"So, any information regarding my mother and sisters?" I asked as soon as Keres walks into my office.
"About that ... I do. But they're far from being the pureblood royal family of Gotus. Baracus forced them to sell their dignity," I abruptly stood up from my seat, glaring at her.
"Wait! I'm not done yet. It turns out your sisters had a child from being forced to marry someone. Your mother was forced to marry a well-known billionaire because Baracus doesn't want to live poor. In other words, that bastard half-breed used your family to the brim," I can't believe this.
"And my father thought he's perfect for ruling Gotus because he has a penis. What kind of logic is this? The kingdom he fought hard for just goes down the drain because of him! Good job papa," I sigh heavily.
I need to save my mother and sisters.
"I know that look. You want to save them huh?" I nod. I distinctly remember how my mother tried to stop my father from forcing me into the casket. She fought hard for me but of course, my father was too strong for her.
"Tell Hotep to do something about this. I want them here. I want to be with my family," Keres nod. Before he walks out, I turn around to meet my eyes.
"What is it?" I asked, curious.
"Don't you think it's weird that Evangeline's blood manages to move your casket's top? I've been thinking about it since day 1. I wonder who she really is," that is something I wonder about myself as well.
"Her blood seems special. Her mother possessed the same aura as well. I ..." before I could finish my words, Miss Kingston walks in.
"Oh! I'm sorry. I did knock," Keres waved it off.
"I'm about to go as well. Carry on," Keres excused herself and walks out of my office. Miss Kingston now before she closed the door behind her.
"What do you have in store for me, Miss Kingston?" She literally shoves me a file she was working on.
"Well, you did give me a few assignments to look upon. I think we should proceed for the search of Titanic," I raised an eyebrow. Titanic? Known as the ship of dreams once upon a time ago huh.
But Titanic is too common. There is even a movie about them. I need something new and fresh.
"Or, if you think Titanic is too boring for you, you can always sponsor us to do some expedition at the deserts of the Amazon. Some parts of the Amazon is untouchable for the humans. Your kind could easily penetrate those hard terrains," my kind huh? I raised an eyebrow.
"I didn't mean it like that. What I mean was ... well ... hmmm... I'm sorry. I have such a big mouth," Miss Kingston sigh heavily.
"This is why I don't have any boyfriend or husband yet. Because I don't know how to say what I mean," I tilted my head with a smile.
"Hotep has a lot of pointers if you wish to have a man in your life. She can always help you if you just ask. She has thousand years worth of experience with men after all," that made Miss Kingston thinking.
"Maybe I will," I shake my head. Back to our discussion, I need to think hard if I want to make this museum flourish and benefit everyone as it will benefit myself. The search for the Hope Diamond in the Titanic is such an old story.
"Oh! We can always add more weapon to our collection. I've heard that somewhere in Italy some random group of construction worker just stumble upon a mysterious sword and it's been in the heated argument whether the government should take it or it should be dubbed as a rare collector's item," mysterious sword?
"Mysterious sword is not what I have in mind. I want more extravagant, more ... out of the box. I want something no one has ever done before," Miss Kingston sigh yet again. It's hard to please me and she knows it.
"Well, I'm sure I'll find something. When I do, you have to make sure it's mine, okay?" Miss Kingston nod.
"About my second task, I did find a couple of houses that fit your taste. There's an abandoned castle, that needs a lot of tending to do. There is also a villa that was once owned by a drug lord. On the brochure, it mentioned that the owner was killed there and there is a basement where the authority found several human skulls," that is such a fascinating thing to be included in the brochure.
Humans sometimes baffle me.
"There is also another castle that was said to be haunted by the moaning woman," huh?
"Moaning woman? Are you sure it's not someone just have an intercourse?" Miss Kingston waved her hands.
"This is legit! I followed the tour and there was the sound of a moaning woman. It sound likes she's in pain or something and it's fascinating," for a smart woman, she's gullible to what humans call a gimmick.
I've heard that humans do sorts of thing to make a place interesting and this is one of it.
"I'll have the abandoned castle. Hire someone to make it beautiful again. I am a queen after all. A castle is what I need," Miss Kingston nod before excusing herself.
Now, what kind of newer attraction should I have in my museum?
I decided to give the humans a visit since the museum is closed for the night. Walking around the parts of the museum made me thought of something.
It needs a new attraction.
"Oh, Lady Imperia! This is a surprise," it's Miss Kingston.
"That's quite a lot of books you're carrying, Miss Kingston," the human gave out a nervous laughter.
"There's a new shipment that came today and I would like to do some research before going through the artefact. I want to learn more about their history before investigating it hands-on," That's dedication for you.
