Vampire Silver:A Secret Guardians Novel(3)

By: H.T. Night

I couldn’t believe I didn’t realize that. It was true, though. But still…

“What about the box? Is it of value to him as well as the coin?”

“Oh, it’s valuable, alright; I must remind you of that. But not to him. He has no care for money, or most material things.” Damiani waved a hand. “He won’t be back for that box, I’m certain of that.”

“Damiani,” I said, choosing my words carefully, “I think I understand now, that you’re trying to protect me by not telling me everything that you know about these ancient vampires. I appreciate it, and I respect you for it. But you must understand my position. I have a family to protect, and also an island of Mani. Not to mention the countless remaining Mani and Carni I know in the United States. I cannot allow you to keep information from me that would harm any of them.”

Sion didn’t look at either of us. He didn’t want to be in the middle of this conversation, I could tell. He dipped his finger into his wine and then onto the lip of the crystal glass, making a circular motion that created a high, clear humming sound that only fine crystal gives.

Damiani seemed to be thinking about this seriously. Sion’s tune resonated through the room. He stopped when Damiani leaned toward me.

“If you want my opinion, I will give it to you. If you command me to tell you all I know, or assume, I will do that as well. But I caution you to consider again that you may not wish to hear it.”

“Alright,” I said, “please give me your opinion. Then I will decide whether I need more information.”

“It is my view,” Damiani sat back and sipped his wine, “that ancient vampire will not bother you any longer. He fought for and got what he wanted from you. Whether you can live with this loss is up to you. Of course, you can spend time drawing up a war with him because he did not adhere to your terms, that is your prerogative.”

“Yes, it is,” I agreed. I didn’t like losing.

But Damiani wasn’t finished. “Of course, you can demand information from me, or you can call your armies up and send them all over the world to track him. But I ask you, to what avail? If you want to kill him still, go ahead. It will cost you time, money, and possibly lives.”

This was true. I pulled my hands through my thick hair. “But you suggest I don’t.”

“Correct. If I were the leader, as you are, I would let him go. For now, at least.”

“Would you?”

“But what about my new coin? It’s just a matter of time before he figures out where it is.”

“Indeed. I know how to solve that problem as well.”

I sat forward in the chair, listening to him intently, suddenly glad that we had taken the opportunity to talk further on the matter.

“Go on, please.”

“There must be many ancient crypts on Helena, seeing as the castle you live in is as old as I presume it to be.”

“There are. Even in our own basement and beneath the floors of the church as well.”

“The church would be best. Find the crypt of a holy person or royalty buried there and place the coin inside the sarcophagus by the corpse’s right hand. He will never be able to find it there.”

“Okay… so what you’re saying is, I can keep the box?”

Damiani laughed heartily at the comment and relaxed into his seat. Sion also managed to crack a wide smile.

“Yes, Josiah. You can keep the box,” Damiani replied, but then a serious look came over his face again and he continued what he was saying previously. “I do not condone any of his actions. He has done much harm in his life, more than I believe you care to know. But I also believe this: he has been tormented for two thousand years. He has endured more suffering than you could ever imagine. And he will never be at rest, probably not even in death.”

I didn’t know what to say. I thought again of the anguish the old vampire showed when he realized the coin was not whole. I was only a fraction of his age and I felt as if I’d been through a hell of a lot already. I had suffered, but I had also triumphed. I knew this creature was evil, but I wondered for a moment what it would be like to live on this earth for two millennia, and never have rest or peace.