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ANASTASIA

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Blurb

In a world where vampires, werewolves, and sirens are superior, Anastasia only had her name as her very own possession. Born and raised with nothing to call hers, she endured a seemingly endless path of despair--both as a human and an individual.

Her life full of sorrow soon met its point of no return when she fell prey in the hands of the neighboring country's young vampire king, Vesper Alistair--not as a human nor an individual, but as test subject #001.

Strictly under the king's supervision, she is monitored by the trusted crown prince of the werewolf kingdom--the researcher and peace representative, Gavin Isaac. Put through hell, her salvation was so far away that even her escapes were rendered useless.

When will she find peace? How will she claim rest?

Amongst the overwhelming forces that drive her close to insanity, a blossoming attachment of affection became her sole comfort.

But...for how long will it last?

***

A story of a woman who had nothing, and how she eventually claimed everything.

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PRELUDE
"Dear, if you were given a chance to choose for yourself, what do you want to be?" in a place full of sorrow, her mother's voice was her sole string of hope that care and love exist in such a cruel world. For a three-year-old child who feels highly dependent on the lady who brought her up as her own, she knew well that there is only one, right, answer. "I want to be...your guardian angel. Because mother needs help, and I can't give it if I am your 'dear'." But at the same time that her mother passed away, such a naive thought perished, and another truth prevailed. The world exists to cradle all forms of life. But being a habitat for all kinds of life promotes unspoken rules—the wealthiest shall rule, the strongest shall lead, and the wisest shall command; hence, humankind, which poses nearly no threat to those who wield great supernatural abilities has an immediate spot in the lowest of the hierarchy. Disgusting. Scum. People with eyes scornfully glancing at the woman covered in dirty cape are saying only two words in their corrupted minds: Disgusting scum. She made no noise, looked no one in the eye, and touched no one as she passed by, yet her mere presence turned the rowdy crowd into a quiet group of men who cursed her as if she was the filthiest to exist. She goes by the name Anastasia—it was the name of the street where a widow found her wrapped in golden silk and inside a handmade basket. She was covered in dirt, yet the luxury of it was still glowing beneath the ragged sight of a newborn who did not even cry underneath the rain. She was loved. The mother who raised her for three years gave her the last shred of hope that she can still smile and pray that the stars will soon smile and grant her wish of being accepted in a tragically standardized world. But when the widow followed her husband in the afterlife, her faith in humanity, and hopes for all species and races, crossed along the river. She is no longer a human. Draped in tattered cape of black, the evidences of being sewn over and over again with colors of threads varying one after the other, and the sight of her feet wearing a pair of improvised sandals made of leftover rubber and papyrus—are more than enough to make even the beggars to laugh at her. She had nothing. Walking on the streets with her hands carrying nothing but shame, she has nothing aside from the clothes she wears. But underneath the stains of overwhelming poverty, there is a sight they refuse to recognize—she is a woman. Her hair is as dark as the midnight sky, yet it was tied in a red ponytail that a child dropped while playing and hidden beneath her hood. If they were to see her locks, people snicker and calls her a descendant of the witches—a mockery that simply states none will dare to compliment a being as she. Her skin is pale, almost as if even the sun rendered her existence useless and did not grace her with sunlight. Whenever her cape fails to hide her flesh while she works for cents, the mere sight of her skin that should be in the shade that women should envy, will earn her whispers that she is excessively prioritizing the maintenance of her color. Her orbs were painted in an odd shade of yellow—it was dull, yet it still holds a fragment of shine that resembles gold. As a practically nameless child of the unknown, the beauty her eyes should possess was seen as a sign that she might be a spawn of the devil. Mixed with fear and disgust, they cursed her whenever she glances at them. And beneath the covers that prevents them from stripping her with her sole sense of pride, lies the secret she must never allow anyone to see—she, Anastasia, is a woman with scales that even she cannot understand why. {}{}{} "Is there anything you wish to know, your highness?" In the cold room filled with nothing but books, the voice of his instructor was