23 Monster Aboard the Moonligh

    "Eden, let me ask you when you were young, did you ever dream of being a pirate?"

    Before taking this option, I had considered many possibilities: hiding on the ship, killing whoever came to get me, jumping from the ship at port, and many other options. However, the problems with many of them are I don't know what they know. Has the video of my actions been sent out? Will they figure out that it was me in Japan? Is it going to be police or military waiting for me at the next port? Are they going to try to catch or kill me on sight? Too many unknowns, that's why I've decided to go for the nuclear option.

    "Eira, what are you about to do?"

    "Well, first, I am going to go find the Captain. I leave the decision if you want to come with me to you, but I'll warn you things are about to get a bit messy."

    Eden stops speaking and looks down at the back of her hand. She rubs the mark of the Goddess that is burned into it.

    "...I was told by the Goddess to stay close to you, so I should go to."

    I look at Eden seeing the determination in her eyes, "Okay, if that's your decision, then grab everything you may need; we may not be able to come back."

    "Okay...oh, here's your laundry. I did it last night, and I bought some more clothes for you as well this morning."

    "Oh, yeah, thanks. Wait, did you not sleep?"

    "I had to work last night, so I was up, and I just went to the ship store when they opened. Buying clothes on the ship is really expensive, but the card went through."

    I glance at the pile of clothes and my eye twitches.

    Eden looks at me with anticipation, "I didn't know what you would like, so I just bought stuff like you already had."

    I pick up a set of underwear that is covered with pictures of kitten paw prints.

    "Yeah...this is perfect. Thanks again..." I do my best to put on a smile.

    "I'll finish gathering my things."

    A few minutes pass, and Eden returns with a duffel bag full of clothes. I dump more snacks from my ring to make room and again suppress my urge to cry.

    'All my snacks! Why is this world so cruel?'

    We are about to leave Eden's room when I remember something I almost forgot. I pick up a pillow and toss it at the person in the closet.

    "AH!" Audrey squicks.

    "Come on, Audrey, we're leaving."

    "Where are we going?" she looks at me nervously.

    "You are going to take me to have a talk with the Captain. Where would he be right about now?"

    "...I don't know why would I know that?"

    I purse my lips, "Then, just take me to his room."

    "I don't think taking you to the Captain's cabin is a good idea..."

    Frowning, I tighten the blood choker around Audrey's neck. Audrey panics and grips at the choker trying to get some breathing room. I leave her like this for a moment before returning it to normal.

    She turns and stares at me with fear, "Okay, let's go."

    Together all three of us leave and head to the stairwell. We walk up several sets of stairs and eventually arrive at an area close to the bridge. Audrey leads us to a door with a small gold plaque on it that reads 'Captain Hitchcock.'

    "This is Captain Hitchcock's cabin."

    "That's great. Now knock on the door and see if he answers." I move to an area out of sight of the door.

    I hear a small sigh from Audrey before she knocks on the door.

    **Knock Knock**

    **Knock Knock**

    "I don't think he is in his room right now." I hear Audrey say.

    I walk back to the door and find it locked. Looking above the door handle, I can see this door seems to require a key card.

    "Audrey, use your key card to get us in."

    "Even if I do that only works for the deadbolt. I heard that the Captain insisted on having a traditional lock as well." Audrey points at the door handles keyhole.

    Losing my patience and afraid someone might find us, I use my nail to break the lock. I grab Audrey's key card, swipe it, and shove Audrey into the room while Eden follows behind. I begin to look around the room to try and get an idea of the character of Captain Hitchcock. What I see makes me frown slightly.

    "What's wrong?" Eden, who seems to have noticed my expression, asks.

    "Look around, what do you see?"

    "...A clean room, not many furnishings, some old photos, Uhm, a flag, and that's just about it."

    "Yeah, but what does that tell you? Like look at the photos, the newest ones are of who I assume is Captain Hitchcock with his daughter at her college graduation. Then when you look at the oldest one, it is a picture of him and a woman at their wedding. Then there's another with the same woman pregnant, after that there aren't any more pictures of the women. Those pictures look at least twenty years old, but he still displays them, which means his wife is probably dead. Then the flag is a U.S. Navy flag, which means he is probably ex-military, and anyone who would hang a U.S. Navy flag in their room was likely in the military for a long time."

    "Oh...I don't really understand why all that is important."

    "It means the guy's wife is gone, his daughter is already through school, and he has life long military training which likely included how to deal with situations like this. Basically, the guy doesn't have enough to live for, and that will make it difficult to threaten or use him for our purposes. Obviously, I could be wrong, he could be a coward, but if I had to guess, he'll continuously try to undermine us or simply refuse to cooperate."

    "That's what you mean...well what are you going to do?"

