✍️✍️✍️✍️ Hellbound With You Chapter 621 - 630 ✍️✍️✍️✍️


Chapter 621 A girl?

It was midnight when they arrived at the place. It was a breath-taking cavern with blue crystals embedded into its walls, giving it an ethereal feel. But they did not even spend a few minutes inside the cavern because Ezekiel stated that this place was not the cavern they were looking for. Alicia also did not feel anything unusual, nor did she feel any resonance as she explored the inside of the cavern, so she immediately agreed with the vampire prince.

Thus, the group left and went straight to the airport. It seemed their journey this time would not be simple and straightforward as they did not have any clues about the exact location of the cavern they were looking for.

The plane left the town that very same night and arrived in another country a few hours later. They had spent days visiting every crystal cavern in the west, moving from one country to another but their search always resulted in more disappointments.

"We’ll target the south next." Zeke had said as they decided to love on from the west. And thus, the group ended up in another continent. This time, the next cavern was not located in a mountainous area but in a scorching desert.


The group had settled for the day in a beautiful town situated around a scenic oasis in the middle of the desert.

It was a quiet and hot place. Alicia had just left her room to have a look and tour around the tavern when she saw the young vampire sitting alone by a large window overlooking the oasis.

Alicia had been distancing herself from her comrades whenever they settled in a human place to rest for the day. It was mainly because she did not want them to notice the amount of power she had lost in the past days since their journey started. She knew that Zeres might have already noticed since he was always the one who stayed close to her whenever they travel on their journey towards the caverns. Alicia already found that unbearable, but she could still take it if it was only Zeres who knew how weak she had already become. If these vampires knew as well, especially the vampire crown prince... her ego as the witch queen would really suffer a blow and might be seriously damaged. That was why she was so hellbent in trying to hide her weakness from them in the past days until now.

"Thinking about someone special?" Alicia smiled in a friendly manner as she probed the young vampire who had been silently staring at the sky. Aside from Zeres, she hung out with this boy most of the time since it seemed that the both of them were avoiding Ezekiel’s company. Alicia thought that Kyle was a really nice and gentle boy, and it was hard to believe that he was that oh-so-serious and cold Ezekiel’s younger brother.

She had liked how polite and gentle the boy was and she had laughed when he first talked to her and called her ’Your Majesty’. He had argued back then that he must address her that way because she was a queen, causing Alicia to be unable to refute and she ended up smiling. She had told him later that he can address her as ’Queen Alicia’ because witches do not address their queens as ’Your Majesty’. And then he came to reply that since he was not a witch, he should still address proper protocols and refer to her as ’Your Majesty’. And thus, the boy started to address her the way he wanted. The other vampires did not seem to mind as well so Alicia could only shrug it off with a smile.

"Uhm..." Kyle looked a little embarrassed, rubbing the back of his neck. "Yes."

"Is it your family? Or a girl?" Alicia asked gently, smiling mischievously. "From the looks of it, I have a sneaking suspicion it’s a girl. Wanna talk about her?"

The young man’s eyes widened slightly, looking hesitant. "It’s okay, Kyle. You can talk to me. I’ll keep it a secret. How does she look like? I bet she’s cute." The witch queen’s smile turned into an excited grin. She never thought she would have a young man she could tease to ease her boredom. And perhaps, her teasing would help him out of his melancholy as well since it appeared that he was not comfortable with his own brother yet.

Kyle bit his lips and looked away again. The sky was starting to darken, and the moon was already out. It had lit up the oasis and the beauty of the place became even more serenely eye catching. "She has beautiful green eyes..." he started. "And her hair is like fire. She also has lovely freckles. She’s... beautiful."

Alicia’s lips formed a small ’o’ as she nodded. She had pictured a certain cute but somewhat wild girl in the Black Forest that curiously fit his descriptions, but Alicia brushed that thought away, thinking that there was no way this young prince was talking about Lilith.

"Hmm... beautiful indeed and very rare. I haven’t seen a vampire with freckles as of yet."

"She’s not a vampire."

"Oh," Alicia was surprised. "So, she’s a human?"

When Kyle shook his head again, Alicia almost gasped. "Could you be talking about Lilith?"

He glanced at her and nodded shyly and then gazed at the sky again with a longing look in his eyes. Oh my, has he already fallen head over heels in love with Lilith?

With her hand on her mouth, Alicia could only watch the boy. Worry starting to etch on her face because she knew that he was not allowed to fall in love with a witch. And if Lilith liked this boy too, oh no... this relationship will only end as a tragedy.

"But I can’t have her..." the boy said sadly while Alicia was still thinking about what she could say to comfort him. And then, she watched him smile – a bitter smile. "I thought I’d forget about her easily as we have only known each other for such a short time, but it seemed I was wrong." He paused and looked at Alicia, a faint glint of sorrow flashing quickly across his innocent eyes. "How can I make myself forget her? Do you know how to? Your Majesty?"


Chapter 622 Trace

Alicia was struck dumb and completely silenced by the pained look in the boy’s eyes. If she had not seen it for herself, she would not have believed a young one such as Kyle would be able to feel and go through such agony related to relationships. Most people tend to look down on relationships between youths as they seem young and do not take things seriously. After some time, she could only reach out and patted his shoulder as her face became tender like a mother who was consoling her child. But before a word could leave her mouth, someone appeared before them. It was the ginger head, Lucas.

"His Highness said, we’re leaving immediately. We’ll wait for you two downstairs." He said and then disappeared. Kyle also politely bowed to Alicia and hurried to his room to get changed and packed up to leave.

Alicia was already prepared, so she stayed outside Kyle’s room and waited for him. She was still thinking about the boy’s confession and she could not help but think that Ezekiel must have brought Kyle along with him to keep him away from Lilith.

While Alicia’s mind was occupied with thoughts about Kyle and Lilith, the boy emerged from the door and they both headed downstairs where the rest of their company were waiting.

They boarded a car and traveled for a couple of hours before stopping somewhere in the middle of a desert. Upon making sure that there were no other humans around, the group started to move. The moon was full and bright that night and there were no trees in the desert like the places they had visited before, thus making their movements swift and visuals clear. It was in that way that the company moved speedily towards the agreed destination, each hoping that this would be it for various personal reasons only known to each one’s hearts.

