Devil’s Advocate

So I’ve finally gotten back to writing my own stories (yay~)! I haven’t actually posted anything yet on AO3 or Wattpad because I want to get a few more chapters done, but I’ll let you guys have a sneak peak. An by “s. p.” I mean I’ll let you read then entire chapter 😉 . So without further adieu, enjoy!

~<~>~

Vam·pire
ˈvamˌpī(ə)r/

Noun: vampire; plural noun: vampires;

An undead being that leaves its grave at night to drink the blood of the living by biting their necks with elongated and pointed canine teeth (historically). They are vulnerable to sunlight, fire and crucifixes, and slumber in a coffin until the sun sets (historically). They are immune to poison and cannot die by strangulation or blood letting. They can take the form of many animals – wolves, bats, spiders – or a blood red mist. To kill a vampire, one must drive a wooden stake through its heart, sever its appendages and head, and then burn the body (illegal presently). Famous vampires on record: Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who bathed in the blood of young women to retain her beauty, and Prince Vlad “Dracul” Tepes III; the Impaler, the merciless ruler of Romania and destroyer of the Ottoman Empire. Vampires were first sighted in Europe during the Black Plague and blah blah blah blah blah.

“I think I’m going to die if I have to read one more word from this awful textbook.” Asher sighed, pushing the thick book away to press the heels of his palms into his eyes. “They make everything sound like a clean cut fact but there are literally so many different perspectives on vampire history.”

“You’re thinking too hard about it, Ash.” a girl deadpanned, not even bothering to look up from her manicured nails and phone to address him. Her curled hair was so obviously bleached blonde, her dark roots were growing in, and pulled so tightly into neon blue, dip dyed twin pigtails that it hurt to even look at them. She wore an unhealthy amount of electric blue eyeshadow and lipgloss over her incredibly pale skin, it almost seemed as if you could peel the makeup off like a sticker, and her mouth smacked unattractively as she chewed her gum. “Just read it and pretend that it’s the truth so you can help me get a good grade on the test.”

“But it’s not the truth!” Asher groaned, letting his head thunk onto the table softly. The girl finally looked up from her phone, blowing a large, blue – imagine that – gum bubble, before reaching out and patting her friend’s head unsympathetically. Asher just huffed before dragging the book back roughly to be reexamined. “The only things probably not inaccurate is that they drink blood, they can manifest, it’s illegal to kill them and they used to be really fucked up.”

“Well, there you go, four things that aren’t blatant lies,” another guy joked behind him, ruffling Asher’s pale, strawberry blonde hair. “Why do you care, anyway? You’re only half vampire, dude.”

“Still, if they want to call this educational, they need to make it accurate!” Ash whined to his friends. “It’s like when they make a movie from a book and then they mess the entire thing up by not following the entire plot of the book!”

“Les, has he been doing this-” the fake blonde cut the other man off unceremoniously.

“All damn day. Be glad you weren’t here when he was going over dragons, drakes, and wyverns, Alex.”

Alex tsked, leaning more of his weight on Asher than was necessary. “Yikes, Ash. You can’t let this stuff get under your skin. It’s just mythical history. So what if there are a few white lies here and there? It’s not like any of us are going to the capital to show off our brains any time soon. Well, maybe Lesley with her annoying math genius self, but not for at least another year or so.”

“That’s not the point…” Asher sighed, avoiding the eyes of his two friends. It was always like this. He, being the skinny nerd he was, enjoyed accurate mythical history and always found flaws in the school system. He was always questioning the system, pushing boundaries most people didn’t believe needed pushed, and always running his stupid mouth. If he hadn’t been a vampire descendant, he’d probably have landed himself in a psyche ward years ago.

“Enough about all that,” Lesley muttered, putting down her phone to address both Alex and Asher. Lesley never put down her phone unless one of them was in serious trouble.

“Whatever it was, Alex did it,” Asher quickly blurted, earning a slap on the back of his head from the taller man.

“What the heck, bro,” the Asian grumbled, pulling a chair up next to him. “Don’t just throw me under the bus like that.”

“Well, it’s probably true,” Lesley laughed, drumming her nails on the table to regain their attention. “Anyway, that’s not it. You mentioned never going to the capital anytime soon. What if I told you you’re wrong?”

“Oh ho? Do tell, Les,” Alex cooed, leaning so they could talk more privately. Not like it mattered. No one else in the small town would be willing to spend their Saturday afternoon in the town library.

“Well,” Lesley continued dramatically, holding her hand up to cover her words. “I overheard the assistant principal discussing a school wide field trip to the capital for the coronation of Prince Kaden. It’s not required, but they’ll give us extra credit if we go.”