Wait, a new shipment?
"A new shipment? Did I authorised this?" Miss Kingston shrugged.
"I didn't bother reading into the details but it's here and it's fascinating. Would you like to see it for yourself?" I nod and followed her towards the warehouse. As I stepped into the warehouse, there is a loud music greeted me.
"What is this? This is what you humans called as music?" I try to find the source and I should have known it came from the two junior anthropologists, Evangeline and Daphne.
They were so into their investigation to even notice me coming in.
"Please then the music off, it's making me deaf," Daphne looks up.
"Hey! It's Britney Spears! She's the real queen and you should show some respect!" I raised an eyebrow when she realised it's me she was yelling at.
"I am pretty sure I was a real queen," Daphne was speechless.
"So, Miss Kingston, where is this shipment you mentioned to me earlier?" Miss Kingston pointed at a medium size wooden box that was placed on a steel table. She turns on the bright light and showed me the papers that have the shipment details.
"It says here it's from a donation from a certain family and they want to get rid of it because they believe it's cursed. Seems like every single artefact we have meant something huh," I smiled while reading through the paperwork.
"Every single artefact has its own story that wishes to be told. But ... a cursed artefact? You only get that from a tomb or forbidden place that humans and creatures shouldn't mess with. There was a reason why it was cursed in the first place," I decided to open the wooden box with my nails instead of using a crowbar.
It's much faster this way.
"I'll be damn," it was a surprise to see this magnificent artefact.
"This is a Maori warrior mask. It supposedly to store those warriors who died in battle. Basically, they keep their soul in the mask. It doesn't affect men but it does affect the women. Especially those who're pregnant or ... menstruating," I chuckled before carefully place the mask on the table.
I am fascinated by the design of this mask. It was well carved. The craftsmanship was the best! I was admiring the beauty of the mask when Miss Kingston steps to take a few steps back.
"Oh come on, it won't harm you that bad. I think," Miss Kingston decided to take the safer road.
"Maybe I should keep this in my office instead. It won't do us any good if the female guest ended up getting hurt while in our vicinity," Miss Kingston nodding her head.
"Seems like I don't need these books huh," I try to put on the mask but somehow it just ... made my face burns.
Putting it aside, since they're all here well except for Miss Waters, I should tell them that the museum needs a newer attraction. My guests should experience the wonders to travel the world when they came to this museum.
"Newer attraction? After a week of our big opening? How are we suppose to find that kind of attraction in time?" Evangeline was sceptical.
"Well, what if tell you that I already know what I want?" I smiled. The humans were confused. Hmmm... maybe I should just tell them straight up huh.
"Have you all heard of the Japanese battleship Musashi? I think you all should be aware of it since you're history enthusiast," they look at each other before finally realising what I'm planning to do.
"No way ... don't tell us that ... you want to search for the wreck?!" Miss Kingston shocking expression was amusing to see.
"Well ... that was the original plan but ... I already know the location of the wreckage. Why do you think Keres is not here right now? She's in the Philippines, looking for it," they were surprised.
It was a drag to literally forcing her to go and find the wreck. We tried to call those who found the wreckage but it didn't have us any useful info. Why beg if we can just search it on our own?
"This is literally suicide! What do you want to gain from this? It's just a wreckage of a battleship. What kind of artefact do you wish to find? Don't get me started with the exact location of the wreck. It's at the deepest parts of the ocean!" Daphne was really worried for her life.
"Where is your sense of adventure? I thought this kind of mission is what you wish to do," I banter.
"We study human behaviour and how did they live their life many years before our time. We do not search for sunken ships. I never heard of something like that before," I smiled when Miss Waters decided to join us.
"But you're working for the museum. As the owner and the director of this museum, you have to follow what I have to say. That's easy, right?" Miss Waters seems lost when she sought help from Miss Kingston. Evangeline and Daphne, however, we're trying hard to change my mind from going forward with this.
"Come on, this is a piece of history that everyone should be excited about. This is not just about a sunken ship, it's about the great battle of Leyte Gulf. It's one of the biggest naval war the world has ever seen. Beside, Keres told me she found something far more exciting that board inside the shop itself. You all will be happy to even get to see the 'thing' Keres had found first hand," I hope it's enough to lure them in.
"Well ... as long as we don't have to dive into our death..." Miss Kingston's seems battling with herself.
"Great! Our next stop, the Philippines!" I said before anyone could say anything. That was easy!
-Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Philippines-
"Hmmm ... welcome to the Philippines. I've chartered a luxury yacht for this trip. I hope that fits your taste, Imperia?" That's more than what I had in mind. I smiled at her.
