At night, the Uroc - Dry Fall riding’s flagship moved as the waves lapped at it.
The Brucolac was on the sofa in the semi-dark cabin room, his vision still clouded, his body scored with burns and scrapes, pus leaking.
He made a disgusted sound in his throat, his breath hitching and his rotting chest panting in and out.
"Get out of here." the Brucolac whispered.
At the cabin entrance, Uther Doul was standing between two vampir guards. He worn his sword on his left hip, his countenance calm and composed.
"I'm here to parley." he said in that beautiful voice.
"Par...ley...?" the Brucolac forced between his teeth. He narrowed his eyes at Doul, the man who tortured him with the sunlight, "...get out, Doul. Or if you'd like to be turned away?"
But Doul was unfazed. "I think you know exactly the situation in the Garwater. It is a difficult time, but we will not lower our wards-"
"Fuck you, Doul." the Brucolac snarled through his teeth.
"-And Dry Fall was also in crisis for almost losing its ruler." Doul gestured vaguely toward the Brucolac. "Given the circumstances, we should try to avoid confrontation with each other, which will only weaken both of us. We want to make a peace with Dry Fall. I am sent by the Lover-"
"By the Lover?" the vampir snorted. "That cat's paw...."
"I am sent by the Lover to parley. Think it over, Brucolac."
"It is you who want to parley, Doul. It is YOU." the Brucolac said meaningfully. "You're afraid that I would attack Garwater, are you? You're afraid that I would occuppy Garwater and rule the Armada, are you? In your philosophy, no riding will be allowed to overtop the others."
Doul said levelly, "You should consider my proposition."
"What are you worrying about?" the Brucolac leaned up on his elbows. "Now I have no ability to attack your riding in my condition."
"I mean your cadres and some of your people. You must order them to stop assaulting our people. And vice-versa. There is no time to wreak hatred."
"Yes, of course. Don't hand out punishment on innocent persons. I can give orders." Suddenly the Brucolac lowered his voice. " But don't think I will forget what you had done to me."
Doul shrugged. "You are talking about revenge, right? You think you can revenge...on me?
The Brucolac lurched to his feet. "You bastard..." he bared his teeth, "you bastard...one day, I will let you taste all the pain I had suffered."
The Brucolac staggered a few steps, his fists clenching, but Doul had turned to go, a smile dancing at the edge of his lips.
A contemptuous, pitying smile.
The smile was all too familiar to the vampir, which he had endured for hundreds of years in High Cromlech.
"One day, Doul...one day..." the Brucolac hissed indignantly to the empty doorway.