A/N : Finally... I found where I saved Chapter 3. *facepalm*


He must have noticed my hesitation. "Ah, so Master Xargin did give you his blood, his holy blood, as a gift in some way. And well you should accept... Now that he is already gone."

My head snapped up. "Uncle Magwald...? Gone...? What do you mean...?"

His body dissolved back to its human form, yet still holding his spear. "Yes. Master Xargin died only yesterday. Now his dream is passed onto you and me, the only ones remaining with his gift in all its purity."

Everything clicked into place. Uncle's mention of "saving the world", a "plague", and "time running out". So he meant forcing an evolutionary change via nanomachines.

"There's something you didn't take into consideration." I brought out my twin swords. "Me. I am against Uncle's plan."

"What...? But why?! You stand to gain the most, especially now that you are the only one of Master's blood that remain. All of them will follow you, just say the word." As if on cue, all those thrice-cursed beings fell on their knees, each and every one of them facing me.

I quickly glanced around. The scene around me was exactly like a medieval army paying homage to their king or queen, before or after a battle. Even he, who was directing the attack on our village, he went down to one knee, his spear's business end thrust to the ground. "You are of Master's family, and thus you outrank me. We are yours to command, my lady. My queen."

I admit that I was confused. Queen? Me? You have got to be seriously kidding.

I was- and still am- never a leader. I could be a useful grunt, possibly the farthest promotion I could hope for in any army was to be a squad lieutenant, and that's already pushing my luck. I can say with confidence that I'm the most middling teenaged girl in town, average in all aspects; I couldn't even come close in looks to the loveliest girls in our village. The only unique factor with me was that I was half foreigner thanks to my father.

Confusion overtook me, reverting me to my human form again. All the words and ideas were in a hopelessly jumbled mess in my head. "I... Ah..."

I never noticed him coming close. The next thing I knew was that he had my hand in his, and he was on his knees in front of me. "My queen. You need not fear them. They will respect and obey your every wish and whim, as Master's blood is within you. The only reason I can exert my own will and influence on them is because of his gift." He gently pressed his lips on the back of my hand, sweeping back his black hair afterwards. "I, Markos Nipaaz, shall be by your side to assist you in every step of the way."

I shuddered and pulled my hand away. "N... No... Stay away from me!" I backed up a few steps, holding my hands close to my chest. "Don't ever come here again!"

"Ah, but my lady... You are the only reason we came here. We know Master Xargin came here before us to include you in our ranks. He intended for you to be among those who first experienced the evolution, and to succeed him in due time. Why, even his assistant Beatrice would not even dare to raise her voice against you; as I have said, you outrank us all in every way."

I gestured with a sweeping motion around me. "What of the townspeople? You don't care that you killed hundreds of innocent people, just to get to me? And you did all that without a second thought?!" My arms dropped to my sides. "No. I don't think so."

Markos merely shrugged his shoulders. "What of them? All of humanity will be either blessed with the Master's gift, or they will die from old age, sickness, chaos." He got up, dusting his knee. "In due time, all shall be given the gift, and in due time you shall rule them all."

Something - the way he said it, or his tone of voice, I don't really know which - set off a spark in my head. "You're not getting it, are you. First of all, you waltz in here unannounced and then you start slaughtering the villagers, just to get me. Second, you treat everyone in this village, where I was born and where I grew up all these years, as nothing. Third, your indiscriminate actions killed my mother. Fourth, and most important of all, I. Don't. Like. You. One. Bit." Somehow I shifted back to my armored form in the middle of my monologue. I raised one sword, pointing it towards the village gate. "In case it's not yet clear to you, I'll make it clear and simple. I am not going to go with Uncle Magwald's plans. I don't want to see any one of you again either. Get out of here."

A smirk formed on Markos' face. I have to admit, he's got that rugged, rogue-ish appeal, but that's not important at the moment. "Such fire! I knew those of Master's blood have the intrinsic ability to inspire, but I have not seen it personally."

Was that last part an insult? "Oi, what part of 'get out of here, you're not wanted' do you not understand? Do I have to take German language classes just so I can get my message across your thick skull?"

The next thing I knew, his spear point had gashed my right shoulder. It happened so fast, I didn't really see it. "Ah, I beg your pardon if I have to resort to violence. But, my lady, you're forgetting one tiny yet important detail." I collapsed to my knees as he pulled his spear back, creating another gash on my shoulder. "You are the one I came here for. I am not leaving without you."

I got back up slowly on my feet, a little shakily. "Oh no, you're not leaving with me." I could feel the nanomachines in my body start to work their 'magic', and close the wound. I glanced at it: two close, parallel gashes. Not too deep, but enough to cause moderate bleeding in a normal human being. This should close itself up in a few more minutes. "You go wherever you please, I stay here with the villagers. This is where I belong. Not in some far-off land, involved in some convoluted scheme for power."

Markos shifted into his armored form. "Oh dear. Then you're leaving me no other choice." He saluted with his spear, before leveling it at my heart. "Have at thee."

As always, any comments or reviews are greatly appreciated, not necessarily required.

Sanguis out.