"I guess so. How was your expedition? Did you find it?" Keres shrugged.
We went inside the car that Keres came here with and begin our journey to the pier where our yacht awaits.
"You actually leaving Hotep to deal with the museum? How can you trust her that much? You should at least leave one of the human back at home," Keres was curious. But if I leave my leading anthropologists, this won't do me any good. I need full coverage of media attention for this if I want to make a name for myself.
"That's .. not important. Anyway, have you make a deal with the Philippines government official about the expedition?" Keres nod.
"Of course! It was not easy but I manage to get us access to Musashi. Although, it's literally 3,000 feet beneath the Sibuyan Sea. Well, it's hard for humans but for us, I think it's going to be a piece of cake," since Keres said it, I guess there won't be any problem at all.
"Actually, what are you trying to gain from this? What is the thing you're looking for in Musashi wreckage?" Should I even entertain Evangeline curiosity?
"Well, I was thinking that I should take something that significant with the battleship and that'll be enough to be our new attraction, one of it," I turned to Miss Kingston and Miss Waters.
"You guys shall do a full report about the ship. That way it'll be fascinating for the guests of the museum who follow the tour. This is not the only new attraction I have in mind. There is more but for now, we'll focus on this task," the humans complied. Keres however, seems to be in a deep thought.
"Something bugging your mind?" I asked.
"Yes, maggots and other parasites that eating it inside out," Did Keres just made a joke? She sighs heavily before resting her head on my shoulder. She took my hand place another on top of it.
"Now that you're here, I won't have to dive all alone in a pitch-black seabed. The wreckage scattered across the bottom of the ocean and I haven't fully investigated it yet. It's hard since the water current was a bit odd," odd?
"What do you mean?"
"Exactly what I mean! It's like someone or something is preventing me from doing my job. But I have pictures for you to see back at the yacht. You'll know what I mean when you see the pictures yourself, "there are pictures? Now, this is getting interesting.
"Wow! So this is Metro Manila? This is my first time coming here," Evangeline was excited. Daphne was busy taking pictures and share it with the world using this apparatus they called social media. I have to learn a lot more about the modern world if I want to fit in.
I have my dreams I want to achieve and I don't think I can fulfil it without any knowledge of the future.
"Lady Imperia, Lady Keres, if I may be bold, what kind of other new attraction that you have in mind? Because don't get me wrong, I just want to make sure to be ready for anything that may harm us in a way," Miss Waters has a point there.
They're humans after all.
"Well ... for that, we have to be at the holiest place on Earth, the Vatican City," I winked at her. It's best for her to not know all of my plans but it's good she wants to prepare. Now that she has part of my vision, she should know what to do.
"Are we going to war with the church? No ... that's suicide!" Daphne's back to her worrywart self again.
"You don't have to worry about that. I know what I'm doing," I assured them.
"Are you? I mean, you've done nothing but getting us in trouble," when did Evangeline become this vocal? I chuckled and so does Keres.
"She's a feisty one huh?" I nod.
"Like mother like daughter I guess," I was casually looking out at the window when I thought I saw something peculiar. I forced the driver to stop the car in the middle of the busy road and got out to confirm what I just saw.
I look around at the angry humans that coming out from their car, yelling at me for my abrupt action. I have no idea what they were saying except for the word 'bitch'.
Where is it? I know I saw something, where is it?! It was when I look up to the sky I saw someone smiling at me while flapping its wings to keep himself elevated.
"Welcome to the Philippines, my name is Jericho. I am a loyal servant for the leader of the only vampire clan here in Asia. My master told me that she could sense an aura but now that you're here, her feelings were right and she needs to make sure if you're not here to destroy her territory," flying in broad daylight? He must be special.
Hold on, did he said Vampire Clan? In Asia?!
"Vampire Clan? In Asia? Do you mean to say that your mistress is the leader of the Asia branch?" Jericho shrugged his shoulder.
"That's what I said. What is your purpose coming here? And where are you going? You may pass custom into this country but there's more inspection you need to go through since you're one of us," this is a drag.
"I'm not here to destroy your master's territory. Not yet," I smiled and turned my back at him.
"Where are you going?! We're not finished yet!" He finally landed on his feet and try to touch my shoulder but Keres appeared in front of him. She growled.
"Don't touch the queen!" She said through gritted teeth.
"Down, Keres. He's not going to harm us. He's just following orders like a good dog he is," I entered the car followed by Keres. We continue with our journey to the pier with nothing but a thought of this mysterious vampire clan leader.
I wonder who she is.