Chapter X

Selena was riding Shadow around at night in order to get some fresh air. They were galloping right now along the empty road since no one was traveling at this hour. She soon slowed Shadow to a trot when he grew tired of the galloping. It was a cloudy night so there was no light from the stars or the moon, making it a dark night that was also freezing cold. Selena made sure that Shadow didn't stop long when he did. If he stood still for too long in this cold of weather after galloping and trotting around it would probably prove fatal.

As they were going along at a pleasant pace Selena heard the sound of approaching hooves. She slowed Shadow down a little, curious to know who would be out traveling at such an hour on such a night. Small dark figures appeared on the road far away and Selena couldn't make them out just yet. They drew steadily closer with the sound of pounding hooves growing faster and ever nearer. Soon she could also hear the clink of armor and could make out a guard of about ten fully armored knights. She didn't know what to do so she just kept Shadow walking towards them to see what they wanted.

When they were only a few seconds from reaching her, she saw that their weapons were drawn and before her brain could process it, they surrounded her, their horses sweating and spittle was around their muzzles. Selena twisted herself around in her saddle, fear overcoming her as she saw that these knights meant her harm and that she was completely at their mercy.

Selena could tell that they were knights of the King and they were the elite of his own royal guard. She was doomed.

"By order of his most Royal Highness, the King, King Tallord, you are to be captured and thrown into the dungeon to await execution," one of the knight's announced. "You are charged with being a vampire."

Selena couldn't think of anything to say so she just sat there numbly knowing she couldn't do anything. If she tried to change into a bat or some other animal, if she somehow managed to with all her pure terror, she was sure they would just kill her on the spot in some manner. For once in her life she feared for her life. She wasn't sure if she would still end up in pokol, or if God had forgiven her enough to allow her to at least get into purgatory.

A net was thrown over her and she felt stinging all over. It was made of silver and it caused her enough pain to make her pass out, collapsing on Shadow's back and staying up by leaning on his neck.

Selena woke up in a small, dark place that was cold and damp. She didn't mind the cold, but she did mind the damp. She was getting sick and tired of being captured. After this she would make sure to never have to wake up confused, with a big headache, and in an unfamiliar place again. Selena found that she could mover her arms and legs and that they weren't chained up. She was in a small cell that was circular and must have been very deep under the ground. She felt sore all over, and she knew it wasn't just from the silver net. She must have been literally thrown into the dungeon.

There were no steps or stairs leading up to the ledge with the door of the cell and there were no indentations or anything that could be grabbed. It was just stones that were neatly placed and would be impossible to get up out of...if you were human.

When Selena had woken up there had been sprinkles of water on her. It must have been holy water and they thought it would work on her, that it would burn her flesh. Well, they were wrong. Holy water, crosses, crucifixes, the Holy Eucharist, blessed items, and anything else that was holy didn't harm her anymore. Only garlic and silver still affected her. It would be so easy to just transform into a bat, fly up to the small ledge and break down the door or sneak under the crack as a spider.

She would just do that and leave this place behind if not for two things that were holding her back. One was it was actually a comforting place, being in the cold and dark, away from all the problems of the outside world, away from all the war, and all the pressure. Here she could just sit around and relax in the silence and solitude with no one disturbing her, no pain as her small wounds from the battle they had fought in yesterday had already healed, and there were no worries. She doubted they'd be able to kill her if they didn't know that holy things no longer harmed her. They wouldn't be able to control her. She could easily escape and she would be ready this time. Two was the moral decision of whether or not she should drink somebody's blood...like maybe the King's. She had never had royal blood before. Maybe it had a richer taste than commoner's blood. Selena decided against this, though, after further reflection. Enough blood was being spent already and there didn't need to be anymore bloodshed. The King would probably die soon anyway with his eating habits. Better not risk getting into deeper trouble. Maybe after getting rid of the vampires she could help start a rebellion to overthrow the King... It would be interesting and would help occupy her days now that she'd given up on drinking human blood.

Also in favor of staying in the dungeon was the probability that if she were to escape now, the King's army would interfere with the last four battles. If they found her again and with an army they might think that she was brainwashing the humans to do her bidding. They would attack first, ask questions later so before Selena would be able to explain things they would slaughter her army and the only chance of getting rid of the vampires.

So Selena waited patiently for when they would come and get her to execute her. She mostly just slept peacefully, knowing when a day had passed due to whether or not there was a sprinkled of water on her when she woke up. If there was, it was a new day.

Selena couldn't help but wonder if anyone was going to come and try to save her. She hoped not; it would mess up her plans. Maybe, she hoped, Tom would tell them not to worry and that she would return soon. Tom seemed to understand her quite a bit, possibly since he was in a similar situation only more low key.

After a week had passed, Selena woke up somewhere new again and felt as though she had been drug through a forest filled with brambles. She felt a warm liquid trickling down her back and tried to lift her hand to feel, gasping in pain when she did. She opened her heavy eyelids and found herself staring at a surprisingly cleaner stone than usual. She was on her stomach and didn't think she would be able to flip over to her back. She also realized that her hands and feet were bound with silver bonds that had a few spikes on them, small so they only shredded the skin enough to make it bleed. She felt like a boar all dressed up and ready to be eaten. Actually more like she had already been cut up, or at least she was in the process of being served up.

