πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️ Allure Of the Night Chapter 146 - 150 Full Chapters πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️


Chapter 146

Eve lost interest in what the merchants were selling. She wasn’t sure how to feel about her friend drinking an imprisoned mermaid’s blood. She was lost in her thoughts when she heard someone interrupt it.

“Ms. Barlow, is that you? I wasn’t expecting to see you here.”

Both Eve and Rosetta turned and saw Lady Marceline standing in front of them with a polite smile. The lady wore a maroon dress and the same coloured side hat on her head.

“Are you doing alright? I heard that you were sick which is why we haven’t seen you at the mansion. But it seems like you are doing far better in health than I imagined,” said Lady Marceline in concern, while quickly skimming Eve and the vampiress who stood next to the human.

“I am doing better now,” Eve offered a slight bow to the lady. Rosetta felt like she had seen this vampiress before, but she wasn’t sure where.

Marceline then turned to Rosetta, noticing her wearing an expensive dress and said, “I don’t think we have met before. I am Marceline Moriarty.”

Rosetta, who was about to introduce herself, her face turned sour at the mention of the name Moriarty. She turned to Eve and said, “I will be in the food stall.” She left without sharing a single word with Marceline, who turned annoyed for being ignored so blatantly.

When Eve turned to look at Marceline, Eve apologised, “Miss Hooke is socially awkward, please don’t pay a mind to it.”

“I wouldn’t,” replied Marceline with the same gentle smile, “I have other things to think about than worry about such silly things.” The vampiress didn’t understand how this human knew the Marquee’s daughter.

“Are you here by yourself? You could join us,” Eve offered Marceline. But to the vampiress, it was beneath her to be seen walking with a human in a town like Hollow Valley. Though she would like to know the Marquee’s daughter closely as it would expand her connections.

Marceline smiled at Eve like an angel blessing her. She said, “I would love it, but I came here with my family. You will have to excuse me, Ms. Barlow.”

“That’s perfectly fine, Lady Marceline,” Eve politely bowed, watching the vampiress disappear in the crowd of people. Did she say, family? Did that mean Vincent was here too?

Eve’s eyes roamed through the crowd. It had been a while since she had stepped out of Meadow, and being surrounded by vampires and werewolves turned her slightly anxious. When she turned around, her back hit someone. She quickly apologised, “Pardon me.”

“You will always be pardoned,” came the familiar voice and Eve turned on her heel. She came face to face with Noah, who offered her a smile. “I wasn’t sure if it was you. Good evening, Genevieve.”

“Good evening, Noah. It seems like everyone has today to enjoy the Carnival celebration,” said Eve, while Noah looked at her face. The swelling on her face had disappeared, except for the mark on her forehead, which was hidden behind her bangs of hair. “I got your flowers today. Thank you for sending them.”

Noah smiled before asking her, “How are you doing?”

“All good now. I have been busy eating and sleeping. Resting mostly,” replied Eve and she added with a lowered voice, “The council dropped all charges against me.” 
He nodded, “I heard about it. I am glad they did. Are you here with your family?”

Eve shook her head and turned to look in the direction where Rosetta now stood in front of a food stall. She said, “With my friend there. How about you?”

At the same time, the woman with black netted hat walked towards them and stopped next to Noah. The young woman looked at Noah and said, “Duke Noah, I want your opinion on an item I want to buy if you don’t mind. The man says it’s genuine pearls, and I am unsure of how it looks around my neck.”

Noticing Eve, the woman asked, “Pardon me, did I interrupt something?” Curiously looking at the human.

Noah introduced the two women, “This is my friend, Miss Genevieve Barlow. And Genevieve, this is Anaya Chambers, a close family acquaintance from Knightwell.”

Both the women offered a polite bow to each other. Lady Anaya said with a smile, “I didn’t know the Duke had friends, considering how busy he often is said to be.”

“Genevieve and I have known each other before I took the position of Duke. You would be surprised to know that she’s a governess,” Noah praised Eve. Lady Anaya’s eyebrows slightly raised while looking at the human.

“You must be held in high regard by Noah, considering how he enjoys the company of the literate, and women don’t spend much time with books as much as they do with their nails or skin,” Lady Anaya laughed, and there was something delicate in the way she carried herself. She said, “As you are his friend, we should spend time together. I would like to know more about the Duke.”

