“Not all magicians wreck havoc on people’s lives,” argued Sylvia. “In fact, most travel from village to village and use their skills to help others. There was one that stayed with my family for about a week. Everyday after breakfast, he taught me a new spell like how to make water instantly hot without using fire.”
“So he took up free lodging, ate your family’s food and encouraged you to be a lazy child.” V and his horse managed to snort at the same time. “Yes, that sounds quite helpful.”
“He assisted my parents with the daily chores while he stayed and left me a spell book to practice with.” Sylvia stuck her chin up. “I think you simply have the same fallacious opinion about magicians that most have about vampires.”
“And I think you are too young and unwise for us to have a reasonable discussion on the matter.” V stared ahead of him and said nothing afterwards. Sylvia wasn’t certain whether the vampire was deep in thought or pretending to ignore her. She was nearly convinced of the latter until he randomly spoke to the air in front of him. “Did the visiting magician leave you with the pendant you carry?”
Sylvia wrinkled her nose, remembering how she found the pendant lying on the kitchen floor. “I’m not sure.”
“Not sure?” Deigen repeated, bringing his horse up to the side of the cart again. “How can you not be sure?”
“Well, I sort of found it after he left.” She took a peek at the black stone as though it would share its mysteries with her. “And I was going to just hold on to it until he came back. Except he’s been gone for over a month and now everyone has disappeared from my village.” Sylvia looked up to find all eyes on her.
“Disappeared?” asked Bastiick. “Where did they go?”
“Well if I knew, I wouldn’t have just said they disappeared now would I?” Sylvia rolled her eyes at him. “The only thing I found when I got home was a letter from my mother telling me some woman came looking for me. The letter told me to go see my uncle because she thought I would be safer with him.”
V turned his head to face her and raised his hand, counting off on his fingers. “A stranger leaves a trinket worth some possible value behind. They oddly neglect to return for it. A month later everyone in your village vanishes and your missing parents warn that someone was looking for you.” The vampire directed his horse to the right, snatching the reins out of Sylvia’s hand and leading her mule along.
“Hey, where are you going!” yelled Sylvia, trying to grab her reins back. “You’re taking us off the road!”
“Exactly.” V hopped off his horse and pointed at a stone building in front of them, lantern light streaming out of its many windows. “This is one of the last inns available to us before leaving town limits and will be where we stay tonight. You have someone hunting for either you or that pendant and we will not be dealing with them in the dark. We’ll sleep here and continue in the morning.”
“In the morning?” Sylvia wagged her finger between the two vampires. “You can’t travel in the morning.”
Deigen slid off his horse, sharing her look of confusion. “Why not?”
“You’re vampires, don’t you turn into ash or burst into flames in broad daylight?”
Another round of chuckles emitting from Bastiick alerted Sylvia that she must have been the victim of yet another vampire misconception he shared in the creation of.
“No dear.” V cupped a pale hand over his forehead as though her ignorance were causing physical pain by this point. “We walk in daylight just the same as moonlight. Careful on a full moon, however, we turn into werewolves.”
“Really?” Sylvia asked excitedly, happy to have at least one supernatural element of the world understood.
Deigen and V turned to her and shouted in unison. “No!”