The place was a stretch of flat land, barren of any dips and curves but one could only view sand – tonnes of it – as far as the eyes could see. The three vampires continued leaping forwards at high speed while Zeres and Alicia used their teleportation to reach the crystal cave. It was easier for them to go faster than usual because they do not need to be vigilant for any hidden enemies that could pop out of nowhere, unlike in the forests. That was one of the benefits of traveling in terrains such as the desert. Enemies need to come out at you directly instead of being able to ambush from various hidden locations.

However, as the men seemed to be enjoying running freely like bullets in the seemingly endless empty land, Zeres and Ezekiel suddenly halted. Lucas and Kyle also stopped a few steps behind Zeke, and they saw him looking behind them. The witch queen still had yet to catch up.

"You guys can go ahead. We’ll follow you immediately," Zeres said, glancing at Zeke – a silent conversation seemed to be happening between them – before disappearing.

Lucas and Kyle looked at Zeke and the man just stood there, staring silently behind them. The two thought that they’re going to wait for the witches, but Zeke moved and turned back to face forward. "Let’s go." He said, causing Kyle to whip his head towards him in utter disapproval.

"B-brother... can’t we at least wait for her? What if something bad happened?" Kyle looked extremely worried, and it seemed like he was already itching to go after Zeres.

"No." The prince’s response came so quickly as if it was made without thought that Kyle gritted his teeth. "She won’t like it if we wait for her," Zeke added and Kyle’s jaw loosened. He creased his brow, confused.

"Why would –"

Zeke raised his hand to stop Kyle. "That’s enough, Kyle. Zeres is already there for her. Let’s go."

Kyle stood there, unable to understand when Lucas patted his back and whispered in his ear. "Don’t worry about the witch queen, that Zeres is an immortal like Alexander so he can protect her better than anyone of us can."

The young prince’s eyes widened. He was not aware that Zeres was actually the other immortal he had heard about before. He had met Alexander many times and though the man liked to tease him, he was as scary as his brother. And that’s why Kyle would have never thought that the silver-haired man he had been hanging out with for so many days now was actually an immortal with dragon blood!

"Now, let’s go."

Kyle looked back one more time but eventually followed after his brother.

Meanwhile, Zeres silently gritted his teeth the moment he materialized a few steps away from Alicia and saw her panting. Her hands were on her knees as support, and she looked weak and out of breath. Zeres had been noticing Alicia’s slowing pace for a while now and he also had noticed the weakness she had been trying so hard to hide. She had been acting fine in front of the others during the last few days, even though Zeres could almost not feel any power from her anymore.

He was growing anxious as he watched her weaken day by day and god knows how many times he had stopped himself from reaching out and offering his help. The only thing stopping him from doing that was due to his certainty that his proffered help would be rejected thoroughly and adamantly. For he knew Alicia would not budge as long as she could still manage things on her own.

Slowly, Zeres approached her, and he saw her stiffening up and gritting her teeth, looking down at the sand – either in anger or irritation at her own helplessness. Her hood had been blown off by the wind and Zeres saw that there were more strands of her hair turning ash-grey compared to the previous time before they left the Black Forest.

Finally offering her his hand, Zeres calmly spoke. "Don’t use whatever that’s left in you anymore, Queen. Hold on to me." There was no sign of worry in his voice.

When she lifted her face to look at him, Zeres was shocked that her eyes had also begun to turn greyish. He could hardly contain his reaction to those silvery grey eyes, but he ruthlessly clamped down on his turbulent emotions and persevered in keeping his face impassive. "Take my hand, Alicia, or else those three vampires will come back to check on us."

Alicia bit down hard on her dry and slightly cracked lips but it seemed Zeres’ last line had pushed her to accept his offer. She reluctantly put her weak hand in his, and Zeres immediately clasped it as if making sure never to let her hand go even if she decided, later on, to pull away. He could detect almost no trace of the strong power she once had and now she even felt weaker than a normal human. Unable to hide his expression anymore, Zeres used his power to make them both disappear and followed the traces of the vampires that are now ahead of them.

Chapter 623 What if

When the two witches finally caught up with the rest of the group, Alicia somehow manage to regain some of her strength, and she wasn’t panting and trembling that visibly anymore. Even if she was, her determination to hide it was enough to fool those looking with their eyes. As soon as they stopped on a deeper part of an area which was surrounded by tall sand dunes, Kyle immediately approached the two witches at the back.

"Your Majesty are you alright?" the boy looked worried.

"Oh, I’m fine. No need to worry, Kyle." She smiled, looking as though nothing had happened. The boy sighed in relief, but his eyes soon fell on the witches intertwined hands and blinked. As though he had seen something he shouldn’t have, the young prince blushed lightly and hurriedly turned and dashed back to the two vampires ahead of them.

Zeres attempted to let go of Alicia’s hand but Alicia stared at him as she grasped his hand. Alicia saw the surprise in his eyes, but she can’t let go of him right now. She had stopped feeling breathless and even the trembling in her knees had also stopped but she could feel that there seemed to be no more power left in her. She saw that the young vampire did not seem to notice this anomaly about her, and she was quite certain that it was because of Zeres’ powerful presence that was overlapping the symptoms she was experiencing. His power was literally oozing out of his pores that she surmised that as long as she sticks close to him, the vampires wouldn’t notice. And besides, in the event something unexpected happens, she did not want to be left out there, useless and just waiting around for them to rescue her again like a damsel in distress – which she was not! She could not take it – no – she refused to accept it. A helpless and powerless queen was something not just herself, but others would not accept as well.

"Bear with it, Zeres. I don’t think I can keep going without your support yet." She said those words like usual, with her head up proudly and voice sounding firm.

"Understood, my queen." Was all Zeres said and they both approached the vampires, hand in hand. And then they all entered into an entrance that Zeke found. He had asked Lucas to clear the mound of sand covering it and the strong man did just that in a matter of minutes.