“Whatever you need to know, you can ask me, Lady Anaya. There’s no need to bother Genevieve,” stated Noah.

“Everyone has different sides with different people, don’t you agree, Lady Genevieve?” Lady Anaya asked Eve.

“They do,” replied Eve, and by the woman’s words, she could only guess that the lady was trying to gain the Duke’s attention.

“I mean we have known each other for some time now, but I still don’t know much about you. Even though our families want us engaged, I still want to know a little more than what others know,” Lady Anaya smiled at Noah.

It wasn’t just trying for attention or affection. The Duke and the lady were going to be engaged and later married, thought Eve. It took a couple of seconds for the information to sink into her mind.

Eve’s eyes met Noah’s, who looked back at her with the calmness she was used to. But something was different there. An air or look of unfamiliarness in the man. She wondered if it was because he had told her clearly about what he was, but then it would have to be her to appear distant, she thought in her mind.

Lady Anaya turned to Noah and said, “Can you please come take a look at the pearl necklace?”

Noah said, “Alright. Give me a minute.”

“I will be there at the stall,” the woman let him know, and then turned to Eve and said, “It was nice meeting you,” offering a bow, she left.

Eve offered a smile to Noah and said, “She appears to be nice.”

“She is,” nodded Noah, even though he hadn’t paid much attention to the lady he had come here with. “Compared to most she’s more level-headed, which makes it bearable to play host in the town.”

“I see,” replied Eve. Neither of the two dwelled further into what Lady Anaya said.

Noah said to her, “It’s good to see you back on your feet, and out of trouble. Let me know if you need any help.”

Eve nodded, “I will, thank you.”

“I should get going. I will see you around,” Noah offered her a slight bow, and Eve did the same, watching him walk away from her and to the stall where Lady Anaya stood with a pearl necklace in her hand.

Eve looked at Noah and the young lady he was with, while she stood at a distance. Duke, Marquee, Earl or a Viscount weren’t meant for women like her. The lady was beautiful and seemed quite taken by Duke Noah’s presence.

“Stare a little more and you might succeed in making a hole.”

Eve closed her eyes before opening and saying, “I wasn’t planning on making a hole.”

Vincent, who stood behind her, stepped to the side and Eve turned herself to meet his gaze. He had a wicked smile on his lips, his eyes holding mirth and he said, “You have been standing at the same place for… one minute, forty-eight–No, fifty-seven seconds.”

“Good evening, Master Vincent. You seem to have a lot of time on your hands, and bored enough to count to the seconds,” Eve replied.

“I was worried if you had a muscle cramp. I have heard women of your age with not enough exercise in the bedroom can sometimes turn rusted,” stated Vincent, throwing something edible in his mouth and biting it.

“I am twenty-four, not forty-two,” Eve reminded the shameless vampire. She couldn’t even ask if he had no shame after he had sucked her blood from her neck. Remembering it brought goosebumps to her skin and she pulled the sleeves of her dress to her wrist.

“Not in two months,” Vincent reminded her before smiling wide. “Your file had all the information. Actually most, considering it didn’t have the detail that you don’t like eating fish. Fancy seeing you here.”

“I am here with a friend,” answered Eve, and when she looked at the food stall, the vampiress had disappeared. Where did she go?

Eve sighed. She would need to look for Rosetta, as she couldn’t find the vampiress from where she stood. Her eyes fell on the Duke, who finally left the stall after buying something, which she could only guess was a pearl necklace.

Vincent noticed Eve’s expression and patted her back, “Unrequited love hurts.”

Eve gave him a blank look. She said, “It seems like you have experience in it.”

Vincent snorted, his eyes narrowing at Eve and said, “There’s no woman who is fortunate enough to make me have unrequited feelings for her.”

Chapter 147

Music Recommendation: Duel Preparations- Harry Gregson

Eve stared at Vincent blankly before a sigh escaped from her lips. She didn’t even know why she retorted anything to this man, as he always seemed to have something clever to say.

“Yes, she will be very fortunate,” Eve’s words held sarcasm, and it didn’t go unnoticed by Vincent.

“Let us not talk about others, but you,” said the vampire with a smile, he then added, “Whom will you share your woes if not with your friend?”

