“Dracula’s Daughter, Part I”
Sitting on the outskirts of Seoul was a large, impressive English manor. It was a marvelous architectural gem, tucked away between modern concrete and steel. The manor had been a gift from a German aristocrat to his Oriental mistress, a haunting siren with wide golden orbs, luminescent porcelain skin, and long midnight tresses. The man never knew the true name of his beauteous Madame Butterfly—he simply called her Victoria, and for a man trapped in the deep madness of love, that was enough.
The German had named his beloved house Moon Manor, for the lover who made Selene sick and pale with grief that any other could be far more fair than she.
Krystal had lived in the manor for nearly thirty years, the time miniscule in comparison to her longevity. But out of all the places she had lived, from the dazzling city of Paris to the crowded streets of Calcutta, this place always felt the most like home. After all, she had been born here so many centuries ago, and no matter where she went, Seoul was still the place that tugged at her heart and reminded her of her mortality.
She loved the house. It was beautiful and large and grand, filled to the brim with works of art and literature collected over continents and millennia—on one wall a sleepy Monet took his place beside a vocal Pollack, and upon the shelves Mary Shelley danced with Nabokov. There was a greenhouse at the north, with vibrant stained glass and dozens and dozens of scarlet roses. She loved nothing more than to sit there in the fragrance of the flowers, eyes gazing up at the stars above.
Krystal was a creature of comfort, of familiarity. She enjoyed different things, but as her sire once said of her, “Out of all us, you have always been the worst at change.”
Ha!, she thinks nastily, what would Kris know about change—her Maker was a Roman statue, everlasting and glacial for two thousand years.
But she had to admit, she didn’t like new things, especially new things that she did not want.
Park Chanyeol was something she most certainly never wanted.
He was bothersome child, a tall lanky teenage boy with bright chocolate eyes and messy auburn locks. His youthful face disguised a deep tenor voice. He was not an unpleasant looking boy; pretty, in fact, sensual and innocent at the same time, a concoction of contradictions. However, such qualities did not inspire any affection on her part. Krystal loathed him as she had never done so for any other human. If it were not for the specific command of her sire, she would have eaten him, sucked him marrow dry, and be done with it. However, the words leapt out of Kris’ mouth like the fiery words of the Lord, and Krystal did not dare balk at them, even if the boy drove her to madness. (Not to Jessica’s level of madness, killing her maker and all, but that was a whole other story.)
So, she decided to wait.
After all, it was not uncommon for their kind to take a human companion. Most of them do, going from one to another like the changing of shoes. There’s even the story that Liyin spent an entire lifetime with one. But they were all infatuations, delicious, ripe snacks in between courses. Few of these relationships lasted, and so Krystal clutched onto the hope that sometime soon Kris would tire of the boy and this whole ugly affair would be finished.
She just had to be patient.
“He’s in love,” Tiffany remarks casually as she moves to sit by the younger female in the large library of Moon Manor, costumed in a tight black dress and pumps. “You know he’s in love, right? Waiting isn’t going to change things.” Her voice was cheerful, full of amused mockery.
Turning from her book (The Zahir), Krystal shoots Tiffany a venomous look, her wave ebony hair falling handsomely over her beige sweater.
“Stop doing that,” she hisses.
“What?” Tiffany retorts cheerily, her lovely alabaster hands weave through her long red hair. Her lips were stained cherry, amplifying the paleness of her skin.
“Reading my thoughts. They are private, you know?” the younger retorts.
Tiffany rolls her eyes. “Oh please. You were radiating your thoughts like a horn. Even if I didn’t read your stupid little brain, I would have known. And you’re one to talk, too, spying on our little kitten and his inner most secrets,” she says playfully, nudging her head in the direction of Chanyeol, who sits across the library from them, pigeoned on a red sofa, looking over his homework in his blue school uniform.
“I’m not spying. I’m monitoring, making sure he doesn’t steal anything,” Krystal denies. “You know he confuses Henry VIII with Richard the Lion Heart? It’s baffling! And what do you mean he’s in love?”