The inside of the cavern was otherworldly. The crystals this time were a combination of white and ice blue. This was probably the largest cavern out of all the others they have seen and gone into during the whole journey. They could just tell due to the huge path that seems to be leading them into a deeper and larger space inside.

Alicia still could not feel any resonance with the cavern even when she let go of Zeres’ hand for a minute to see if something would be triggered inside of her. But there was nothing. She thought that this cavern seemed to not be as ordinary as it seems, so they needed to go deeper inside.

But suddenly, Zeke halted. "This is not the place," he said, and Alicia was about to protest and insist that they should at least go a little deeper to make sure it was the case, when the atmosphere suddenly turned heavy.

Lucas and Kyle seemed to have sensed it and their weapons were already flashed out, all poised and ready for battle. But Zeke and Zeres did not even move to touch the hilts of their swords.

"Alright," Zeke sighed and sat on one of the flat blue crystals. His expression as dead and flat as usual as he motioned Lucas and Kyle to fight.

The next moment, crystals shattered all around them and a fierce fight broke out. Alicia was shocked and felt extremely awful again. She had lost even her sense to detect danger.

"What are they?" Zeres asked Zeke after watching the battle between Lucas and Kyle and their opponents for a while. The enemies were wearing cloaks that were the same colour as the crystals in the cavern.


"Not normal ones..."


"They look strong. They’re stronger than Dinah’s men." Zeres commented as they watched Lucas smashed one of them against the crystals, then proceeded to slash one of the creature many times before beheading it. "But your bodyguard is stronger and... savage."

Zeke didn’t respond. His gaze now was on his younger brother. He was exceptional and too strong for his age but there was huge difference between him and Lucas. Kyle was fighting in a somewhat honourable way and lacked the intent to kill. What his younger brother lacked right now was real life experience and the encounter of fighting for his life – kill or be killed.

"Why are these rogues here? I thought Alexander had killed all rogue vampires already." Zeres said again.

"Alex didn’t set foot in this continent for hundreds of years. So, this place had become the haven for the rogues."

"But don’t you think these rogues are strange? There’s something different about them."

The vampire prince was silenced again. His unfathomable eyes never strayed from the fight, but he suddenly did not feel like just watching anymore and being a mere bystander.

"There’s more of them." He said as he stood before calling out to Lucas and Kyle. "We’re leaving."

"H-huh? Hey, wait. What?" Zeres protested. Even Lucas and Kyle were taken aback by the sudden and unexpected order, especially Kyle who was not used to being interrupted in the middle of a fight. Due to the sudden distraction, he had suffered a minor cut on his arm.

"This is not the place." Zeke merely said.

"Are you certain about that?" Alicia was the one who spoke this time, pulling Zeke’s attention to her. "This is the only place where we actually encountered any enemies. And there are strange and extraordinarily strong vampires present too. Don’t you think there’s a reason why they’re here? What if they’re guarding something inside?"

Chapter 624 Journey

Zeke only stood there and looked at Alicia while she struggled to run things through her mind and rationalise out the things that he had pointed out. A few beats of silence passed between them – both just staring at each other, each not willing to give in. "This is only a trap to further delay us." Zeke finally spoke to explain further, causing Alicia to crease her brows tighter.

"But... how did you know... I mean..." Hesitation made Alicia unable to say out the many things she wanted to say. She is not a stranger to the way how Ezekiel deals with things and she should have known better now that it was useless for her to question his decisions, especially once he has thought though on it in his mind and more so after saying it out loud. It was already a given that this man knew things none of them were even aware about.

"It seems as though ... your trust in me has dwindled quite a lot these days, Alicia." He commented when Alicia pressed her lips tight, adamant on not letting anything bad pass her lips if she has nothing good to say. She met his gaze coolly and held it for a couple seconds before turning her head and looking away, unwilling to get into an argument with him.

"Didn’t you remember what you told me the last time? It was you, yourself, who told me not to trust you too much, Ezekiel." She retorted and a small smirk lifted the corner of his lips.

"Now that you’ve mentioned it... I do remember telling you that." He uttered as his gaze swept through Alicia.

Feeling his scrutinizing gaze, Alicia’s grip on Zeres’ hand tightened and suddenly, she whipped around.

"Fine. I will trust you on this then, Ezekiel." She said as she tugged on Zeres’ hand, urging him to leave the cavern with her immediately. Zeres could only throw a glance at Zeke before allowing himself to be pulled out by Alicia.

Once the two witches disappeared, Zeke’s eyes remained fixated on the empty spot the two had occupied a moment ago. His gaze looked calculating and intense.

A rogue had jumped towards him from above but before the rogue even realises it, he was already knocked back and viciously smashed against the large crystal where Zeke was sitting on a while ago. A strong hand then reached out for the back of his neck, gripping it securely and with one sure snap, the rouge’s head rolled across the cavern floor.

When Zeke lifted his gaze, he caught Kyle’s bewildered eyes. And as if nothing extraordinary had happened, Zeke straightened and brushed off his hands, turning around calmly to stare at the approaching enemies without any hint of interest or feelings in his placid eyes. He gestured for Lucas and Kyle to leave and they could only obey.

As soon as Lucas and Kyle emerged from the cavern, there was a loud noise and a boom that echoed from inside where they recently took off from. It seemed that Zeke had settled the remaining rouges and did something to the cavern that it was now collapsing. What on earth did his brother do?

A shadow grabbed him while he was looking back, a little dazed. When he got his orientation back, he noticed he had landed on top of a sand dune, with both his brother and Lucas already standing on either side of him.

"...." Did they really had to give him such an ungraceful landing? He could only smile bitterly at his own incompetence when compared to the other two vampires – one, an upper elite bodyguard and the other, his very own brother, the vampire crown prince himself.


The group had then travelled on by plane to another country that very same night and continued their journey as soon as they had landed because unbeknownst to Alicia, Zeres had been bugging Zeke to no end. He was becoming and more desperate, even worse than Alicia ever since that night in the desert.

Alicia had stopped asking questions and talking with anyone. She had distanced herself from the rest of her travel mates and even though she was stuck with Zeres since that night in the desert, the two witches almost never spoke to each other.