“I will pass on that,” Eve replied while turning around and searching for Rosetta. Don’t tell me she disappeared after seeing Vincent, she said to herself. “The definition of your friendship is different from mine.”

Vincent might have helped her several times, but Eve didn’t forget the look in his eyes a couple of nights ago. It had scared her, and she hadn’t forgotten it.

“Rubbish. Don’t tell me you want something more than friendship with me?” Vincent gave her a knowing look before chuckling in amusement on seeing her frown. “Where is your friend?”

“Probably ran away somewhere far,” muttered Eve, and Vincent raised his eyebrows. Remembering something, she asked him, “If you are my friend… can I ask for your help?”

“Depends on what this help is,” said Vincent, waiting for her to speak.

Eve led Vincent away from the crowd, and when they were far enough, she said, “I found out that there’s a mermaid who is in danger and is being held captive. Can you help me free her from there? Please.”

One corner of Vincent’s lips pulled, and he said, “You cannot ask me to save every mermaid you find on your way, little girl. It would be equal to a chicken coming to you and telling you to save every other chicken. Me saving them would be hypocritical of me, considering how much I enjoy your blood.”

“You want me to stand by and watch them being tortured?” Asked Eve, and Vincent nodded.

“Yes,” came the cold reply from the vampire.

“What happened to you being my friend?” questioned Eve, and Vincent’s eyes narrowed at her.

Vincent took a step toward Eve, and they stared at each other. He said, “It seems like you use things when you find it convenient, don’t you?” He hummed.

“I am not asking you to save every mermaid, just this one because I know she will die. Vampires and werewolves who have heard about her will come to meet her tonight and she will die if there’s a high bidder. Please,” Eve pleaded to him.

“Not my mermaid, not my problem. Let me put out a little theory to give you an idea of your situation, shall we?” Vincent said with a charming smile before continuing, “Imagine you succeed in saving the mermaid and return her to the sea. Do you know what happens then? Less mermaids on the land, and something that is scarce increases its market value, also hunger and thirst. They find you, they kill you. Simple.”

Eve pursed her lips and said, “It isn’t like mermaids are spared now. Didn’t happen in your mansion during the ball night.”

When Vincent’s hand shot at Eve’s face, she closed her eyes with her heart skipping a beat as if he was going to hit her. But she felt his finger move the bangs from her forehead. He said,

“And the night could be far worse if I didn’t get you out of there. You would be first serving and the other mermaid the second,” Vincent’s finger traced the mark on her forehead, which was healing. His finger moved to the centre before lightly flicking her forehead.

“Mm!” Eve slightly flinched and the vampire took his hand back.

Vincent said, “Be a good little girl and drop the idea.” He turned his back on her, ready to walk back into the crowd.

“Master Vincent,” Eve stopped him while staring at his silver hair. She said to him, “There have been times I wish there was someone who would have stopped the person from killing my mother. Someone who thought differently than others, so that I could still have my mother next to me alive.”

There had been countless scenarios that had passed Eve’s mind with the thought of ‘what if’, and even though she knew there was no point thinking about the what if’s, it made her yearn. If someone could be saved, she wanted to try. It would be one less unfortunate person in despair.

Vincent stopped and turned his body to face Eve. His eyes held a gleam of hollowness in them. There was a faint smile on his lips which was anything but kind, as he said,

“If you haven’t received the message yet, I don’t care about anyone except for myself and things that directly concern me. Not every person can be saved, and you will learn that there’s more disappointment ahead of you, the more you get tangled in something you want to untangle.”

Eve knew she shouldn’t expect anything from this vampire because the vampire’s elemental nature was supposed to be cold and ruthless. But she had hoped.

“Vampires don’t empathise,” whispered Eve and the smile on Vincent’s face widened.

“I think the word you are looking for is heartless? Others problems are others’ problems and not our problems. You should apply the same in your life, it will keep life hassle free,” replied Vincent without any emotion. As cold and emotionless his words and the look in his eyes held, Eve wasn’t upset by his words.

“Why?” Eve asked him, her eyebrows knitting closer. As much as Vincent appeared detached, she doubted he was completely that.

“There was once someone I knew, who was weak and reckless, similar to you. Died. If that’s what you want to know,” deadpanned Vincent. It was someone whom he loved and despised.

