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Chapter V

  • A Sexist Meeting
  • Avellana had entered numerous clan meetings with her father, but it was never because of informing the leaders that her father was just found dead. If she left it as it was, she was sure it would reach them somehow, but it might cause a rift between all of them. She didn't want that.
  • Her nose crinkled. One of the factors on why she hated meetings was because of the spot they usually meet. It was far from fashionable. With a woody, splinter filled table and a creaky old chair that covered all four sides of the table, it was like entering some weird dungeon outside.
  • Having a charm around this place avoided any eavesdroppers though, which was good. This was to avoid any betrayal, especially with the numerous information being shared and given between them. She sighed and sit on her chair, hearing it squeak.
  • Filing everything in her mind, she chewed her bottom lip. What was she going to say this time? She could start with announcing the death of her father or with the alliances...ugh, it was too hard to think straight! With the stress leaning on her right shoulder and pressure leaning on the left, it was completely impossible to be rational right now.
  • Before she knew it, the three clan leaders came upon her view. Avellana stood up, nodding at them in greeting as they sat down in their respective seats. Edmund was at the right, Lucy in the left, Lucas at her front.
  • She eyed them carefully before she spoke, "Clans of the council, I'm sad to inform you that the recent Potestatem Clan Leader, Victor Rivers, was found dead near our borders."
  • Vast silence went through them like a storm settling in. "It can't be true," Lucas, the leader of the Firmis, clan said. His eyebrows knitted together as his teeth gritted. "Victor was one of the most powerful vampires in existence."
  • What he said was true, and it seemed impossible to defeat her father with just mere daggers and swords. He was strong, so what might kill him might be the end of them all too. Avellana gave a sigh, putting a hand on her head. What had she gotten into now?
  • "Well," she said flatly, as flat as possible. She didn't want to let them see that she cared-that in the inside, she felt like she wanted to cry and tremble by saying these words. "It was. Since he was announced dead, there's been a change of clan leaders and, I'm the new leader of Potestatem Clan."
  • Edmund looked at her incredulously and Lucas snarled in outrage. She remembered when Lucy was crowned as the next clan leader, they were more violent than this, but it was still an insult.
  • Did they really think that she couldn't handle the clan well?
  • "Another woman leading the clan?" Edmund said, glowering at her. He had a deep frown on his face and his hands slammed against the table. "Is it not enough that one clan was led to ruins by a female?"
  • Lucy stood up, her red hair flaring around her face. She pointed a finger at him then at Lucas, who all had scowls in their faces. "How sexist is that?" she spat. "Did it slipped your mind that I after Victor's-now Avellana's-clan, I'm leading the most feared vampires around the world?"
  • She was the leader of Intelligentia, a clan full of logical and smart minds. They're quick-witted and quite handy with weapons.
  • "Well we don't need another female dominating the council," the other man sneered at them.
  • "What is this? The 18th Century, you bloody well know that women could handle themselves," Lucy growled at him, yet the younger vampire found herself agreeing with her. Some vampires tend to not let go of old habits, and this was one of them.
  • In their minds, women were still weak housewives. They weren't supposed to go to war nor were they supposed to be discussing tactics and strategies. After the redhead rose as leader though, all of that changed, but the male vampires weren't going to give in that easily.
  • "Enough," Avellana said, silencing all three of them. She stood up, like all three of them. She needed to keep her cool, to show them that she was right for this. "I'm the first offspring of Victor, and he taught me everything I needed to know about our race and everyone else's. And I've been told that I'm, by far, one of the greatest leaders in my clan, second to my father. Do you think that I'm not right to rule this clan?"
  • "You're too brash at times, and you usually act before you think," Edmund smirked.
  • "Don't we all have flaws, Edmund?" Avellana countered.
  • Silence intervened the clan as she stared at them, not a single one dared to speak up.
  • Lucy was the first one to give her a smile, her eyes crinkling slightly. "I think you have the right," she said, though there was something in it that the younger vampire couldn't pinpoint. Was it happiness or pride?
  • Lucas snarled at the approval but after the glowering look Edmund had given him, he quieted down. "So much dramatics," her uncle rolled his eyes. "I don't think you're still fit to lead the clan, but you're better than your brother. Just don't come running to me if your clan is at the danger of... extinction."
  • "I don't know about that," the leader of the Firmis Clan, Lucas, sneered. "I, so far, admire Frederick's way of thinking-not too brash, not too hesitant."
  • "He takes everything to heart; emotions surpass him to the limit that it'd be his downfall," the other woman snorted, and right after that, there was nothing else to say. Avellana had already gotten two votes, it was enough to move on. She couldn't please everybody, so why try so hard to convince a hardheaded idiot?
