When I enter the hall where the vampire generals and princes are the guards search me for any hidden weapons. One's hand slides over my butt and I back away from them. “Don't be a pervert.”
“We are simply searching for hidden weapons. It is protocol.”
“I am a lady. Treat me with respect,” I demand.
Jonathan, Kurda, and Gavner Purl watch in surprise and mock horror. The guard doesn't touch me again but says “Shoes are not allowed. They could have weapons.”
I take them off. “Examine them if you wish but I WILL wear them.”
The guards examine them carefully then hand them back to me. I place them on my feet then hurry inside the large room. It is dome shaped and made of some strange pulsating glowing material. Gavner explains to me that Mr. Tiny brought the Little People in to build it as a gift. No one was allowed to watch and no one has been able to figure out the material. Its magic. The other gift that is magic is a Blood stone. It pricks vampires so their blood enters it and then anyone can find exactly where they are. He says half- vampires do not do it.
I stand before the princes with Jonathan. “What possessed you to blood a child?” Mika asks. “And of all children, a female at that.”
"Excuse me Sire,” I interject. “I am not a child. By human standards I will very soon be an adult. And I do not think that it is okay to be prejudice against me for being a female.”
“She is correct,” Paris, the oldest vampire, tells him.
“She had much knowledge on vampires from a very old book. She is a highly intelligent person. She literally begged me to blood her and with her...circumstances...I agreed.”
“Is this true?” Paris asks.
I nod. “Yes sire, I did beg him to blood me. It was what I desired. I was very well aware of what I was asking for.”
“Hmmm.....” Paris is thinking.
“She is still too young," Mike argues.
“Paris, you were two years old when you were blooded,” Gavner points out.
“That is not the point!” Mika shouts.
“She is brave, and intelligent, and strong, and honest. She is an extraordinary young woman and she will make an even better vampire when the time comes,” Gavner says. “She made the trek up the mountain without fail. That alone proves-”
“The question is not about her ability. Jonathan broke the law,” Mika interrupts.
“She is intelligent. She is almost an adult by human standards and she knew exactly what she was asking for. I vote that no one shall be punished,” Paris says,
When I emerge from the hall of princes Darren and Mr. Crepsley are waiting. “What happened?” Mr. C asks me. “Is Jonathan to be punished?”
I shake my head. “No...but there are repercussions.”
“Like what?” Shan asks me.
“I am no longer allowed to stay with Jonathan.”
“What? Why not?”
“He did wrong according to Prince Mika. He changed me even though I said I wanted it. They are banishing him to a vampire island.”
“That seems hardly fair,” Mr. C says.
“He does not mind nor do I but it means I am now on a quest to find a new teacher. I cannot be by myself at such a young age and Gavner is in charge of helping me. All the generals have to agree but not the princes.”
“Do you have any idea of who you want?”
“Not yet,” I shake my head.
Shan's trial is the day after mine and his case isn't ruled as well as mine. He is sentenced to prove himself by the Trials of Initiation.
“That's not fair!” I yell, clearly in distress. Those trials are designed for full blood vampires who have trained for six years and want to be a General. Vampires have died trying to do it. If you fail they kill you anyway in the hall of death by dropping you over metal spikes.