Note: her name is pronounced: (rah-kell:de ath).

Belus- (bell-us:co-hall: Hae-yell)


Chapter I

"And your name?"

"Rakel De'ath."

The red-haired attendant at the counter bent down to pull out the first drawer of a filing cabinet below her desk, picking through the numerous manilla folders, searching for the last name, De'ath. Interesting. It seemed familiar. . . must be an old family name, she thought. Find the file, she pulled it up and opened it on the desk.

"'Rakel De'ath,'" she read, "'of the Death Clan. Born, December 13, 1988. Mother died of complications; was an Algern Clan vampire, initiated into the Death Clan as of 1860. Father; dead from decapitation in the year 1993. Custody was given to Mrs. Alice Dini, aunt on the father's side.'" The attendant looked up at the girl before her.

"Do you accept all of this information as valid?" she asked.

The girl, who was dressed in a long black coat, muttered in a low, alto voice, "Yes."

"Very well then. Take your baggage and proceed to the unloading area, just down the hall," she pointed absently behind her, bending back down to put the file back in its place. D, D, D. . . .

"Thank you."

The attendant waved her hand at the girl, who swept by, causing a wind and making several papers flutter to the floor. The girl didn't even pay attention, just kept on walking.

How rude. Cursing, the attendant bent down to retrieve the papers, feeling the elastic of her skirt tighten uncomfortably around her not-so-slim waist. Damn this job. Every pale faced, slim teenager that walked through here was just too good for a mortal, weren't they? Just too good, with their vampire blood and strange urges. So what if they acted like normal kids? They were still so much better than mortals, or at least they saw themselves that way. It really wasn't much different from the way normal teenagers behaved, never giving respect for their elders unless they were dorks or something like that. There were only a few dorky vampires that passed through here, and they were probably going to get picked off immediately by their peers, especially the big, jock types. And then there were ones like the girl that had just been at the counter; snotty and stuck up, acting all dramatic because they were vampire. Oo-oo-oo. The attendant shook her head and picked up a stray paper from the grey carpet, glancing at it momentarily.

She did a double take.

De'ath. Since 983 B.C. A pure blooded clan of vampires that has existed solely around torture of both each other and victims. One of many Clans and sects in the vampire world.

She looked up from reading the paper. Damn. No wonder that name was familiar! There were about a million rumors going around about the remaining members of that Clan. So that girl was one of them? The attendant craned her neck to see if the girl— Rakel— was still there.

From above, the next person in line called down, "Hey lady— you sleepin' or what?"

Grumbling, the attendant gathered herself up and turned sourly to the next vampire to enter.

Students of the Raekland Academy for Vampires (RAV) milled about in the front court yard of the school, talking with one another, some talking with their parents if they had stayed long enough to see them through the doors. They were all vampires, every single, hormonal one of them— and yet they all looked like normal kids (except for the occasional glint of sharp canines). They all had their different groups, just like regular fifteen to seventeen year olds. For example, an out to lunch bunch of readers was seated around a large oak tree. Several guys fooled around with each other, through a football and checking out the goods. The goods, which walked around in skirts that were pulled too high, were laughing with each other near the front steps that led to the grand door of Raekland Academy.

The Academy was built in 1766, in this secluded area somewhere in the northern part of North America. It was originally a strong hold for some sort of tribe but had been abandoned and found by the founders of the Academy, Mr. Brian Raekland of the Diaan Clan. It was now an Academy for young vampires that sought to be enlightened in their own culture, skills, and abilities. The Academy had a policy for not allowing any Undead vampires in (besides the staff) but there were an exceptional few Undead who were allowed in; those were monitored closely by a chosen guardian, which was always one of the teachers.

Not that anyone had needed to worry about an Undead recently. They were uncommon among young folk, as the youths did not fancy the idea of dying. Usually, vampires either did not die early but died after living a full life once, and that time for good; that, or they died in some freak accident while going about activities in their adult lives, say from early thirty to fifty. Hardly any vampires died in their twenties.

But, of course, there were exceptions.

Exceptions like a certain black haired, black eyed, pale young lady leaning against a Roman pillar, quietly looking at her peers. Her eyes flicked around in her dark sunglasses; the long, black coat she was wearing hung around her ankles.

She watched everything with a gaze of deepest contempt.