“But you will be with me…” she said slowly and received a glare from him. “You want me to save her by myself?”

“If you are that intent on putting yourself in trouble, let me know and I will drink until the last drop of blood in your body, my little mermaid.”

Vincent turned around and walked away from the place, leaving Eve staring at him until he disappeared into the crowd. Eve stood there for a minute more with her thoughts conflicted. She wished she would be able to do something.

“Eve!” She heard Rosetta call her from behind. “I was looking all over the place for you. What are you doing standing here?” The vampiress cautiously looked around as if making sure Vincent wasn’t around.

“I got lost in thoughts,” replied Eve.

“Here, I saved you the caramel sweetened stick for you,” Rosetta offered the stick of treats. “Aren’t I nice?”

Eve smiled at Rosetta’s child-like self, growing on her, and she nodded, “Thank you for your thoughtfulness, Rosetta.”

The vampiress said, “Come, there are some more stalls I want to visit,” and they walked back into the crowd. Rosetta, on noticing Eve to be quiet, asked, “Eve? Are you feeling unwell? You have been very quiet. Did someone say something to you?”

Eve shook her head, “Not at all.” When Rosetta gave a look, she smiled and said, “I saw some pretty items in one of the stalls. We should go there.”

“Oh? Why didn’t you tell me about it earlier,” said Rosetta, and they walked in the other direction. They spent two hours there before walking toward where Rosetta’s carriage was parked. She said, “Once I get home, I will bring Aunt Camille with me. She will be very pleased to know that I found a mermaid.”

Eve didn’t know how to respond to it except nod. She asked the vampiress, “Isn’t it odd, to drink blood from a creature that is unwilling and captured?”

“Hmm,” hummed Rosetta thoughtfully before she said, “I don’t think so. I mean, isn’t it how other animals are treated too? Cow, sheep, chicken? I think it’s just because you don’t eat it, that you feel that way. Food is food.”

Reaching the carriage, the coachman opened the door, and Rosetta was the first to step inside. The vampiress made her dress proper, and when Eve was about to step inside the carriage, a little boy ran up to her.

“Miss!” Said the boy, who was not older than eight. He offered a small note to her.

“For me? Who is it from?” Eve asked the boy and took the folded note in her hand. But the boy ran away without answering. She opened the little note that read—

‘Come to the tower bell.’

Chapter 148

Rosetta leaned forward, noticing Eve standing in front of the carriage door with her back facing her. She asked, “What happened, Eve?”

Eve stared at the note, which had no name and wondered who it could be from. It wasn’t like she knew many people in Hollow Valley. The tower bell wasn’t far from where she stood; people were still walking up and down the streets. Giving it some thought, she turned to Rosetta and said,

“I need to go meet someone. Will that be alright?”

“Now?” Rosetta raised her eyebrows, looking slightly impatient as she wanted to bring her aunt here. The quicker she would leave Hollow Valley, the faster she would return with her aunt and be able to drink from the mermaid. “How long will it take?”

“I am not sure,” Eve noticed Rosetta’s lips set themselves in a thin line and said, “Why don’t you go ahead, and I will use the local carriage to get back home?”

“Are you sure about it? If it isn’t long I can wait,” said the vampiress with a slight frown.

Eve nodded, “Yes. I will see you tomorrow.”

Turning away from the carriage, Eve started to walk in the direction where the tower bell was. Having heard the sound of the bell ring earlier over the crowd chatter and music playing in some corner of the streets.

When she came near the tower bell, she saw no one standing there and waiting for her. A few wealthy folks paid her no mind as they walked past her. She reread the note to ensure it read tower bell.

“So easy to kidnap,” said a voice from above, and Eve raised her head and looked at where the big bell was tied at the top of the tower bell. At the top stood Vincent, who was munching on an apple.

Eve stared at him. She somewhere had a feeling it was him who had sent her the note. She asked him, “Why did you ask me to meet you here?”

The people nearby turned to see why the woman was shouting at the tower bell.

“Come up,” said Vincent, taking another bite from the apple.

Eve pursed her lips before climbing up the spiral stairs. Reaching the end of the stair, she found the large bell tied to the tower’s ceiling. Vincent leaned the side of his body against one pillar that held the ceiling, and his legs crossed as he stared at her. He said,

“This place is more peaceful than the maddening crowd in the streets. The view is always better on the high road. Bought anything from the stalls?” He questioned.

