Chapter 1: Living a Fantasy

Before his world plunged into darkness, Grey raced through the night, pursued by three unknown figures. Those figures looked like police officers at first glance, but there was something off about them. They were more like soldiers or mercenaries on a relentless hunt.

Young man, Grey, running through street

Grey could only hear the echoing pulse of his heartbeat until his father’s scream sliced through the air. 

The sound caused a slight grin to appear on Grey’s lips.

Earlier that day, Grey was at the store with his mom. When they got to the checkout, Candice reached into her purse to find an empty wallet. Why? Because Marcus, without a hint of concern, took her money, leaving Candice and Grey stuck at the register.

When Grey went back to the store with Marcus, they only had enough money to grab the basics—diapers, rice, and beans. It was a short shopping list, symbolic of how Marcus impacted their daily lives. Grey couldn’t help but think about how his dad, a real mess of a guy, always brought trouble. 

The eleven-year-old’s thoughts raged.

I knew that idiot would get me killed one day.

This notion had lingered in Grey’s mind for years, a looming premonition that now, uncomfortably, hit too close to home. 

Speaking of home, Grey’s house was only a few steps away.

The walls were dirty and battered by years of neglect. The broken screen door leaned awkwardly, no longer serving its intended purpose. 

Grey considered how much effort it took for his family to finally move out of their rundown apartment and into that home. He considered hiding inside of his room, but that would endanger his baby brother, twin sisters, and his mother. 

Why was my life like this? Was it karma?

Grey’s life was dominated by a family history steeped in crime. His dad, uncle, and their friends were gangsters. These were the adults who shaped his upbringing. Forced into dangerous situations and trapped, he unwillingly became a player in their violent ways.

Yeah. I deserve to die, but only me.

A primal instinct surged within Grey—an intense, desperate need to protect his family. Grey clutched his father’s keys, their cold metal chilling his trembling hands. Defying his own shaky aim, he threw the keys into the abyss, targeting a neighbor’s balcony with imperfect precision.

As the metallic jangle cut through the night, a triumphant cheer escaped Grey’s lips. His usually terrible aim found an unexpected stroke of luck, almost as if magically guided by the wind.

Yet, that scream was more than celebratory. It was a cry meant to pierce the silence, to alert anyone nearby, and to prevent his pursuers from going after his family. Whether he succeeded in his desperate attempt was a question Grey would carry with him for a long time.

Once the men caught up, Grey’s world turned black.


“Sold to Ward Farms!” The announcement reverberated through the air. A chorus of harmonic groans trailed the statement, jolting Grey into an unsettling awareness. The world around him became a blurry puzzle, and he started to make sense of this disorienting new reality.

As the night breeze brushed against his naked body, Grey noticed two moons hanging in the sky, their otherworldly glow casting a delicate light. In the midst of this surreal scene, he couldn’t tell if his senses were playing tricks, but a distant spaceship seemed to be soaring away from their location.

Before Grey could fully grasp the situation, he was forcefully pushed off a stage, hurtling toward the noisy crowd. Amidst the uproar, a voice with a seductive allure cut through the chaos.

“I couldn’t help myself. The boy is so beautiful. Just look at him,” remarked a woman named Selene. 

Grey possessed a slight and slender frame. But his features were finely crafted, exuding a sense of grace and gentleness that made him stand out.

His light gray eyes, similar to his mom’s, had long, sweeping eyelashes that made him look vulnerable but expressive. Grey’s lips were full and gentle, and they added a nice balance to his face’s delicate, brown contours. Being called “beautiful” wasn’t foreign to Grey.

Selene continued to echo the compliment. “Seriously, look at him!” Her tone carried a strange mix of admiration and possessiveness.

Vampire elf looking at you in yellow dress

Arranging her outfit with an elegant touch, Selene donned a white dress decorated with red rose embroidery. It hugged her waist snugly, and the fitted bodice came to a point in the back, adding a subtle touch of fullness. This choice of attire complemented her long, blonde hair and pointed elf-like ears, which went unnoticed by Grey.

Young maid with stern expression

Arranging her outfit with an elegant touch, Selene donned a yellow dress decorated with red rose embroidery. It hugged her waist snugly, and the fitted bodice came to a point in the back, adding a subtle touch of fullness. This choice of attire complemented her long, blonde hair and pointed elf-like ears, which went unnoticed by Grey.

