“…And that’s how the sultan of Mysoria rewarded me with this fine clothing. It was my noble feat on that day that got me promoted to Archon.” I finish my story as the Don moves a rook to the right.
“That was quite an interesting story, my friend. I do love the turban he gave you.” the Don says after I move my king forward.
“Thank you, Don. Oh, and about the letter…” I remind the Don about why I came here.
“Ah, yes. About that.” the Don changes his tone and brings out the document for me to sign. Finally! I’m getting bored of this stupid game.
I bring out a pen from my coat and gesture the Don to give me the document, but he puts it back in his jacket, which surprises me.
“Before I let you sign this document,” the Don speaks. “I need to know how committed you are to the cause.”
I nod and prepare what I have been practicing over and over again in the limousine ride from Windenburg.
“I, Roy Malachi of House Malachi, am ready to dedicate myself and bring about change to this old order. The time has come for the Grand Master to fall, and you will have my support, one hundred percent!” I say with fervor, and the Don smiles. But it’s still hard to read his emotions with those shades he’s wearing.
“The missing Archons have led to the increase in deviant House-less vampires, which will break up the fabric of vampire society if left unchecked. I see you as a leader who can unite all of us once again under a new order.” I continue my dedication.
“So you are willing to be my servant?”
“If a revolution means relinquishing my title as Archon, so be it. I want to serve a higher cause like yours.” Because the Don will make me a Grand Archon once we depose the Grand Master.
“A rousing dedication, my dear Malachi!” the Don applauds. “Surely you won’t be missed by your minions back in Willow Creek?”
“I plan to inform my minions back home that I’ll be staying here indefinitely once I’ve signed our agreement. All the paperwork for the transition has already been prepared, to make sure that I am not one of the missing Archons.”
“Indeed.” the Don nods. “Plenty of Archons have gone missing as of late. Which reminds me of a notable Archon. Do you remember an Archon Roosevelt?”
I try to remember the name from the drinking parties I’ve visited and I do recall someone by that name. He was a fellow Archon who lived just near my neighborhood. A skilled businessman, he made House Roosevelt one of the wealthiest Houses in Willow Creek. But the House dissolved a few nights after he got slain by a vampire hunter in Oasis Springs.
“What about him?” I ask as I move a knight in front of a pawn.
“He was a fine Archon, but he angered me once when he threatened my business in Oasis Springs, especially when he said that his merchandise was better than mine. He threw a tantrum like a child when I sued him, so I’m glad that he has been dealt with. I then took control of all of his businesses.”
I guess that served him right. The Don’s action in taking out competition is most admirable. Maybe I should be more like him. He then continues to speak.
“And do you remember Archon Croix?”
Who doesn’t know Archon Croix? He was the best at assassinating vampire hunters and rabid werewolves in the Newcrest and Willow Creek area. He even earned the nickname Croix the White because of his distinct white hairstyle and attire. Too bad he was assassinated by a vengeful hunter one night.
“He was a great vampire.” I lament at the fact that our hero Archon Croix is gone.
“Indeed he was.” the Don agrees. “But when I invited him to join me several years back, he refused every time, saying that I was a greedy, heartless pig who is only full of ambition.” the Don starts to speak with anger and turns his head to the side to cough.
I look at the formation of the board and see that the Don is attempting to trap my king with his pawns. “I see, but what do these deceased Archons have to do with us now?”
The Don ignores my question and tips over one of my white pawns on the table.
“My dear Malachi, don’t you remember what you did to me a few months ago?” the Don places a finger on his bishop and fiddles with it.
I do remember, but I was hoping I could ask for forgiveness and absolution by joining the revolution. But I feign ignorance by shaking my head, hoping I could avoid some form of punishment.
“You deliberately positioned your new pharmacy in front of mine in Willow Creek, even though I warned you several times not to do that.” the Don speaks as he takes my white king from the board and places it near his king. “It’s like this, see?”
I pick up my queen and see that both kings cannot escape the situation they’re in.
“Surely you can just overlook that little mistake, Don! We’ll be allies in our upcoming fight after all, right?” I chuckle, but the Don does not.
He glares at me in silence.
“I am sorry for doing that, Don, but I had no choice. It was for the good of my House. So I wanted to join your revolution to make up for it. Forgive me.” I apologize and bow the way the Mysorians taught me.
“So in the end, you only came to apologize by joining my revolution.” The Don shakes his head.
I bow again, hoping he will forgive me.
“My dear Malachi, can you tell me what happened to those Archons I told you about?”
“They were slain by vampire hunters… right?”
“HAHAHA! No, my boy! In fact, they’re all still alive and well!”
“You saw them earlier, didn’t you?”
“But all I saw were your butlers and children!”
I don’t believe what the Don is saying. Were those butlers and children former Archons who crossed him? If he has the capability to alter a vampire’s body and personality, fae technology must be involved, which is forbidden by our law. Which means…
“So that little boy named Jasper… was Archon Roosevelt?”