As the days went by, Zeres had also stopped bugging Zeke with questions about why they still could not find that damned cavern. The witch duo had gone utterly quiet, one dying with weakness and helplessness and the other with guilt and anger towards himself.

Enemies had also started popping up everywhere they journeyed. This occurrence was so common to the point that the three vampires had already killed countless of them throughout the long journey. Even the youngest of them, Kyle, had gotten so used to it and had made such great improvements in his fighting abilities that sometimes, Zeke had allowed him to fight the enemies all on his own while they all sat by the side and watched as bystanders. The once delicate boy had finally grown up to become tougher and had already honed his killing skills. He had learned to fight and kill, and he was growing stronger day by day. The concept of kill or be killed – which was missing in him earlier on – had been instilled into his very bones from all the fights and attacks the group had to endure while on this journey.

Zeres had asked Zeke once before about the reason why were the rogue vampires coming after and attacking them. Zeke did not give him a specific answer but just told him they were probably closely linked or even the exact same thing to whatever it was that they were looking and searching for in the cavern. They even went to the extent of capturing some of the rouge vampires and torturing them for more information, but unfortunately, they got nothing. Zeres had also used his powers on them to read their minds countless times now, but all he could see in his vision was dark thick smoke. There was nothing in the rogues’ minds that would give them more clues or lead them on to the correct destination.


Chapter 625 Just a dream

Zeke still couldn’t explain the reasons why, but he did tell Zeres that the one theory he had was that those rogues they had fought were dead vampires. It did not make sense to Zeres but he could do nothing but listen and accept whatever Zeke said for the moment.

But things were getting from bad to worse for the witch duo the longer the journey continued. Alicia especially did not seem to be holding up well lately, and Zeres was extremely worried for her condition.

They had just encountered another group of rogues inside the first cavern they had visited in the third continent they had reached in this journey, when Alicia suddenly passed out.

"Take her back to the hotel." Zeke quickly instructed; his eyes locked on the unconscious Alicia in Zeres’ arms. He did not look surprised at all and Zeres knew that he had long suspected and sensed Alicia’s weakness. Despite Alicia’s efforts in acting normal and hiding her condition, Zeres knew that there was just no way anyone could hide anything from Zeke.

"Go and put her to bed. She shouldn’t be here in that state of hers." Zeke added and Zeres could only agree as it reflects what he personally felt as well. Though he did not want to leave when their comrades were still fighting, but Zeke was right. Alicia is the priority at the moment, and he had to take her away from the battlefield now. He had no choice but gladly, he was not too worried as those three vampires did not even need his or anyone’s help with the insane strength and monstrous capabilities that they possess. He had just taken a step to leave when he hesitated for a moment due to the sudden surge of enemies flooding in. However, when he turned back to look at Zeke, and found the man still standing to the side, calmly watching the other two fighting but still not joining the fight personally, Zeres turned and finally disappeared.

Zeres materialized inside Alicia’s room with her cradled securely in his arms. He knew she had fainted all due to weakness. He acknowledged just how hard and resolutely she fought to stay standing all this while. But this time, her body had finally beaten her.

It had crushed him hard every time he felt her grip in his hand tighten and how she would cling tightly onto him for support. He had long stopped asking her if she was alright – how could she be with the way she was hanging on to his hands? He would be hurting her more by asking her. It was better if he just provided her with the support needed in silence. He even stopped turning around to check on her even when he felt her breathless as she hid herself behind him in the vain hopes that the vampires would not see her nor realise her worsening condition. And his guilt was growing so big, it was almost consuming him whole.

Gently, Zeres quietly removed her cloak. Her once bright and glowing hair had turned dull and completely ashen now. Even her brows and curly lashes darkened as well. He carefully placed her on the bed before removing her shoes.

After covering her with a blanket, Zeres sat at the edge of the bed, his head bent low. For what felt like forever, he didn’t move. He had kept his gaze on the floor and his fists were clenched into tight balls. Before long, he started to grit his teeth, his body tensing up as his moon-lit eyes slowly turn gold. He looked like something was taking over him.

A soft moan jolted him and as if a pail of ice water were poured over him, the gold in his eyes abruptly disappeared and he whipped his head towards the woman on the bed.

She looked uncomfortable. She was moving restlessly, and her pale face was frowning.

Zeres panicked. He rose from his seat and attempted to go look for help because he did not know what to do. But then he remembered his comrades were still in the cavern, fighting.

Bending closer, Zeres asked worriedly. "What is it? Are you in pain?"

Alicia’s eyes cracked opened slightly, and she looked at Zeres. She opened her mouth to speak but her voice came out raspy and broken. But Zeres understood it and he immediately disappeared. He returned quickly with a glass of water in his hand.

He helped her sit and leaned her against his shoulder before handing her the water, supporting the base just in case her strength gave way.

Once Alicia sipped just enough water to moisten her throat and quench her thirst, Zeres took the glass away and put it on the table. He gently held her shoulder and was about to ease her back on the bed when Alicia suddenly laughed, a bitter and soft laugh that faded quickly.

With her eyes closed, she clasped Zeres’ shirt weakly, her grip trembling as she spoke without opening her eyes. "Tell me, Zeres... that this is just a bad dream. This is not happening to me... this is just a long... long nightmare that... that would be forgotten the moment I wake up."

As short silent passed.

"Yes, my queen. This is... just a dream." He said and this time she smiled, a bitter self-mocking smile.

"Thank you. Don’t let them... see me like this... especially..." She could not even finish her statement and her whole body fell limp again, drained from what little energy she regained from her short slumber.

Zeres stayed still, letting her lean against him in her sleep. A long while later, he hugged her and whispered a heart-wrenching ’I’m sorry’ before easing her down. He watched her for a long time until he felt the vampires’ presence.

His gaze fell to the moon peeking through the windows before looking at Alicia again. Something changed in his soft eyes.

When he turned to leave the room, his eyes were unfathomable, no longer the eyes of an angel.


