In the six years since leaving the capital, Lawrence hadn’t interacted with another human being. He successfully isolated himself from civilisation; living secluded deep within the Dark Forest.
To survive, Lawrence needed to familiarise himself with the forest terrain and wildlife. He spent over a year exploring the forest discovering which plants were edible and memorising animal tracks. It didn’t take long for Lawrence to adapt to life in the Dark Forest; after all, decades on the battlefield gave him the necessary skills to survive in any situation. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to endure the tormenting challenges of the Dark Forest.
* * *
In the freezing winter, Lawrence noticed something strange happening in the forest.
Corpses of deer, wolves and bears started appearing and the number increased each day. Lawrence found it strange that the animals flesh was untouched meaning they weren’t killed for food. After inspecting the body of a large stag, Lawrence realised the animal had been drained of blood. Living in the forest for over six years, never had he seen an animal die so unnaturally. However, he had seen this technique before; there was only one race in existence which fed in such a manner; Vampires.
Looking down at the motionless stag cushioned on the forest floor, Lawrence recalled an unpleasant memory…
* * *
Vampires were a cunning and clever race. They avoided drawing attention to themselves and rarely interacted with other races or ventured far from their settlements. To keep their bloodlines strong and pure, it was forbidden for vampires to mix blood with other species. Forming an intimate relationship between a vampire and another race was their greatest taboo.
Lawrence was unaware of any vampire settlements within the Dark Forest; in fact, there weren’t many vampires left at all.
During The Purge, vampires were one races that fell victim to the kingdom’s brutal, unjust assaults and endless invasions. Like every other race, The Vampires took drastic measures to survive. They even sacrificed their pride to fight back against the humans.
The creation of demi-vampires was another one of the vampires taboo’s. Demi-vampires were created by directly injecting a vampire’s blood into another animal, such as a human. This technique had been banned for thousands of years, but they had no other choice if they wanted to survive.
However, it was a failure.
During a raid on a vampire settlement, many soldiers were bitten by vampires and lost control of themselves and attacked anything is sight. The blood coursing through the soldiers veins burned them from the inside out. The vampire’s trump card had failed; the human body couldn’t handle the potency of vampire blood.
* * *
Against all expectations, the vampires never gave up.
Only weeks after the battle, one of the greatest mysteries of the Purge took place. Throughout the Kingdom, young women, children and infants started going missing.
The surviving vampires disappeared and it was almost a decade later before Lawrence encountered them again. That was when the mystery of the missing women and children was solved. They really were a clever race, they spent ten years in seclusion, building their strength and improving their fighting power. They finally succeeded in combining the blood of a human and a vampires, creatures that were later known as Half-Breeds.
To Be Continued…