Chapter 552 Rose Manor
There was a large manor situated fifteen kilometers to the west suburbs of Sturkö City.
Night had just taken over the sky.
Rose Manor was already brightly lit and filled with guests.
The manor's front plaza with a fountain was filled with noble's carriages from the surrounding cities. Several well-dressed noble ladies in expensive fur emerged from the carriages, delicately stepping upon the ground before proudly walking into the manor under the accompaniment of equally well-dressed gentlemen.
Several rows of servants in formal dress stood straight before the manor. They held still politely as they awaited the arrival of the guests, occasionally loudly announcing the long string of titles that each guest possessed.
Leicester Vik stood silently on the open balcony of the manor's third floor. He held a glass of Pinedew Wine in his hands, cradling the glass and allowing the crimson liquid to swirl inside to release its sweet, alluring, and bloody fragrance.
This particular type of truffle wine had been personally distilled by the famous Master Ritfink of the Vik Family. The sweetest virgin's heart blood and pine dew harvested from the edge of the Great Silent Forest had been used to make the wine, along with a dozen types of jasmine and rose pollen.
Pinedew wine distilled in this manner was the utmost extravagant luxury for a vampire family. That was why it was not something that an ordinary vampire could afford. Only a top-tier vampire like Leicester could enjoy it as if it was a daily commodity.
Leicester was extraordinarily tall, handsome, and he looked to be only about thirty years old.
He had a pronounced nose and sunken eyes. His eyes were red, but his pupils were golden. A headful of long, dark, and curly brown hair rested upon his shoulders. The lines on his face were sharp and firm. His mustache was fine and extremely well-maintained, while his exposed skin was a pristine alabaster envied by all nobles.
He wore a tailored black dress suit, the material of which was smooth, elegant, and pleasant to the touch. One look and anyone could tell it cost a fortune. A metal chain also hung outside the inner pocket of his suit. It seemed there was a pocketwatch within.
While he emotionlessly assessed the gathering of guests below him, a clear voice rang out from behind.
"Count Leicester, the guests are all here. They are waiting on you."
The one who had approached Leicester was the host of the Rose Manor- Viscount Entia, who had been stationed here by the Vik family.
As an ancient vampire family, the Viks had split the vampires within the family into five classes, according to ancestral etiquette. These five classes were the Duke, Marquis, Count, Viscount, and Baron. Duke represented Fourth Grade, Marquis represented Third Grade, Count represented Second, Viscount represented First, and Baron represented pseudo-adepts.
Any vampire who was pseudo-adept and below would not be recorded into the Vik's family tree. Not even their name would remain after they died.
The evolutionary traits of the vampires destined them to go down a different path of cultivation compared to ordinary adepts. Pursuing the blood of powerful individuals was an instinct of theirs, as well as the only way they could strengthen themselves.
The blood of ordinary individuals could only sustain them. Only by sucking the blood of powerful lifeforms could they grow in power. That was why they were also one of the rare few adept groups who held the most contact with the ordinary people of their territories.
All large manors within the hereditary lands of the Viks would occasionally hold large-scale parties of debauchery. The nobles of nearby cities were often invited to such banquets and feasts. In particular, these were the best opportunities for noble ladies to get close to their rulers.
The ordinary and ignorant common folk might harbor great fears of vampires, believing them to be monsters that feasted on human blood and demons that spread death wherever they went. However, the local nobles in the Vik territory didn't think so.
They had no choice but to offer their talents and abilities to these gentle and elegant adepts, as they lived within the lands of vampires.
Naturally, after spending a long time with the vampires, they realized they weren't as terrifying as the peasants often claimed them to be.
The vampires were just like them. They needed to eat and drink. They had a life of their own. They required plenty of servants to serve them.
Moreover, the vampires had a unique trait- their eternal youth. Just turning into a blood slave, or even a lowly vampire spawn, would delay aging and make a young man or woman grow even more handsome and pretty, let alone turning into an actual vampire.
If vampires were demons, then they were demons who spread beauty and eternal youth wherever they went!
Demons of this nature would become alluring and attractive figures once one learned to get over the disgust and fear of blood.
All the vain noble ladies fantasizing about eternal youth fell in love with these debaucherous banquets. If a lady were fortunate enough to be looked upon by a member of the Vik family during the feast, and was bitten just once because of that, she would instantly become the envy of all noble ladies in the surrounding cities.
She might turn into a blood slave that had to obey all orders given to her because of this, but who would fuss over such a small detail? What was the loss of a little freedom if one could get their hands on youth and status?
