Chapter 13: First steps

There were still more to kill and so she went about her dirty business, slaughtering the hapless and unfortunate people who had made this brothel their stay for the night. There was much she still didn’t understand, and the sights and smells she experienced in that place were all new to her.

I’ll ask my master when the time is appropriate.

She thought it must be something of significance since every Human she killed that night, beside the burly man at the door, was partaking in it. Massacring the humans in the brothel was a simple task. Most of the people didn’t even notice her presence until they lost their lives and the few that did notice her didn’t even seem alarmed at her presence. They welcomed her, calling her over to partake in their strange ritual.

Surprisingly, they didn’t question the blood on her naked body. Instead they were becoming visibly aroused by it, though she didn’t understand why that at the time

Would master have the same reaction? I feel disgusting though…

Once the deed was done, she returned to the room where her master was and found him sitting on the bed. He still hadn’t put on any clothes, but he had wrapped his face in cloth once more as if that were the most important place he needed to cover. Lenia observed her master to see if there were any reactions to seeing her naked and covered in blood but there were none that she could tell. If he had a reaction she might have to consider doing it more often.

After observing for a moment, Lenia quickly kneeled down before him and said, “Master, they are all dead.”

She seemed to have disrupted him from his thoughts and felt a pang of guilt for disturbing him. He paid it no mind much to her relief, “Good. Lenia, you did well. I am pleased.”

Her heart fluttered at his words of praise and she felt her face getting hot. She quickly stammered,

“No.. no need to praise me master, I was simply doing your will.” She had somewhat lost her cool but quickly collected herself. She didn’t want to look the fool in front of her creator.

He looked at her through the slit in the cloth, but she couldn’t tell what his expression was. His voice was gentle when speaking with her, “A kind master should always praise his subordinates. Especially when they do good and Lenia, you do not need to call me master. Call me Aleksandros.”

“But master, how can I call you by your name? You are my creator, it would be disrespectful to call you anything but!” Lenia couldn’t justify in her mind the thought of showing anything but the utmost respect for the one who created her.

“Lenia, it would be a great pleasure for me if you called me by that name. Isn’t that enough?”

She had no words to refute his request for her heart only burned ever brighter. Her master had bestowed upon her a great gift, his name. He even said it would please him if she called him by it. She didn’t want to disappoint him.

“Alek-sandros.” She said his name while testing it on her tongue.

Her master looked at her with his covered face. She wished she could see his expression and thought it a shame that he had covered his face again. Seeing him gave her comfort.

“Hmm.. or Aleks will do.” He added almost as an afterthought, but in his mind he was somewhat nervous. It was a foreign feeling to him but that was what his mother called him when she was alive and the memory sent a slight wave through his heart.

Outwardly he may have seemed calm, cold, and devoid of emotion but inwardly he was a mess in many ways.

“Lenia, come with me.”

Lenia quickly rose and followed her master out of the room and into the first room where she had killed another.

“Lenia, did you know that when a person dies their soul remains within their body for three days before it ascends?” He said this while standing over the dead bodies of the man and woman she had killed earlier.

“No mas…Aleks, I didn’t know that.” She didn’t really know how to respond to him, her knowledge of life, in general, was still very limited. Still she was curious and decided to ask more, “What is a soul?”

Her master continued to look down at the dead humans while he answered her, “A soul is what we really are. It is more than just our consciousness, it is our very essence and it resides deep within our physical form in a very special place. These humans you see here, normally their souls would ascend to a certain place.. Well, I don’t need to talk much about that place but they would be eventually reincarnated into new lives.”

Aleks paused for a moment and turned to Lenia saying in a deep tone, “However, these souls won’t be going there.At least not at the moment.”

His answer made some sense to her, because she thought she could feel some kind of connection within her to her master. She wondered if that connection had something to do with her soul

When Lenia heard the last part of what her master said she didn’t understand what he meant. She crinkled her nose curiously and asked, “What do you mean their souls won’t be going there at the moment?”

For a moment Aleks said nothing. He was surprised by her cute gesture and was momentarily at a loss for words.

“Let me show you.”