  • "On to the next subject," she said, tucking a stray hair behind her ear. How her father managed to keep this at calm, she doesn't know. And she was supposed to get use to this stressful thing. She hated being a Clan Leader. "Victor's body was dropped in our borders intentionally, and I will intend to find out who it is."
  • She casted them each a wondering glance as if expecting one to jump up and confess. "You believed one of us murdered your father and dropped it there?" Lucas asked, his mouth hanging open in disbelief.
  • "A vampire cannot pass into another clan's borders without the supervision of the combatants aside from a council leader."
  • "That just isn't logical, Avellana. Think about it." Lucy said, trying to sound reasonable, but she was giving furtive glances to her left. "No vampire would dare even attempt to kill Victor. Not even a Wanderer would be stupid enough to commit such a crime."
  • "Yes, Avellana, be a little more logical." Edmund smirked, rolling his eyes at her.
  • She rubbed her temples, letting out a frustrated sigh, "Well, then, do any of you have anybody in mind that would do this?" For the love of eternity, this was a lot harder than she thought. Whoever did this intended to spark a war, and that was for sure.
  • "It was probably those ignominae werewolves." Edmund sustained a growl as he used the swearword. "After all, they attack our kind quite frequently." Impossible, it wasn't full moon. They weren't going to attack if they weren't at their strongest point.
  • "But Victor made peace with them nearly a week ago." Lucas' brow was furrowed in confusion. "I think it was those deceitful witches."
  • "Lucas, there has been peace between our kind and theirs' for decades. They're our allies; we even use them to take care of the traitors." Lucy said, her voice a bit dull. They were getting nowhere with this argument.
  • "Exactly." Lucas snarled. "How long did you expect them to last, murdering vampires who've turned to darkness, before they turned on us?"
  • "Enough!" Avellana shouted, her fists banging against the table startling them back into silence. This was just too much to handle. Taking a deep, calming breath, she continued. "We have to conduct a further investigation on the matter, but there's one more thing that needs doing. Are you all willing to pledge allegiance to my clan? By doing so, you will agree to give me your combatants if they are needed."
  • "Do you truly believe that the enemy is so strong, it will take the combatants of the four clans to have even a chance if in the end it came down to a war?"
  • "I don't know how strong the enemy is." Avellana told them. "That is why I must ask that you all agree to form an alliance with the Potestatem clan. We must be prepared for a fight. If he or she can defeat the strongest vampire of our kind, then in time, whoever they are will be our downfall if we do not heavily arm ourselves against this threat."
  • "You may be right." Edmund admitted hesitantly. "I will give you my combatants if need be."
  • Her eyes widened in surprise. Of the three, Edmund was the last she had expected to agree. Even before she changed, the always seem to argue back and forth. The villagers usually were disgusted by the fact that she wasn't shameful of her actions.
  • "I will send the strongest combatants your way, then." Lucy nodded her head in confirmation.
  • "If it is for the sake of our people, then I must concur with Lucy." Lucas spoke up, but he did it a bit reluctantly. When Avellana looked at him, she couldn't really tell if he was saddened or happy with the news.
  • "I think that's about it. I will send a messenger if more trouble arises."
  • With that, she stood and shook their hands, satisfied with the outcome of the meeting. It may have been hard, but she had gotten through it. She went back
  • North, to where her cave lies. She hissed in pain when she touched the marking that carved against her skin.
  • It was a curse put on by the blood seers, after their war with her kind. If a vampire met their mate, they would grow a mark. When it grew red, it would signal that their significant other had died. They would feel intense pain, so extreme that some had considered suicide.
  • Hers was in a color of blue and grey, meaning that it was still new. She shook her head, as she tried to cover that mark, but it grew to her neck when she touched it.
  • Great, her hair again. Her neck was already starting to itch during the meeting.
  • She threw her curls to the side, faintly covering the mark. It would stop from there probably. Well, that was what she would hope. This was a wrong time to have one-a very wrong time.
  • "Avellana?"
  • Said name whirled around before she sighed in relief when she only spotted her brother. "What do you need?" She asked, brushing her hair a bit before putting her hands on her back.
  • "What's that?" Frederick's eyes narrowed, his fingers inching towards her, but she quickly pushed them away. She glared at him, but she stayed put. She wasn't going to give any suspicion. Though he seemed to find out on his own as his eyes trailed down to her neck. He gaped at her, "You have a mate?"
  • "Shush!" she whispered harshly, covering up the mark. She looked like someone who had the mark of the beast slashed against her skin. "Don't say out loud, you'd draw attention."
  • He gave her the look, and she took the message, as 'we'll talk about this later'. She gave a small nod, as she had no choice. He was her brother, and as far as she could say, he seemed trustworthy with the information. She walked away, waving the leaves and branches that blocked her way.
  • It was time to know who this man was.