}); The Vampire Chad (Part 23) – Blinds-Eye View

The Vampire Chad (Part 23)

It was almost time to bring her out of this.  I’d gotten the majority of the answers I was looking for.  There was at least one thing I wanted some further clarification on though.

“So, what all does a Neophyte have to do to prove their ready to become an Adept, Chrystal?  You’ve taught me a lot of practicalities over the several months we’ve been together, but you’ve obviously held a lot back from me as well.  What do I have to do to prove I’m a full-fledged Mixed-Blood and trusted with any and all secrets about our powers and history?”

Her eyes suddenly moved from their transfixed gaze on the jewel and met mine.  For a second, I thought I had pushed it to far, that the hold of the Primus sanguis figurine had been broken.  I was preparing the tongue-lashing on the century, but then she continued in her matter-of-factly tone.

“There are a lot of qualifications you must prove,” she began.  “First, you have to show that you’re totally comfortable taking the blood; Not only from the evil stranger, but from the good alike when it’s necessary.  Second, you must show a total detachment from your mortal life.  That is what you were, not what you are now.  Third, you must best, or equal, your Adept in strength, dexterity, and cunning; Proving you have the ability to care for yourself.

And finally, you must have the courage and desire to strike off on your own, leaving your Adept behind forever.  Your paths may cross from time to time in your supernatural lives, but you may never live together in the same hunting ground again.  It is the show of true independence and maturity.  When you have proven yourself ready for this last challenge, your Adept will pass on all of their knowledge of the Mixed-Blood to you.

“But why all the secrecy then,” I asked.  “Wouldn’t it be easier for a Neophyte to accomplish all of these tasks if they actually knew what the requirements were to becoming an Adept?  Where’s the logic in keeping it all a big mystery?  All it accomplishes is fostering mistrust.  That’s why I had to go and do all this in the first place.”

The justification probably fell on deaf ears, given her current state, but I still felt I had to say it.  And if she remembered this conversation, it might go in my favor to have explained myself before releasing her from the spell.

“Because knowing the requirements drives a Neophyte to try to accomplish them too fast.  Being totally comfortable killing the innocent as well as the guilty takes time.  Giving up your humanity and loved ones from that humanity cannot be accomplished overnight.  Strength, dexterity and wisdom come from homing your body and mind through experience and time; Not by rushing things.  And it takes mastery of all of this, and a strong character to decide when it’s time to leave the nest.  Knowing all of the rules, and playing the game well are two very different things sometimes.”

As much as I hated to admit it, it did all kind of make sense.  Not that I condoned the secrecy, mind you.  I’ve never been one to trust those who kept secrets from me.  The practice did have merit though.  The question now was, would this adversely affect the rest of my training like Chrystal said it would?  I felt that I had been making progress on most of these fronts over the past several months, but then it really wasn’t my opinion that mattered, was it?  I probably should have left it there, but I couldn’t resist asking the obvious question when I had the best opportunity.

“So, how well do you think I’m doing with these requirements, Chrystal,” I asked.

Hey, in for a penny, in for a pound, right?

“Not well,” she stated, crushing my confidence.  “Though you’re coming along nicely when it comes to adapting to the physical and cunning side of being a Mixed-Blood, you’re lacking in all the others.  Your attachment to humanity and your past is still way too strong.  It makes you weak.  You act more human than vampire in nature.  Until you can sever that bond, you’ll never be a true vampire and able to live on your own. I blame myself for loving and coddling you too much.”

Well now, if that didn’t end the conversation on a low note, huh?  Regardless, I am the one who asked, so I couldn’t be too upset about hearing the truth, could I?  It was time to wake her up.  The final question was, and this was one I had to answer on my own, should I tell her to forget this whole conversation and thus cover up all my tracks?  It was definitely tempting to throw down that Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card.

