The Scorned Ruler
I once heard of a place to which vamps could not reach. A magical place of wonder. It was sealed in an incantation by dryads before they were destroyed long ago. I was naive to believe in such a myth and it resulted in my family’s imminent death. I stood in the depths of the forest at night fall. Surrounded by my family, unable to protect them. Guinevere may have insisted we stop, though I knew better. We needed to hide from the vampires. Regrettably, the ones I cared for most were tired and in need of food themselves and it was I who pushed them instead of taking rest sooner.
I tried to put out the fire, afraid it would only lure the night stalkers. Guinevere insisted that we keep it lit. She was the stronger willed of the two of us. I was not worthy of such a bride. My cowardice nature didn’t make me fit as a Count, yet the name of my father forced my hand in the matter. Poor Guinevere, she did not know the man she was to marry, and it didn’t matter. Our families were to be forged no matter what. Keeping a strong bloodline was of great importance. Now here we were, surrounded by the blood thirst evils.
It came with great surprise when the sun peaked through the tops of the trees and our lives were intact. Our children asleep within each other’s arms and my love turned to me with a smile. How she knew that keeping a blazing fire would protect us, I wondered. Perhaps she didn’t know. Gratitude for her swelled within me. I vowed to be what she needed no matter the cost.
It was Guinevere who led me to conquer the lands. She determined it was us who wielded the control of life and death. Knowing that people wouldn’t accept it from the lips of a woman, it was I who had to carry out her plans.
“You must offer to spare their lives from the Vampires under the condition that they serve you. Of course, they won’t believe you outright, and it will be up to you to prove the powers of the fire.” She spoke to me.
“What leads you to believe they won’t reject us once they gain the knowledge we have? When they can create their own fires.”
“You are Count Merlin. You are the salvation of the humans. They will owe their lives to you. Don’t discount the code of man. Don’t underestimate the strength of your title. We are meant to lead the others to a life free of fear and it will also gain us position amid the others of imperial bloodline.”
“My love, what would I do without you?” I questioned with sincerity.
“Just be the supreme ruler I desire, and you shall never have to find out.”
I did just as she asked. We traveled across the lands, creating an army of men, gaining allies and people to live under our rule. The men ordered to build tall walls to surround the village to be built. Women and children to cook, gather goods in the surrounding area during the day, and master fire building. The growth took several exchanges of suns and moons, ultimately creating a colony of people who could sustain themselves until we were to return. Then we set off to the next destination, accompanied by the strong. Soon enough, people began to flock to us as word spread. Rulers who were able to upturn the balance of man and vampires.
We fought to gain position over the people on our side of the waters. Only to be met with the undead. The ones who roam the earth both during the day and night. Barricaded within the confinements of our villages. Forcing the hands of even our enemies. Our supplies ran low and the people began to suffer from starvation, some fell ill, and soon we would be without water. The contract between humans and vampires would mean the continuation of our species. It too was suggested by my beloved. The rightful ruler of man. She knew what was best at every turn and stood by my side as the humble and subdued Countess.
I am not a man whom is unaware of his faults. I’d become lazy on my throne as the vampires were under complete control. We’d conflict nearly every evening over her newfound desires, though they may not have been so much as new. Perhaps I just never understood what she wanted in the first place.
“Do come to bed and give up on your fuss.” I demanded.
“I shall do no such thing. What sort of example are you setting for our children? Your son? Would you prefer Arthur to roll over and leave the rest of the world to perish? I think not. It is your duty to protect others and not hand over our allies and foe to the likes of the vampires. Or are you forgetting that it was them who created the undead?”
“There is no significance that proves them to be responsible. To falsely accuse those who could easily take our lives and put our people in danger is a risk that I’d expect you to understand is not worth taking.”
“We are going to slowly sacrifice all of the people one by one until there is no one left but ourselves. Then what do you expect? They will not spare us. We must take to the waters and—”
“Enough. I will have no more talk of this. Please my dear, get into bed.” I pleaded.
“I need to clear my thoughts.”
She left me with those words and removed herself from the room only to return when half the night passed. It took me by surprise, Guinevere’s indiscretions. I wasn’t aware of when it began as she hid it well from the start. I did not think anything of her nightly departures. I assumed she meandered the halls of our chateau after our discussions. She had become a bit hot headed over the years. Her frustrations were valid. Being the voice behind within our chambers, yet it was I who received the praise. Despite her actions and vigilance, she was wrong on this. We should’ve been satisfied with our standing in the empire we’d created. We traveled by night to the other villages under the guardianship of the vampires, ensuring the safety of our people across the land. There was nothing more that we needed. No other kingdom has created a world such as the one we live. My dear Guinevere had become rich with greed. It is no way to rule and I won’t allow her to do such a thing. As the nights continued, her return from the walks she took stretched longer. I would await her arrival until slumber took me without permission. No matter what, by the rise of the sun she would be at my side, sleeping quietly. The night Sir Philomer created a fuss, hammering at the door, he woke me from my sleep.
“What is the meaning of this?” I demanded.
“Count Merlin, I do apologize for my abruptness, however Countess Guinevere is rumored to be in the chambers of Lord Lestat.”
“Blasphemous! The Countess is sleeping by my side.”
I turned towards our bed and was astonished to see it empty.
“Where is she?” I shouted.
“As I said, she is reported to be in the Lord’s chambers. What shall you have me do?”
“What? Count Merlin!”
“You will do nothing. Once I’ve seen this with my own eyes, I will act accordingly. No harm will come to her upon false rumors. I do expect this to stay between us Sir Philomer.”
“Yes, of course Count Merlin.”
That night I remained awake. Just before the Sunlight peered through the uncovered windows, Guinevere entered our sleeping chambers and climbed into bed. She was careful to not disturb me.
“Are you awake, dear? You’re not snoring.”
My back was to her. If I’d known that I snored, I would have made sure to mimic the behavior. I wouldn’t make that mistake again.
“Yes Countess. I’d only been awake a short while. Are you coming from relieving yourself?”
“Yes. Forgive me if my absence is what woke you.”
Liar. I turned about myself, now facing the perjurer. I didn’t want to accept that she was with that damned creature. Not my bride.
“It wasn’t the cause of my early rising, though I did worry someone, or something may have snatched you in the wake of the night. Had you not returned to me soon, I may have torn the village apart or started a war with the night stalkers.”
“My dear, we may not agree with the days going forward, however I shall be by your side until you come to your senses.”
She stroked the side of my face with a smile.
The next evening, I watched as she snuck out. I ordered Sir Philomer to follow her personally. He fulfilled my request until he was stopped from crossing the lines of the vampires’ control. Lines to which the Countess was afforded entry. He awaited her exit and it was I who accounted for her whereabouts beyond our chamber doors. This went on a couple times more and I was filled with stinging rage. I made the decision to throw her in the dungeon for treason, only that would do as proper punishment. I would strip from her everything the loved and desired.
“Are you sure this isn’t going too far? What about the people?” Sir Philomer asked.
“Do you darn challenge the decisions made by your Count?”
“Just before the rise of tomorrow’s sun you and I will make our departure to the capital. Everyone remaining shall perish including Countess Guinevere.”
As planned, we took to the capital with a small group of soldiers unaware of what was to come. At our departure the gates would open for the undead to overtake those beyond the walls, allowing us to make our escape safely. The remaining vampires would be unable to stop the massacre and once they wake to see what has become of the village. They will set to find us. I would advise of the double-crossing Countess as a distraught victim and father who loss his children in the horrendous acts devised by Guinevere. The saving grace of my escaping ruin due to the orchestration of our traitor for her own salvation. No man nor beast would be of the wiser.