Chapter 9

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Warning: possible mature/mild themes/content from here on out.  +thank you all for making it this far

Given the green light, the vampire sniggers. With his free hand, Kern lifts the bowl from the tray and pours it all over my back. I hear the acid sizzling on my skin as my pupils dilate from the scorching pain. A piercing sound rings in my ears as my balled fists unclench themselves and I stumble forward. I want to curl into a ball, to simply close my eyes and imagine nothing, but my feet stands firm on the floor. That is, until he kicks me behind the knees again and restarts the whipping.

Some of the guests turn away while others enjoy the show. My vision blurs but my ears work fine. I try to focus on my breathing, but my mind can't help counting the number of thrashes sitting on my back. Strangely, I find solace in isolating Master's heart beat. It is so much slower than usual, almost sluggish you can say. But mine on the other hand, is beating with life.

I almost feel bad that Alvena does not know. I want to tell her that she can stop pleading. It isn't that Master is apathetic to her words and pleas. He has already given me warning, but since I disobeyed, I have punishment. Master listens to my reasons, and he knows what I have done. And I know he can't do anything more. I want her to know this because the tears flooding her eyes does not suit her.

Facing in her direction was the only thing I could think of to communicate my words to her. I could barely even see her, but I dislike hearing her weep. Soon, her cries ease into whimpers.

Kern is not pleased to learn that he is no longer annoying Alvena. The way he stares at her like he's undressing her makes me want to tear his throat out. I rarely regret what I do, but I should've done it when I still had the chance.

"Confess your crimes and I will be more generous," he jokes. His friend kicks me in the gut when I choose not to answer. "State your crimes."

After managing to stand back up, I confidently state, "I failed to follow instructions from my Master."

"Wrong answer!" he barks, obviously irked by my statement. That is the only thing I know I have done wrong. "Seems like you haven't learned your lesson!" Another powerful whip crack sounds throughout the hall.

This time, I do not flinch and his whip does not hurt like it did earlier. My vision clears up and I can make out faces again. Master's lips are curled upwards. I reciprocate it, knowing that he is not in the least bit ashamed. If anything, he is proud to see me stand tall and take the blows.

Lord Kern notices and changes his tactics. "Since you dare scratch my face, let's do the same to yours."

My eyes look beyond and into the distance of noble vampires, not even sparing him a glance.

Though it irritates him, that is not my reason for doing so. It is my first time at a party and present in front of so many guests. The overwhelming grandeur of Master Aleksandar's castle is a sight that I will never forget. The twin staircases leading to the ballroom and the elevated seatings look more majestic than usual when filled with guests. All the candles and chandeliers are completely lit, brightening the room to match the golden silk tablecloths that decorate each table. The white marble floors, polished clean like new, only add to the breathtaking scene. My own family's parties can never dream to compare.

Because of Master Aleksandar, I am able to attend my first party. I, for the first time in my life, am standing in front of a sea of noble vampires. Though I am whipped and humiliated, a new strength fills me. The crowds have also changed their opinions. Master Niles is on the edge of his seat. The grin that previously sat on Master Liam's face is no longer visible. And Master Lucien, is still as unreadable as ever.

Kern reveals a blade from under his cloak and grins. Taking it to my face, he draws a tough line straight down from my eye. Blood dries as my flesh reseals itself. It hurts, but only short term.

"Seems like I forgot something," he hints at Morgan to bring a new bowl of black liquid. Even the expressionless Morgan is a bit disturbed. This triggers Alvena to react again.

"Please Alek, stop him!!" She pulled at Master's arm frantically. "You know what he's doing is wrong! Please!!! Alek...I beg you..."

The ill-intentioned vampire is enjoying his effect on her. He stirs the liquid with his blade before removing it menacingly and laughing at Alvena's futile pleas.

"Alek..." A human tear drops from her pale cheeks. Master unexpectedly lifts a finger to wipe it away, which does not slip Kern's attention.

"Lord Aleksandar," he taunts with a stupid grin. His friends must've sensed his stupidity when they tried holding him back from crossing the border. He pays no mind and pushes them away as he delivers another remark.

"It seems I'm offending your new...fuck toy."

***

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9/13/17 A/N: Because of all you who commented + voted, Master's Vampire achieved a new high ranking (#173--a big leap from its former #405 and #713). I guess I'll appreciate it while it lasts~

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