“A person like me cannot afford anything here. I would have been able to if I had those gold coins that the council offered,” replied Eve, moving away from the bell and noticing the sky that now held streaks of blue, purple and orange.

Vincent’s lips twitched, and asked, “Upset that you are poor again?”

Eve asked him, “Why did you call me here?”

“I thought we could watch the sunset together,” stated Vincent with a serious expression.

“… is that all you wanted from me?”

Vincent’s eyes twinkled, taking another bite from the apple and munching it as he watched her. He pulled out something from his trouser pocket. When he threw it towards Eve, the metal made a clinking sound. Eve caught hold of it, noticing it was a coin with a skull symbol and a crown on top of it.

“What is this?”

“Your safety pass,” said Vincent after swallowing the piece of apple he ate, and he threw the remaining fruit behind him. “The next time something like last week happens, use this. It will work only with officials or guards. Not with an ordinary person like from your town, as they don’t know what it means. You will be safe until I want you to be.”

Eve ran her finger across the symbol and asked him, “Is this related to the safe registry you mentioned back in the council?”

“Mhm. Now is the time for you to thank me for it,” stated Vincent, and Eve bowed.

“Thank you,” she then raised her head. “Why didn’t you give it to me earlier?”

Hearing her question, Vincent looked amused. He said, “I would have if someone wasn’t watching you. Do you know whom I am speaking about?”

Eve’s eyebrows furrowed and she shook her head. “Whom are you talking about?” She was slightly upset with the conversation that they had earlier.

“I am done eating, shall we go shop now?” Vincent raised both his hands upwards and stretched his body. Bringing it down, he took one step backwards.

Eve’s eyes widened, noticing the vampire place his foot in the air. He then took another, and his body was pulled by gravity toward the ground. Her heart jumped to her throat and she quickly ran towards the edge and near the pillar. Leaning forward, she looked at the ground and didn’t find him there. Her heart was beating loudly.

“What are you looking at?” Vincent’s voice came behind her.

Startled, Eve spun around so fast that she almost fell off the tower bell if it weren’t for Vincent, who caught hold of her hand. She stood at the edge, holding his hand tightly and feeling her heart thumping. Though Vincent caught hold of Eve’s hand, he made no effort to pull her.

“I don’t think you are a fish, Ms. Barlow. You must be a cat with nine lives, don’t you think so?”

Eve asked him, “A-and all the lives are taken by you?” starting to feel dizzy with where she stood. The sun was starting to set, and the sky was welcoming darkness. She felt Vincent’s hand slowly starting to slip and though she knew he wouldn’t let her fall, it didn’t ease her anxious heart.

“You make me sound like a demon who is collecting your soul,” a grin appeared on Vincent’s lips, and he said, “But it is only right that I take it.”

Vincent pulled Eve towards him and away from the edge. She crashed into him, heaving for air. He got her to step away and be safe. She took a step away from him with her shaky legs.

Eve didn’t understand Vincent’s twisted humour or actions, but one of these days she was sure she would die of a heart attack. She said, “I think I should leave now. I am tired and it is getting dark.”

Vincent whistled and asked, “You don’t want to shop? I was planning on spending the gold coins that the council handed to me to give it to you.”

“I think this one time I will choose to be poor,” Eve replied and started to climb down the stairs. She heard Vincent’s footsteps behind her. “Thank you for the coin again, I very much appreciate your help.”

She heard him chuckle like a devil. When they reached the ground, he said,

“You sure you don’t want to buy anything? I found this shop which has the perfect item that you will like.” Eve shook her head. When she started to walk away from him, Vincent said, “What if I said it was a fish?”

Chapter 149

Hearing Vincent’s words, Eve turned back and stared into his coppery-red eyes, trying to see if he was serious or joking. She saw him walk towards her.

Eve asked him, “The big fish?”

She didn’t want him bringing up her hopes and taking her to look at the small ones contained in the bowls.

“I don’t mind if you want to buy a small fish. It will save money,” came Vincent’s vague answer.

Where they stood now, people walked up and down the path. Some gave looks at Eve, while some stared at the vampire with a head full of silver hair that resembled the lonely moon in a starless sky.

