Chapter 67: Agreement
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 Sebastian woke up to a bucket of cold water. He was in a bathtub and tied up with mana socked ropes. The grave expression on Robert’s face gave him a hint about what was to come, but he just couldn’t help himself.

“Where are the roses? The candles? Honey, I am disappointed,” another cold-water bucket to the face was his answer. He coughed and spat some of the water that got in his mouth. “You can damage the meat sack this way, precious. Daniel, here is a vampire now, remember?”

Edwin was mid-throw of another bucket when he stopped himself. Vampires couldn’t drink water, just blood. But, was it damaging? He set the bucket down and began to pace.

“You are as insufferable as Daniel. No, more. He knows when to stop,” Sebastian faked an amused grin at this and received a death glare. Ok, maybe he was having fun now.

“Just kidding. Water is not damaging to us. And you should have known this, seeing as you found that lovely last option of pig blood and beer. Do you need a lot of time thinking things through, normally?” And he got another shower. “Of course, I could have just lied.”

“I don’t care. Daniel has it coming. You have it coming too,” Edwin took off his gloves, his skin was gray. Sebastian snickered.

“You have to live in a very nice dreamland to think some torture is going to scare me. But it will scar Daniel here. And you don’t want that, you goody two shoes,” his grin dropped when Edwin took out a crystal dangling on a thread.

“You see, once one stops to think, everything is oh so simple,” Edwin was feeling boiling rage, yet, his voice was calm.

“You can be useful still. Teach me how to do this. It could prove useful,” Sebastian raised an eyebrow. He hadn’t expected this.

“This is a mine own invention…”

“You can die now,” Edwin cut him off and tilted his head. “It takes so long for the entire body to die. Do you know what goes first?”

“I am an expert at killing, but I have never asked,” Sebastian would be the first to admit that his bravado clanged hollow. But he was not going to admit defeat yet.

“The first stage is Pallor Mortis. Your blood circulation stops, so you get pale. Well, paler than usual for you, seeing as you are a vampire. That happens within 15-30 minutes of your death. Just imagine, for what gave you life and what you consume to suddenly…stop moving,” Edwin wasn’t looking at Sebastian, he was staring at the crystal. Speaking to it. How much did the warrior and the healer dislike each other? Sebastian could have befriended the healer, in another life.

“The second stage is Algor Mortis,” Sebastian was enraptured in the explanation. And he felt something like a spike from the crystal. Could it be that Daniel Hollow was awake in there? “Your brain cells begin to die, and your heart stops its pitter-patter. No more symphony of life. No more Sebastian Black.”

And no more Daniel Hollow, eh, buddy? Sebastian blinked. Had he heard that right? He felt an even stronger spike from the crystal, and his mana began flooding towards it. Oh, no.

“The third stage,” screamed Edwin at the crystal. “You pig headed no brain son of a…”

The crystal cracked and there was something sipping inside Sebastian. He tried to scream, but found he could not. Then, he was like a spectator in his borrowed skin. He saw the warrior snap the ropes, and Sebastian wondered where that strength had come from.

Then the man lunged at the healer with a yell. He managed to topple him down and the healer’s head hit the tiled floor. Sebastian wondered if the brute was going to do his job for him.

“That was for the water and the death thread,” screamed Daniel and Sebastian deflated. Guess not.

“You are welcome. Now, get off me,” Edwin’s terse voice grated at Daniel and Sebastian could tell. The warrior began to laugh and then collapsed by the now bleeding Edwin.

“How come you are not unconscious?” Rasped Daniel, and Edwin rolled his eyes.

“You have known Harry for a long time. Have you ever seen him get knocked out?” Sebastian felt Daniel’s annoyance at being talk to in such a manner and hoped the warrior would lunge again, but he didn’t.

“I was just trying to get you to fight back,” there was regret in Edwin’s voice now. He went to lay on his side so that he could inspect Daniel better. “I’ll get you hot water for a bath.”

“You are not my nanny. I am sorry I give you such a hard time all the, well, time,” were they having a heart-to-heart? Now? Sebastian could gag if he had a mouth to gag with. “Is he gone?”

“No, I don’t think so. You will need an exorcism if he doesn’t leave on his own. Sebastian Black, I have a deal for you,” Sebastian’s invisible eyebrow rose. Did he now?

“You will leave Daniel, and you will tell your council that you killed Fernand Polites using me as bait. That way, we can move our separate ways, aren’t you tired of this meaningless hunt?” Truth be told, Sebastian was. He moved his soul a bit to stare at Edwin and realized he could move.

Sebastian Black walked out of the apartment through the door and headed to his crypt. The two wraiths, mother and son, were playing tag. He so needed to let them rest.

All the way there, he mulled Roberts’s proposition. He could get paid for Polites. Get scolded for letting a sire killer be born. And then, that would be that. Apart from one tiny detail. He would owe Roberts.

Daniel Hollow’s memories showed the healer wanted to start a revolution. So be it. Sebastian had always considered himself a team player. Long live the free healer movement, he thought with a grin as he let go of the souls of the wraiths, breaking his promise to the mother wraith.

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