The Curse Of The Eclipsium (The Midnight People 1)

In the fantasy world of Riarkum, where powerful yet dangerous 'midnight people' live hidden away from human civilization, the crew of the Eclipsium have been cursed with vampirism for over a century. When Ander Zavien is rescued from his execution by the ships mysterious Quarter-Master 'Ransom', he is pulled into the center of a violent conflict between those who are willing to sacrifice everything to reverse their curse, and the order of night-hunters set on destroying it entirely.
As his own blood hangs in the balance, he seeks out the truth of why these creatures of night are fighting to keep him alive, and why they call him 'Firstblood.'

12Likes
15Comments
4058Views
AA

16. Chapter 16 - Sorens Duty

*The Midnight Hunters Northern base, Fujikom island*

"We lost how many men..?" Asked the Lord hunter slowly.

Soren kept his eyes trained on the ground, balanced on one knee by the mans desk with his arm across his chest.

"Forty five, lordship.. Only myself, captain Kille and 6 other men escaped to the ship. Darius, Leonard, Adria-"

"And you mean to tell me that neither you, or any of these men thought to call a retreat and retrieve the silver..?" The man interrupted. The soft tone to his voice was far more terrifying than a shout, and Soren kept his peripheral vision on the whip beneath his desk.

"I-I'm afraid not, sir.. I apologise profusely.. I did retrieve the map you requested of the late first lieutenant Michaels in time though, sir.."

"At the expense of our newest imperial invested machinery and thousands of pounds worth of silver, boy!" The Lord hunter snapped at last. He stared down at Soren with an air of someone who should be positioned on a raised balcony with a champagne glass, rather than a war room. "How do you expect us to explain this failure to the imperial emissaries? Because as it stands, you lieutenant, and Kille are at fault here."

"I.." Soren began, but quickly stopped himself. He felt that responding would only worsen his situation.

The Lord hunter was a man in his late fifties, with a hollow face apparently made entirely of right angles, and eyes so bulging and amber that he was sure they burned straight through him. Heavy dark eye bags seemed to be resting heavily on his cheekbones, accompanied by deeply set wrinkles like creases in his flesh.

He stood slowly, brushing his cape back over one shoulder and straightening out the military coat beneath.

"What gives you the audacity to show up here and tell me of my lost fortune, only a week after presenting a plea for your fathers release?"

"Sir.. I believe that after my failure to retrieve any silver, I have redeemed myself by completing the first lieutenants mission to obtain knowledge of the eclipsiums course.."

"Then I expect a complete report by this evening, or so help me Soren Black, your father will rot in that cell until it crumbles around him!"

He then clapped his hands, and pointed one hand to the door. "Go to your quarters, you are excused from your afternoon training. I want ten laps around your homesteads perimeter once you have submitted the report, to compensate."

Soren rose, still exhausted from the travel and adorned with unsightly bandages from his attack, and bowed as low as he could manage.

"Thankyou, lord hunter."

He miserably saw himself out of the plush war room, and into the dim wooden corridors of the officers building.

Soren has never explored the entire facility. Much of the officers building was out of bounds to him, and the officers quarters certainly were.

The night wing, situated even past the homestead where he and the other lower ranked hunters slept, was where any midnight people in the ranks lived. They trained separately, in contained indoor areas, and the entire wing required a level of status to enter. Unless of course you had family there, which Soren did. Though somehow, he still needed proof of his lieutenant rank to get past the border.

He supposed it was because of his fathers history. He had been captured long after Soren had, and had been in a cell ever since.

Soren himself had arrived barely capable of walking, in his mothers arms. That was if that uncaring, lifeless woman could even count as a mother.

The nightens didn't possess the free will that most of the young hunters did. They had prisoner of war status, and that was lucky. It was only those possessing unique skill, or invaluable information and knowledge, that weren't killed on the spot. His parents, he supposed, fit into that criteria. Both were reluctant to go into more detail with him than that.

He turned a corner down the hallway on his way to see to the tasks, and bumped straight into Captain Kille.

"Kille!"

"Staras mercy, Soren! Almost burst a vein. Your sodding father would have had me.."

"Oh, ha-ha." Soren scowled. He brushed himself off, for all it mattered, and stepped away from the man. "My apologies I suppose. I assume you're on your way to see his lordship?"

"Regrettably." Kille sighed. "If you were punished, I can only expect worse.. I was second in command of the mission, after all."

"I wasn't." Said Soren, and held out his hands to prove it. Though they were marred with fading scars, no fresh whip marks were visible.