Her hands rested to the right side of her and she was in an uncomfortable position currently. She attempted to lift them again, her whole body shaking as though there was an earthquake going on. The pain was nearly unbearable, but she managed to rest them on her back. She found out why her hands had been where they were: there was a huge gash on her back with blood oozing from it. She felt weak and faint from the lack of blood and closed her eyes again. She didn't try moving her arms again although it was torture keeping them on her wound.

The minutes passed by slowly, going by at a snail's pace. Slowly Selena felt all her strength and energy sapping from her, leaving her an empty shell unable to do anything. She was lingering on the edge of consciousness. She let out one last final gasp of pain, tears' paths sticking out on her face with a few fresh ones still making their way down, before finally slipping completely into the darkness of unconsciousness.

She woke up still one her stomach and with her face resting on the cold, hard stone floor. She ached all over and her hands were resting on a tender, but healed, spot on her back. She managed to roll over onto it, moving her hands to the side so the silver spikes wouldn't pierce her back again.

She opened her eyes, squinting. Something was different now. It took her a moment to realize that it was sunlight that shone in through a small, barred window high up on the wall. It lit the room with a brightness she had not experienced for days, making her eyes hurt and causing her to close them again.

This day wasn't as painful as the previous, but Selena still felt tortured, but on a slightly lower level. There was more water on her than usual, making her suspicious. Maybe today was supposed to be her execution and that's why she had been wounded and moved to a new cell that wasn't so far underneath the ground.

Selena wriggled over to a wall and sat up against it, breathing heavily. She pulled her legs up slowly and rested her head on her knees. Trying to forget the pain, Selena stayed in the position until someone opened the door. She didn't bother with lifting her head and opening her eyes, or acknowledging their presence in any other way; she just stayed in her position, ignoring the new presence and pretending as though she were either asleep or didn't care that somebody was coming to take her to her execution. She felt the person grabbing her above the wrist where the silver band was and was roughly pulled up, making her stumbled unsteadily like a drunk. Opening her eyes to help steady herself, Selena saw that a tall, strong man that was heavily built was leading her out of the cell. He had a black hood covering his face making Selena roll her eyes.

She was led through hallways that had rich, red carpeting and tapestries hanging on the walls. It was obviously Charrun Castle, the castle of King Tallord, named after the city which it was in and which was the capital city of Mirsonn. She was led to two huge, heavy wooden doors, just stumbling along as though in some kind of dream or trance.

Without bothering to break the silence and say a word to Selena, the man opened one of the doors with much pushing and straining. Once opened, he brought Selena into the large, spacious room on the other side that was currently filled with a crowd that consisted mostly of nobles, obviously here for her execution. Everyone was tense...except for Selena. Selena was as carefree as could be, the opposite of how she should be in her current situation.

She was jerked with unnecessary force over towards a very fat man who wore a bejeweled crown on his head. He was wearing splendid clothes made of fine silks that were expensive and a velvet cape hung down from his back behind him. Obviously he was King Tallord, the ever hungry king of Mirsonn. He grinned when he saw her, seeing her as weak and helpless now, she bet. Well, let him think what he wanted to. She was brought to a halt and she just stood there with a blank expression on her face covering up her pain.

"Well little vampire, look who's in control of whose life now," the fat king sneered, making him appear to be like a big, fat, immature bully with a silly golden crown that had rubies and that was atop his brown-haired head (which was balding, Selena noted) and with his chubby and red tinged face, his childish comment adding to the image.

Selena didn't respond to his words; she only tried not to laugh at him. No one seemed to notice her inner struggle to keep a straight face.

The man who held her pulled a wooden stake, it was old-fashioned but it still served the purpose. It was the traditional weapon of choice. After all, who would want to waste money on buying a silver sword to kill a vampire if they could just use a hunk of wood. He got into position, his arm poised and ready to strike out and pierce her heart.

"As is custom of the kingdom even for the likes of you," the King spat darkly, trying to act tough to hide his fear that was making his knees visibly shake, getting saliva on Selena who made a disgusted face, "I have to ask: Do you have any last words?"

Selena didn't answer at first, instead just moving her arms up to wipe off her face taking her time and in no hurry at all whatsoever. When she finished wiping the horrid substance off of herself, she lowered her arms and said slowly, "I would like to say one thing." Her head was low and she looked small and battered thing, like a poor child beaten and abused. If she weren't a vampire, a few in the room might feel pity for her. Selena grabbed the stake with her hands before awkwardly pointing it towards her heart. Before anyone could react, she announced to all the people that were in the room, "Goodbye!" She struck towards her own heart.

A stunned silence fell on the room as a pile of ash appeared on the floor where Selena had previously been standing. Whispers and murmurs were among them, all along the lines of, "Is she dead? Did she really just kill herself, commit suicide?"