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Chapter 1: Red Eyes

Description: The traveling merchant Leuven stops his covered wagon by the roadside to take a rest when he hears strange noises coming from the woods. Perhaps it would have been better to stay at home rather than venture out into the dark and brutal world. However, a stranger rushes to his aid. This stranger, however, does not seem to be like a normal human.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5


Part 5

Evan left the castle before daybreak.

Unnoticed, he slipped past the guards, climbed over ladders and crates to scale the wall enclosing the courtyard, landing on the other side with a swift jump.

Thanks to the demonic part of his blood, a human would have shattered countless bones attempting such a leap, but his body could handle jumps from such heights.

Vermeer’s voice echoed in the darkness. “The sir is leaving us?”

Startled, the half-demon turned to face him.

He sighed. “Marie, right?”

“She has described your departure in great detail, as well as your escape over the wall. Remarkable, but only half as remarkable as your battle with the Hintz,” Vermeer spoke.

“A blessing and a curse, I would say. What do you want? Has the lord ordered my execution?”

“No. You are leaving us without your payment,” Vermeer replied.

“My payment,” Evan sounded surprised, “his wife is dead, so the payment is void.”

Vermeer cleared his throat. “The order was to drive away the ghost, and you have fulfilled that order. The lord is a man of honor. He keeps his promises.”

“Really? Wasn’t his plan to have me executed anyway?” Evan retorted. “Be that as it may, the horse belongs to Leuven. Give it to him so he can move on.”

“We will. But you should also be rewarded.”

“I don’t need a reward; I’ll simply slip away quietly.”

“As you wish. We will leave the horse for sir Leuven.”

“Farewell, Vermeer. Take care of the lord. He will need your services. I hope peace will soon return to the castle.”

“I will take care of the Lord.”

Evan nodded with satisfaction.

“Farewell, sir.”

Vermeer crossed his arms behind his back and turned to leave. Then he paused briefly.

“Oh,” he said, “I almost forgot. Madame de Boer gave me this letter for you.”

The chamberlain handed it to Evan.

Baffled, he looked at the piece of parchment and tucked it away. “Thank you.”

Vermeer bowed and departed.

For a moment, the half-demon watched him thoughtfully and ultimately disappeared into the darkness.

After hours of wandering, the sun was already at its zenith when Evan took a break by a stream.

It was a warm autumn day, and gentle ripples formed in the crystal-clear water.

It was quiet, with only the falling leaves of deciduous trees and the faint breeze playing a gentle tune.

Evan had chosen a spot not far from the road.

The rest would be brief – a short breather, a few minutes to relax. Nothing more.

He sat down in the yellow-green grass and examined the letter in his hand.

Evan unfolded the parchment and read it attentively.

A smile played on his face.

He placed the letter in his satchel and leaned back.

The sun dazzled him.

The stream sparkled like a thousand stars in the night.

He rarely allowed himself such a moment of peace.

When he wasn’t on the move, he sought solitude in old ruins or caves, far away from those who might pursue him.

He sighed.

This moment relaxed him, but he knew it was short-lived.

After Evan rose and brushed the leaves and grass from his pants, he heard a whistle in the distance.

A small hill led to the sandy road, riddled with potholes.

From afar, he recognized the wagon, approaching directly toward him.

Leuven jumped off the driver’s seat with a broad grin when he reached the half-demon, causing his entire wagon to wobble.

“I finally caught up with you,” he said joyfully.

“The question is, why are you doing this?” Evan replied, slightly annoyed.

“I offered to take you to Rabensberg, and that offer still stands,” the young merchant answered.

“After all that has happened, you still want to take me with you?” Evan asked, bewildered.

“Of course. You saved my life; it’s the least I can do for you.”

“I may have saved your life, but you saw who I am, what I am.”

“A half-demon. I knew that already. Now, don’t look at me like that. I told you I would take you to the capital, and I keep my promises.”

The half-demon fell silent.