I just couldn’t do it.  Call it a weakness of my humanity, if you will.  I just couldn’t live with all the lying to Chrystal, not to mention the current subverting of her will.  I loved her too much to let it go on any further.  Sure, she had been lying and keeping information from me too all along.  That was different though.  She’d done it as part of the Mixed-Blood code; To try to make me a full-fledged vampire.  I had done it out of paranoia and mistrust.  Big difference there.  I had to come clean.  Holding my breath, I took the Primus sanguis figurine from around my neck and closed it inside my hands.

Chrystal blinked a couple times, then her eyes settled back on me with a neutral stare I really couldn’t read.

“So, are you happy with everything you found out?” she asked, nothing changing in her expression.

I was at a loss at how to answer.  Besides her blank expression, there was absolutely nothing in her tone to signify if she was pissed, disappointed, or even aware of my subterfuge.  I needed to tread carefully here.

“I’m sorry I had to force all of that out of you, Chrystal,” I began.  “I admit, I had no right, but I knew there were things you were keeping from me.”

“Yes,” she replied.  “Things that you had no right to know about yet, Chad.  Things that I was keeping from you for good reason, as you just had me explain to you.  I just want to know…are you happy with everything you found out?”

“I…I…don’t know how to answer that,” I said.  “I feel terrible that I had to do it…that I forced you to tell me it all.  None of this made me happy though. I hated going behind your back.”

She smirked and made a small “Hmpf” sound at that one.

“So, how am I supposed to feel about you going behind my back?  About you lying to me recently, Chad?”  She looked down at my closed hands.  “And that little gem proves it.”

Her annoyed expression changed then.  I could tell she was still mad at me, but her curiosity was winning out and she looked at me with a bit of amazement.

“That is the Talisman of the Primus Sanguis, isn’t it?” she asked.  “Where in the world did you find it?  I’ve been looking for it for years!”

With an internal “Phew!” at her anger being quelled for now, I handed the figurine to her.

“I got it from my gypsy friend, Tash Vlando,” I told her “Not voluntarily, I’m afraid.”  I went on to tell her the whole sorted tale, not leaving anything out.

She sat there, listening quietly to the whole story, turning the figurine in her hand.  The only time she really showed any emotion was when I brought up the The Tome of the Praeter Naturam.  She got a very excited look on face, for the obvious reason, but contained herself until I finished my story.  She wanted to see the book immediately, so I retrieved it from its hiding place with the rest of the treasures I’d gathered from Tash’s shop.

“Holy shit,” she exclaimed thumbing through the tome.  “This is really it!”

She started to slowly run her finger along the garbled Latin text, reading it softly in English.  Okay then…my girlfriend reads Latin!  I could have saved myself a lot of grueling translation with my Latin to English Dictionary if I’d known that and had the balls to just come out and tell her about it.  Neither here nor there, at this point, but another interesting thing I learned about my Adept that night.  Being around for over 200 years though, I guess you would pick up some interesting talents along the way, huh?

Realizing she was pretty much ignoring me, she pulled her eyes up off the pages of the book.

“So, Tash Vlando had two of the three keys to finding the true Primus Sanguis then?” she stated more than asked.  “Unbelievable.  I’ve been looking for the three keys for almost 200 years, and an old gypsy in Pittsburgh, PA had two of them all along?”  Her face went more ashen then it already was.

She looked at me in horror, like I’d just grown an extra reptilian head.

“What if he had the third key as well?  Oh my god, and you burnt down his shop!”

Nothing like laying even more blame on me at that particular moment.  But then a thought hit me, maybe it was in the rest of the loot I’d scavenged?  I grabbed the duffel bag, which I’d grabbed the book and figurine from, and dumped its contents on the bed with my naked Adept.  The two of us tore through the pile looking.  Books, potions, the Soul Seer amulets, all kinds of baubles and artifacts of who-knew-what.

Suddenly we both just stopped, look at each other with the most serious expressions on our faces, then burst out laughing.  Neither of us had the vaguest idea as to just what we were searching for!  Yeah sure, we were searching the pile for the third key…but what the hell WAS the third key actually?  Like I said, we had no clue!  Obviously, it was time for Chrystal to stick her pretty Latin-reading nose back into the book.  Hopefully, there would be some clue or answer in there.

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