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Thomas arrived at the scene by noon. The area was outside of the slums, so the upper-class came outside from their luxurious mansions and were staring at a sewage entrance with a few guards in front. The guards had bright red armour that was expensive, they were probably the bodyguards of some of the nobles, usually retired Kingdom Corps’ members.

 

“Finally here! Took you long enough,” one of the nobles quipped in a displeased voice.

 

Ugh. Thomas cringed as he looked into the dirty sewer that prevented the kingdom from flooding during rainy days. He was wearing a tidy brown shirt which he did not want to get dirty, so he took it off.

 

“..What is he doing?” the half-circle of the noblemen were discussing.

 

“So shameless, even when standing in front of his superiors! Who do you think pays for your dirty job, boy?”

 

“Impudent!” a fat man with a cylinder hat huffed along with the others as he criticized, and took the hand of a girl next to him who was staring at the shirtless boy for a bit too long.

 

Thomas began walking towards the dark entrance, and everything went quiet.

..

 

The inside of the sewage was dark, but Thomas could hear heavy breathing from a distance. He grabbed one of his daggers.

 

He soon turned a corner and found a wounded chimera with three bodies around it. He recognized the face of one of them.

 

It was one of the keepers of a circus that was in charge of entertaining the nobles. The circus would often snatch small monsters, and make them play in front of a crowd. They didn’t treat the monsters well, since they were seen as something disgusting.

 

There were two other bodies who looked like mercenaries. One of them was turned to charcoal, and the other was pale from the deadly venom. They probably worked for the man.

 

Truthfully, Thomas didn’t know what they were thinking. Securing an adult chimera for their circus was impossible, it would never come without a fight.

 

..But that’s when he saw the chimera hiding something.

 

The chimera’s green eyes glowed slightly, but they were getting dark. Its half-shut eyes looked at Thomas with no power left in them. This monster was well over two meters long, but it couldn’t fight any longer.

 

The chimera held a child under its chin, and the scared baby was cowering and pushing itself back into its mother’s fur.

 

The adult was alarmed by the dagger in Thomas’ hand and tried to raise itself up, but in the end it fell down and could only stare in despair.

 

He now knew what the circus was after. The child was only small, but it looked shining and healthy. Compared to its mother’s dirty fur, its own was bright yellow.

 

It had the body of a lion, and the small paws of a goat. From its back, the tail of a scorpion appeared, but there was no stinger yet.

 

Its emerald green eyes were filled with fear, but also curiosity, unlike its mother’s tired ones.

 

Thomas knelt down in front of the mother. The mother remained powerlessly still, only its eyes could remain watching Thomas. He put the dagger away slowly before approaching.

 

Thomas understood the situation. His objective was the chimera, there was never a mention of the child.

..

Thomas’ hand gently caressed the lion head’s mane. Its eyes shut from the touch, but then opened again, still looking into his eyes.

 

“You’ve done well. I’ll take care of her,” Thomas praised the mother softly, as his indigo blue eyes tried to convey security to the mother.

 

He was good with animals, even though a chimera wasn’t considered as such. He was being genuine, hoping for the animal to have intuition.

 

The adult chimera breathed out slowly, as if relieved about something. Its mouth turned into what looked like a smile, before its lingering eyes turned shut, with the smile engraved onto its lifeless body.

 

“I hope you understood my message.” He held his hand on the dead chimera’s forehead, before gently picking up the screeching baby from its mother’s arms.

 

--



“Tch, I shouldn’t have let that chimera get away!” A man named James was kicking a pebble on his pathway. He was in shiny silver-white armour, and held a helmet to his side.

 

“Sir, we couldn’t have followed it into the dark sewers, it has night vision.”

 

The scene around the two men talking was like a graveyard. There were, at least, thirty fully armed men lying lifeless on the ground. They were elite warriors, but suffered a gruesome defeat. Including these two, there were only a few soldiers left who barely stood.

