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Chapter 36 Bloodlust_暮光之城:破晓 Breaking Dawn

 They came with pageantry, with a kind of beauty.

  They came in a rigid, formal formation. They moved together, but it was not a march; they flowed inperfect synchronicity from the trees—a dark, unbroken shape that seemed to hover a few inches abovethe white snow, so smooth was the advance.

  The outer perimeter was gray; the color darkened with each line of bodies until the heart of the formationwas deepest black. Every face was cowled, shadowed. The faint brushing sound of their feet was soregular it was like music, a complicated beat that never faltered.

  At some sign I did not see—or perhaps there was no sign, only millennia of practice—the configurationfolded outward. The motion was too stiff, too square to resemble the opening of a flower, though thecolor suggested that; it was the opening of a fan, graceful but very angular. The gray-cloaked figuresspread to the flanks while the darker forms surged precisely forward in the center, each movementclosely controlled.

  Their progress was slow but deliberate, with no hurry, no tension, no anxiety. It was the pace of theinvincible.

  This was almost my old nightmare. The only thing lacking was the gloating desire I'd seen on the faces inmy dream—the smiles of vindictive joy. Thus far, the Volturi were too disciplined to show any emotion atall. They also showed no surprise or dismay at the collection of vampires that waited for them here—acollection that looked suddenly disorganized and unprepared in comparison. They showed no surprise atthe giant wolf that stood in our midst.

  I couldn't help counting. There were thirty-two of them. Even if you did not count the two drifting,waifish black-cloaked figures in the very back, who I took to be the wives—their protected positionsuggesting that they would not be involved in the attack—we were still outnumbered. There were justnineteen of us who would fight, and then seven more to watch as we were destroyed. Even counting theten wolves, they had us.

  "The redcoats are coming, the redcoats are coming," Garrett muttered mysteriously to himself and thenchuckled once. He slid one step closer to Kate.

  "They did come," Vladimir whispered to Stefan.

  'The wives," Stefan hissed back. 'The entire guard. All of them together. It's well we didn't try Volterra."And then, as if their numbers were not enough, while the Volturi slowly and majestically advanced, morevampires began entering the clearing behind them.

  The faces in this seemingly endless influx of vampires were the antithesis to the Volturi's expressionlessdiscipline—they wore a kaleidoscope of emotions. At first there was the shock and even some anxiety asthey saw the unexpected force awaiting them. But that concern passed quickly; they were secure in theiroverwhelming numbers, secure in their position behind the unstoppable Volturi force. Their featuresreturned to the expression they'd worn before we'd surprised them.

  It was easy enough to understand their mindset—the faces were that explicit. This was an angry mob,whipped to a frenzy and slavering for justice. I did not fully realize the vampire world's feeling toward theimmortal children before I read these faces.

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