Kille, and Darius beside him, looked visibly relieved. "I am glad. And not just to save my own skin, I assure you."

"Hmph.."

Sorens room mate, Darius, was one of the only other surviving hunters from the ambush. He and Soren were extremely close, in fact, closer than the large majority of men could be. In the company of others, however, he stood off to the side awkwardly tucking his light hair behind his ears, and trying as hard as possible to fade into the background of their conversation.

Soren did not know what would happen if Kille, or another official over their squadron, discovered that the two were gay. He tried to push that back, in the hope that the worry was needless. He cared for Darius, and Darius cared for him, but because of gender that had to remain a secret. Soren, for fear of suspicion, would never dare to question why. 

It was simply the way of the world to remain narrow in what they accepted, even here, where beasts in human form were hunted on a day to day basis. 

"I am.. Glad you are alright, Soren. He let you off for taking first lieutenant Michaels orders, then?" Darius asked quietly.

He was very soft spoken, with a voice so innocent he seemed almost fatally out of place. It surprised Soren, sometimes, that he was older than him. He had turned 18 a month prior.

Soren nodded, swallowing the lump in his throat. "To be honest, he was more concerned that I didn't risk my life to fill my pockets with silver.. I just need to submit a full report on what happened, and what I discovered aboard the Eclipsium. On top of late night training, of course."

"What did you discover..?" Kille prompted, but Soren only smiled grimly

"You shall have to read my report, captain."

Darius quickly gestured for Kille to follow him onward, diffusing the situation tactically. "I'll see you later then, Soren! We mustn't be late."

Though the captain glowered over his shoulder, he hurriedly ushered him on, and the two continued on down the hall to the war room.

Soren left the officers building, conditioned enough to temporarily push the two from his thoughts, and made his way to the homestead to write his report.

 

***

 

Night had fallen, and as the last few hunters were returning from the dining room, Soren ran his final lap around the homestead.

Sweat poured down his face and into his eyes. Some way back he had dropped his jacket, knowing he would pass it again soon enough, and his arms pumped by his sides as he leveled to a jog, feet pounding against the flattened mud ground.

The island where the facility stood was populated only closer to the mainland, a few imperial outer provinces, governed by a rather intolerable lord he only had the displeasure of meeting once.

The island was named Fujikom, a Vialtan word for 'containment.' He found the fact itself tragically amusing.

It stood only three days from the port of St Mary's. Here - and he resented the fact - it only rained in Winter. Even with the sky darkened, the stifling heat gripped him.

His leg had started to cramp a lap back, causing his breath to catch as he ran through it, yet he continued all the same.

Thinking of any place outside the island was unusual to him. Soren had never considered his circumstances much, as leaving was out of the question, and similarly he had never considered the corners of the world that he would likely never see.

He had accompanied a group of hunters to the imperial capital of Carvena three months prior with the minimal information on why, but this was the furthest he had ventured within his memory. Upon his return, had almost straight away been drafted to the ambush mission of the Eclipsiums crew.

Soren knew nothing of them, either, besides their inhuman nature. Though gifted with observation skills (though mostly from having the methods of spotting nightens beaten into him on a regular basis) he recalled that the curly haired boy, the one that had pleaded with him before landing a dagger in his elbow, was not one of them.

The albino man was a Mage, for certain, but this boy was different. There was nothing strange about him, if you didn't count the shadows so clearly lingering in his eyes, the mature weight that they seemed to carry.

He was human. For now.

Soren reached the gates of the homestead for the fifth time and doubled over, gasping for air. 
"Damn it.." He muttered between ragged breaths. He leant his hands on his knees and tried to steady himself.

The men's homestead was an impressive, if plain and prison like building from the outside. It was perfectly spherical, for one thing, so that rooms were almost pie slices out of the building, with one large communal cleaning area in the centre.

After a minute or so he finally straightened, and retrieved his jacket from the fencing, heading on inside with a wicked limp. 

In their room, Darius was curled up on his side, though judging from the candle still lit by his bed, he was not yet asleep.

He twisted to look at Soren, who was dressed in his red training clothes and soaked from head to toe in sweat. He sighed sleepily.

"You overdid it."

"I didn't over-do anything.. Lord hunters orders. I submitted the report, and that was the next job."

"Didn't Kille want to-"

"I owe nothing to Kille, especially after his childish little 'who's job was it to take michaels orders' blame game with the admiral.."

Soren groaned with fatigue, and pulled his shirt away exhaustedly, dropping it onto their growing pile of rank, unwashed laundry. He sank back onto his bed.

