The Vampire and The Monk (II)

He settled back in his underpadded seat and took a moment to enjoy the squalor of the tavern, so drab, so human… so alien.

The orphans were perfect for the ritual. He had made them so – arranging their parent’s marriage, making townspeople breed like livestock… then slaughtering the parents when their value as food had outweighed their usefulness as parents.

Constantinescu lazily closed his eyes, almost tasting that exquisite, engineered vintage… ignorant peasants of the most cultured stock.

Now he would leave, join his night kin as mist and watch the chase that would ensue once Jadranka laid his suspicions before his brothers. For the planted evidence would damn the abbot utterly, inau—

There was an enormous flash. Vladimir coughed twice with surprise and exploded.

The candle, brought by the monk to Constantinescu’s table, dimmed, burned weakly in the crimson, dripping corner…

A monk stood in the yard, his back to the tavern, and smiled. How easy, he thought, to sow the seeds of complacency.

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