Word had reached the mountain. Word of the death of one of their own. Not that that was exactly an uncommon occurrence, given the fact that they were fighting a war. The uncommon part was the person whose death was reported. Seba Nile was stunned by the announcement. Larten Crepsley was dead. Dead and gone, straight to paradise.

As one of the hunters of the Vampaneze lord, it had seemed that Larten wouldn't die like the others. When Seba had last seen him, he had been leaving the mountain with Darren, eager to hunt down the leader of their enemies and stop this war, confident that they would succeed. Of course they still may do that, Vancha and Darren were completely intact, able and ready to fight the vampaneze Lord, but Larten was gone.

To Seba it was the strangest feeling in the world, knowing that he was dead. He had had many assistants, but he was, by far, closest to Larten. His death was painful. Seba felt nauseous, he couldn't top thinking of Larten Crepsley, the closest thing he had ever had to a son.

"I'm never going to be a general, Seba." The twenty-two year old announced one day during breakfast.

"And why is that Larten?" Seba had asked, genuinely curious.

"Because I'm not that pig-headed. I have a brain and I have no desire to waste my time training to fight battles that will never happen." Larten had replied indignantly. Seba gad just smiled at him, and finished his bowl of bat broth.

"You don't believe me!" Larten had almost yelled, gathering the attention of almost every vampire in the hall.

"Of course I do Larten." He smiled up at the red- haired young vampire, "Now, would you sit down. You are making a fool of yourself." And so, with a huff, and a cross of his arms Larten sat back down, not looking at Seba's face.

He recalled that soon after, Larten had succeeded in his Trials of Initiation, and became a vampire general. The memories flooded his brain, pushing at his tear glands. And even more recent memories sprang to mind.

He could see that Larten was nervous. He was chewing on his fingernails, something he never did unless extremely agitated.

"Relax Larten. The boy will do fine. Many have passed the trials before him, and he is a brave, intelligent boy, do not worry so much." He attempted to calm his former assistant, to no avail.

"As much as I appreciate your attempts to relax me, it is not really helping Seba." Larten exclaimed, closing his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose. When he opened his eyes, his expression reminded him of a much younger Larten Crepsley, whose only worry was whether or not he would be able to spend time with Arra and Gavner later that day.

"He reminds me of you, Larten. He is very similar to you when you were a younger person." Seba said, once again trying to console the worried vampire. All around them vampires were betting on the ability of his assistant to succeed. Most were betting on failure. Arra and Gavner on his success. Larten watched them with weary eyes.

"Seba," he stopped, thinking his words over, "If Darren fails. If he fails, I'll eat this stupid red cape." And then he walked away, leaving Seba smiling at him.

Seba recalled other fond memories of the person who he considered family. He was not one to show very much emotion, but in this case he found himself crying for the dead vampire. And for Darren. He and the boy had been Larten's family, and now he gone to both of them.