“Hey, look, at least I got a new horse,” Leuven said, stroking the mane of his mare. “Isn’t she a beauty? They call this breed Chestnut, did you know that?”

“I did.”

“Unlike my old girl, she’s in the prime of her life. With her, we’ll reach Rabensberg in no time.”

Evan scrutinized the horse closely. Indeed, she was well-kept. But he expected nothing less from a noble.

Moreover, it seemed Vermeer had been a diligent person.

Even if he wasn’t the stable boy, the chamberlain had surely taken good care of the horses, even if it wasn’t his primary duty.

“Do you have a name for her?” he asked eventually.

“A name? What didn’t you like about ‘Girl’?” Leuven thought for a moment, stroking his chin.

“Girl is not a name. Such a creature needs a proper name.”

“Is that so? How about Susi?”

“Not at all.”

“Gertrude?”

“No.”

“Georgina!”

“Stop it.”

Evan tossed his bag onto the driver’s seat and climbed on. “To Rabensberg, and then our paths will part for good.”

Leuven looked at him forlornly but kept quiet.

The wagon swayed as he also climbed onto the driver’s seat.

“I never thought the lord would reward us,” Evan admitted.

“You did your job; nothing more was required. As a lord, he must stand by his word. It’s an unwritten law.”

“And do you have knowledge of that?”

“Everyone knows that.”

Evan gave the young merchant an intense look.

Before Leuven took the reins, his expression turned sour.

“I still don’t fully understand what happened,” Leuven admitted. “I had a terrible dream.”

“You really don’t know what happened?” The half-demon looked disbelieving.

“No, I had a dream about something that happened years ago,” Leuven lowered his voice. “Something I had actually repressed.”

“The Hintz had crept into your dreams,” Evan explained. “He wanted to feed on your fears, just as he did with everyone else in the castle.”

“Really?” Leuven looked surprised. “It was truly terrifying. I had hoped to have a good night’s sleep for once, but that didn’t happen.”

He took the reins firmly. “Well, we have a long journey ahead.”

The young merchant urged the mare, which immediately began to move.

Evan pushed aside the wagon’s tarp and squeezed inside. He settled between two old crates.

“You don’t need to hide,” Leuven said, peering into the wagon.

“But I haven’t slept for days, so I’ll close my eyes for a few hours. Besides, I don’t like traveling during the day.”

“Why not?” Leuven asked.

“Royal patrols, demon hunters, angry peasants with pitchforks. Take your pick.”

Leuven gazed at the road.

“How is the lord doing, by the way?” Evan asked, although he already knew the answer.

More importantly, he was interested in whether he had to fear being pursued by the lord’s guards.

“I haven’t seen him since last night. Nobody has. But you can hear the wailing from his room. It’s terrible; I can’t even imagine how he must be feeling.”

“I can imagine. I had hoped to do more.”

“No one could have foreseen what would happen.”

“Not even Marie, it seems,” Evan added.

“Oh, by the way, Marie. She also made a swift departure. Vermeer told me she collected her pay and left the courtyard just before dawn.”

“That was probably for the best.”

Leuven fell silent.

The wagon’s wheels rattled on the uneven terrain. Their path led north, but for now, they followed the road toward the shining sun.

Lord Dancker sat alone at his massive desk.

In front of him was a jug of wine, and his face bore the marks of tears and despair.

He stared at the papers scattered messily before him.

Grief held him tightly, and the wine in his jug couldn’t dull the pain.

A soft knock on the door startled him from his somber thoughts.

The door opened, and Vermeer entered quietly.

His face mirrored concern as he observed his master’s shattered state.

“My lord,” Vermeer said gently, “is there anything I can do for you?”

Lord Dancker, visibly inebriated, looked up, his eyes red with sorrow and tears. He gazed at the empty papers before him, muttering to himself.