In sharp contrast, her servant, Isabella, exuded strength. Her physique, reminiscent of a lightweight boxer, was hidden beneath her light blue uniform. With a simple, natural radiance, her eyes added a hint of aggression to her demeanor. “This was a steal, Mistress,” she obediently chirped.

As the confusion started to clear, Grey realized he was bound to the back of a carriage. Inside, Selene and Isabella seemed comfortable, their attitude hinting at an unsettling familiarity with Grey’s strange journey.

“And the father too!” Selene exclaimed.

“Everyone in Galves will be jealous,” added Isabella.


Grey questioned the word internally, the name resonating with his cluelessness. 

And didn’t they mention my father? Oh! 

He was the man on the chain link in front of Grey. 

I couldn’t escape that idiot, even here. 

The irony of Grey’s situation weighed heavily on him, chaining him not only physically but also inescapably to the presence of an irresponsible failure.


Within a week, Grey adapted to the rhythms of his new life as a slave on Ward Farms, a supposedly prestigious estate beyond Amana’s borders, according to Selene. 

The property boasted large pillars, a broad balcony on the front, and expansive windows that adorned its structure. 

At the entrance, Grey graciously held the carriage door open for Selene, who thanked him before stepping inside. As Grey took his place beside her, Selene swiftly commanded the centaur to depart. After adjusting his tie and kicking his hooves several times, the centaur obliged before disappearing into the distance.

Downtown Galves brought to mind scenes from American Westerns for Grey. Men sported guns at their sides, and women wore puffy dresses seemingly immune to dirt. What puzzled Grey were the pointed ears and abundance of tattoos on Galves’ residents. Both men and women displayed intricate tribal patterns from head to toe, creating a visual tapestry that left Grey questioning the unusual norms of this unfamiliar world.

Under the moonlight, Grey walked down a dusty road, just a few steps behind Selene. The path passed saloons with swinging double doors.

As Grey trod the uneven dirt road, he noticed a strange group of people. Men and women, dressed in futuristic armor and wielding swords, stood out against the backdrop of what seemed like an old-fashioned town. Their presence drew attention from the locals, who regarded them with a mix of curiosity and wariness.

Selene, like the locals, showed disdain for these out-of-place figures. Despite her disgust, she turned to Grey with a smile, and said, “Fortunately, I found what I was looking for quickly. You see, I’m eager to get home to try another one of your human meals with my wine. You can head back to the carriage for now.”

Masking his confusion, Grey took a bow before following her orders. Grey wondered if those strange people were the reason Selene was here. 

He didn’t know enough about Galves or whatever this world was called. It was all so foreign, which added to his stress.  

The residents had pointed ears, tribal tattoos, and a taste for blood wine—Ward Farm’s specialty. Sometimes, Selene even skipped meals, surviving on nothing but non-alcoholic blood.

Like a lightbulb appearing above him, Grey corrected his posture.

These people are vampires.


Within a month, Grey smoothly adjusted to his night shifts, effortlessly taking on tasks that were once handled by multiple servants. He performed each duty with what seemed like a genuine smile, becoming skilled at understanding Selene’s preferences, from her favorite coffee blend to the exact way she wanted it served. Whether lighting her cigarettes, easing tension from her shoulders, or promptly delivering her morning paper, Grey became an essential part of Selene’s nocturnal world.

She treats me like her lap dog. Grr!

Despite Grey’s exceptional service, Selene was upset that he never blushed at her beauty like most young boys would. His composure never faltered. Frustrated by her unsuccessful attempts to fluster him, Selene, in a playful turn of events, decided to play a prank to test Grey’s unshakable calm.

Before sunrise, Selene dressed in a seductive robe, cast a teasing look over her shoulder in an attempt to finally get a reaction from the unflappable Grey.

Isabella walked beside the brocade drapes that framed the windows. She pulled the thick curtains closed, their purpose clear in keeping out the rising sunlight. 

Beside her grand canopy bed, Selene stood. The bed had intricately detailed posts, and layers of opulent fabrics—silks and velvets. On the bedside table, an antique oil lamp emitted a warm, flickering glow, casting dancing shadows across the room.

After clearing her throat, Selene moaned, “Grey, please take my robe.”

The usually unaffected Isabella choked and coughed simultaneously. “Mistress, I’m happy to continue the nightly task. We just need to dismiss the little one.”

As Selene shifted her attention to Isabella, Grey seized a fleeting moment to break character. His eyes widened, and an audible gulp escaped before he swiftly readopted Isabella’s customary stoic demeanor. 