Chapter 626 Discerning

The group had settled in an isolated villa that seemed recently abandoned in the middle of a scenic forest at the base of a range of towering mountains. It had been more than a month since they left and started on this journey. All this time passed, and they have still yet to find the place they were looking for. All they have accomplished until now was the ever-increasing surge of enemies that seemed to be getting stronger every time compared to the previous batch they have gone against. It was as if the enemies they had encountered earlier were novices, and their levels keeps increasing as each group kept coming.

Even Ezekiel who had simply watched leisurely in previous battles had lately been forced to make a move as well to watch over his younger brother’s back.

The journey was becoming more dangerous and savage and confusing by the day and they all knew that they were getting closer to their destination. There was no more talk about when they would reach the damned cavern not only because the two witches had stopped talking but because Ezekiel also became even quieter than his usual reticent self. That left Kyle and Lucas as the only ones making any sounds for the past few days.

"I am worried about the queen," Kyle said as the three vampires sat around an antique table by the fireplace. "Is she really alright? I haven’t spoken to her for weeks now and I’m barely able to see her face for many days now. I don’t think she’s alright at all. And Zeres... he also started acting really weird. He used to be energetic and chatty. But now, it feels like he’s angry with the world."

Kyle couldn’t help but worry. He had been meaning to ask but Ezekiel wouldn’t allow him to bother the witches and they have been quite occupied since they’ve been moving in haste these last few days. But now that there was a slight lull in their travels, it was the perfect chance for him to ask, and the boy couldn’t hold his tongue anymore.

"What’s happening to Her Majesty? Is she in grave danger?" His gaze was darting back and forth between Ezekiel and Lucas, hoping for either of them to fill him in on the situation surrounding the witch queen.

"I don’t know what is going on but she’s obviously unwell." It was Lucas who answered as Ezekiel remained silent as if he hadn’t heard Kyle’s question but continued staring at the fire which was consuming the log in the fireplace. The reflection of the fire in his dark eyes lent him the look of the devil himself burning in hell, that Kyle swallowed the words he was about to direct to his brother in the hopes of making him listen to what he was saying.

Kyle had been bothered by his brother’s frequent calm silence as well because he seemed to be always enveloping himself with something powerful and impregnable to keep anyone from bothering him.

"And what’s going on with Zeres?" Kyle could only ask Lucas and the red-haired could only shrug, indicating his ignorance in the matter.

"I’m as clueless as you, Your Highness so don’t look at me. All I know is there is definitely something wrong with him lately." As Lucas said those words, their eyes were pulled by the materializing person across the table.

Zeres appeared with Alicia in his arms. Both were wrapped in an all-black cloak and Alicia’s face was hidden by her hood as always.

"Which room can Alicia use?" Zeres asked. His voice still softly pleasing to the ears but somehow sounded almost lifeless.

"The room overlooking the back yard is the tidiest." Lucas replied and unceremoniously, Zeres disappeared again.

The vampires’ eyes, even Zeke’s, were drawn to the conspicuous three drops of blood that were left on the floor.

"That’s... Zeres’ blood?" Kyle creased his brows in confusion. "Is he wounded? How come? He never joined any fight."

Lucas and Kyle whipped towards Zeke and the man rose and spoke. "He must be performing spells that requires his blood."

"Spells?! Whatever for?"

Zeke said nothing and simply walked away.

"I told you, stop asking so many questions. His Highness only answers once." Lucas slumped on his chair and Kyle couldn’t help but pout childishly.

"I don’t like this."

"Don’t worry. Just trust your brother. He doesn’t like talking while the game is still going on. If you want to ask questions, you have to wait until the game’s over. He’ll only lift his silence after he has his ’checkmate’ so don’t waste your time asking. Don’t even try understanding his motives and actions, you’ll get nothing but massive headaches and more confusion."

"So you’re saying, I should do nothing but shut my mouth and obey..."

"Ditto." Lucas smirked and Kyle’s shoulders dropped as he sighed heavily.

"I really don’t really like this." The boy complained rather petulantly, shutting his eyes closed. Lucas gave a lopsided droll smile looking at the very promising and powerful vampire prince acting like a child just because he could not get his older brother’s explanation.

"I like the adventure and... the fights. But I don’t like the way everyone’s behaving." Kyle muttered.

When he opened his eyes again, he stared at the blood on the floor. And Kyle remembered that this wasn’t the first time he had seen a droplet of blood coming from Zeres. "Lucas..." he spoke without averting his gaze from the blood.

"Witches can heal themselves, right?"

"Yes. They don’t heal naturally like us but they can heal fast with the use of their healing spells."

"Then why is Zeres bleeding? This is not the first time and I always smell fresh blood coming from him for days now. It’s like he has a wound that’s not healing for days. He has also kept his cloak on for a long while now. He used to remove them immediately the moment we’re indoor."

Lucas was silent this time. He noticed this young prince had the same discerning eyes that notices almost everything like Ezekiel did. Only difference was that he had no restrictions in saying them out loud and not keeping his observations to himself.

Chapter 627 Empty

The sun was already setting when Alicia finally opened her eyes and woke up. She remembered that she had fainted again as they were making their way to this place. But somehow, like what seems to be the norm now, happened again where she always felt better every time she wakes up. It seemed she at least regained some strength after being out for hours.

Pushing herself up, Alicia sat and stared at her hands. She clenched them as tightly as she could into a fist as if to check if the strength that she had regained this time improved a little. To her dismay, nothing changed. It had been like this for a while now. She would faint from weakness and then after waking up, she would regained just enough strength to stand and move around on her own.

She put her palms over her face. The awful feeling in her chest started to boil again when she finally noticed a large black figure slumped to one side on the floor. It was Zeres. And he was sitting on the floor with his back against the door, sleeping.

Surprised, Alicia climbed off the bed and approached him. He was still wearing his cloak and his hood covered the half of his face.

The sight of him sleeping there made Alicia frown hard. Why was he sleeping there?

Bending over, Alicia reached out for his hood when his strong hand suddenly grabbed her wrist as he moved and looked up.

As his hood fell off his head, Alicia had frozen in the act of lifting his hood, her eyes round with alarm. Because his gaze had become so intense and cold and dark, the kind of gaze Alicia never thought would belong to this particular man.