That was why nearly all nobles with any influence within a hundred kilometer radius immediately hurried to the Rose Manor upon hearing the arrival of the new rising star of the Vik family- Leicester.
They brought along all the females of their families: voluptuous ladies, slender girls, even specially trained beauties. Every single one of them was so graceful, so pretty, so seductive.
The male guests also tried to lean into the preferences of the vampires. They dressed in nice dress suits and behaved as elegantly as possible, as if their family had a long history in nobility. Pale faces, auras of elegance, slightly showing canine teeth and deep, mysterious smiles…
They couldn't help it. After all, it was said that a high-grade Viscountess of the vampire castle would also be present at tonight's banquet. That was a decent motivation and stimulation for the numerous male guests as well!
Leicester calmly assessed the heaps of flesh moving about the banquet. Those people put on facades of calmness and confidence, exuding absolutely no real energy from their well-fed bodies. Not only could these people incite no desire within him, but they also weren't even interesting enough to make him want to interact with them.
"Has Rose arrived?" Leicester brushed his two delicate mustaches as he coldly asked.
"Lady Rose has already gone down there! She seems to like tonight's banquet." As a lower vampire of the Vik family, Viscount Entia could only remind Leicester in such a cordial manner.
Leicester quickly found Viscountess Rose in the banquet upon Entia's reminder. The Viscountess had become the eye of the storm that was the banquet.
She was a stunningly beautiful lady dressed in a full black formal dress.
She had a face as radiant as ivory, a tall nose, rose-colored lips, and cute crimson eyes. Her dark brown hair ran down her back, all the way down to her waist. The stretch of snow-white upon her bosom appeared to be that much more substantial under the illumination of the magical lights.
As the entire banquet's center of attention, a dozen handsome and well-built young nobles gathered around her. No one knew what joke they had just cracked, but it made the Viscountess bend forward as she laughed, further accentuating her unnatural beauty.
The crimson eyes of the laughing Viscountess Rose flashed as if she sensed Leicester's eyes upon her. She turned around and locked eyes with the Count across the dense crowd and the hundred meters between the two of them.
Viscountess Rose lifted the wineglass in her hand delicately and put on a brazen smile on her pretty face, greeting Leicester from afar. However, the young nobles around her obviously didn't understand her intentions. They though the beautiful Viscountess was responding to their invitations to drink. Thus, all of the nobles excitedly lifted their glasses and drained their contents in a single gulp.
The reason for this banquet wasn't to have the vampire nobles indulge in pleasure. Rather, there was a hint of a marriage arrangement in the entire affair.
Leicester's status in the family had been on the rise ever since he had advanced to Second Grade. He had slowly become someone with actual influence within the family. In such a situation, the family elders were impatiently attempting to find a suitable vampire bride for him.
Naturally, the prime candidates were among high-grade vampires!
After much selection, Viscountess Rose from another vampire family three hundred and sixty-five kilometers southwest of the Viks' Bloodcastle was chosen.
Rose might only have the power of an elite First Grade, but she was only one hundred and three years old. She was a favored pick for advancement to Second Grade vampire, even within her own clan.
Bringing together the Second Grade Leicester and the elite First Grade Rose could significantly strengthen the ties between the two vampire families. When that happened, they might be able to merge their families. That act would certainly bring the clan's power to a whole new level and elevate them to the most famous vampire family in the entire southwest of Zhentarim!
Today's banquet was meant as a meeting arranged by the two vampire families. The invited nobles were only meant as background and compliment to the dinner.
In all honesty, Leicester wasn't pleased by the idea of the banquet himself.
He kept feeling as if the whole idea was the scheme of some rival elder within the family.
He had only just advanced to Second Grade. It was a time where he needed to make vast improvements and grow further. Forcing him to copulate with a female vampire and give birth to a pureblood descendant at this time would undoubtedly hurt his potential significantly.
Over two or three hundred guests had gathered in the banquet hall by now. They clustered in small groups and held passionate discussions, adding even more liveliness to the scene.
It was about time for Leicester, the main character of tonight's banquet, to show himself as well.
Leicester stood straight and carefully smoothed out his attire. He suddenly thought of something when he was about to leave.
"Where's that female vampire I brought back?"
"She's imprisoned in the blood prison beneath the manor. I have sent a lot more guards to watch over her. No problem will ensue!" Viscount Enti replied with a smile.
"Mm. Keep a good eye on her. I will drag the mastermind behind her back tomorrow. Hmph!"
Leicester snorted coldly. He then elegantly walked towards the hall, wineglass still in hand.