Aleks unwrapped the piece of cloth covering his mouth. To Lenia’s surprise, her master opened his jaw wide and sucked something right out of the two dead humans. She couldn’t believe what she had seen and she couldn’t really describe it in words, but something was sucked out of the humans. Normally, this wasn’t something a person could see but Lenia could.

Her master seemed satisfied and turned to her, he appeared to be smiling.

“Did you see? Their souls are now a part of me and have become my strength. Well, it isn’t so simple as just that. Souls are eternal, they can’t be destroyed as long as the Origin of the world they are bound to exists within the world in some shape or form. I won’t get too technical here, but even these souls I devour, they aren’t truly being consumed by me. Beings that have souls, over time and as they experience life growing ever stronger, their souls develop potential. It is this potential that the gods crave and it is also this potential that gives me my power. Once the potential of their souls have been completely absorbed within my body, their souls eventually will return to the cycle of reincarnation to be born again.”

Lenia was having some difficulty understanding her master’s explanation and she looked at him with a perplexed expression.

“If you don’t understand, that’s fine. It’s enough if you realize that devouring souls makes me stronger.”

She nodded her head, she could easily understand that her master not only could create life like hers, but he could also take the very essence of others by force and grow stronger.

She didn’t feel much pity towards the humans who had lost their souls and said with a smile, “It is good that such worthless beings have become your strength!”

She believed her words had pleased Aleksandros.

“Lenia, I want you to find some suitable clothing from within this building for both yourself and I. Take whatever you see which might be of some value but be careful when choosing so that you only take something that will not go amiss.”

Lenia nodded and quickly went about her master’s orders. She did wonder whether any of these humans would have suitable clothing for them to wear, but she didn’t question her master’s command.

She went about the various rooms looking for anything useful or of some value as well as clothing for them to wear. She needed to find clothing which had not been bloodied or dirtied in any way. Her master had commanded her not to take anything which would be noticed, but she wasn’t entirely sure what he meant by that.

Noticed by who? She thought to herself.

She scavenged through the belongings and found what she believed to be suitable clothing to wear. She had also taken a few knick knacks here and there that seemed like they might be of some value. While Aleksandros was busy devouring the souls of those she killed something had caught her attention just as she was returning.

It was the glint of a bracelet that had belonged to one of the prettier women in this place. She had never seen a bracelet like this before and it wasn’t just pretty to her eyes it was simply beautiful.The bracelet was made of gold with several gems embedded in it. She stared at it not sure at what she should do.

Was this one of those things her master had warned her against taking, an item that if missing would be noticed?

Her hand glided along the surface of the bracelet and she was tempted to put it on her wrist. It looked beautiful on her and the more she looked at it the more she wished to keep it. In the end she decided to take it with her and like a child, hid it so that her master wouldn’t notice.

She would surprise him when the moment was right thinking that if he saw it on her later, it would please him and he would look at her and only her. This was a simple and childish thought stemming from her jealous nature but her mind was still developing.

She returned to her master who had finally finished devouring the souls of all the people within the building. She held out the loot she had scavenged from her victims and beamed a bright smile at him.

“Look! Aleks, I did what you asked! Are these valuable?” she happily asked.

He seemed to be satisfied with her performance, but it could have just been her imagination. It was difficult to see his facial expressions under the cloth but he patted her head and said, “You have done well. We can sell some of these things to buy food and other necessities and these clothes you chose are better than what I was wearing before. You have a good eye for these things.”

Every word of praise made her smile all the more. “Thank you master! Oops! I mean.. Aleks.”

Her master chuckled, it was the first time she heard him laugh.

“Let us get dressed and return home, we have much to do.”

They quickly dressed and Lenia followed her master outside and into the night, through the dark alleys of the city. He led her into the sewers beneath the city of Andor’s Edge. She followed him for some time. She tried her best to remember the various landmarks her master pointed out to her and the twists and turns they needed to make. Her master made sure she understood that it was important she learnt how to navigate the sewers so that she could find her way to their home.

Why does my master live in such a disgusting and dreary place though? I just don’t understand.

There was quite a lot about her master that she couldn’t understand. His actions seemed strange to her.

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