    "We'll see after I speak to him, but if he's like I think he will be, the safest thing will be to remove the unpredictable variable."

    "What!" Audrey shouts at my words.

    Just after Audrey's shout, I hear someone fumbling with a key outside the door.

    "Huh? Is someone in there?" I hear a masculine voice say.

    "Did someone break this lock. Whose in there!" The door flies open, and a man with short hair and a well-groomed beard enters. He is wearing a white sailor's uniform, a white cap, and looks just like the man in the photos.

    "Captain Handcock!" Audrey yells.

    "Two maids and...are you? Wait, it's you! The one from the video, the murderer!"

    Captain Hitchcock steps into the room like he's about to charge me, but he hesitates. Presumably, he remembered what he saw in the video.

    Taking the opportunity, I look toward Eden, "Please close the door."

    Eden shuts the door slowly and quietly. Hitchcock gives Eden a funny look, likely wondering why she is listening to me.

    "Hello, Mr.Hitchcock. Can we talk?" I give him a big smile to show my fangs and lower my hood.

    "Wha...a little girl? No...what are you? Is it a birth defect?"

    "It's not a defect, Mr.Hitchcock, and I'm not going to bother answering any of your questions."

    I remove the blood seal around my wrist and again let the blood flow. I form it into my long red scythe and again smile.

    "What?! So it really is you. That video wasn't edited, what the hell are you?!"

    "I've already told you I'm not going to bother with your questions. Not only is it not worth my time to explain things, but I also don't have the time."

    "Whatever, it doesn't matter! The First Officer and the Safety Officer has already informed the coast guard and sent them the video. They've already seen the weird things you're capable of. No matter what you do as long as you're on this ship, you're a rat in a cage!"

    "...Well, if that's the case, I might as well be the biggest rat in the cage."

    Hitchcock gives me a confused look, "What is that suppose to mean?"

    "I'm saying I am going to be the ship's new captain."

    "What are you trying to commandeer the ship? It doesn't work like that, not to mention you're just a little girl, even if you are a monster. How would you manage to pull off something so stupid?"

    "I'll manage. Anyways you're probably aware I'm not afraid to kill you, so are you willing or unwilling to cooperate Mr.Hitchcock."

    Hitchcock freezes and looks toward the photos on the shelf. As expected, his facial expression becomes one of resolution and determination.

    "I have a duty to uphold! I'll never cooperate with whatever you are!"

    Hitchcock starts to run toward a dresser in the corner of the room. Realizing he's likely going to grab a weapon, I rush toward him. Using my scythe, I sweep his feet, causing him to slam his face into the floor. His cap flies across the room, and blood begins spilling from his nose.

    'His attitude would probably be a bit different now, but this guy will serve my purposes better in death.'

    I quickly position my scythe between the floor and his neck. I can see drops of cold sweat mixing with the blood from his nose.

    "Eden, leave the room."

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    Eden looks at me, "No...I should stay."

    "Eden, leave the room. You've only had a few days to think about these kinds of things. So leave."

    Eden shakes her head, "...No."

    "Fine! If you aren't going to listen, then I have something to ask you."

    I remove my scythe from Hitchcock's neck and instead raise it in the air. I swing my scythe cutting the tendons and muscles in the back of his legs. He yells, but I ignore whatever it is he is trying to say. I then grab him by his hair and lift him, facing him toward Eden. I pull my scythe back and place it against his neck, and I then shove my forearm in his mouth to muffle any noises. He bites at my arm in desperation, but he can't bite through the coat, and even if he could, I wouldn't care.

    "Eden! You asked me why I kill, and I told you it was so the blood race can have a future. The only way for the blood race to return is going to be upon a mountain of corpses. There is no other way! In the past, they committed genocide against us. Our kind! The humans would make games out of burning the children of the blood race on stakes, and for what?! Because we drink blood because we are different from them?! They called us evil monsters who could talk; they cursed the Goddess; they laughed at our suffering. But you know what Eden? I'm not afraid to be the evil monster if that is what the blood race is going to need."

    I pull the scythe back as hard as I can manage. Blood spews from Hitchcock's neck, and soon he loses strength.

    [7 Essence Acquired]

    Even with his death, I continue drawing the scythe deeper into Hitchcock's neck. Sometimes I have to push the scythe forward and once again pull back; this isn't exactly how a war scythe is meant to be used. Finally, after repeated efforts, I make it through the spine, and Hitchcock's headless body collapses to the floor. I look at my arm, where Hitchcock bit so hard that his head is still stuck to my forearm. I pry it off and hold it.

    "But what about you, Eden? Are you willing to be what the blood race needs even if it's an "evil" monster? Or are you too afraid?"
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