“This damn half-demon!” he eventually burst out, bitterness in his voice. “It’s his fault, Vermeer. He brought misfortune to my beloved wife and drove her to death. I should have him and that witch pursued. They must pay for their deeds.”

Vermeer attempted to console his lord, as he approached the desk. “My lord, I understand your pain, but consider that he saved us from that demon. Let us think and then act.”

Lord Dancker vacillated between anger and grief. He searched Vermeer’s face for a glimmer of hope. “You’re right, Vermeer; I must not be led by my emotions. But this debt will not go unpaid.”

The two men shared a moment of silence, in which the weight of the moment hung between them.

“Vermeer,” lord Dancker sighed and looked at his empty jug, “could you fetch me more wine? I’m afraid I need it to numb the pain.”

Vermeer nodded sympathetically and placed a bottle he had already held in his hand on the lord’s desk.

Lord Dancker took the bottle, uncorked it, and poured himself a generous measure of wine.

He downed it without hesitation, as if trying to drown his bitter thoughts and grief with every sip.

Vermeer stood there silently, watching his lord.

With a wild gesture, Lord Dancker slammed his fist on the table, and the dull thud echoed through the room.

He emphasized his confusion and frustration, speaking with a raised voice, “Vermeer, I just can’t fathom how this could have happened. Why a demon would haunt our castle, kill my beloved wife, and inflict all this suffering upon me? It makes no sense, Vermeer, no sense!”

His words were filled with despair as he cursed the dark secrets and inexplicable events that had befallen his life.

Vermeer hesitated for a moment before speaking calmly, “I fear, your wife committed a terrible deed and had to be held accountable for her actions.”

The words of the chamberlain hit Lord Dancker like an icy gust of wind. At first, he was perplexed, and then a raging anger overtook him. “What do you dare to claim, Vermeer? That my wife is to blame for all this misery? How dare you say such a thing?”

Vermeer maintained an unwavering gaze and spoke calmly, “She received what she deserved, my lord, just as you deserve the pain you are currently enduring.”

The words of the chamberlain ignited the flames of Lord Dancker’s rage. He shouted at Vermeer, his face contorted in anger, “You dare to stand against me and condemn my wife? You miserable fool; you will face the consequences of your words!”

Lord Dancker rose from his desk and stormed toward Vermeer, ready to unleash his anger on him.

Suddenly, in the midst of his fury, he stopped in his tracks, clutching his throat.

A sharp pain coursed through his neck, and he felt the air escape from his lungs.

His eyes widened, and panic filled his face as he looked at Vermeer.

The lord dropped to his knees, gasping for air and struggling to breathe.

His face grew pale, and he could barely utter words. Amid his labored breaths, he asked Vermeer, “What have you done?”

Vermeer gazed at the suffering Lord with a stoic expression, devoid of remorse but filled with cold determination.

Vermeer’s body began to tremble, and his form changed before Dancker’s eyes.

In place of the chamberlain stood a shrouded, enigmatic figure, cloaked in darkness.

Lord Dancker stared in increasing horror at this apparition, his wheezing and gasping growing more desperate. His eyes were filled with terror.

The shrouded figure silently moved to the desk and took the bottle of wine.

Meanwhile, the lord collapsed onto the ground.

Foam formed at his mouth, and his convulsions grew weaker until he lay still.

“You are no longer of use to me,” the enigmatic figure said, with a laughing, shrill voice. “I now understand Evan Dhorne’s capabilities. You have done me a great service.”

Life left Dancker’s eyes, and his final breath filled his lungs as the enigmatic figure left the room, leaving him in solitary darkness.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5


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darkest blood chapter 2 hunters and hunted

Chapter 2: Hunters and Hunted

Description: Evan and Leuven have left Haren Castle. On their arduous journey to the capital Rabensberg, Leuven only really realizes what a dangerous world he has ventured into. But even though he had hoped to continue to feel secure in the security that Evan offered him, Evan has other plans. They part ways as the half-demon prepares to meet an old acquaintance.

