Description: Bela responds to Rachel Alucard's invitation to her Rosalia. He is not very happy about it.
The Chamber Hall of the House of Podiebrad was filled wall to wall.
The hall served a number of functions. Dining hall. Meeting hall. Greeting hall. It was the central room of the whole manor, and it was currently being used for a family matter. The soldiers of the Raven Guard was standing at attention, dressed in their aged soviet-era BDUs instead of the ceremonial garb of raven masks and bodysuits. Szabolc notably missing at the right hand of the Patriarch. The Caretakers, those deacons and monks who guard the artifacts of the House, sit together at the far end of the table. Their leader, Matthias, sits besides the Patriarch at the left hand side, the clean-shaven monk looking upon a paper earnestly. The Parasites, official family members who provide nothing to the family extend to the right hand side, looking grim and bored at the family business as always. As for the servants, they stand in the back, with the red haired Zsa Zsa, the mistress of the halls, grinning. Other servants move along, assisting as needed to the legitimate members of the family. And at the center of the long table before the rank and file guards, sitting upon a plush throne, is the Patriarch himself, Bela von Podiebrad.
Reading from a crudely-sketched letter.
"... Those who prove triumphant in their particular contests will receive the unique honor of meeting with one of the noble houses of Makai to receive special recognition." Bela speaks with restrained tones, his voice loud and projecting in a theatrical style. He is a man with white hair, his face is cut sharp, long and stony with a distant, aloof facade. He wears a headdress of black feathers around his hair, and has hazel eyes that almost seem to change color in the light within the chamber. He is garbed in ornate robes of purple and rose. His raised collar meets with purple and red striped pauldrons sit upon his shoulders, setting a mantle for his flowing purple cloak. Silver earrings, bracelets, bangles, and a ring for each finger adorn him, with not a single gemstone amongst his jewelry. A silver circlet sits upon his forehead, above his eyes. His hands are exposed, and his long fingernails are painted beetle shell gold and silver, shining with every movement. The Patriarch leans over his head chair, gazing daggers into the letter as he continues. "Those who fail to secure victory in their challenge will still be greatly appreciated for helping House Alucard host a night to be remembered. If you believe you are suitable to attend such an event, you must RSVP. Simply leave a thumb print in blood in the space indicated on the letter to confirm your intent to attend." Bela raises a thumb, almost mocking the statement. "You call yourselves Monster Hunters. And I assure you, I am a monster. House Alucard stands ready to receive you as a guest in our home should you possess an iota of the mettle you claim. Regards." Bela lowers the letter to the table before him, looking dimly out to the rest of the soldiers.
Boos and hisses come across the chamber, automatic in response as Bela scoffs at the display. The Patriarch gestures for the servants in the back. One nods, and heads to the kitchen. Then, Bela's shoulders become hunched as he speaks with a bitter chill. "That smug little brat. That miserable little doll, done up in lace and frills. We had won. We have defeated the Black Dragon army at Southtown, humiliating that mercenary bitch Kira Volkov. And with the help of Illyria and Mister Malone, we have exposed that wretched Jedah Dohma for his treachery against humanity. We have succeeded in restoring our honor and standing, we have our artifacts being repaired. And..." He clears his throat, averting his eyes a moment. "Thanks to the help of a single Miko stranger, we were even able to save Szabolc in his dramatic stand to protect the shards of Tyrfing, to allow Ejnar to build back our forces into a brave new era. May he recover swiftly, and let his heroism forever be a beacon of hope and glory for us." Applause break out, with a hoot from the sidelines. Bela returns his gaze upon the gathering of Podiebrads, raising a jeweled hand up into a fist. "Our Full Moon Estley would be a celebration of no other, an invitation beyond the Twelve Families to new limits. We were even going to invite potential new allies into courtship; the Gong Estate, the Karnsteins, and even the Blanctorches. And then... and then... this." He brings down the fist, to snatch up the letter. Shaking it, his violet eyes blaze with indigo light. "You all received this invitation, from that vampire. As you should, every one of you being ranked monster hunters. You are killers of filth like that meddlesome rabbit." Another round of boos come out. Bela smirks feebly, the Raven Guard obviously just playing to his ego. The servant returns from the kitchen, lowering his eyes as he brings a wooden slab upon the table before the Patriarch. On it was a single white rabbit, its bloodshot eyes wide as it breathes in terror. A single Parasite clears his throat as the servant passes by. Bela rolls his eyes, before he flicks the letter back to him, returning their invitation back to them. "Yes. Boo all you want. How dare she step on our party. But." Bela hooks his legs around the other side of the chair, body writhing in the sheer fury and outrage of the insult.