As she looked, there was a sound from the front of the courtyard. Students began to gather towards the door, which meant that they had probably opened it to let them in. Pushing herself from her leaning position on the pillar, the girl walked slowly after the mass of kids, keeping a distance but moving with them at the same time. She looked up at the towering building which seemed to leer at her, grand as it was. She scowled slightly.

Welcome to the School of Hell, she thought.

Caphis Gurlend, head mistress of the Raekland Academy for Vampires sat at the head table of the dining hall, observing the students as they came in and grabbed seats. Judging by the looks of them, it would be a rough year for the staff. The new students were mostly fifteen years of age, but Caphis could pick out a couple of older looking faces that were new to her. Right now she was looking with her aged eyes for one face in particular.

"Where is the girl?" she asked softly.

From her left side, a smooth voice asked;

"Talking to yourself again, Caphis?"

HM Gurlend turned and found herself facing a tall, handsome, seemingly youthful man dressed in black teacher's robes with dark red lining. Though his question was jesting, his thin, pale lips weren't smiling. Black eyes with red rims looked at her from a soft face with pronounced cheekbones, making him look gaunt; silver hair flowed down to the middle of his back. His overall appearance was ghostly, yet with a sharp edge to it that suited his personality. A stunning creature, at the least.

"Belus. I thought that you would not be attending."

"I would like to have a look at my charge. Have you spotted her?"

Caphis shook her head, her flat colored blonde hair shifting under the light of the candles in front of her. "No."

The man, whose full name was Belus Cohal Hayell, glanced up at the masses of students, eyes giving them all a quick sweep, as if he might spot his charge at a glance. Of course, he knew he wouldn't. If Caphis the hawk could not find her after ten minutes, then he would not waist time attempting it.

"Does she have any classes with me?" he asked.

Caphis craned her neck, still looking. "I'm not sure. . . ."

"You mean you have not taken the liberty of checking. It is, after all, only the first Undead student we have had in over three centuries. . . ."

"I just haven't had time, Belus. Besides," she chided, "when have you ever had real concern for one of your pupils?"

He looked at her imperiously. "I take my job very seriously, as you know well, Caphis."

She sighed. "Yes, of course."

"But you are right; there have not been many students with my favor."

With that, he turned and walked along the back wall. Moving silently (not as though he could be heard in all the noise) he reached a door on the side and disappeared behind it as if he were never there.

"I didn't know there were any," she muttered as she watched him leave. "You seem to despise them all."

Sighing, Caphis once again looked out over the throb of students dining at the three long tables of the dinging hall, wondering which one it was. It probably wouldn't be any of the ones that were ordinary looking; in all her years, she had never seen or heard of an Undead vampire blending in with the normal crowd. Belus was proof of that. It was like an unwritten code among them; you mus not be as everyone else, for you will not die.

Even Belus seemed to live by this.

Sometimes, Caphis wondered why Belus even decided to teach. He disliked every student that had ever walked into the academy and made himself elusive to the other staff members, so no one spoke to him much. He was so cynical, so serious. He could joke, but his sense of humor was impeccably dry, and he only used his wittiness around Caphis because he could respect her. Otherwise he was all business. She could count on him to do anything she asked, knowing that he would complete it to perfection and without complaint. He was like a Stepford Teacher— except that he wasn't loving of his pupils and did not tolerate slacking, distractions, or foolishness. Did not tolerate it in the slightest. If a person messed up in his class, they were doomed to be hounded by a cool but angry gaze for the rest of the year, and possibly longer— after being severely punished. If a teacher did something he disliked . . . well, he could be bitingly satirical and downsizing; words were one the greater weapons that he wielded. His other weapon happened to be the Dark Arts, something feared by many vampires everywhere. It was what he taught and only a certain few students were allowed to take his class, so it was usually small. He taught his class well--- other than those few things, not much was known about the mysterious teacher. Caphis knew that he had died at the age of twenty five, but she did not know what of. If anyone dared ask, he would curtly say that it was no one's business but his own and that was that. No questions asked.

But what could one say? That was Belus. Caphis was just hoping that he would do better to be gentle with his charge.

Speaking of which, where on Earth was the girl . . . . .?

She had no idea that the girl in question wasn't even in the dining hall.

So ends chapter I. If I recieve enough reviews, I might continue.