the only source of communication he had while training to be the most perfect child six days a week. For a five-year-old child who was taught to simply think and never feel nor empathise, he responded in a way a typical child will not. "Is there anything you can teach me outside the books in the royal library, Sir Themoteo?" With people connecting themselves to him in a single strand of formality, he never understood what it means to live as if he is alive. Respect is a privilege only a few can attain. With status holding the greatest bar of measuring one’s worth, the highest form of admiration is only given to the chosen individuals blessed with exceptional skills. In all places in the world, those born with royal blo*d, and raised to succeed the throne will always have respect. Amazing. Yet an eyesore. Dressed with only the best fabrics, adorned only with the best jewels, and surrounded with only the best materials, he has it all—wealth, strength, intelligence. And because he is the epitome of perfection through the standards of the living, their respect for the revered man is always on the same line with their hatred for the honored he: Amazing…yet an eyesore. As he sat on the throne and in front of the leaders of the country, the young king has the eyes of the wisest sage, the posture of the worshipped deity, and the air of the strongest pillar. But despite the façade that spread his fame in all parts of the world, there exists the side that the royal one will never disclose. He goes by the name Vesper Alistair—a name considered as a sacred possession that no one except for his fated spouse, his lifeline, should ever call. Unlike the subjects he is to rule after officially crowned as the royal highness, he is a vampire that is said to hold the strength of a thousand warriors. He is never loved. With his entire self being associated with a holy grail none should carelessly touch, he was raised as a taintless man—however, it also meant that he, the hope of his country, is gradually collecting specs of hatred from everyone who is being swallowed by his shadow the more he grows. His own family is not an exemption. He was neither just a vampire nor a son. When he was born, the royal oracle claimed that he alone can withhold peace. At the same day that his fate was declared, his entire life was planned in order to ensure that the future will unfold just as what the oracle had seen. And when his powers awaken, the king’s right hand affirmed that he will indeed surpass the records of the past kings. He has everything. He is their country, Mariana’s, bearer of pride. From his personal strengths into his family’s excessive assets, he isn’t just hailed worthy by his subjects—people from all continents, including the elders and royalties of kingdoms from all nations, have heard his name more than once. But underneath the grace of being looked up into, there is a sight that no one thought is possible for someone as fortunate as him—in his silence, lies the lidded screams of anguish, sorrow, and regrets of being born as Vesper Alistair. His hair is as brown as a bear’s fur, yet it’s silk-like strands highlights the nobility of the man himself. In a mix of honey’s gentle sight, and the fierce of a predator’s fur, a king as honorable as he only receives compliments and whispers of undying envy—a sign that everyone fears his compatibility with the crown that was passed down one generation down the other. His skin is pale, almost as if he was one with the snow that first fell on the day he was born and nature bestowed purity in his flesh. Whenever he appears in gatherings and public announcements, his mere presence calms down the storm of worries—as a king both admired and abhorred, his skills to make use of their feelings tugged the strings of unity within the kingdom. His orbs were painted in a beautifully toxic shade of red. Despite encompassing the common trait of vampires possessing a pair of red eyes, their shade varies in accordance of the being itself. And for he who is walking down the brightest path, in his eyes rest a pair of orbs that will inject fear and force obedience to whoever dares to meet his gaze. And beneath the glamorous clothing that screams superiority, lies the shards of his broken soul—that he, Vesper Alistair, encountered a curse on his fifth birthday…and no one knew about the black veins on his back. *** A nameless woman and a renowned king. In a probability of one in a billion, she met him and he met her. Like fire and water, she burned his mind with interest amidst his gray life, and he drowned her already suffocating heart with another level of pain amidst her blue life. “Subject 001.” “Yes, your highness.” “Your name on the streets. Do you still remember it?” “It is Anastasia, sire.” “Do you wish to use it again?” “…I do not dare to decide for myself, your highness.” “I order you to respond, 001.” “…I do wish…to be called by my name again.” “Then, Anastasia Alistair, it is.” “…pardon?”

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