Days had passed since the encounters with the target, Arrow. These conversations had done nothing to put her mind to ease. The litany of sins that she had committed in her mission were both great and grave. Worse still was the fact that she had yet to speak with her mistress about any of these things. Though she knew that the longer that she waited, the worse the punishment would be, she was frozen with indecision.
Ylani continued to pace the floor of her small apartment for several days. She ate very little, and slept even less. Her nerves were frayed by the time she finally reached the conclusion that there was no help for it at all. The only thing she could do was to speak with Her Radiance and pray to Menxvan that her mistress would be lenient. Anything that could possibly spare her the gruesome death that was waiting for her colossal failure and mishandling of the entire situation.
She shouldn't have bolted when he spotted her. That was the first mistake. Still, she could come back from it, couldn't she? Confess now and receive punishment and absolution all at once. Once the decision was made, the following actions were that much easier. A candle was lit and set in the window, the signal that would eventually summon her mistress. The half elf dressed herself in her cleanest clothing and tied her hair back from her face. She tidied up her room while she waited. Best not to look like a slob when the mistress arrived.
Outside, night descended upon the city. It would be several hours before her mistress showed. Ylani was sitting in one of the chairs to the side, hands folded in her lap as she stared at the door. A thick, black fog began pouring into the room from the cracks around the door. A trill of electricity coursed down her back and throughout her limbs.
She was here!
The dense smoke coalesced into a human shape, writhing shadow building upon itself in a small collumn. When it melted away, Her Radiance was all that remained. As ever, the mistress was dressed in snug fitting black that clung to her arms and legs like a second skin. Her blonde hair was severely braided back from her face and her green eyes immediately focused on Ylani.
The poor half elf felt a stabbing jolt as she stumbled forward and fell to her knees. "My lady!" she cried out as she abased herself on the floor before the vampire.
"You have news?" The bored words flowed effortlessly from Her Radiance's tongue. She was always direct and straight to the point.
Quivering beneath her mistress's regard, Ylani tried to summon up the courage that had put the candle in the window. It felt frozen in her veins, her blood no longer moving as she was paralyzed with the fear of failure. Forcing herself to take a deep breath, she dredged up what bravery she could as she humbled herself before her mistress in an attempt to smooth over her failures. She struggled with this, and even made a few false starts at trying to summon the words. Her eyes closed unseen, head between her arms as she bowed as low as she could before Her Radiance.
"Forgive me, Mistress! The target spotted me!" The words tumbled from trembling lips. "I tried to flee, but he caught up to me, he spoke to me, he even visited me here. I have failed you!"
The cold reception to these remarks was perhaps even more frightening than a furious rage would have been. At least an angry outlash of temper and violence would have meant something more than this terrifying calculated calm. Ylani's quaking could not be contained. She prayed to survive the next few minutes as Her Radiance digested the information she had offered up. Not daring to lift her head, she kept herself in a prostrate position on her knees.
"What did he say?"
The question came as something as a surprise to Ylani, but she did not dare looking up. She searched her mind for the events of their discussion, seeking some sort of nugget or revelation that might help sooth her mistress's disappointment. Latching onto the first of these things, she began to speak.
"He spoke of temptations to his service, but then said he wasn't trying to tempt me." Ylani was confused by the entire conversation between them. It was reflected in the unsurety in her voice, the way that she couldn't help but sound less than convinced herself. If her words still trembled, that was through fear alone, but the tone of confusion was hard for someone as guileless as Ylani to hide.
Silence hung heavy in the air about them as Her Radiance debated on this tidbit of information. Unnoticed by the half elf, a coil of shadow wrapped itself around her torso. It wasn't until it was hoisting her off her feet that she realized it was even there. Drug to her feet, a tendril snaked around her throat and her jaw, tipping it upwards so she could see her mistress. The petite vampire wore a carefully crafted mask of displeasure. Little else seemed to be hinted at in that alabaster expression.
Ylani's body was suspended in the air by several tentacles of void. Drawn close to the vampire, she began to tremble again, realizing that this was possibly the end. Her Radiance drew her knuckles across the girl's face, her lips curling into a cruel smile.
"Shh, it's alright, Ylani." The soft words did not offer reassurance despite their content.
Ylani's eyes could barely register the speed with which her mistress moved. In one moment, she was a foot away. In the next, the sweet agony of the vampire's kiss was blossoming from her throat. She felt ecstacy and bliss, her weight supported by the shadowy vines wrapped about her. It seemed to last forever, this beautiful exquisite delight as the vampire drained the blood from her body.
Her eyes rolled back in her head as they closed, enveloped in that sensation. It was the last thing she would recall.
Drache is the present-day capital of the Kingdom of Arangoth and lies at the mouth of the River Darian, surrounded by the city docks all along the waterfront. Click here for information on the various suburbs and areas of Drache. You can also click here to view a sketched map of the city.
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