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It was a terrible stormy day for Transylvania. Lightning flashed as the skies let lose their fury on the mortal world. Funny how the weather seemed to reflect her current mood. Noriko, had just attained the title of an 'orphan'. No big deal about it since she was nineteen and could take care of herself. That wasn't the point. The point was: She was alone again, just when she had started to trust and love Nanna, the kind old lady who had taken her in as a child. Yet, Heaven had cruelly taken her away. The church refused to take her in, the townspeople wanted to put her to death. Why? Because she looked different.
Thunder struck a nearby sapling, reducing it to a charred, blackened stump. She had to find shelter soon. A dark shadow loomed before her, seeing it, she ran even faster. She was reaching her destination soon. Her destination: That-weird-creepy-castle-which-everyone-feared. People said it was haunted and stuff, but Nanna wouldn't let her know more. She didn't want her 'innocent mind be tainted' or so to speak. But Noriko wasn't as 'innocent' as Nanna thought. Noriko had heard all sorts of stories regarding the castle, but most importantly, she knew the bad and evil side of human nature. Yes, she knew it so well, like the back of her hand, for she was a constant victim of it. People ostracised her and Nanna for bringing her up.
The villagers were throwing stones at her. Their children laughed and taunted her, all because she left the house. Nanna ran in, shielding the little girl's frail body as she stood there resolutely, the stones hitting her with much accuracy and force. Why the villagers hated her, she didn't know. It was her appearance perhaps. Everyone else was either a blond, a brunette or a fiery haired person with brown or blue eyes. Even Nanna used to be a brunette with warm mahogany eyes, before her age kicked in. The name 'Noriko' was also Nanna's doing. "You are so so special. Unique." Nanna used to reassure her. Unique? It was more likely that she was a freak of nature. She lived with Nanna at the edge of the forest, secluded from other people, it wasn't that Noriko wanted to run away, that was the last thing that would come to her mind. If it weren't for Nanna, she would have defiantly walked every single street in the village, her little chin held high…
Looking up, she saw that she had already reached the castle. She pushed one of the heavy doors hard and it creaked both ominously and loudly. Stepping inside she gasped. She was in a huge room. She never knew that a single room could be so huge. She pulled back her hood to get a clearer look around.
Count Vladislaus Dracula had been quietly watching since the hooded human stepped into his entrance hall. It had seemed that dinner had willingly served itself. But when the hood that had been pulled down as low as possibly to keep out the rain was pulled back, he let out a noiseless gasp. This human was entirely different from any he had seen before. Wet messy silver hair stuck to her neck and her skin was tanned. Dark purple eyes surveyed the surroundings with undisguised awe, surprise and pleasure. He had toured various parts of Europe, but he had never met a human who looked like this. A soft hiss and a nuzzling at his neck announced the arrival of his last bride, Aleera. Marishka and Verona had died during the encounter of Van Helsing. At this, he let a frown crease his brow. Placing a restraining hand on Aleera's arm, he silently let her know that he wanted her to stay silent. This human was very interesting. He didn't want to feed off her… Yet.
What was wrong with her sire? He was watching this filthy weird looking human with interest. Aleera always tended to be jealous. The fact that her sire was looking at this human (at this she spat) with interest and not her made her feel angry.
Noriko blinked her eyes rapidly, dispersing the raindrops that clouded her vision. She was dripping water on the floor and was shivering with cold. The black cloak which had provided much shelter from the onslaught of rain was now hindering her movements. She laid it open on the floor, so that it would dry faster. She scanned the entrance hall again, searching for some firewood. Spotting some pieces of old furniture that had been chopped up, she dragged some over to a corner of the hall. Taking out an old tinder-box, she managed to build up a small fire.
Her wild looking clothes gave her a rather mysterious yet ethereal feel. Dracula watched her closely, as Aleera went to feed. This was getting interesting. Didn't she know that this was the castle of the Prince of Darkness? The Lord of the Shadows?
The comforting warmth of the fire was making her drowsy. But she could not shake the most recent memories from her mind. It was a very dark and gloomy morning when she had went into the village again, to ask the priest to give Nanna a proper funeral. Nanna's health had deteriorated within the past week and in a blink of an eye, sweet, warm, kind Nanna was gone. The townspeople blamed her for Nanna's death, claiming she sucked the health right out of Nanna. They chased her back into the forest, where she disappeared and they, thinking that she had hidden back inside the hut, since her shoes were left there, had razed the hut to the ground. Noriko had left for the glade immediately. The one that was only known to Nanna and her. Sitting up in a tree, she retrieved a bag. She knew beforehand that something might happen to her… Thank God she had prepared the 'survival' bag before hand… Overcome with exhaustion, her eyelids fluttered shut, curled up before the fire.
He watched as sleep claimed her, the wet locks of hair tumbling around her wildly, the animal furs that she wore as clothes drying by the heat of the flames. Retreating back into the shadows, he entered the dungeons. A smiling Aleera was waiting there, ruby red droplets of blood on her lips. "Master…" she cooed, coming to his side and hanging on his arm. He ignored her as he focused his eyes on the meal ahead of him. A man, eyes filled with fear. The smell of it hanging thickly in the air. Closing the distance between them with a few strides, he sunk his fangs deeply, enjoying the warm blood that replenished him.
Noriko awoke with a jolt. The fire had died during the night and its' warmth had dried all her clothes. She had to defy the world. They wanted her dead, but she wouldn't. Not for the pleasure for those bastards. She immediately left the castle and went hunting for berries and to check the traps laid. A small amount of berries were left since it was nearing the beginning of winter and she had managed to get a rabbit as well. Pleased with her catch, she went down to the river to take a bath, it seemed like her heart had grown numb. Whenever she thought of Nanna, there was only a small tingling. Was it true what the townspeople said then? Was she really a heartless beast-freak?
Collecting firewood and preparing provisions had taken up a whole afternoon. Noriko left the entrance hall and followed a musky scent. It smelled of books, a smell that was always present in Nanna's home. There it was again. A small tingling that would have passed unnoticed if she wasn't searching so hard for a reaction. Following the corridor, she turned right and entered a place full of books. Eversince she was young, she had taken to reading very well. It was the only time when she wasn't reminded of the silver hair that was flowing on her shoulders and the dark violet eyes that were hers. She walked past shelves, fingers flying lovingly from one spine to another. This was her world. You could lock her up and leave her to die happily here.
She had entered his library, her tangled silver hair now flowing softly, looking like moonbeams. She was exotic, unique and marked out differently from the rest. Her face was heart shaped and a little plump though she was lean and lilthe. A mixture of different furs covered her body. It was time he made his appearance. No good host would continue spying on his guest, he smirked. She was very engrossed in the book she was reading. Even when he was standing in front of him, she still didn't notice.
"Good evening." A silky voice sounded in her ear. She gave a start and dropped the book. Shit! She didn't know that people lived in this castle. At least she thought so. Noriko stood there, staring at him. He was a man who looked like he was in his thirties. Raven black hair, tied in a short ponytail at the back, pale skin and with chiselled, delicate features. His eyes were a deep obsidian colour. In short, he looked handsome.
Her violet eyes were scrutinising him carefully, then took on a wary appearance. "Who are you?" she finally spoke, her voice carrying an ethereal feeling. With her unique appearance and wild clothes, she could be mistaken as a dryad reigning in the forest. She could speak, thank goodness. He thought, a smirk widening on his face. When a cold voice said "Good evening my sire. Who is this pathetic human?" Aleera sidestepped to reveal herself, a smile on her face, her eyes shooting daggers into a frightened Noriko.
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