Maledictus Terra Book 2: Sanguifex Part 10

Greetings all

I hope your week has treated all of you well, and you're ready to learn more about what Sebastian is.

Don't forget that this story is for mature readers, as there is blood involved.

“Hold on.” Mortis returned his helm to his head as he held up a hand. “I have another question.”

“You are wasting my time.”

“And I’ll continue to waste it until I can be sure you aren’t a threat to this kingdom.”

Sebastian clenched his hands, ground his teeth, and held his breath for a few seconds before he slowly breathed out. The bestial fury was the one thing that never left those turned into this form.

Mortis then asked his question.

“How is it that it took the Clarpratians so long to realise feeding upon their own kind would grant them a stillness of mind? Weren’t there others that were turned long before you? Didn’t they happen to feed upon their kin? And what happened when Mary left with all those untainted?”

“To answer your first question, likely those first turned weren’t strong enough to hunt down humans, rather feeding upon the animals around them. The second one pains me to answer, but I will.” Sebastian walked over to a window and threw it open to enjoy the sunlight. “Criminals, thieves, such sorts, were kept in the dungeons, too dangerous to be set free, but safe from the beasts outside. Once I could think for myself, and realised how I was able to do so, I set those men to my blade. It was quick; I didn’t let them suffer. Their blood brought hundreds of people back from the brink of insanity.”

Mortis milled this over in his head. There had been times when he was king, that he had faced trials such as this, and he knew his hands weren’t blood free. He slowly nodded his head and asked one last question.

“Why do you need to see Lucien and his companions?”

“Because we are losing our minds once again, and I would rather fall upon my own blade than release this plague on anyone else.”

“So, you aren’t dying?”

“I am dying!” Sebastian hit his hand against his chest with a clang, “Sebastian is dying, being replaced by a beast.”

“And Queen Mary’s involvement?”

Sebastian hissed under his breath before taking a deep breath once more, “I need to use her to get to this Lucien.”

“And there’s the truth.” Came a new voice.

Sebastian looked up as his niece and an older man walked into the room. Magna sided up to Mortis and whispered something in his ear.

“The what is missing?” the revenant seemed confused.

The older man came to stand before Sebastian, and the Lifedrinker felt his heart quicken. The eyes, the chin, the jawline, it was like looking at his mother in her final days. Had the older man’s hair been a little darker, it would have been a giveaway.

“Greetings King Sebastian. I am Adiran.” He said softly, aware that the Lifedrinker already knew who he was.

“What trickery is this?” demanded the angry man.

“I could take a week trying to explain everything that has happened in the last few decades, or I can help you with your problem. Your choice.” Said Adiran softly.

Sebastian thought this over before saying, “How is it that no one realised with how close your names are?”

“You’d be surprised how gullible people are.” Said Adiran as he started to roll the sleeve up on his right arm.

“What are you doing, mage?”

“You are slipping. A kin feeding is what you need. I gift it to you.” Adiran presented his wrist.

Sebastian looked away and grumbled under his breath.

“Now is not the time to be proud, Uncle.” Whispered Adiran. “Feed before we lose all you have gained.”

Sebastian knelt, accepted the wrist, and placed it across his brow before bringing it to his gaping mouth and biting down hard.

Nausea swamped Magna as she recognised the sound of tearing flesh. She looked away from the spectacle.

“Who is Rhys?” asked Mortis.

“Uncle’s dragon friend. Says he’s been missing for a while. I think he’s gone out hunting, but he thinks it’s another end-of-the-world situation.” Magna rolled her eyes. “We were in the middle of discussing it when he suddenly decided he needed to speak to Uncle Sebastian, and here we are.”

“There was a dragon in the castle?”

“Dragon-like, I only saw it a few times…”

Magna’s conversation was interrupted as Sebastian finally surfaced from his meal with a gasp of breath. Mortis felt the aggression and anger disappear from the man as he was finally sated after who knew how long.

“You cannot go so long without feeding. Human or otherwise.” Scolded Adiran as he shook his arm, the wound seeming to heal instantaneously.

“Please, I must speak to Lucien.” Sebastian rubbed at his mouth. “The gift is appreciated, but it’s not that I’m not feeding. It’s that the feedings are becoming less effective. I must know how to save my people.”

Adiran, rubbing his wrist, looked to Mortis and asked, “May we enter your room?”

“You mean the crypt?” interrupted Magna, “Why?”

“While Lucien may be gone, and I have no way to track him, there is another who can help us.”

“Mortis’ sister?”

“No, the guardian.” Said Mortis.
Stephan had taken his job of guarding the thin veil seriously. While he spent the majority of his time patrolling the countryside, enticing wandering souls to the beyond, he did take the time to return to the castle. He enjoyed the castle despite losing his mortal coil there. As a shadow stalker, he was used to gathering information by being invisible, being a spirit now made it significantly easier. He would often hear of dangers and whisper into the correct ears at night to have them thwarted.

It had been days since he had returned to the castle, and he felt he deserved a break. As soon as he stepped foot through the veil to enter the castle, he knew something wasn’t right. At first, he couldn’t put a finger on it, but within seconds the reason for his unease was revealed. There were several people in the crypt.

“Greetings, Your Majesties.” He greeted, as he stepped between the different coffins and sarcophagi. “To what do I owe…”

If he had had any breath left in his body, it would have caught in his throat. Between Adiran and Magna stood a hulking figure draped in black armour. The man looked unremarkable, and Stephan never put stock in outward appearances. It was what was on the inside that caused him to stop. He felt his lips curl, and a hiss was on his lips.

“Ah, I see.” Said Adiran, “You do know what he is.”

“Beast.” Hissed Stephan. “Monster, rabid thing, what are you doing here?”

“I’d like to know that myself.” Said Sebastian.

Stephan was taken aback by the thing being able to speak. Never before had one of these been able to communicate. They were a scourge, and he had thought the world free of their influence for centuries. He was sure his people had wiped them all out. Was there a chance some had escaped? No, Lucien would have told him. Yet, his brother was known for his secrets, and Stephen wouldn’t have put it passed him to lie about this.

“How can you speak?” demanded Stephen.
Who remembered that Stephan remained behind? I had to go back and check what Zack and I had done with him. This is why writers should never completely tie up all loose ends! Over to you @zakludick
Here is an explanation of Chain Stories and here is the current Chainstory Library

Mortis Custos



by @zakludickby @lex-zaiya
Part 1Part 2
Part 3Part 4
Part 5Part 6
Part 7Part 8
Part 9Part 10 - You are Here
Part 11 – Coming Soon

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