“I mean Kris.” Tiffany chortles at the look of horror on her face. “Oh please tell me you realized it. You haven’t?” She laughs. “Oh this is fun.”
“You must be joking me,” the younger says, eyes dark. “Someone like Kris cannot be in love,” she says, spitting the word out like it was carved out of vile dirt, “with the likes of that—” She turns towards Chanyeol, her face skewed in a snarl. “—that fetus.”
“Age has nothing to do with this.”
“I’m not talking about age. I’m talking about the fact that that boy is a vapid, moronic insect. He can’t even tell the difference between the Renoir and the Degas!” she jeers, scandalized. “He plays videogames and watches Anime and eats cheeseburgers. He and Kris have nothing in common with each other! It’s like a lion and a…and a…a llama!”
Tiffany laughs. “Why are you having such trouble with this? You never had an issue when Fei brought Chansung around. He and Chanyeol are roughly the same age, and you certainly get along with him.”
“It’s not the same thing.”
“Because Fei isn’t my sire,” Krystal says furiously. “Kris is. I mean, if this gets around to her Majesty that he’s consorting with a teenage boy, it won’t look good to someone in his station. He’s the fucking Marshal of Seoul, right hand of the Queen. He has an image to keep, and he doesn’t need that child ruining it.” Krystal hisses unpleasantly as she shoots the oblivious Chanyeol a look of most murderous intent. Her mouth opens, and two sharp, wolf-like fangs flash. “I should just eat him.”
“Oh god you’re dramatic,” Tiffany bemoans. “You’re over three-hundred years old. How could you be jealous of a boy?”
“I’m not jealous!”
“Please. You’re being petty and childish. I understand your frustration. Believe me, I do,” the older says comfortingly. “But you need to accept that Chanyeol makes Kris happy, whether you want to or not. He’s in love, your sire.”
“This is ridiculous,” Krystal frowns.
“You need to stop this immaturity. Get over your Electra complex, Princess, and be a good little fledging and let the man have some happiness. You don’t see Yixing or Yoona being all immature.”
“If Tao were here—”
Tiffany’s eyes flash dangerously. “Well he isn’t, now is he?” she says darkly, silencing the younger. The redhead sighs softly. “I understand this is difficult for you, Krystal. I know how you miss Tao, but you need to accept that things have changed. Kris deserves to be happy. Do you not want him to be happy?”
Krystal’s face twists painfully. “Of course I do! I want him to be happy more than anyone. And he deserves it! He really does.”
“Then make your peace,” she says, a kind hand resting on Krystal’s shoulder as the two turn towards the boy in the red chair. “He’s a good kid. Maybe not very bright, we can’t all be blessed with Tablo’s marvelous brain or Heechul’s taste in art and culture. But he is very kind and very good. Get to know him a little. Maybe you’d like him more.”
Tiffany pats her kindly on the shoulder before abandoning Krystal in the vast ocean of her thoughts. As she sat across the large space from Chanyeol, for the first time, Krystal really looks at him.
Chanyeol’s face was bright, eyes wide, full of confusion and naivety as he gazed over the words of his homework in frustration. His skin was like newly fallen snow; mouth the soft pink of a rose. He was a beautiful thing, just filled to the brim with life and hope. He was such a child, she thinks, who didn’t know anything except how wonderful tomorrow could be and marvelous it was to be bathed in the glow of love. He did not know what it was like to have his world turned upside down, to watch someone you love become marred and ruined by madness. He did not know the darkness. There was a light about him, something iridescent. Maybe that was why Kris had been so drawn to him, because if Kris was the night, then Chanyeol was most certainly the sun.
Tiffany was right, as always, Krystal thinks mournfully. She was being childish, she was being immature, and after over three hundred years of being alive, she really should know better. She didn’t hate Chanyeol. She just hated what he meant.
Chanyeol meant that Kris was finally giving up.
And that maybe it was time for her to give up, too.