 

“How can I go back like this? All my men are dead!” he yelled furiously, with spit flying from his mouth.

 

“Chimera is a powerful monster. It is a victory in itself to wound it and make it run!” The loyal subordinate kept his inner thoughts to himself.

 

It was obvious that the chimera was busy defending its child, which made it weaker.

 

As if sensing his subordinate’s thoughts, the man looked at him with bloodshot eyes.

 

“Hey, that chimera was aggressive, right? It was a threat to our great kingdom, wasn’t it?” he was asking with a grave tone, making sure everyone present understood how the story went.

 

“Of course! It was only a matter of time until it would attack our kingdom!” the injured soldiers and his loyal subordinate were all fervently nodding.

 

“Ahah, that’s right! Subjugating an aggressive chimera would have brought me great glory!”

 

James was one of the thirty generals of the Kingdom Corps.

 

He was a son of one of the high-ranked nobles, so his position was granted easily. Obsessed about how others secretly looked down on him, James was hungry for gaining more influence and power.

 

--

 

Serena had taken a gamble.

 

Soon after the boy had left, people of the slum were gathering due to the commotion. She had quickly retracted her fangs from the wrist of one of these corpses, and pretended to be looting it instead.

 

“It’s Chris!” someone approached one of the corpses.

 

“It really is the boss..”

 

There was a group of boys, some older than the others, mourning the loss of someone important.

 

“What about her? Why did Thomas leave her alive?” One of the men looked at Serena as if she didn’t have the right to survive. His nose was scrunched in anger.

 

Thomas.. Serena learned of the boy’s name.

 

There were six people gathered, and she thought it was getting dangerous.

 

Her mind had recovered and was almost back to its factory settings.

 

She knew these boys. During her weeks spent in the slums, she had seen them ruthlessly selling highly addictive drugs to everyone. From young girls to those who were old and tired of life, no one was safe from their pressuring pitches.

 

She also noticed that the corpse of the one they called ‘boss’ had expensive looking clothes and jewelry on him.

 

Serena straightened her back. She spoke with confidence, “Do you understand? Thomas favours me.” Her voice was relaxed, but it had a sharp and threatening tone to it.

 

Serena didn’t know how much they knew, but if they saw what had just gone down, they should realise he was strong.

 

Her dark and twisted mind always found a way. Serena didn’t mind being a leech, she was already a bloodsucker.

 

The boys were discussing in a low tone. “Now that she mentions it, they were hugging..”

 

“What do we do? The others will be coming for our territory now.” A young boy seemed trodden.

 

Serena was well-learned in leading and management. Vampire and human communities weren’t so different. She decided to test the waters.

 

“Hey, kids. What are you talking about?” Serena asked nonchalantly, but frowned as if she was looking at a bunch of idiots.

 

“What do you mean?” the boys looked at each other trying to understand what she wanted.

 

“Why do you think he killed that bastard? Didn’t you hear Thomas?”

 

“What did Thomas say?”

 

“I’m your new boss,” she spelled out slowly.

 

“Hah! What would someone like you know about selling drugs?” the oldest of them asked. The young man in shabby clothes was dubious towards her.

 

“Are you doubting me? Shall we go and ask Thomas together?” Her words were cold as ice, she was staring daggers at him.

 

The rebelling man slowly lowered his head.

 

“If that guy is really behind her, it’s not so bad...”

 

“But Thomas was never interested before, why now?” They were all looking at her expectantly.

 

Serena clenched the red bag within her hand.

 

“Because I asked.” She pushed her chest out, showing off her beauty.

 

Some of them got flustered easily.

 

“We still need to talk about this in the headquarters, the others might not agree. Chris had his own gang and they were protecting our business, those guys won’t be happy.”

 

“Take me there,” Serena said without hesitation. She had to seem like she was someone powerful again. She was betting her life on Thomas’ fame within the slums.

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Chayle

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