"Zeres..." she whispered, and the darkness quickly dissipated as if it was never there in the first place. He looked away almost immediately.

"I’m sorry." He apologized as he loosened his grip on her wrist and let go.

Silence reigned between them for a moment before Alicia managed to speak again.

"Why are you sleeping on the floor?" she asked but he didn’t answer. He rose instead and reached for the door knob.

"I’ll go get you some food to eat. We’ll be leaving again in an hour."

Without giving her the chance to respond, he silently and swiftly closed the door behind him. With confused and troubled expression, Alicia just stood there, staring at the door.

He returned after a short while with her food and Alicia ate in silence. Since she noticed her darkening hair and even her brows and lashes, Alicia had long since stopped eating with the group. Zeres had been bringing her food and she ate alone in her room. Lately, he had been joining her in having their meals in the room and they ate in silence, both entertaining heavy thoughts.

Having Zeres acting like her personal servant had her feeling upset toward herself but she knew there was no other available options – at least for now. Also, he had been quite insistent. Knowing and seeing that the man was feeling guilty and responsible for her also made Alicia relent albeit a little grudgingly but lately, their situation was getting more and more unbearable.

She had never thought she would find herself in this state, depending on someone to do every little thing like she was an invalid. She was beaten enough, and she had stopped thinking. That was a mercy she could do for herself. But now, this man started to bother her.

Now that she stopped thinking about her own predicaments and finally took a good look at him – really looked at him – she realized just how much he had changed. Nothing in his docile and angel-like appearance had changed but for some reason, he now felt like a different person. He didn’t even look into her eyes when he speaks to her anymore.

"Have you eaten?" she asked, observing him. She realized this was the first time she was voluntarily talking to him again in a long time.

He responded with a nod, saying nothing.

"Zeres." She called his name, hoping that he would look up at her. When he didn’t, she pressed her lips tight and quietly exhaled. "Look at me." She demanded.

This time, he listened and when their eyes met, Alicia could not speak. When did his eyes become so empty like that? His eyes had always been expressive that Alicia could easily read his emotions before, but now she could not read anything, could not find any emotions in them. They were... frighteningly empty. What had happened to him that caused this? Her heart shook a little thinking of it.

"Please finish your meal now, Queen Alicia." He rose and then approached her. He grabbed the pitcher and poured her a glass of water as Alicia watched, realizing that this man had been doing all these small yet necessary tasks for her for many days now – all without any complaints.

Silently, Alicia forced herself to continue eating. She had no appetite and the only reason she was eating now was because she was desperate to gain more strength, hoping that she could at least lessen the burden she was giving him.

They both went downstairs once Alicia was done with her meal and freshened up sufficiently, wearing her black cloak with hood covering her face again. The vampires were already waiting for them, except Zeke.

"His Highness said we must not leave until he arrives." The ginger-head said before Zeres could even ask about the whereabouts of their group’s leader.

Zeres’ eyes narrowed. "When did he leave?"

"About six hours ago."

Surprised, Zeres stilled and then, his face darkened.

Feeling the quiet but heavy aura coming from Zeres, Alicia squeezed his hand a little. "Let’s just wait for him. Ezekiel always like to move solo when things gets serious. I’m certain he’d be back soon with valuable information." She said.

Kyle, who had not heard her voice in a long time, only smiled and happily nodded his agreement with her. "Shall we wait for him outside?" he suggested, and the rest agreed to it by moving out of the house.


Chapter 628 At last

"Shall we wait for him outside?" Kyle had suggested, and the rest agreed to it by moving out of the house.

However, an hour had passed, and Ezekiel was yet to return. Lucas and Kyle had gotten bored just standing around waiting for Zeke, so they decided on some beneficial activity to pass their time and started sparing intensely in the nearby forest while Zeres and Alicia stayed at the house’s doorway. There was a long-backed bench that Zeres had placed Alicia to sit and rest while waiting.

Alicia had been trying to initiate a conversation with Zeres for the first few minutes after he had put her on the bench, but eventually, she stopped. It was not due to Zeres’ short and blunt responses but for the only reason that she was already starting to feel weak again. This evidence of weakness totally disgusted her. For her to be so weak to the point that she could not even sustain a simple conversation was making her even more miserable.

This had not happened before. Usually, she was able to at least remain standing until they reached their next destination. But now, they have yet to even move out and already, her knees were giving out as if she was some sickly old human lady. She had sat weakly on the floor thirty minutes ago and now her breathing was starting to become more laboured and louder.

Sitting across her on a tree stump that was conveniently lying around, with his wrist on top of his bended knee, Zeres silently gritted his teeth. The tendons and muscles in his fists and neck appearing as his gaze sharpened in rage – a rage directed towards himself and the world.

But he loosened up after closing his eyes, taking a deep calming breath before he finally stood and approached her.

Without a word, Zeres gathered her in his arms and Alicia could not even mutter a protest. She scoffed at herself internally. What was there for her to be all proud and uptight in protesting on the way he is caring her and seeing to her needs? She could not even sit and talk comfortably, much less stand up and walk on her own strength. It was all she could do to hold her head upright instead of leaning it against Zeres’ chest, while he carried her. The sound of her own breathlessness filled the silent atmosphere since the two vampires had already long stopped their sparring and had headed back to where they were.

Kyle saw Zeres picking Alicia up in his arms and was about to rush over towards them, but Lucas grabbed onto his shoulder, effectively stopping him from barging into something that might cause more awkwardness than it already was.

"Don’t. You can’t do anything for her even if you do go rushing over." Lucas said, causing Kyle to frown at him. He shrugged off Lucas’ hold on his shoulder and brushed past him and approached the two witches, but at a more sedate pace rather than at a dead run like he wanted to do so earlier.

"Zeres. What’s going on?" the boy asked but Zeres simply glanced at him and looked at Lucas.

"Inform me the moment Kiel arrives." He said and without waiting for Lucas’ response, he was gone – Alicia along with him.

He materialized inside the room they both shared earlier and gently laid Alicia on the bed.