Although Kris was indeed her maker, and she loves and adores no other as she does him, Tao had been her world.
It was over three hundred years ago, when Krystal was still Soojung, a plain girl-child living on the streets like a rat, with no one and nothing to call her own. She had lost her parents to the miasma of disease at a young age, and in her loneliness and fear had become practically feral. She was a scavenger and a hunter, a sullen untouchable beast with a black, black heart and even darker soul. She was something no one loved and no one cared for. Even though her lungs breathed air and her heart beat, she was a dead thing. Perhaps, she thinks, that was the reason she had been made, been turned at the age of sixteen into a creature of the night, because she was already dark and twisted and someone that didn’t belong amongst the living.
Krystal had been on the brink of death when she first met her maker Kris, then known as Wufan. He had been, by her estimation, well over fifteen hundred years old upon that initial meeting. He had seemed in that first impression a large bird of prey, an impressive man forged from something primal and predatory. He was a tall man, taller than most, with steel eyes and black hair. He was shaped like a soldier, one that was familiar with victory and carnage, his limbs long and strong as iron. Wufan was an unearthly warlord, and a single swing of his blade could abolish armies (and this, she had seen for herself). He was handsome in the most peculiar way, because even before she knew what he was, Krystal had thought him otherworldly, not ethereal like Luhan or Victoria, but definitely not human.
He had found her in an alley amongst mud and filth, the place where Krystal had been certain would serve as her grave. When she looked up at him in his obsidian armor and robes, she had wondered if he was kind Death, here to take her ravaged, broken soul.
“Please…” she had whispered, a plea to a benevolent god of mercy.
His dark eyes peered at her carefully, and he lifted her and wrapped her in his arms, and he was both cold and warm.
Do you wish to be a bride of Death, he had said, though his mouth never moved, do you wish to have your marriage bed in the earth.
She could not answer him. She did not know what she wanted. Her soul begged for release, but her body, that infuriating flesh gasped pathetically for each breath. She was still so young.
I understand, he had said, my little one, I understand.
He had brought his mouth to her throat, his lips pressed against the drum of her heart. Her lungs inhaled violently as sharp teeth sank into her skin. It was horrid—she could feel the blood drain out of her and yet she was filled with a delirium, a soaring liberation. She thought she was going to die, was most certain of it.
But instead, Kris bestowed upon her the Dark Gift. He had pressed his crimson blood to her lips, and upon that first taste of that sinful elixir, Krystal was reborn a thing of the night—a vampire.
The Change had been torturous, gruelling, to die and be born again. Krystal had never felt such pain, such bitter agony, and such exalted emancipation. Her bones broke and her heart wanted to leap from her chest. It was deliverance as much as it was suffering, and she imagines this must be the same horrid agony of the Lord upon his cross, to be destroyed and reborn. Kai used to say she treated Kris like a god and Tao like a saint. But that was what they were to her—always. Kris would always be her glorious maker, her dark god of mercy, but the first face that she saw when she turned had been Tao’s.
Kind, soft-spoken, sagacious Tao with his soulful black eyes and ebony hair, sculpted like Siddhartha in stone. His gentle voice alone, the aria of mockingbirds, was enough to chase away the monsters of her nightmares.
Tao had been five-hundred years old by the time Krystal came to him and Kris. He was a fledging of Victoria, a vampire even older than her maker. Tao had bemoaned rather spitefully that Victoria had been a poor teacher, and so he had spent nearly all of his five centuries as Kris’ companion, where he was both lover and student.
Tao had been Krystal’s educator in all things. He had taught her how to hunt, and how to blend with humans. He taught her history and the arts, the majesty of the night stars. He inspired in her a thirst to explore, to drink in the world as she had never been able to before. There is so much beauty in the world, he had said, a secretive gleam in his eyes. He helped her hone her strengths and to master her weaknesses, and made her stronger than she ever was. He made her powerful, deadly, the perfect mixture of a deceptive appearance and viciousness. He showed her how to control her dark gifts, to become more than she could have dreamed to be. Kris had indeed given her life, but it had been Tao who taught her how to live. Since the day she was made, and in the next centuries, she and Tao had been inseparable. He was father, brother and teacher all at once.