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Chapter 1:
Red Eyes

Description: The traveling merchant Leuven stops his covered wagon by the roadside to take a rest when he hears strange noises coming from the woods. Perhaps it would have been better to stay at home rather than venture out into the dark and brutal world. However, a stranger rushes to his aid. This stranger, however, does not seem to be like a normal human.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Part 5

Evan left the castle before daybreak.

Unnoticed, he slipped past the guards, climbed over ladders and crates to scale the wall enclosing the courtyard, landing on the other side with a swift jump.

Thanks to the demonic part of his blood, a human would have shattered countless bones attempting such a leap, but his body could handle jumps from such heights.

Vermeer’s voice echoed in the darkness. “The sir is leaving us?”

Startled, the half-demon turned to face him.

He sighed. “Marie, right?”

“She has described your departure in great detail, as well as your escape over the wall. Remarkable, but only half as remarkable as your battle with the Hintz,” Vermeer spoke.

“A blessing and a curse, I would say. What do you want? Has the lord ordered my execution?”

“No. You are leaving us without your payment,” Vermeer replied.

“My payment,” Evan sounded surprised, “his wife is dead, so the payment is void.”

Vermeer cleared his throat. “The order was to drive away the ghost, and you have fulfilled that order. The lord is a man of honor. He keeps his promises.”

“Really? Wasn’t his plan to have me executed anyway?” Evan retorted. “Be that as it may, the horse belongs to Leuven. Give it to him so he can move on.”

“We will. But you should also be rewarded.”

“I don’t need a reward; I’ll simply slip away quietly.”

“As you wish. We will leave the horse for sir Leuven.”

“Farewell, Vermeer. Take care of the lord. He will need your services. I hope peace will soon return to the castle.”

“I will take care of the Lord.”

Evan nodded with satisfaction.

“Farewell, sir.”

Vermeer crossed his arms behind his back and turned to leave. Then he paused briefly.

“Oh,” he said, “I almost forgot. Madame de Boer gave me this letter for you.”

The chamberlain handed it to Evan.

Baffled, he looked at the piece of parchment and tucked it away. “Thank you.”

Vermeer bowed and departed.

For a moment, the half-demon watched him thoughtfully and ultimately disappeared into the darkness.

After hours of wandering, the sun was already at its zenith when Evan took a break by a stream.

It was a warm autumn day, and gentle ripples formed in the crystal-clear water.

It was quiet, with only the falling leaves of deciduous trees and the faint breeze playing a gentle tune.

Evan had chosen a spot not far from the road.

The rest would be brief – a short breather, a few minutes to relax. Nothing more.

He sat down in the yellow-green grass and examined the letter in his hand.

Evan unfolded the parchment and read it attentively.

A smile played on his face.

He placed the letter in his satchel and leaned back.

The sun dazzled him.

The stream sparkled like a thousand stars in the night.

He rarely allowed himself such a moment of peace.

When he wasn’t on the move, he sought solitude in old ruins or caves, far away from those who might pursue him.

He sighed.

This moment relaxed him, but he knew it was short-lived.

After Evan rose and brushed the leaves and grass from his pants, he heard a whistle in the distance.

A small hill led to the sandy road, riddled with potholes.

From afar, he recognized the wagon, approaching directly toward him.

Leuven jumped off the driver’s seat with a broad grin when he reached the half-demon, causing his entire wagon to wobble.

“I finally caught up with you,” he said joyfully.

“The question is, why are you doing this?” Evan replied, slightly annoyed.

“I offered to take you to Rabensberg, and that offer still stands,” the young merchant answered.

“After all that has happened, you still want to take me with you?” Evan asked, bewildered.

“Of course. You saved my life; it’s the least I can do for you.”

“I may have saved your life, but you saw who I am, what I am.”

“A half-demon. I knew that already. Now, don’t look at me like that. I told you I would take you to the capital, and I keep my promises.”

The half-demon fell silent.