A gracious smile adorned Grey’s face as he obediently accepted the robe, taking a quick glance at Selene’s naked body before bowing his head. This reaction, however, resulted in Selene pouting. She was clearly disappointed by his subdued reaction, deeming it too dull for her taste.

Though he appeared unaffected, Grey’s face was losing more color by the second. 

To his astonishment, Selene’s complexion bore an uncanny resemblance to lifeless flesh—pale and cold, a stark departure from the warmth expected of the living. 

Intricate tribal tattoos started below Selene’s breasts. Though Grey scarcely had the opportunity to scrutinize them closely, he was sure her tattoos were more intricate than others.

As a wave of discomfort washed over him, Grey felt the room spinning. A rush of blood heated his face, while a clammy cold sweat took hold. Recognizing the need for relief, he excused himself with a determined stride, making his way to the slaves’ bathroom.

In the confined space, Grey hunched over the toilet, vomiting. Isabella joined him, offering comfort by rubbing his back as he emptied his dinner.

Vampire flesh is undead, and not easy to stomach. It’s like looking at a dead body after a few days, and it moves. Gross!

Isabella provided an explanation, her voice a soothing contrast to the discomfort. “The mistress forgot to use her charm. It’s a spell that makes people fall for vampires.”

Grey, wiping his mouth, managed a smile. Isabella continued to support him, rubbing his back as he leaned over the toilet once more. “You’ll get used to it,” she reassured him.

Like hell, I will.

Grey frowned and pouted in a way that unexpectedly amused Isabella. It was a rare sight to witness her smile and that caused Grey to chuckle. 

Isabella was genuinely surprised. All this time, she had thought Grey was mute. Instead, Grey struggled with a severe stutter. Speaking posed an insurmountable challenge for him, so Grey chose silence as a more comfortable option.

When Grey finished, Isabella diligently attended to cleaning up the aftermath. Then, she assisted Grey in navigating the hallway toward his bedroom. 

As the sun’s rays began to peak over the forest trees, a harsh sound caught Grey’s attention. Selene’s son, Christian, engaged in a violent altercation with a slave, his aggressive actions drawing the attention of onlooking slaves who were compelled to witness the disturbing spectacle.

Christian the vampire elf with a menacing smirk

Christian was handsome in a manly way, though he was thirteen years old in human years. He had short blond hair and piercing crimson eyes, which were menacing, especially as they gazed at the slave.

Christian beat the slave with his bare hands in a way that seemed impossible for such a young boy. He was half the size of the slave but appeared to have ten times the strength. The beating only lasted a moment but ended in the slave’s death.

As a small pool of blood began to gather in the dirt, Christian extended his hand, speaking words that were drowned out by the anguished cries of the other slaves. Before his palm, a vivid green circle appeared—a symbol resembling a large coin with an infinite sign at its core, surrounded by obscure characters.

Once the radiance faded away, the slave began to cough and cry mournfully. He was breathing again. 

“With a weak spirit like that, I don’t think I can revive you again today.” Despite the softness of his voice, an underlying aggression colored his words. Christian glanced at the rising sun before turning to the other slaves, delivering a warning. “Sometimes, you all forget that you’ve got seven lives on Vale. You should be smarter about how you use them.”


Grey was frozen as tears began to trickle down his face. He recognized that he could be killed and resurrected as a form of torture, even by a child that was close to his age. 

Isabella squeezed Grey’s shoulder and led him back down the hallway. “It’s true,” she confirmed. “The people of this world can use magic that can bring you back to life. And that magic hurts worse than death itself.”

Grey dried his eyes once he realized that Isabella was speaking from experience. 

“You can be resurrected seven times, but you’ll probably go mad long before then. If that happens, you’ll be thrown into the fields as a mindless worker. They’re called Zeroes, meaning they can’t be resurrected if killed again.”

Outside of the estate, hundreds of humans proceeded to pick red grapes that radiated with some sort of magic.

“Just keep your head low and obey the mistress,” Isabella said in an attempt to comfort Grey. 

Though he nodded, Grey wasn’t the obedient type. There was a fire in his eyes. 

I need to escape. But where? 

Grey stopped walking and looked out at the field once more. There was a forest of twisting trees that were much taller than the trees on the estate. It was only a mile away at most. 

Grey imagined himself as Tarzan within that forest. The king of an unknown jungle on the planet called Vale.

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