"She's succeeded in ruining our celebrations."
He throws out names, flicking his hand at each family as the restrained rabbit is placed before him. "Shimotsuki, Mutsuki, Kisaragi, Yayoi, even the Hazuki have all passed over our Estley in favor of that wretched observer. We even lost Colonel Kagura." There is a burst of screams and nos, as several young ladies burst in tears from the rank and file. "Your pain is mine." Bela draws up a silk napkin, dabbing the corner of his eyes. "I had long wished to dance with Kagura underneath the pale moon light, to share in a moment that every one of you would soon share one by one, minute by ecstatic minute. Yes, she has not only insulted our honor in the most personal and direct sense. But she has denied us a most handsome stallion indeed." The venom and jeers from the crowd redoubles more than ever, the weight of the insult finally sinking in. From the side lines, a single servant emerges from the kitchen, a young man in the butling uniform. "There is a price to pay for deny such respect to a long honored family of Vampire Hunters like ourselves, isn't there?" Bela touches on the rabbit with his long fingernails, barely restraining himself from tearing it apart. No, he touches his nails on the ribs of the small creature, clearing away over the sternum, tracing the bones. Now, the rabbit screams. Unflustered, Bela reaches at the servant. The servant provides a single wooden stake. Clutching the stake tightly in his fingers, he hangs over the rabbit, staring at with the same fervor he would the moment he would catch the observer. He raises the stake. His voice is a low and soft, ice cold, as he tightens his grip on the frightened creature. "I will have Castle Alucard torn down stone by stone, excavated miles around it. I will find her crypt, her coffin, and I will drive that stake through her heart." At the final word, Bela brings the stake down.
The screaming stops.
Bela watches a moment, watches as the life bleeds away. The chamber is quiet, as the Patriarch feels the death coil around the small creature. And then, disgusted, Bela rips the stake out again. Raking his nails at the ropes, he tears the beast from the slab. Looking straight into its glassy eyes, Bela hisses coldly. "You've brought upon a debt, Rachel Alucard. Blood for blood. And we will draw out your debt slowly... and with interest." He throws the rabbit aside, and the servant rush to collect it. The Patriarch turns to his gathering, his soldiers, his followers. "We will come to her party. And we will destroy it as. Every other guest will taste the same insult given to us. Everyone will leave that wretched Rosalia regretting to have even looked upon the invitation with their own eyes. Rachel Alcuard will be a name forevermore rich in themes of banality, annoyance, and above all, provincial trash, and we will be sure to force her Rosalia to be forever remembered as... quaint. As our brother Szabolc rests and recovers, I will take the lead in bringing our vengeance upon that filthy rabbit and-"
"But you don't have an invitation!"
Matthias chirps brightly, as the air in the hall grows still. There is faint murmuring, as their Patriarch curls the corner of lip in disgust and frustration. Putting on a smooth, tight-lipped smile, he cranes his neck towards the smiling deacon, as his voice becomes saccharine. "Why, she must have made a clerical error, Matthias. Vampires are notorious for their lack of bureaucratic discipline. Forms and administration just strain their rotten brains." The deacon's eyes light up. "Wow, that's a big mistake then. You're our strongest monster hunter! If I was the Patriarch, it would hurt my feelings if she forgot to give me an invitation. It would make me feel like she didn't think about me much at all." Matthias pauses a moment as the guardsmen and parasites squirm uncomfortably in their chairs. Bela stares unblinkedly at Matthias, his face frozen in that smirk. Matthias then continues after some thought. "Maybe it was lost in the mail? Or it was sent to the wrong person-" Bela interrupts with the utmost strain and patience. "Well. I will simply come uninvited, Matthias, so it doesn't really matter." Matthias shakes his head, his face going solemn. "Oh, that will give a lot of trouble! I will just add you as a guest to mine so there won't be trouble!" Matthias makes a note of it in his letter. Bela stares wild-eyed into the spiritual leader of the House of Podiebrad, his smile not changing. Matthias continues, as he finishes. "I want to gather some of the roses at Castle Alucard. They are very hard to find, but they grow very well here at the manor grounds. I am hoping to get the hedges up so we can have plenty of pretty flowers." Bela shuts his eyes, and draws in a heavy breath. He exhales, slowly, as he sinks back into his throne. Limp.
"That will be fine, Matthias."
Log created on 16:36:02 05/11/2021 by Bela, and last modified on 16:37:01 05/11/2021.