Eve hoped he was talking about the captured mermaid, and if he was, she wondered what had changed his mind in the last two hours. His earlier words had been harsh and straight, but here they were. On time, the tower bell next to them started to ring, loud and clear across the town of Hollow Valley. Vincent said,

“Let us go buy her before someone else does, shall we?”

Eve quickly followed Vincent’s footsteps, keeping up with his long legs as they walked away from the crowded part of the Hollow Valley. When the presence of the people turned scarce near them, she asked him,

“Do you know where the mermaid is being held?”

“Mhm,” Vincent hummed an answer and Eve’s mood brightened like a child. “Stay behind me and don’t talk or react if something happens. It would be hard to buy you back if you get caught. Okay?”

She nodded. This was the first time she would be meeting her kind and talking, knowing the person was a mermaid. Helping the mermaid back to where she belonged felt like the right thing to do. They walked through the expensive parts of the town before coming to narrow dark alleys.

Eve said, “I never knew this town had alleys like these.” It was because the place looked shady, as if bad things took place here.

“Every rich place has a spot like this. Just like every wealthy family or person holds a dark secret,” Vincent gave her a look when their eyes met before he looked ahead.

“Are you telling you or your family have a dark secret too? Like how you killed the governess?”

A slow smile spread on Vincent’s lips. He said,

“I guess you could say that,” there was humour in his eyes, which wasn’t one with goodness. As they continued walking, he said, “You could tell that these are the places the merchants mostly use, or where you would like to buy special or rare things from. It holds high end goods that are hidden from plain eyesight and can only be heard from word of mouth. Like bidding on an item, which in the open wouldn’t look pretty.”

“It’s good to know that people have a bit of conscience,” Eve murmured and Vincent smiled while he ran his tongue over one of his fangs.

They continued to walk through the narrow alleys and reached the place where they couldn’t hear any more chatter of people coming from the town’s centre. With a night that had fallen upon the lands, one could hear crickets chirping and frogs croaking.

Vincent stopped in front of a building. On noticing a lock on the door, Eve said,

“It is locked. The merchant isn’t here yet.”

“I can see that,” said Vincent, looking left and right with no one. He raised his foot and kicked open the door, for the door to bang open and hit the wall. “Now it’s open,” he offered her a bright smile.

Eve warily looked around before following him inside the building. She asked in worry, “Master Vincent, I don’t think eighty gold coins will be enough to buy a mermaid.”

“Is that so?” Vincent continued to walk inside the building.

Eve pursed her lips and continued walking behind him without question. She wondered where the mermaid was held. When Vincent went up the dark stairs to take a look, she looked through the ground floor of the building.

“Eve,” Vincent called her while climbing down the stairs.

“Did you find the mermaid?” Asked Eve.

“She’s not here. I didn’t want you getting lost and had to check you were still here,” a grin cracked on Vincent’s lips and he said, “The address was this place. Hm.”

Vincent’s eyes fell on a closed cupboard, and he opened it, noticing it was a passage to the next building. They bent their upper body, walking through the dusty passage before stepping into the other building. And there was the mermaid.

“We found her!” whispered Eve, noticing the mermaid was young. She was probably in her early teenage years and confined in a small glass tank.

When Eve ran toward the mermaid, the girl looked at her and the vampire in a fearful look. The young mermaid’s had green scales and a translucent green tail. The water in the tank was unclean, mixed with dirt and a hint of pink.

“Who are you…?” The young mermaid looked scared.

“We are here to help you,” Eve’s words were gentle, and the young mermaid’s eyes widened.

“You understand me,” the mermaid was in shock and for a moment, Eve was lost before it dawned on her. She turned to Vincent and asked,

“Did I–”

“Speak in mermaid language?” Asked Vincent and he gave her a nod. “It’s why I told you earlier to not speak. You will only bring in more attention to yourself. Considering how you are a mermaid, it is obvious that understanding the language runs in your blood which you aren’t aware of and probably have no control when it slips out.”

This was brand new information to Eve, and she decided to venture into it later once they helped this mermaid. She said,

“My name is Genevieve. You can call me Eve.”

The young mermaid’s eyes shifted from Eve to Vincent before looking back at Eve. She replied, “Isla.”

