I awoke suddenly, coughing up blood. This time, it wasn't my own, thankfully. Whomever's blood it was, it tasted horrendous. It was muggy and filthy, almost what I imagine a New York City dumpster would taste like on a hot day in July. Once I was done choking on that foul blood, I came to the realization I was actually managing to hold myself upright.
There was a small cot made of hay and a poorly knit blanket beneath me. The dirt ground underneath, and a beige tent overhead. It smelled awful, but then again, I might be smelling the blood soaked into my clothes. At my bedside, I saw the kindhearted man who'd found me on the path. As I watched him tremble and observed his gentle face, I know now he was no man, but a boy. Clutched in his hand was a ceramic cup.
"What was that?" I asked.
"I-It... I-It w-was..." He stammered on.
"Blood, I know." I replied, "But what kind of blood?"
"H-Hog... You- You kept asking for b-blood... in your s-sleep."
I sighed internally. At this rate, it's going to take forever to get answers. Vampires nowadays have no need to prey on animals. Even during the era when we did, those who attacked farms instead of humans were considered lowlifes. Now, I understand why. It'll take me a few meals to get that taste out of my mouth. I suppose I should be grateful. That blood probably saved my life.
Regretfully, I extended my hand out to him. He took a step forward and allowed me to take the cup from him. I held my breath as I chugged. Fuck, is this what taking shots is like? Why the Hell do people enjoy this shit? Grimacing, I handed the empty container back to him.
"Thank you." I said, "Where am I?"
"The Forest of Mayotta." A far more competent voice answered. In walked the small being who had argued against helping me earlier. Now that their face was uncovered, I could see it was a man. A rather petite and feminine man, but nonetheless, a man. He continued, "An ogre village, to be more exact. My name is Ezra. This is my younger brother, Vinny." Ezra glanced to the empty cup in his brother's hand, then back to me. "I know demon lords eat souls, but I had no idea they drink blood, too."
"I'm not a demon lord. I'm a vampire." I replied.
The two siblings glanced at each other, hoping the other had an answer. I was just as confused as they were. Ogres, much like demons, are nothing more than a myth, movie tropes, video game characters. At least, I always thought they were. I can't deny what's standing right in front of me.
Ezra had rather pinkish skin and two small white horns pointing out from his brown hair. His brother's skin was on the grayish-white side, and two slightly bent black horns emerged from his forehead.
"Surely you must be lying." The older said.
"Ezra." Vinny muttered.
He raised his hand to tell his brother to stop. "I'm not trying to challenge you. I know the power of a demon lord, and I do not wish to provoke you, but there's no point in trying to lie to us."
"I'm not lying." I insisted. "Have you guys seriously never heard of a vampire?" They both shook their heads. I made the decision to stand up from the bed, which made them both take a fearful step back. I sighed, "I'm not going to hurt you. If anything, I'm grateful to you. You saved my life. Unfortunately, I still have no idea where I am. I've never heard of the Forest of Mayotta. What country is this?"
"We're not apart of any country. We are in a no-aggression pact with the neighboring nations, though." Vinny timidly answered.
"Where are you from?" Ezra asked.
"Pennsylvania. It's in the U.S." They looked puzzled, so I continued, "You know, the United States. Below Canada, above Mexico... North America."
"I think I understand now." Ezra said, "You see, I'm the warrior of my village. I've been lucky enough to have traveled outside of the forest. I once met a mage who spoke of these places, America. He wasn't from our world, and I don't believe you are either."
Vinny jumped in before I could. "Hold up, hold up, hold up. Are you saying this guy just... poofed in here from another realm?" Well, he certainly isn't as shy as I thought he was.
He looked over at me. "Yes, I believe so."
Well, isn't that just fucking peachy? I can't say it's easy to believe, but it's also the only explanation that would make sense. Unless, I'm trapped in my own personal Hell. That'd explain the bright, pink trees I saw earlier. Unfortunately, I don't recall dying and I feel my own Hell would be far more gruesome. There would be at least one of my ex's.
I still can't remember how I got here, or why I was near death when I arrived. It seems these two ogres see me as a superior being and I'm inclined to agree. They're both rather weak, even for one being some type of warrior. They seem to be all I have at the moment, so I may as well make nice.
"That does explain a few things." I responded, "I apologize. I haven't introduced myself. My name is Chris. Like I said, I'm a vampire. We're powerful dark creatures who live off of blood. Normally, the sun is harmful to us, but it didn't seem to hurt me here. Just made me lethargic. Might I ask, why did you save my life?"
Vinny replied, "Well, we did think you were a demon lord. They don't exactly do favors for people, but we were hopin' if we helped you, you'd help us. See, we've got a bit of a problem with some pillagers."
"A group of orcs. They destroyed half of our village and kidnapped some of our women. I was able to take down two, but," Ezra pulled back his kimono to reveal a large gash on his chest that was just beginning to scar over. "They injured me pretty badly."
Well, us vampires aren't exactly the favor type either. It's rare a human is ever in a position to ask. They're unaware of our existence, up until we're using them like sex toys and draining them of their blood. However, I guess they did save my life. I must admit, it is a treat to meet another intelligent supernatural species as well. Though, I wouldn't go as far as to say I've taken a liking to these two. I can see them becoming an annoyance easily.
"I'll get rid of your pest problem, and protect your village for as long as my stay here lasts, but once these orcs are dead, I'll need a favor from you. Understood?"
They nodded, agreeing with a "Yes, Sir." It's not as nice as hearing "Yes, Master" back home, but it'll do. Morning was just beginning to rise outside. I'll have to wait until nightfall to dare make a move. In the meantime, I continued to rest. They were kind enough to provide me with a new change of clothes. The black kimono and pants was far different from the Victorian suits and Gothic club wear I'm used to adorning. Thankfully, one of the girls in the village very fearfully agreed to wash my Earth clothes for me.
As night fell upon the small village, I dared to step outside. It was as warm as a summer night back home, and just as peaceful. The trees that surrounded me were every color by green. I could see the direction I had come from by the direction the pink trees had grown. It was a truly magnificent place, but it wasn't home.
I looked to the distance as the sun set. It was then that I saw something rather intriguing; A building—No. A castle. Though I could only see it's silhouette against the last drops of daylight, I could recognize it's beauty. It was as magnificent as the Cathedrals of Germany or the palaces of Scotland. It was calling my name. While I had every intention of answering it's siren-esc requests, I had an obligation to fulfill first.