It wasn’t love, not the kind that he and Kris felt for each other. For Krystal, Tao had been the thing she always wanted most—a family.
And for two hundred years, it was just the three of them, wandering the world, from the far reaches of the English plains to the snowy mountains of India.
But then things changed. She never thought they could, but they changed.
Their downfall began when Jaejoong tried to meet the sun.
The story is now legendary. Jaejoong, an ancient and powerful vampire, had in his grief, guilt and benevolence, sought the True Death. He had been saved by his companion, Lina, but the damage was done. That single mad attempt at suicide sent tremors through vampire society and forever changed them all. Jaejoong’s try at the True Death seemed to have an especially profound effect on Tao. He began to question what they were and their strange existence.
“I understand him,” Tao said once. “I understand why. He was alive for four thousand years. I think it was enough for him, especially to long after someone during all that time. We can’t live forever. No one can.”
Time was a force none of them could ever conquer, he said.
However, for Krystal, still basking in the beauty of a century of life, she could only want more. She didn’t understand the anguish of time, could not comprehend what it was to be the same as everything changed. And it seemed that the grains of the hourglass had finally begun to swallow Tao.
He dealt with his doubts well. For another fifty years, everything was blissful. Whatever it was that he had been struggling with; Krystal believes he hid them for Kris’ sake. Because they had been together for five centuries, and they had loved only one another, through blood and death, time and distance. There was obligation and affection.
“But it wasn’t a normal sort of thing, those two. It was always as if Kris had the unwilling compliance of Tao’s heart,” Jia once explained to her. “Victoria’s departure left Tao unbalanced. He was so young, not even a hundred. And he latched on to Kris. We vampires are not solitary creatures, and I think he felt a debt, a kind of loyalty because Kris was always the only thing he knew. I think Kris took advantage of that and kept him locked in cage like a bird. Perhaps, because he knew of Tao’s hunger for redemption, for salvation. From guilt of what he was. Their relationship was a little bit like a master and a slave, though they played those roles interchangeably. I’m sure he loved Kris. How much love he felt, whether it was love, true love, as Donghae and Liyin once loved each other, is a whole other story.”
When she was younger, in those magical years, Krystal had never doubted Kris and Tao’s love for one another. They seemed destined, perfect, like two halves of a whole. But all good stories have tragedy—Achilles and Patroclus, Apollo and Hyacinth—and theirs came in the form of a young man named Baekhyun.Et c'est tout...?
Author's Note: So um, hi all. I'm not even going to defend myself about writing the self-indulgentness of this fic. I just really had to get this out of my system. This plot drove me so crazy I started writing it at work. But anyways. It has been nearly a year since I wrote a fanfic other than Una Bella Vita, so it kinda feels good to work on something new. For those who don't know, this is actually based on another fic I wrote ages ago, called Laughter in the Dark, which was also about vampires and is actually linked in the story itself. Blood is set in exactly the same universe, which is why it makes mention of Liyin and Jessica.
I dunno why this became a "Krystal tells the story of Kris and Chanyeol" kind of thing, it just happened. I felt odd writing from a straight third person POV, so I decided to go a more natural route for me. "Dracula's Daughter" aims to be about five parts in all, I'm done three, with about two to go before I go on to other plots. I hope to cover other fandoms and pairings. I'd love to work on some Sehun and Luhan, and Myungsoo and Suzy as well. I've got Myungsoo and Suzy's pretty well plotted out already, too, but I think that will take much more time to write.
This fic is also largely set in the True Blood-verse, hence all the references and stuff. I'm too lazy to do footnotes tonight, so if you dunno who Siddhartha is, or the stories of Apollo and Hyacinth and Achilles and Patroclus, wiki it.
Anyways, happy reading guys, and always remember, do comment. ♥