Alicia forced her eyes to remain open and fighting hard to keep herself conscious and not drift off into oblivion. She refused to faint – again – and this time when they have yet to even start their journey. And yet her will could not do anything in fighting her body condition and eventually, even if she was bitter and reluctant about it, all she could do was utter one final curse in her mind before she felt her body falling into the pit of darkness.

Staring at her unhappy face, slightly pouted lips and long curled lashes closed against lids that hid expressive eyes in rest, Zeres just sat at the edge of the bed for a long time, like a statue until he felt someone’s presence outside the door.

"I’m coming in." he heard Zeke’s voice and as soon as he entered the room, Zeres flashed over from his sitting position and had him pinned against the door frame.

Zeres’ hands were grabbing Zeke’s collar. His eyes vivid gold, burning bright.

"Please..." his voice came out in a controlled hiss. "Tell me you’ve found it, Kiel."

It was obvious that he was at the very edge of his control. A little more push and he would have lost control of himself. Zeke had dealt with something like this many times before, but Zeres’ was different from Alex’s temper tantrums. Zeke could feel nothing but utter desperation in Zeres. And he thought at that moment, Zeres was becoming more and more dangerous – a ticking time bomb. A bomb that would certainly detonate if Zeke said ’no’.

Zeke calmly pulled Zeres’ hands off him as he answered. "Yes." He said and the golden hue burning in Zeres’ eyes slowly dissipated. "I’ve just confirmed it. It’s the cavern we have been searching for."

Zeres stepped back, his eyes locked on Zeke’s for a moment, as if to determine whether or not what he said was true. And then, without further questions, something in Zeres’ eyes and aura changed.

"At last." He muttered, smiling.

He then turned toward the sleeping girl on the bed and his smile dimmed. As his gaze lingered on Alicia’s face, he approached her and stood close to her, not taking his eyes off her now peacefully sleeping face.

For a few moments, he just stood there, not saying anything.

"Take care of her, Kiel." He said suddenly without turning towards Zeke and then, without another word, he disappeared.

A quiet sigh escaped Zeke’s lips and walked slowly closer to Alicia’s bed. He stood there gazing down at her face for a while before he stared out the window and gazed at the moon that was shining so brightly in the dark starless sky.

By the time he stepped out of Alicia’s room, Kyle immediately approached him.

"Zeres’ presence is gone. Where did he go?" asked the boy.

"I’ll go after him."

"What? Just you? How about –"

"You two stay here and watched over Alicia. Kyle, I need you to stay with her in her room. Lucas will be on guard outside." Zeke ordered and without giving them any chance to protest or say anything, he too was gone.


Chapter 629 Madman

Inside a cavern that looked exactly the same as the cavern in the Black Forest, Zeres was standing in the middle of a pile of dead bodies. A villainous smirk curved on his lips as he looked around the massive place with an uninterested gaze.

The fact that it was the exact replica of the Queen’s cavern in Black Forest was enough for Zeres to think that the one behind all this trouble was a witch. He had long felt strong dark magic coming from the rogue vampires they had encountered all along their journey and now, he had finally confirmed the lingering thought he had been harboring for a while now – that this time, the mastermind wasn’t a human or a vampire but a witch.

At that moment, there was only one thing in Zeres’ mind. And it was the thought that one of his own kind – a witch – would be the one to kill him. It made him smile because he had never thought of this possibility in the countless times that he had thought about the one who could kill him. Somehow, it relieved him because it appeared that the one to end his life would not be Alexander, or Abigail, or Ezekiel. He could only think that fate must have really pitied him this time and he was glad – really glad. He did think it was quite appropriate that a witch – not human nor vampire – would be the one to take his life.

Staring at the group of witches standing in front of the crystal throne, Zeres’ eyes glowed golden. He could see a man in silver cloak. His hair long and onyx black. One glance and Zeres knew he was a powerful male witch. Definitely the most powerful male witch he had encountered so far. However, no matter how powerful he is, Zeres could even tell just by observing that the male witch still was not strong enough to defeat Ezekiel.

However, Zeres didn’t mind. He knew about the possibility that his killer’s strength didn’t matter. He wouldn’t fight anyway.

So without even defending himself, Zeres walked idly towards the witches. The vampires jumped over him like zombies and Zeres just let them attack, allowing them to tear into him, piece by piece. It was painful, he thought. But it appeared that he had grown immune to pain now thanks to Dinah who had him brutally experimented on like a guinea pig for many years.

The attacks could not even stop his feet from advancing. Because no matter how much they tear him to pieces, he just kept healing. He couldn’t help but smile bitterly at just how indestructible his body had become. And he wondered why he had ended up being this powerful, being this invincible when he had never... ever desired power in his entire existence.

He thought it was funny that the world couldn’t give him anything he wanted but could generously give him the one thing he never desired.

Zeres couldn’t help but laugh hysterically like a madman, while the witches couldn’t believe their eyes.

Even the male witch in the center looked utterly shaken as he watched the silver-haired man approaching them like an indestructible god that nothing and no one could kill.

Realizing the futility of everything his minions were doing to stop the ancient witch, the dark-haired male witch lifted his hand and the mindless vampires immediately stopped their actions. They were like puppets he could control with a single snap of his fingers.

"Ancient witch Zeres..." the man started. His voice powerful and sinister. "I never thought that the one who would come to foil my plans is my very own fellow witch. I was expecting the vampire royalties to come."

Zeres tilted his head slightly and stared into the man’s eyes as he finally took the first step up the crystallized stairs leading to the crystal throne where the witches stood. "Foil your plans?"

"Yes!" The male witch roared but Zeres clearly detected fear in his voice. "That useless and weak queen found a powerful pawn at her disposal now, I see." he barked in rage and hate.

"Disposal?" Zeres echoed as he halted in his steps. A bemused smirk flashed on his angel-like face. "For your information... the queen is not the one who sent me here. And I didn’t come here to foil whatever silly plan you have. Also..."

Like a lightning strike, a loud sound echoed inside the cavern. And the male witch unexpectedly found himself pinned against the crystal throne while Zeres’ hand gripped his neck.

