It took Damien three nights after his and Asher’s little adventure to figure out what the runes meant. Or at least the few he had been able to see, memorize, write down and then recognize from his own scribblings.
He hadn’t lied what he’d said that he had gotten an education from the mage of his village as a human. Sadly, an education a thousand years ago had not included reading or writing. He had been taught to match words to symbols, rituals, myths. Never the written word.
(But these childhood lessons, full of warmth and kindness, they were burned into his mind still and would be a thousand years from now, ten thousand. He’d cherished them through a millennium of servitude and now he could use them to help someone else. He remembered the runes. He remembered them.)
And then he had been turned and his Mistress had demanded he get a ‘real’ education. But he was frozen, forever caught in his own body, never to age, never to change, and his fingers had only learned to hold a sword, not a quill. To this day, his hand writing was stiff and artificial. Like the runes on Elisabeth’s back.
But he had managed to translate enough of them to be truly intrigued. As soon as he’d gotten back to the Circus he had gotten permission from Jean-Claude to go through the boxes that the Master of the City had bought from her
along with Damien himself. There were books there from his time, his home. What he found there confirmed what he knew. The runes were old, ancient in the truest sense of the word.
What the tiny blonde had etched into her skin was the first language, the original language. Created before any human language it was that of angels and demons, gods and creatures of myth. Once upon a time, mortals had believed that they would turn blind if they tried to read the Old Language. These days, they did not even remember that it existed. If they stumbled upon it, they passed it off as something else.
After that he had used the books to translate his own notes, checked and rechecked his work and in the end, put it into presentable form on proper paper instead of the lined and cheap paper he had nicked from Jason’s room shortly before dawn.
Now, four nights after visiting Elisabeth at work he stood outside Asher’s office, folded sheet of paper clutched in his hand. He knew he should go to Jean-Claude first but, technically, Asher was Jean-Claude’s second in command and could take matters to the Master if necessary. He wasn’t really breaking any rules and he felt - knew
- that Asher was the better candidate for revealing his translation to. Because Asher was as strangely infatuated with the young old blonde as Damien was. He looked at her the same way.
And so, Damien knocked purposefully and strode into the room, sitting when Asher indicated a seat and motioned for a moment to finish whatever he was doing. Then he recapped the pen in his hand and set it down, looking at Damien.
“Yes?” He asked.
Wordlessly, Damien handed over the folded sheet and watched as the blonde vampire unfolded and smoothed it on the desk. He watched as Asher’s face went from confused to surprised to awed to mesmerized. He watched and silently recited the words he knew by heart after only three nights in his head. Cruel Darkness rules over man and burns the land. Man bleeds. Man dies. Man-