For a few moments, Darius said nothing.

"Soren.. You'll tell me, won't you?" He asked gently. "What you saw? What you found out?"

"It's not just what I saw on the ship.."

"Then explain from the start."

Darius, pale young face flickering in the candle light, was impossible to lie to. Soren breathed a laboured sigh.

"I was speaking to my mother on the journey there, just after you left to help on deck. You've met her before, right? The hybrid mage vampire, or whatever you would like to call her. Due to the nature of her changing, her Mage abilities have been fading, and she feared that this meant her vampiric immortality would cancel on her too, though I know this to be impossible. I allowed her to share a wish with me anyway.."

"Why on earth-"

"Because it was the only way she'd share with me, immortal or not! Anyway, she asked me to investigate a young man from her past who would be aboard the ship, and after discovering where the ship is headed; to the empty first blood clan south of the Wildlands.. I suspect that he is a firstblood vampire, yet to go through the rebirth."

"What?!" Darius gasped. "Can you be sure? Why wouldn't your mother report knowing such a person?"

"How the hell should I know?" Soren sighed. He propped himself up on his elbow, looking thoughtful. "But that abandoned clan is the only place where a vampires rebirth is safe. I suspect she is trying to protect him, and that concerns me. How would she even know him..? She's been here for almost the entire duration of my life, and he didn't look any older than I am.."

"Don't you think we should-"

"Darius, you breathe a word of this, and I swear.." Soren scowled. Instantly, the boy raised his hands to disarm him. "N-No! I wasn't going to say that! I wouldn't do that to you.. If a person is convicted here their entire family and circle of friends is interrogated with them.. Just, if she's reluctant to tell you how she knows him, ask your father. It may be hard to get into the cell in your current situation, but once the Lord hunter reads your report and realises that you've uncovered their destination, you'll be in his good books."

"That.." Soren started, and cracked a small smile. "..Isn't a terrible idea, Darius. I knew there was a practical reason for me to like you so much!"

Darius rolled his eyes, but his brow furrowed as he saw Soren suddenly shift sides upon lying down, moving the left side of his head from the pillow where his eye was marred. The scar had come maybe two years ago, a missed whip strike in defence of another, as far as Darius knew. But it cut straight through the edge of his eye, so that his entire iris was paled, leading down to his cheekbone and through his eyebrow. "Soren.. Your eye is bothering you again."

"Your point, Darius?"

"You look pained! It was never treated properly and that's why it hurts even now. I can fix it if you let me. Our.. Relationship, won't work if you don't acknowledge my help."

Soren flinched at the way he said the word.

The two had been together for several months, yet they seemed so distant that it was difficult to detect. They would conceal it in public, naturally, but that conservative nature lived on when they'd return to the homestead, a habit near impossible to shake.

"No," Soren grumbled, "Our relationship won't work if you refuse to even say the word properly."

He twisted again to face him. "I doubt that the officers will care about one gay couple in the ranks with such an influential ambush in the working, if that's what you're concerned about!"

"That's not.." Darius started, but he gave in, and stared down at his hands. "I'm sorry. It's not that. Just.. You don't seem to trust me, even when you have nobody else to trust. That worries me the most."

Soren felt a flutter of guilt in his chest, but he quickly shook it off. He knew that he was not at fault. "I.. Don't know what you're talking about."

"Soren!" Darius sighed in annoyance. He swung his legs over the side of his bed, and moved to his partners side. "I'm just saying that we face death every day. Those vampires could have killed either one of us, and you were wounded rather seriously.. I need you to know that I care about you. And because of that fact, on top of the lingering probability that the officials would lock us up if they knew about us, I have to be cautious. But I do acknowledge you.. I just need you to understand your own wellbeing, and look out for yourself over me. If I were under attack, and you allowed protecting me to put you in harms way-"

Eyes filled with alarm, Soren grabbed his hands, cutting him off. "It's nothing to do with the way you act! Even if you left me, I'd.. I'd care for you! So what if I don't quite understand how to deal with that feeling yet? I c-care for you, Darius! I'll protect you, no matter what happens!"

Darius smiled uncontrollably. He leant his forehead to Sorens.

"I love you too, then."

Soren flustered, and sighed with defeat once Darius drew away, going to collect his supply kit from the cabinet to tend to his scar.

"I.." He started, though the words took a while to come. When they did, it was only a whisper. "I love you, I suppose.."

Darius did not hear. He was glad.

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...