“Hey, at least I got a new horse,” Leuven said, stroking the mane of his mare. “Isn’t she a beauty? They call this breed Chestnut, did you know that?”

“I did.”

“Unlike my old girl, she’s in the prime of her life. With her, we’ll reach Rabensberg in no time.”

Evan scrutinized the horse closely. Indeed, she was well-kept. But he expected nothing less from a noble.

Moreover, it seemed Vermeer had been a diligent person.

Even if he wasn’t the stable boy, the chamberlain had surely taken good care of the horses, even if it wasn’t his primary duty.

“Do you have a name for her?” he asked eventually.

“A name? What didn’t you like about ‘Girl’?” Leuven thought for a moment, stroking his chin.

“Girl is not a name. Such a creature needs a proper name.”

“Is that so? How about Susi?”

“Not at all.”

“Gertrude?”

“No.”

“Georgina!”

“Stop it.”

Evan tossed his bag onto the driver’s seat and climbed on. “To Rabensberg, and then our paths will part for good.”

Leuven looked at him forlornly but kept quiet.

The wagon swayed as he also climbed onto the driver’s seat.

“I never thought the lord would reward us,” Evan admitted.

“You did your job; nothing more was required. As a lord, he must stand by his word. It’s an unwritten law.”

“And do you have knowledge of that?”

“Everyone knows that.”

Evan gave the young merchant an intense look.

Before Leuven took the reins, his expression turned sour.

“I still don’t fully understand what happened,” Leuven admitted. “I had a terrible dream.”

“You really don’t know what happened?” The half-demon looked disbelieving.

“No, I had a dream about something that happened years ago,” Leuven lowered his voice. “Something I had actually repressed.”

“The Hintz had crept into your dreams,” Evan explained. “He wanted to feed on your fears, just as he did with everyone else in the castle.”

“Really?” Leuven looked surprised. “It was truly terrifying. I had hoped to have a good night’s sleep for once, but that didn’t happen.”

He took the reins firmly. “Well, we have a long journey ahead.”

The young merchant urged the mare, which immediately began to move.

Evan pushed aside the wagon’s tarp and squeezed inside. He settled between two old crates.

“You don’t need to hide,” Leuven said, peering into the wagon.

“But I haven’t slept for days, so I’ll close my eyes for a few hours. Besides, I don’t like traveling during the day.”

“Why not?” Leuven asked.

“Royal patrols, demon hunters, angry peasants with pitchforks. Take your pick.”

Leuven gazed at the road.

“How is the lord doing, by the way?” Evan asked, although he already knew the answer.

More importantly, he was interested in whether he had to fear being pursued by the lord’s guards.

“I haven’t seen him since last night. Nobody has. But you can hear the wailing from his room. It’s terrible; I can’t even imagine how he must be feeling.”

“I can imagine. I had hoped to do more.”

“No one could have foreseen what would happen.”

“Not even Marie, it seems,” Evan added.

“Oh, by the way, Marie. She also made a swift departure. Vermeer told me she collected her pay and left the courtyard just before dawn.”

“That was probably for the best.”

Leuven fell silent.

The wagon’s wheels rattled on the uneven terrain. Their path led north, but for now, they followed the road toward the shining sun.

Lord Dancker sat alone at his massive desk.

In front of him was a jug of wine, and his face bore the marks of tears and despair.

He stared at the papers scattered messily before him.

Grief held him tightly, and the wine in his jug couldn’t dull the pain.

A soft knock on the door startled him from his somber thoughts.

The door opened, and Vermeer entered quietly.

His face mirrored concern as he observed his master’s shattered state.

“My lord,” Vermeer said gently, “is there anything I can do for you?”

Lord Dancker, visibly inebriated, looked up, his eyes red with sorrow and tears. He gazed at the empty papers before him, muttering to himself.