Eve asked Isla, “How did you come here? Do you know where you come from?”

Isla gave a confused look and said, “From the tank. How do you have legs?”

“I… Every mermaid can have legs if they use certain salts,” replied Eve. She turned to Vincent, who was staring at the two women. She said to him, “She must have been caught when she was very young and she has been living in the tank since then.”

“Not every mermaid can adapt like you. She probably had limited exposure which is why she doesn’t understand the human language,” stated Vincent and he said, “I think luck isn’t with you today, Eve.”

“What do you mean?” Eve asked him.

Suddenly the door to the building they were standing in opened, and in came the merchant whom Eve had seen and heard speak about possessing a mermaid when she was with Rosetta. He looked upset and angrily demanded,

“How did you two come here?! The door was locked,” the merchant quickly came to stand next to the tank inside where the young mermaid was.

“The door was broken,” said Vincent, confusing the merchant. “We are here to buy the mermaid.”

“She is not for sale!” Replied the merchant. Eve noticed the young mermaid move and catch hold of the merchant’s hand as if trying to seek comfort. The mermaid, Isla, looked scared of her and Vincent, not the merchant. “She goes nowhere. I am the one who raised her and she’s my property. Go find another mermaid.”

During that time, Isla turned to the merchant and said, “Do you know she’s a mermaid too and she has legs like you.”

For a moment, Eve turned worried before realising the merchant didn’t understand a word the young mermaid said to him. This was what Vincent meant. To the mermaid, this merchant was whom she depended on and was her caretaker. And that was despite the evident trace of scars and wounds inflicted on her body, which was why the tank had a tinge of pink in it.

“She is my mermaid, and I am not letting anyone take her away from me! Don’t you see that you are scaring her,” the merchant pointed, and the mermaid held on to the merchant’s hand, not wanting to part with the man.

This was the last thing that had occurred in Eve’s mind when she decided to save this mermaid.

Chapter 150

The young mermaid looked happy in the merchant’s presence, smiling as the man patted her head as if she was a pet and offered her a treat.

Eve turned to Vincent.

She whispered so that the merchant wouldn’t hear what she said to Vincent, “Can I get two minutes alone with her? Please.”

Vincent tilted his head before he took a step forward and said to the merchant, “I hear that you stole this mermaid from a wealthy family and they want her back. Do you know what happens to people who steal? Their hands are severed.”

“What? That’s rubbish!” The merchant denied the accusation and said, “I have this mermaid with me since she was this small,” he used both his hands to emphasise it.

“You don’t believe me? They are standing right outside in the alley,” stated Vincent, and without warning, caught the back of the merchant’s neck and dragged him out of the building.

Eve’s eyes moved from the door and fell on the young mermaid. She said, “Isla, I need you to listen to me carefully, okay?” And the mermaid’s eyebrows furrowed. “You are a mermaid, and you belong to the sea. I am sure your parents must be worried and looking for you.”

The young mermaid stared at Eve before shaking her head, “You are lying.”

“The tank isn’t your home and neither is that man, who has hurt you. I can help you,” Eve tried to make the girl understand in a gentle voice.

“I am bad sometimes, which is why he disciplines me. He’s a good man, what do you know about it? I am happy here and don’t need your help,” replied the mermaid, and this put Eve in a tough spot to help the girl. This mermaid was used to the life she had been living until now, believing this was normal when it was far from it.

“And what if he sells you to someone who offers him everything that he needs?” Questioned Eve, and the mermaid stared at her.

“You want to take me away from him…” Isla whispered. “You want to take my place!”

Oh dear, God! Eve exclaimed in her mind.

“There’s a life outside, far better than what you have right now, which isn’t right and wrong. Don’t you want to meet the people who love you? A place which has your kind, who will love and care for you. Where you won’t be left alone,” stated Eve with a frown.

“Why aren’t you home?” the girl questioned Eve, leaving the older mermaid speechless. The young mermaid turned upset and started screaming, which stunned Eve. Isla shouted, “I don’t want to go anywhere! This is my home!”

To a person who wasn’t a mermaid, the words from the girl were nothing less than a screeching sound, and even Eve winced.

The merchant ran inside, coming to the mermaid’s side and patting the girl’s head. He then glared at Eve and asked, “What did you try to do to her?”