“And that white-haired butler…”
“Was Archon Croix. He turned out to be quite a lovely specimen, didn’t he?”
This is just pure madness! I pinch myself, thinking that I’m in a nightmare, but this is all real.
“Tell me, Don. Why are you turning Archons into your butlers and children?” I raise my voice and watch the Don cross his legs.
“Simply killing them would be a waste of manpower, Malachi. It’s much more humiliating for the Archon I hate if I twist their body and corrupt them into something that I find pleasing.” the Don explains as I remember the faces of those Archons.
“But don’t they remember who they were?”
“They have no memory of their previous selves. The children think of me as their father and the butlers think of me as their master and lover.” the Don chuckles. “There’s a reason why fae technology is forbidden; vampires are most susceptible to it, and I used that to my own advantage.”
Damn the Don and his forbidden use of fae technology!
“You’re a sick bastard, you know that?” I try to reach for the phone in my pocket and see that there’s no signal. It must be because we’re deep in the mountains. “T-The League will hear about this!”
“Try calling the League if you want. I have signal jammers active in these mountains which makes communication impossible. It’s funny that you wanted to join my rebellion and now want to get help from the very organization that you want to overthrow!”
“I’ll still try to get help!” Somehow. There has to be a signal out there!
I try to call one of my lieutenants, but I only get the service unavailable message. I try three more times, hoping that my call will push through, but nothing happens. My phone drops to the ground as the Don laughs louder and louder.
“My dear Malachi, I’m afraid I can’t allow a self-serving moron like you to join my revolution. But I do have a more suitable position for you to fill in.” the Don snaps his finger as I feel something sting my neck.
Did something just sting me?
I look behind me and see one of the Don’s female butlers with a blowpipe. She was hiding behind the bookcase this whole time, and I failed to notice that. I take out a feathered dart from the back of my neck and throw it to the ground.
“That was a good shot, my dear Kaella.” the Don praises the butler behind me as she bows.
“What was in that dart?”
“A little gift. Consider it a mercy, my boy. By becoming one of my servants, you will enjoy being under my protection for eternity. And as for your House, I’ll just inform the Vampiric Nightly that you were slain by a vampire hunter during a business trip in Windenburg.”
“The papers won’t buy your story!”
“Oh, but they will; I own them. And look at the bright side. At least I didn’t decapitate you or have you sealed in a coffin.”
“Monster… my minions will look for me!” I feel the back of my neck and find that it is getting hard to breathe and speak. “I don’t want my men to become House-less like the rest!”
I think about what will happen to my House when they find out that I’ve gone missing like the other Archons. What will become of House Malachi?
“Your mind will soon be free of the responsibility that comes with being an Archon, and all you have to do is clean my castle, iron my clothes, and keep bats from defecating all over the ramparts. I’m looking forward to how you’ll turn out.” the Don steeples his fingers as I notice my clothes getting bigger.
Or am I getting smaller?
“No… I am an Archon… I have a… House to protect…” I try to speak but my voice seems to be changing.
My body starts to spasm as I feel my chest growing bigger and tighter.
“B-breasts?” I look at my chest and feel my entire body changing. My body jerks around as I fall off the chair and feel my organs rearranging themselves. My face starts to feel ticklish my facial hair starts receding.
“Hm, it looks like I’ll have to get Kaella’s butler garments for you. She seems to be your size.”
I glare at the Don looking at me as I feel a sharp pain coming from below, as if something down there is changing and twisting me.
“Being a female butler isn’t so bad, Malachi. Just ask Archon Croix, or Christina, as I now call her. But you probably won’t be able to remember your old self as Roy Malachi. You are welcome to try, though.”
I grunt as my voice starts changing to a higher octave, which means that the chemical is spreading throughout my body. It’s also getting harder to think. And there’s this inner voice telling me that I have to clean the castle and serve my master. My body then collapses to the floor.
“Do you like it? This is what my pharmaceutical company can do, unlike your inferior brand. Don’t worry, your puny company will be in my good hands.”
“You…” I try to speak.
“Kaella, bring your new sister to the dressing room.” the Don says as the female butler approaches me.
I start to feel that I am losing my sense of self as I feel something else taking over from the inner recesses of my mind. I get carried by the female butler to a dressing room as the Don follows behind.
“Rejoice, Roy Malachi, or should I say, Rowena the butler trainee.” the Don says as the female butler who carried me sets me in front of a dresser to remove my turban and clothing.
“Checkmate, my dear.” the Don whispers into my ear as I feel my thoughts fading away.
No Roy, don’t lose yourself!
“Yes, that is who I am. I am Rowena. The butler trainee.”
I just arrived here from butler school and it’s my first night on the job. The Don gave me such a nice uniform. I’m looking forward to working here and serving my master!
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!