“This damn half-demon!” he eventually burst out, bitterness in his voice. “It’s his fault, Vermeer. He brought misfortune to my beloved wife and drove her to death. I should have him and that witch pursued. They must pay for their deeds.”

Vermeer attempted to console his lord, as he approached the desk. “My lord, I understand your pain, but consider that he saved us from that demon. Let us think and then act.”

Lord Dancker vacillated between anger and grief. He searched Vermeer’s face for a glimmer of hope. “You’re right, Vermeer; I must not be led by my emotions. But this debt will not go unpaid.”

The two men shared a moment of silence, in which the weight of the moment hung between them.

“Vermeer,” lord Dancker sighed and looked at his empty jug, “could you fetch me more wine? I’m afraid I need it to numb the pain.”

Vermeer nodded sympathetically and placed a bottle he had already held in his hand on the lord’s desk.

Lord Dancker took the bottle, uncorked it, and poured himself a generous measure of wine.

He downed it without hesitation, as if trying to drown his bitter thoughts and grief with every sip.

Vermeer stood there silently, watching his lord.

With a wild gesture, Lord Dancker slammed his fist on the table, and the dull thud echoed through the room.

He emphasized his confusion and frustration, speaking with a raised voice, “Vermeer, I just can’t fathom how this could have happened. Why a demon would haunt our castle, kill my beloved wife, and inflict all this suffering upon me? It makes no sense, Vermeer, no sense!”

His words were filled with despair as he cursed the dark secrets and inexplicable events that had befallen his life.

Vermeer hesitated for a moment before speaking calmly, “I fear, your wife committed a terrible deed and had to be held accountable for her actions.”

The words of the chamberlain hit Lord Dancker like an icy gust of wind. At first, he was perplexed, and then a raging anger overtook him. “What do you dare to claim, Vermeer? That my wife is to blame for all this misery? How dare you say such a thing?”

Vermeer maintained an unwavering gaze and spoke calmly, “She received what she deserved, my lord, just as you deserve the pain you are currently enduring.”

The words of the chamberlain ignited the flames of Lord Dancker’s rage. He shouted at Vermeer, his face contorted in anger, “You dare to stand against me and condemn my wife? You miserable fool; you will face the consequences of your words!”

Lord Dancker rose from his desk and stormed toward Vermeer, ready to unleash his anger on him.

Suddenly, in the midst of his fury, he stopped in his tracks, clutching his throat.

A sharp pain coursed through his neck, and he felt the air escape from his lungs.

His eyes widened, and panic filled his face as he looked at Vermeer.

The lord dropped to his knees, gasping for air and struggling to breathe.

His face grew pale, and he could barely utter words. Amid his labored breaths, he asked Vermeer, “What have you done?”

Vermeer gazed at the suffering Lord with a stoic expression, devoid of remorse but filled with cold determination.

Vermeer’s body began to tremble, and his form transformed before Dancker’s eyes.

In place of the chamberlain stood a shrouded, enigmatic figure, cloaked in darkness.

Lord Dancker stared in increasing horror at this apparition, his wheezing and gasping growing more desperate. His eyes were filled with terror.

The shrouded figure silently moved to the desk and took the bottle of wine.

Meanwhile, the lord collapsed onto the ground.

Foam formed at his mouth, and his convulsions grew weaker until he lay still.

“You are no longer of use to me,” the enigmatic figure said. “I now understand Evan Dhorne’s capabilities. You have done me a great service.”

Life left Dancker’s eyes, and his final breath filled his lungs as the enigmatic figure left the room, leaving him in solitary darkness.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5


Read the next chapter right now

darkest blood chapter 2 hunters and hunted

Chapter 2:
Hunters and Hunted

Description: Evan and Leuven have left Haren Castle. On their arduous journey to the capital Rabensberg, Leuven only really realizes what a dangerous world he has ventured into. But even though he had hoped to continue to feel secure in the security that Evan offered him, Evan has other plans. They part ways as the half-demon prepares to meet an old acquaintance.

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