Leave it to Lesley to find out about an alleged field trip before it’s even announced. Asher rolled his eyes, shutting his textbook before stuffing it into his bag. “No thanks. The coronation will be packed. I’d rather watch on the tv in the comfort of my own home.”

“Oh come on, Ash,” Lesley purred, snaking around the table to cling onto the dhampir’s arm. Sometimes Asher forgot she was the daughter of a succubus, what with her horrible application of make up and non existent sex drive, but when she wanted to be smooth and convincing? Well, Asher could already feel his brain turning to mush. “It’ll only cost about 50 rupees since everyone’ll want to go and we’ll get to have free time after the coronation. Not only that but you might be able to meet a special someone.”

“I highly doubt that swimming through a crowd of city dwellers will turn up my soulmate,” Asher replied, shaking his head to clear her seduction and raising one of his eyebrows at her as if to say really? “Especially since, as Alex pointed out, I’m only half vampire.”

“Yea but that doesn’t mean anything mate wise, you know,” Alex butted in, wrapping his own arm around Asher’s neck. What was with his friends being so damn touchy today? “You just have to walk close to them and then bam! you’re hit with the scent of love and totally captivated until you or they claim one another.”

“What does ‘the scent of love’ even smell like?” Asher laughed, pushing his friends off of him.

“Heaven on Earth,” Alex sang, gushing about his own little daydream. Cupids were so transparent when it came to love affairs.

“Too bad I won’t recognize it then since I’ve never been to Heaven.”

“Oh pish posh, Ash,” Alex teased, leaning in alarmingly close. “I can smell it right now.”

“Oh my gods, Alex if you don’t get off me I’ll drain you right here.” Asher threatened and bared his fangs. He wished he’d left his book out so he could hit Alex over the head with it.

“Oh, Asher,” Alex swooned, ignoring the dhampir’s warning. “So forward. I’m touched!”

“Please never say that again. I don’t even want to imagine it.”

“That’s enough you shitty angels,” Lesley announce, pinching Alex’s nose before pulling him back to his chair. Luckily she hadn’t gotten back on her phone when the two men started acting like idiots. “Now then, Asher, the field trip.” Unfortunately it seemed she hadn’t forgotten about their earlier conversation either.

“No way, Les. It’s too crowded.” He complained, sounding like a spoiled child.

“I can let Alex attack you again.”

Asher grimaced, gagging at the fake googoo eyes Alex was making at him. He gave in with a huff, throwing his arms in the air. “Fine, fine! You win. I’ll go.”

Lesley grinned before leaning down to crush him in a strangulating hug. Okay, he thought, wrapping his own arms around the succubus before pulling her into his lap with a lighthearted laugh, so I’m weak when it comes to making my best friend of 12 years happy enough to hug me. Bite me.

~<~>~

“Alright, everyone, settle down. I have an important announcement to make,” Ms. Tachibana, a kitsune – or nine tailed fox – and their classic literature teacher, declared. It hadn’t even been a week since Lesley had shared her vast knowledge of current affairs with Alex and Asher, but Asher was still amazed by her precision nonetheless. Ms. Tachibana continued despite the noise still present in the classroom. “The prince’s coronation is coming up in four days and the staff and administration have all agreed that such a momentous occasion should be witnessed live.”

The class had gone silent now, all intrigued by the idea of going to the capital if only for a weekend. A soft smile had crept up their teacher’s lips, making her seem more mischievous than her species already made her out to be. “The trip will be open to the entire school populous as a coronation has been a rare occasion transpiring every few centuries or so. No one is required to attend, however 15 extra credits will be added on every final exam grade” that declaration was met with whoops and hollering, “and you’ll have time before and after the coronation to explore the capital. Freshman and sophomores will have to be in a chaperoned group at all times,” an undignified round of laughing and cheering filled the predominantly upperclassmen filled room, “juniors and seniors may wander in groups of no less than three and must report back to a teacher every hour.”

Ms. Tachibana paused, waiting for the class to quiet before she leaned over her podium menacingly. A dark aura filled the classroom, electricity snapping at the metal desks, making the hair on Asher’s arm and neck stand on end. Ms. Tachibana’s lips were still pulled up in a very strained, thin smile, eyes merely slits as they narrowed on all her students. Her ears and tails flicked with a dangerous promise. “And just as a reminder, if any of you cause trouble during this trip, I will be your personal nightmare during finals week. Understood?”

“Understood!” The class echoed, the fear as palpable as the electric current running around the room which quickly died off with their answer.

