill you unless you get on my way…are you getting in my way?!” he added, sarcastically.
“N-No, your majesty…” was the stuttered reply.
“I believe so.” smiled Shin again, “Very well, I was just planning to take around about the garden. I’ll be off after that.” The Vampire left, and no one dared follow or move until he was out from their sight.
“He had hurt the Miss and the Master!” growled the wolf that attacked the King; the one Igor came to save.
“Yes he did.” was the growled reply, “And he’s also the vampire we’re supposed to avoid most of all.”
“Neil, we’ve gone through these! Our pack betrayed the clan; he was supposed to annihilate us all if it weren’t for Master Ken!” said the exasperated Igor, “Neither the Master nor the Miss will like it if our pack is eradicated by the King, because our cubs decided to get revenge for them!”
Neil looked away.
“Don’t hate him cub.” Igor nuzzled the younger wolf in attempt to calm them both, “Even though he looked like the cruelest King that might have lived on the Vampire’s history, I still believe that there’s still good in him.”
The sun is already rising in Arka. With the help of Hilda, Danny had his sister sleep in her bedroom, her wounds now all cleaned and covered.
“Hilda…what’s going to happen?!” asked Danny, looking at his sister worriedly.
“T-The King…he’s the kind of person…who won’t let go of things easily…” Hilda begun, “…he might’ve agreed to punish Master Ken instead of the Miss but…”
“…I’m afraid this is only the beginning…”
“What do you mean?!”
“B-Before I was exiled…and taken in by the Master, the King had me humiliated in front of my people…” Hilda looked like she’ll cry, “…he gave me wounds that took weeks for my body to completely heal…”
“H-How can that be possible?!”
Hilda just gave him a sad smile.
Danny looked ta his sister and held her hand tightly, “What have you gotten yourself into, sis?!” murmured Danny.
Suddenly, the room’s window flew open, a group of bats came in from the two windows and turned into two human, okay two vampires; two equally as handsome and as cool as Ken and Ray.
Danny stared at them in awe. He’ll never get used on seeing bats turn into vampires.
“M-Master Conrad!!! Master Jason!!!” exclaimed Hilda in surprise, yet again.
“Yo!” said the good-natured Jason, Prince of the South, “Long time to see, Hilda!”
“W-What are you doing here?!” suddenly a thought came to her and instinctively stood between Annie and the gentlemen.
“W-What?!” Danny inquired in confusion.
“Move.” said the North Prince, Conrad; the coldest prince. Ken may be cold but, deep inside he’s not. Conrad isn’t, he might be just like Shin, minus the talkative and sadistic part.
“No!” said Hilda, she knew she doesn’t stand a chance, still…
Suddenly, an invisible force hit Hilda, throwing her to the opposite side of the room.
“Hilda!” called Danny, at her groaning form, “What do you think you’re doing?! Who are you?!” demanded the boy angrily.
“Sorry boy, it is better you don’t get involve much.” said Jason.
Something hit Danny from behind, and fell unconscious. Hilda was about to stand and attack the princes but, something held her back and sit her down instead, something that looked like a branch of some sort that came from Jason’s hand.
“It’s better if you don’t get yourself involved too much too, Hilda…” the south prince looked at her sadly, “…you know what happens…”
“Your Master will know what to do.” interrupted Conrad as he scooped Annie in his arms.
As quickly as they appeared, they disappeared.