“The appropriate question would be where did you find her. Did you capture her from the sea? Or at the shore?” Eve demanded from the merchant.

“I answer to no one,” harrumphed the merchant and he warned Eve, “Now it would be wise for you to get out of here as no person is bein–“the merchant choked on his words when Vincent caught hold of the human’s neck.

“What do you mean no one isn’t allowed?” Vincent questioned the merchant and said, “Why don’t you answer this lady’s questions and you can keep your head on your body?”

“Y-you are threatening me,” said the merchant and Vincent nodded solemnly.

“I am glad that you understand that much. Now start talking,” Vincent squeezed the merchant’s neck before dropping him to the ground. The human coughed while holding his neck.

“A few years ago, I found her washed up on the shore and brought her up. I stole her from no one!” cried the merchant. “Don’t you see we share a bond. She is mine.”

“You mean a bond of a master and a pet,” said Vincent, and he then turned to Eve, who was looking at the girl, who looked at Eve with a repulsive expression now.

The merchant said, “I have customers visiting me soon, and have to take her to another place.” While the young mermaid complained to the merchant, who only patted her head as he didn’t understand the mermaid’s words about what Eve said, Eve and Vincent stepped out of the building. The vampire slipped his hand into his trouser pockets and said,

“Like I said before, not everyone can be saved.”

“She’s been brainwashed,” Eve’s lips set themselves in a thin line.

“Mhm, which is why it would be difficult to make her see the normal view,” stated Vincent while he stared into her blue eyes. He continued, “I would have proposed to’ steal’ her from the merchant and put her back into the sea, but what’s the guarantee that she won’t swim back to the shore again in search of him and be caught by someone else?”

A sigh escaped from Eve’s lips, and it wasn’t out of relief. She asked Vincent, “Can a person’s mind and view ever change?”

“Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It is fifty-fifty,” responded Vincent.

He started to walk away from the building, and Eve stood there for a few seconds, staring at the closed door before she followed him. The alley they walked in was quiet, and somewhere at a distance, they could hear chatter from the crowd.

When the both of them re-entered the centre of the town, Eve turned behind to look in the direction where they had come from. Vincent said,

“Don’t be down. You tried.”

“One day I hope mermaids will be treated properly as persons, and not just food. I will aim for it,” Eve decided and one corner of Vincent’s lips pulled.

“What an ambitious thought,” remarked Vincent, and he said, “I look forward to that day.”

Eve bowed at him and said, “I should get going now… Thank you for offering your help, even though you didn’t want to at first. It means a lot.”

“I didn’t do it for you. I have my reasons.” When she raised her head, Vincent held out a bag in front of her, “This is for you.”

Taken aback by surprise, Eve asked, “Me?” Did he get something for her? Taking the bag, she found it to be slightly heavy and jingle. Her eyes widened, realising these were coins.

Back to the merchant who owned the young mermaid shifted the mermaid into a cart and carried her away from the place to another place, where soon the customers were expected to arrive. On the way, the cart wheels creaked, and he finally got into another building which was better in appearance.

“You are late,” said a man, who was another merchant like himself.

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“I had trouble before getting out, but that’s all sorted. Are the customers here yet?” Questioned the merchant.

“Not yet, but they will be here soon. How’s your mermaid doing?” Asked the man.

“As usual,” replied the merchant before placing the cart next to another tank, which was big and spacious. Inside it was an older mermaid, who noticed him and swam to where he was. The merchant pushed the cloth that had been covering his mermaid.

The older mermaid spoke to the merchant from her tank with a coy smile, “Hello, Mule. You said you were going to take me to the circus.”

“If you made yourself more appealing to the customers you would have been taken by now,” said the merchant before walking back to the other man and speaking.

The younger mermaid, who was in her smaller tank said, “You know I met a mermaid today.”

“I know. It is me,” the older mermaid slightly rolled her eyes, and before she could swim away, she heard the younger mermaid say,

“Not you, another one. One who could walk.”

Before she could know more from the smaller and unattractive mermaid, Isla’s merchant came to push her cart on which the tank was placed to the other side as one of the customers had just arrived.

The older mermaid’s eyes narrowed, wondering who this lucky mermaid was out and free, unlike them, who were stuck inside the four walls made of glass.