Cadis Etrama Di Raizel sighed. "Why do you need to break the seal on your power, Frankenstein?"
"I'm going to kill that wolf next door," explained his servant. "Then he won't howl or bark in the middle of the night. It'll be good for the whole neighborhood."
Raizel looked less than impressed. "We've been over this, you know. You can't kill the neighbors just because they annoy you."
"He's not even a neighbor," argued Frankenstein. "He's just one of Crombel's new servants. No one'll even miss him."
The True Noblesse took a sip of tea before commenting, "I think his brother might."
Frankenstein became agitated, as though annoyed. "They're not brothers; they can't be. Werewolves and vampires are two completely different species."
Raizel's eyes were non-committal. "That doesn't mean they don't care for each other."
Frankenstein was irritated. "But—hang on, I think I see the children. We can continue this later."
Indeed, a few moments later, there was a pounding at the door, and Frankenstein went to answer it.
Soon, Cadis Etrama Di Raizel's living room was infested with humans.
There were only four of them, but as far as Frankenstein was concerned, his master's four friends formed an unholy tetrad of annoyance and disregard for common sense. Not that this was entirely a bad thing.
"Hi, Rai," said Suyi, "we brought food!"
There weren't many humans who would willingly share blood with a vampire.
Raizel shrugged. "You didn't have to."
"But it was fun!" Yuna said. "Suyi found a vampiric cookbook and we decided to try making 'le soup de sang'. Couldn't tell whether we made it right, 'cause we think it tastes gross either way." She handed over a container. "Let us know what you think."
Rai cracked the lid, dipped his finger in to the liquid and brought it to his mouth, tasting it. He tilted his head. "Good, for a first attempt," he said. "Not to encourage this, but you do know that blood already has salt in it? You do not have to add much as you would for normal cooking."
"Told you we put in too much," Yuna smacked Shinwoo over the head.
Rai handed the container off to his butler, Frankenstein. "My thanks," he said.
Ikhan waved off his words. "It's not like we don't come over here everyday and eat through half the food in your fridge—oh, hey, want to see something cool?" he asked.
After knowing these four for as long as he had, Raizel was nothing if not cautious. "Define 'cool'," he said.
Ikhan grinned. "I got a new video game today!"
Raizel was relieved. "Interesting." He took another sip of tea.
"It's only two player, though, so we'll have to make it into a tournament," Ikhan was saying.
"I get first round!" called Yuna.
It wasn't until three hours later that Rai and Frankenstein were able to speak again.
"Bye, Rai, Lee!"
"See you tomorrow!"
Frankenstein showed the four of them to the door, and master and servant were alone once again.
Frankenstein continued his previous line of reasoning: "The wolf has got to go."
"Personal vendettas rarely end well, you know." Rai had seen too many people die at Frankenstein's hands to consider giving him free reign now.
"There's a dead bird on the lawn!" Frankenstein was still distraught. "Just sitting there with its head torn off! He's taunting me; I know it."
"And you have no proof whatsoever?" Frankenstein thought 'proof' was something only experiments required.
The manservant shook his head in disgust. "He was just sitting there, grinning like—like the wolf that killed a songbird. If you had seen him, you'd have thought the same!"
Raizel was starting to worry that he meant it this time. "Frankenstein?"
"Calm down. Give it a few days. He'll probably get bored and move on to something else. The last thing we need is to be feuding with Crombel. Rumor has it, he has connections to the Slayers."
Frankenstein took a breath. "You're right," he said. "You're right. I'll try to deal with it."
The next day, the entire lawn was covered with decapitated birds.
When they found Frankenstein, he was standing over the dead body of a werewolf with a self-satisfied smirk on his face.
This was when Raizel walked over. He sent Frankenstein home and went to speak with Crombel. The werewolf's brother was nowhere to be seen, which was probably why Frankenstein had stopped destroying things. Rai just hoped that the brother was still alive.
Well, Crombel, the werewolf's employer, was surprisingly good-natured about the whole ordeal, and had asked only to be paid for the inconvenience of finding another servant: a fee of three hundred dollars. Though more than a little unnerved by his callousness, Raizel complied, not willing to risk the wrath of the Slayers over something that was clearly his household's fault.
Rai didn't see Frankenstein for the rest of the day.
The next morning, at breakfast, Frankenstein was there, as usual, and trying to pretend that nothing had happened. He looked to still be near his breaking point, and Raizel wasn't sure why. Much as he disapproved of murder, going on a rampage usually calmed Frankenstein down.
"Other than the murder, there were no lasting consequences from yesterday," Raizel informed his servant. "Dr. Crombel settled for a three hundred dollar damages-payment, and has agreed not to press the matter further."
This seemed to break Frankenstein's composure, which was worrying because Raizel had never seen him snap twice in twenty-four hours before.
"Three hundred dollars..." his servant said. After a moment, he seemed to settle into a terrifying calm. "You know... for murder, that's not a bad price. I think I'm going to go kill Crombel also."
Raizel was out of his depth. "What?"
Frankenstein had about him a mixed aura of regret and rage."It wasn't the werewolf," he explained, "dead or alive, he's been out of commission for the past day... and have you seen the front lawn?"
Raizel walked to the front room. A few minutes later, he returned. "More dead birds," he observed.
"It was Crombel," said Frankenstein, "had to have been. The vampire wouldn't have done it, and the human servants wouldn't have dared. Well, I killed the wrong person for that crime, it'd be a shame if I didn't at least get the culprit, too."
Raizel sighed. "If you must."
Two hours later, a heavily injured Frankenstein limped back to the house and began to treat his wounds.
"Well, Crombel's definitely a Slayer," observed Frankenstein. " And not just any Slayer, he's one of the elite."
Rai was concerned. "Are you all right?"
Frankenstein waved off his concerns. "I'll be fine, master, but so will Crombel. Unfortunately."
The noble took a moment to digest this. "It's alright," Rai said. "After all, things could always be worse."
Frankenstein sighed. "No, they couldn't."
Raizel took a bite of ramen. "What do you mean?"
"That silver bullet I used on the wolf after I strangled him?" said Frankenstein, "It missed his heart."
Rai's words were cut off by a howl coming from the house next door.
"Yes," said his servant, looking annoyed. "The wolf's still alive."
AN: If you're curious, this chapter was inspired by the Arrogant Worms song "Kill the Dog Next Door."