“Very good! Now then,” their teacher turned to grab a stack of papers while still addressing her class. “Raise your hand if you want a permission slip. The fee is around 50 rupees but depending on how many decide to go it could be raised or lowered. I suggest you bring at least 200 on the day we leave as you will have the opportunity to visit any of the stores.”

Asher noticed a lot of disbelieving looks as she passed out the permission slips.

“Excuse me, Ms. Tachibana,” Alex called out, voicing everyone’s worry, “but isn’t 200 a little too much?”

“It actually might be too little, Mr. Ching.” Ms. Tachibana replied, an almost sad look on her face. “The school was able to procure a cheaper expense at a higher end hotel since this is an educational experience for many of you. However, the stores and restaurants you may end up visiting will not bump down their prices just because you are students. In fact, since a coronation is such a rare occasion and many people will be visiting from all around the world to witness His Majesty’s ascent to the throne, they may actually increase their prices for the next few weeks considerably.”

“But that’s ridiculous!” Lesley cried, “by all accounts they should lower their prices if the oncoming wave of tourism is so grand!”

“While I am no mathematician, Miss Newport, I assume that you are correct in your logic. However, that is not how businesses tend to see an onslaught of tourists. Now then let’s take out our books and turn to page 237. Is anyone familiar with this story?”

Asher glanced down at the book with mild disgust as almost every hand shot up with quiet enthusiasm. Bram Stoker’s Dracula stared up at him with a sneer that could match his own. What was with this town and their terrible taste in vampire culture? While the story itself was a wonderful read, the truth behind it was so obviously false it made Asher want to stake himself. Not that a stake to the heart wouldn’t kill practically everybody, and where the heck did the rumor of vampires having to stay on their own land come from? If that was the case then he wouldn’t ever be able to leave this backwater town, and that was not happening. The garlic however, was rather spot on. The smell was awful, the taste burned his tongue and his throat swelled being anywhere near it. Which was a shame because many people seemed to enjoy the school’s garlic bread.

Asher wasn’t able to nitpick his way through the rest of the story as his teacher addressed him directly. “Mr. Seraphim, have you never taken even the slightest interest in Dracula?”

“I have, I just find it horrendous,” Asher stated immediately, ignoring the few gasps that came from his fellow classmates who worshiped everything vampire. Honestly, what was so special about his species that they were held in such high regards by others? “The story itself is virtually interesting, but the facts are all wrong save for maybe a few. And even those aren’t particularly accurate. I just don’t appreciate the romanticism of it and how unrealistic it turned out. Even the three men who were potential soulmates for Lucy were unbelievable. No one could mentally handle killing their soulmate.”

Ms. Tachibana blinked at him a few times before clearing her throat to regain the attention of her whispering class. “Well, that’s an interesting approach to the novel.” She sounded uncertain and uncomfortable addressing the only – half – vampire in her class and turned so that she was facing away from him. Asher decided to tune out the rest of the lecture, still ignoring the disbelieving looks he received from his classmates.

“Dude, you’re so going to socially pay for that comment,” Alex whispered, leaning in so he didn’t have to raise his voice.

“I’m not particularly socially liked anyway, Alex.”

“Well now you’re going to be even less socially liked. You know how much we country bumpkins adore vampires.”

“Well it’s wrong. Vampires aren’t anymore special than ghouls or faeries. The only thing that makes them stand out is that they fought against the humans during the Great Oppression hundreds of years ago and they won. It’s time for the world to open their eyes.”

“Yea, but you gotta go about it tactfully, Ash, otherwise you’ll just be committing social suicide.”

“I’m already undead, Alex.” Asher joked.

“Only half so,” Alex seemed really on edge as he glanced around the classroom, finally relaxing as the rest of the class had finally begun to ignore them – mainly Asher – again. “I understand your passion for equality what with you being half angel and all, but the rest of society enjoys submitting to your vampiric half.”

Asher looked away, glaring at the clock as the minute had slowly inched closer to dismissal. Alex was right. Despite being such a textbook dimwit he was really adept when it came to social smarts. It burned Asher to know that Alex was right.

“Hey,” Alex nudged him, an uncertain smile on his lips. “Just… be careful, okay? Especially when we go to the capital.”

Asher was quiet for a few moments before he returned his friend’s smile but other than that, he didn’t say a word. Alex prayed that the lack of a response was merely just the dhampire’s way of taking his words to heart.

~<~>~

That’s it so far. I don’t know how good it actually is so if any of you find something wrong or needing revised I’d really apprciate it!

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