"Queen Alicia can defend herself against an attack like this," Zeres said in a controlled but ice hard voice. "An attack you can’t even dodge. And yet you dare call her weak and useless?" Zeres’ grip on his neck tightened. "Did you know that if she’s the one in my place now, your head would already be rolling down these crystalized stairs?"

The male witch looked shocked but still obviously disbelieving.

"I see you’re just an ignorant fool." Zeres continued before letting go of the male witch’s neck and pushing him off, realizing that he reeked of nothing but madness.

Zeres had already seen everything in that short amount of time he invaded the male witch’s memories. This place was indeed the headquarters of the rogue vampires they had been fighting and the boss was no other than this male witch. And Zeke was right. These vampires were all dead. He had been collecting dead bodies, mostly, the ones Alexander had killed in the past, many decades ago, and brought them to this place. The male witch had awakened the dead by performing a forbidden witchcraft. He had also made the dead vampires more powerful through another forbidden spell that made the dead vampires utilize the power of dark magic. The male witch seemed a master of spells and terrifyingly intelligent and insane. Every forbidden and powerful spell requires bigger sacrifices and this insane witch had sacrificed many rogue witches just to create this undead vampire army to be at his disposal.

He had taken advantage of that time when the witch queen was captured by Dinah. While everyone’s attention was distracted, even as the vampires were focused on the immortals, this man had recruited and lured countless female witches and then used them as the sacrifice to perform these forbidden spells.

Chapter 630 Naive fool

The reason why this somewhat powerful male witch did all these for the sake of his longing to be king of the witches. He had always hated the thought and felt it was biased and unfair that only female witches are given the opportunity to be chosen and could rule the witches. He also loathed the fact that within the many kinds of non-humans currently alive, the witches remained the weakest of the creatures. And in his impression, it was due to this fact that until now, they ended up living in the dark, hidden from the eyes of the vampires and even humans. So the mad witch created a strong army. His plan was to create an army so huge that was strong enough to lead the world into chaos. Since he could not change anything, he planned to become the villain instead. He wanted to expose the existence of vampires and witches to everyone living in the world and this would then drag the world down into chaos. He was planning was to lead an attack on a few major human cities all at once using his countless minions and undead vampire army that no living vampire nor witch, could stop nor cover up. He thought that this was the most dramatic and thrilling way of exposing the world to the knowledge of the existence of creatures such as vampires and witches.

And his plans were almost carried out to completion. A little bit more and he’d complete the number of required resurrected vampire soldiers he desired.

"I will not let you stop me. I already stationed many of my minions in a few major human cities around the world. They’re simply waiting for a single order from me and they’ll attack."

"Oh... are you talking about those rogues we found in some of the caverns we found in several countries?"

"H-how did you –"

The male witch seemed shocked and Zeres could only laugh, finally realizing something. "Damn you, Kiel." Zeres muttered under his breath before he returned his attention to the male witch.

"I am not here to stop you," he said finally as he let go of the insane male witch. "You are free to do what you wish."

"Could it be that you’re here to join me?" The male witch’s eyes widened comically as they sparkled with sudden joy, thinking he had gotten another powerful male witch to be on board with his campaign. He could not believe his luck as he grinned gleefully. "Do you wanted to be king too?!"

Suddenly, an ecstatic and thrilled laughter filled the massive cavern. Zeres simply watched as the insane witch rejoiced on his own.

"You made the best choice in this, ancient witch Zeres. I will step aside and make you king. It’s time for the witches to rule by a man. And I believe this is meant to happen. The existence of a male witch with silver hair is the proof that it’s time for a change. Hahaha!!"

Zeres didn’t even bother to respond much less take the effort to speak to this ridiculous person. His gaze was blank as he watched the insane witch and his minions. But after a while, he lifted his hand to silence the mad man. "Why? You don’t want to be the king anymore?" Zeres asked. "The truth is I am not here to stop you. I am here to because I wanted to die." he continued with a sardonic smile, causing everyone to look at him in surprise. "If you can kill me, you’d probably inherit my immortality, and you can be the king. So why don’t you find a way to kill me instead?"

The mad witch looked at Zeres in disbelief and scepticism but eventually, his greed and desire for power filled his eyes and his madness seemed to have totally consumed him. "Sure, ancient witch. I’ll thank you first for the opportunity to be the one in taking the honour to kill you!" he roared and without wasting a moment, the mad witch rushed at Zeres.

That night was the longest and the most agonizing night in Zeres’ existence. He had let the mad witch do anything to him, not caring if it was humane or barbaric or brutal. He remembered what he had told Ezekiel before this journey. Zeres had asked for a peaceful death but it appeared that was too much for him to ask. It appeared it was just a wishful thinking.

And as the night slowly came to its end, the agony of still breathing despite everything caused Zeres to growl in misery.

The mad witch who had been ecstatic and thrilled as hell at first was now slumped on the floor, hair dishevelled and looking in all the world as if he was also taking the torture along with Zeres. Utter surrender already etched on his face. He had done everything. Even the things no sane man could think of doing. And yet, it was futile.

Zeres had fell on his knees, laughing hysterically. And then, he slumped on the ground, one hand fisting his previously silky silvery hair that had long since turned scarlet. He didn’t stop laughing as tears began to fall from his eyes.

"Of course..." he uttered between his hysteric laughter, talking to himself and shaking his head. "Of course, it was truly too much for you to hope for it to be this easy. When did the world ever let you have what you wanted? When will you ever learn? You’re a naïve fool, Zeres. Haha..."

Like a mindless, broken doll, Zeres resignedly rose with a heavy sigh and turned around to leave the cavern. It was already dawn when he stepped out at the entrance. He looked up at the brightening sky, his eyes empty as he watched the beautiful colours of dawn being splayed across the expanse.

He was soaked naked in a lake a few moments later. His eyes were closed, looking up the sky. He remained unmoving, statue-like for hours that way and when he finally made a move, a smile curved on his lips. It was the kind of smile that had never graced his lips before.

As the sunshine kissed his face, his eyelashes fluttered open, revealing deep unfathomable pools that were his eyes. They were gold and bright as the morning sun. The only difference was that Zeres’ eyes no longer have any trace of warmth left in them – bright gold and freezingly cold.