Chapter Fourteen: Crux Karayan - The Composer
Immortal Rose's Journal
Ah! The concerto of night! Such a beautiful music as I have never before heard, nor possibly ever again. I could breathe easily now, away from that demonic room of blood and altars. My relief at escape from within that chamber is matched only in my concern for the Lord who remains within. He seemed so very troubled before we parted ways, yet I dare not question his commands to the physician...Tuomas? I believe that was the name used.
He is a kind doctor, and seems very gentle in nature. Even though we are nearly strangers, I find myself at ease in his presence. He was caring as he helped me from the room, and this strange scar hardly aches at all thanks to his skill.
We walked quite a ways upward, back to the main floor of the castle's structure. From here, I was led to a wing wholly different from my previous lodgings. Where all was rough stone and harsh crimson in the former chambers, here was vast marble, golden inlay and lush carpeting. Even the air here seemed lighter, the chill and darkness nearly gone from memory.
We paused outside a set of double doors, the room within seeming to be the source of the compelling music. He opened these for me, bidding that I enter. I did so and saw a remarkable hall, vast in it's splendor and filled with a wide variety of beautiful, gleaming instruments. Surely even the orchestras of well known opera houses pale in comparison to the collection here. Glinting French horns, flutes, piccolos; shining wooden violins, bass, even a grand, ornate pipe organ taking up the entire expanse of the farthest wall.
Seated here was the composer, fully engrossed in the masterpiece of his work. He was a vampire, as are most all that I have met thus far. His dark hair was nearly indigo in it's shade, tied back into a shortened tail as the magic from his conductor's wand had suspended many of the instruments in mid air as the organ continued to play. The song itself was an intricate piece, ranging from soft and slow to plunging deep and ominous chords. I nearly felt my heart being pulled from within me at the melody as the violin came into focus. The long, drawn out voice of the instrument resounded from the high vaulted ceiling in a sad, wailing chorus. Tuomas cleared his throat, breaking the orchestrated trance. I blinked up at him as he addressed the magical maestro.
"Crux? Do forgive the intrusion, but we have a guest present."
The conductor lowered the volume of his song, bringing the full composition to a slow ending and setting each instrument carefully down in it's proper place. He spoke not a word, however picked up lined parchment and scrawled a few hurried notes down from his memory. It was only when this had been accomplished to his satisfaction did he set the papers down and advance toward our place still near the room's double doors. His keen eyes and sharp manner instantly saw me in an involuntary bow. I glanced at my companion to see that he had also adopted a similar stance. The man studied us both in silence a little longer before giving a bow of his own as well as a nod of recognition to my guide.
"You must forgive me if my music has disturbed you, Madam. I shall attempt to keep the notes pianissimo if you would prefer."
Tuomas spoke up quickly, shaking his head and giving a smile.
"Oh! It was no disturbance at all. I was showing Miss Rose the grounds and layout of the castle when we heard your music. I thought it only fitting to show the music room and the source of the symphony." Here, he turned to me to give proper introduction. "Miss Rose, may I introduce Sir Crux Karayan. Crux, this is Miss Rose, the guest of Lord Katsuto."
The musician turned once more to appraise me, and I kept my head low.
"So I see. It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Rose. I trust you have been treated well within the kingdom?"
I saw Tuomas flinch from the corner of my eye, as well as Sir Karayan's eyes upon my scar. Still, I gave a humble nod.
"Yes, both Sir Tuomas and the Lord have been most kind."
This seemed to be an unusual statement to the conductor, for he raised an eyebrow and turned to the physician.
"Oh? You have not yet been introduced to the others? How very odd..."
Tuomas was quick to interject.
"Yes, well I was unsure of who was present in the castle at this time and did not wish to interrupt." A quick glance at my questioning expression before he continued. "Y-You are quite right though. We shall seek out the others at once. Proper introductions must be made."
Sir Karayan simply nodded at this, giving a bow once more to me and returning to glance at his papers.
"A wise decision. This castle is home to guards, servants and many others like myself. It is not often that the Lord brings a guest within his home, and I am certain that the others will be anxious to meet her. Now, I do beg your pardon, but I must finish my work. I trust we shall meet again, madam. Until that time however, I bid you both adieu."
We exited the room as the prelude to a deep and dreadful requiem commenced. I chanced a look backwards to see Crux's magic at work on the organ once again. It would seem that his magics are quite powerful indeed, or at least have some deeper underlying intent. As the door closed upon the musician, I could have sworn to see a wailing group of specters emerging from the tops of the gleaming pipes to writhe about their summoner.