It’s 11:48 pm. People in the small town are mostly asleep. Standing in front of the abandoned building in the Textile School, Lin Luoran looks serious.
The gate is rusty and the color of the tile wall has faded. Vines crawl all over the trees. The abandoned building emits a decayed atmosphere. Only the spiked and round roofs with colored tiles indicate that the building was European style many years ago.
Is this the reason why vampires choose to live here? Lin Luoran arrived here at 11 o’clock. She has been standing in front of the gate for over forty minutes. Lin is holding the disgusting flower called “Rose of Love” and she is wearing a mask decorated with cheap fake pearls and green feathers which she bought in a little store by the roadside. Most of her face is covered by the mask, but her eyes shine in the night.
Lin Luoran is wearing the seasonal formal dress of a famous fashion brand. Li Xi’er gave Lin the dress a month ago and Lin put it in her space. It’s a long tight golden tee dress. The design of the hemline is complex. The burdensome dress makes Lin feel like a golden mermaid.
They want to play and Lin would like to go along with them. She checks her watch. It’s five to twelve.
On the other side of the road, three young people are looking this way anxiously.
Li Xi’er, who has known Lin Luoran for years, Yuan Ye, Lin’s new apprentice, and Xiao Xiaomu, who volunteers to help, can all feel the coldness and low pressure around Lin Luoran. The three of them don’t have the invitation but they follow Lin here anyway.
Time is passing by. When the hour hand, the minute hand, and the second-hand overlap, the sound of a bell comes from one of the roofs of the old building.
It’s 12 o’clock!
The building is like a sleeping beast that suddenly wakes up at night. Among the mist, lights in the building are turned on one after another.
The sound of music comes from far away. The rusty gate is open by someone from the inside. The waiters lay the red carpet on the floor. In the soft music, young girls in dresses in medieval style walk out in line. If their pale faces were covered up by the makeup and the smell of the Blood Line could be hidden, Lin Luoran would think that this is a scene in a movie.
One of the young girls notices Lin’s hesitation and she walks to Lin and makes a courtesy.
“Dear guest, follow me, please.” The girl says politely.
The girl makes a bow. Lin Luoran can see her beautiful neck and collarbone because the girl’s dress is low-cut. The girl is also wearing a corset, which makes her waist slender. She has a pink silk bow on her blond curly hair. Her hollow mask can barely cover her eyes. The girl reminds Lin of princess Sissi in the movies. She is so pretty and cute, just like women in medieval paintings.
From the stunning waitress, Lin Luoran knows for sure that the Blood Line cares about their appearance.
Lin Luoran fakes a smile and follows the girl inside.
Li Xi’er, Yuan Ye, and Xiao Xiaomu also want to go in. The rest of the waitresses giggle and close the door. In the light and the mist, they leave nothing but their laughter and the flashes of their dresses.
Li Xi’er stamps her feet, “Why didn’t you two try harder? We might have a chance to break in!”
Yuan Ye says nothing and looks up at the sky. Xiao Xiaomu follows. They are both young cultivators who spent almost all their lives cultivating in deep mountains. They barely see any pretty girls in sexy outfits. How could they act roughly and push the girls?
However, they can’t ignore Li Xi’er. Yuan Ye says smilingly, “Call me brother and I’ll get us into the building.”
Li sneers, “According to the seniority, you’re my nephew.”
The shag carpet under her feet is so soft. Lin Luoran feels like walking on clouds. Her dress sweeps on the carpet and there is absolutely no dust.
Cashmere carpet like this is expensive. Lin Luoran looks around and finds the entire building covered by the same carpet. There are violinists, waiters with cocktails, and well-dressed guests wearing masks, talking to each other by the pool. Over 100 people are at the masquerade.
Over 100 people from the Blood Line… Lin Luoran starts to worry.
The inside of the building is completely different from the outside. The ballroom is decorated with famous flowers and colorful lightbulbs and ribbons are hanging on the trees. The buffet is served on the long table lighted up by candles. However, every piece of fine cake on the table smells like blood, which is the proof that this building belongs to the Blood Line.
“Wow, why is a human doing here? I’ve never seen her. Is she the new blood slave?” A drunk man says. He has lost his mask and his tie is loosened. His pale slim hands reach out to Lin Luoran.
Before Lin subdues him, the young girl who brings her here has poured the glass of wine in the man’s hand on his face.
Red wine runs down the young man’s face and ruins his collar. He finally comes to his senses.
The man’s handsome face is twisted. Lin Luoran can imagine how furious he is. At this moment, the young girl says something which puts out the fire in his heart.
“Andy, this is Miss Crystal’s guests!”
The man apologizes. Lin Luoran walks past him without even casting a glance at him. The man is only at the lower level in the Blood Line. Yuan Ye and Xiao Xiaomu are capable of beating him. Lin Luoran was rattled back then. She calms herself down and checks around the room. She finds that people here are not very powerful so she regains some confidence.
After Lin Luoran is gone with the young girl, another man chuckles in low voice, “Andy, you’re brave. You just messed with one of the top five cultivators of Huaxia.”
Andy’s pale face gets paler. He says, “She is Miss Crystal’s…?”
The man laughs, “Cheers for the moonlight in Huaxia.”
Andy’s glass is already empty. He can’t join the toast.
Lin Luoran hears every word of them clearly. Is the man not aware of her good listening, or he just doesn’t care at all? Lin hopes that her second guess is wrong.
Crystal’s what? Lin Luoran doesn’t want to be referred by these unclear words especially when it comes to Crystal.
On the highest building. Lights are on. Shadows of two people are cast on the wall.
The young man with brown curly hair is not wearing a mask. He is handsome and his baby face adds a sense of cuteness to him.
He looks more like a premature teenage boy.
He is looking around. Lin Luoran shows up at the corner and he stares at her. Then he says seriously, “Crystal, I must say that your taste has been getting worse lately… This skinny eastern woman is far less attractive than the sexy European ladies.” Lin is annoyed by his words and stops to consider him cute.
Crystal stares at Lin Luoran without blinking. She replies, “She is the best choice I’ve ever made in my life. Roddick, my dear big brother, I hope you won’t fight for her with me later. I won’t show mercy because we’re siblings.”
Lin Luoran now knows how old the “teenage boy” is. He teases, “In your life? Baby sister, haven’t you forgotten that you’ve lived over 480 years?”
The two of them start to argue. Crystal’s favorite bat pet is standing on the window. It opens its eyes and looks at Lin Luoran’s right hand through the window.
The bead is hanging quietly on Lin’s wrist. The bat’s eyes are bloody red. Lin Luoran senses the evil stare of it and looks up, catching the sight of the bat.