I stared down at little Raivyn, her eyes shut, skin ashen and mouth stretched wide in a cry of hunger, baring a pair of small fangs.
"What are you waiting for?" Hades chuckled from the comfort of his throne. "Your little Mistress is hungry!"
Yes, what an exquisite punishment my father devised! Demotion from Crown Prince to Nursemaid for my replacement! I would have to balance carefully how much of my own blood to feed her and when...to keep her content and at the same time prevent my own life force from being drained away.
I looked back at Hades as I slowly rolled up my sleeve. "If she is a vampire, then she cannot age.."
"With your ichor, she shall slowly grow to maturity..very slowly indeed.."
Calmly I offered my wrist to the infant, pressing it gently to her mouth. Instantly I felt the fangs sink into my vein. After a few seconds she ceased feeding, and I hurriedly rubbed my wrist as I whispered incantations to seal the small wounds. I heard coughing sounds from the bassinet and looked down with concern.
"What is wrong?" Growled Hades. "Barely a minute at your new station and you have already failed? Your punishment shall be.."
"Hold, Father!" I raised my hand as I peered more closely. With the Doctor's skill I picked Raivyn up in my arms and examined her. Her skin was flushed pink, her pulse and heat beat fast, but normal for a human infant.
"As you see, Father, I have achieved my first success in raising your new Princess by curing her of her vampirism with the antidote in my bloodstream!"
The Death God rose from his throne. "IMPOSSIBLE! Cerberus would have smelled such treachery and torn you to pieces!"
I grinned, as my language shifted to Latin..reflection of the old Senator's wordsmithing that would have done any Devil proud! I cradled Raivyn protectively in my arms.
"This was the Doctor's idea, and the Demon only followed in blind trust! And as the Doctor was unconscious until the merging so there was no treachery to sense! Further there was no antidote until you merged us, Father! We each consumed half the formula during what would have otherwise been a very enjoyable breakfast. The Doctor, being only human, fell deathly ill from his portion, but it was a risk he gladly took."
Hades clenched his massive obsidian hands into trembling fists as I continued.
"Since Princess Raivyn is cured of vampirism she is devoid of any evil taint. As a newborn she is free of any shadow of sin whatsoever!"
With that Raivyn belched onto my robe a substance I shall not describe.
"That does not count. Now where was I? Oh yes! By Your Majesty's own rule, no innocent may dwell in the Court of Erebus! Therefore it is my duty as her duly appointed Guardian to escort her back to the world of the living!"
The steel floor shook as the King of Erebus approached and crouched to look me dead in the eyes. Even when I was close enough to feel the heat in his angry eyes they were still lost in a sea of absolute darkness with the rest of his face.
"YOU, impudent DEMON, CANNOT take the Princess to the Upper World, for YOU are NOT innocent!"
I stared back calmly as I repeated my earlier statement.
"Did you not hear me, Father? I REPENT!"
Hades took a step back as pure light radiated from my body.
"I do not repent betraying you..In doing so I had sought to overcome Good and Evil both by twisting my soul into a Paradox..but now I see.."
The twin serpents, who had embodied my darkest traits, tore through their hiding spaces under my shoulder blades, and for the first time ever they completely extricated themselves from their host body, finding it uninhabitable. They writhed on the floor helplessly.
"The answer is..APOTHEOSIS! I renounce any claim to your throne or the Court of Erebus! I abandon the Path of the Incubus! I exorcise the Demon from my own soul! I REJECT ETERNAL LIFE! I EMBRACE MORTALITY!!"
I spread my crimson batlike wings, which immediately sprouted scarlet feathers. As the Demon King lunged for me I rose skyward with the child in my arms, buoyed by Divine favour.