CHAPTER ONE: MUTT
"I, Alpha Raven of Moon Stone Pack had forbid Luna Cassandra Drosell to set foot on our territory as she is no longer part of this pack."
There are series of murmurs. Pity, anguish resonant, yet the dominion of glee and disgust deems to be more intimidating than the rest, who are at lost how did it all lead here.
"Serves her right." said Bella, she is the daughter of Alpha Raven, who didn't bother to hide her intent. Beside her stood her group, which mostly consists of the higher rank wolves, who belongs to the second generation of the Moon Stone Pack; their beta, warriors, and leaders, who inherited the genes and the name of their family that made them qualified for the position.
On contrary to the young woman, whose head were hung low, it is Luna. Unlike most of the pack members who appeared decent, Luna is clothed in a rugged-looking shirt that barely give her comfort. It's thin, and dirty, mud clings and sweat from how hard she's been put to chores every single day. How ironic that she's not supposed to be the lowest of the rank, but somebody who fought wars and bring victory among her pack members.
If only things has been different.
"I accept that I was no longer part of the Moon Stone Pack, Alpha." When she held her head up high, the boldness isn't something that most are expecting to see from her.
Her eyes are cold, but there's this intensity that Luna did not bother to hide. She may have been an omega, but the blood on her veins still belongs to her parents, who are one of the noble warrior, yet treated malign to how they should be paid with respect. The urge evoke to how her parents save the pack from rogues had daren’t been remember. It ridicule her that their admiration had just been replaced, because they were accused as a family of traitors. Betrayals that were never proven, but Luna carries the burden as they died from the hands of those beast arouse the urge to clear their name, but to perish without remorse had lead for her abandonment.
"You can leave now, Luna Drosell." Alpha Raven's voice boomed with authority.
"I will." Said Luna, who did not turn her back as she leave.
"L—Luna." She heard Zavi, one of her friend, who couldn't tore off her gaze as her eyes watered.
The ache she felt is something she couldn't put into dismissal. She wanted to reassure her that perhaps it wouldn't be the last time they would see each other, but she can't. Luna knew how much it pained her. How she wanted to be reluctant, yet she's in no power to such things. The decisions were made. As an omega, she's left with no option but to submit utterly to what her Alpha says.
"I'm sorry." She whispered.
"Are we not going to hunt her? For Pete’s sake, she's a rogue now—!" Yet Bella were cut off by her own father.
The silence held as her footfalls left soft thuds seems like it was really a farewell. Luna smiles bitterly.
I hate you. She softly mumbles before transforming into her wolf form and run. To be freed, yet the liberty she never asked for had not soothe the pain away. Never in her life did she think she would feel this type of pain. It slice through herself embedding deep on her chest. The crest mark that connects her to the pack is slowly fading. The bond diminish as if it was never been there. Zavi’s call became much weaker.
Luna shut down her orbs.
“I’m sorry.” She whispered, before the shadows devoured her and disappear.
DEVONSHIRE KINGDOM OF THE FIRST BORN ROYALS
“What are you looking at, Tarik?” A woman dressed on an elegant color of satin walked towards male, whose orbs trained across the ground below.
It was Queen Nerissa, and her second son, Tarik. They both have the same features, yet the sharp jawline and the intimidating aura deems to be inherited from the King. Prince Tarik of the Devonshire appeared cold, and distant, aloof, and merciless as his triumph carry beheaded leaders of rebellious wolves and rogues. While the first born were train to lead, him, the second born as stated by tradition is trained to fought against warring lords and engage in battle for the prosperity and protection of the Kingdom. With his glory, and strength, the Devonshire stood amongst billions of wolves around the world. The peace that remains until this day and to pledge that it will continue until Augustus Devonshire reign, his older brother.
“I am just studying their faces, Mother.” Tarik voice came soft.
As his mother get closer, she placed herself right next to him.
“Are you?” She smile. “Or are you still thinking about your dreams again, Tarik?”
But Nerissa earn no response.
“You know, son.” She continued. “It did not actually became easy at first to find your father.”
“But you did.” Said Tarik, who is now listening to his Mother stories again.
“But it took me years and years of waiting.” She bit her lips as if to remember those days in an avalanche. “It took tolls of pain that I endure until we finally cross paths again.” She looks at him, the smile remain far itched on her face. “I know you’ll find her too –“
“I can’t.” Tarik’s eyes changed for a moment.
“Son—” Nerissa reached out to placed her hand on top of his.
“We have customs, Mother.” Tarik’s jaw clenched. “It’s better if I can’t find her.”
“Don’t say that, Tarik!”
“But it’s the truth, isn’t it?” Shadows cast towards his eyes. They briefly darkened. “To marry a royal is my duty, and to follow the tradition or the whole kingdom will suffer.”
The bitterness swept across Nerissa’s chest upon seeing the darkness on his eyes. If only she can do anything, but her words means nothing compared to the King, whom she knew, in spite of the happiness of their children will never put majority at stake just so they could follow their own wantons. To marry a noble blood would means power. A merging kingdom that has been practiced for ages. Nerissa is fortunate enough to have a royal blood or perhaps, she would be discarded in spite of the bond that were weaved by the moon goddess herself.
“I’m sorry.” She bit her lips. As a mother, she share their anguish.
“Don’t be, Mother.” Tarik held her hand and brought it across his lips. “I’ll be okay. It is my duty—”
“But I wanted you and Augustus to be happy.” Sadly, Nerissa voice out her thoughts. “If only I can do anything, son.”
Tarik look at her eyes. His expression unreadable, when the door slammed open across to where both stood.
“Tarik!” It was Rossinda, another royal blood who pursue his marriage, but he knew that the decision weren’t his to discuss. “I’ve been looking ever3for you, when I arrived!”
On her tail came her servants.
“And greetings, Queen Nerissa.” Rossinda smiled, giddy as she vows.
“The pleasure is mine, Princess Rossinda.” Nerissa retrieved her hand and formally greet her.
Rossinda Claudius is one of the royal bloods who’s been part of the candidate to be wed either to Tarik or Augustus. It was a custom, and Nerissa although she was put into an exemption, because she is the King’s mate had never actually in favor of it. It is a competition to serve who rightfully belongs to the throne to lead and stood beside the head of all wolves as it was one of the crucial part of becoming a Queen. It put into categories the strength, wisdom, courage and intelligence of she-wolf to lead her people.
“And I missed you too!” Soon, Rossinda is already around Tarik’s arms. She whipped her head to look at her. “Would you mind if I take your son for a moment, Queen Nerissa?”
“I wouldn’t, but you should ask him first.” She smile at her.
“No.” His reluctance in display before removing Rossinda’s hands around his arms. The softness his eyes carry for his mother disappeared. Without, the same Tarik that everybody knew appeared. Nerrisa smile sadly.
If only things had been different.
DEVONSHIRE KINGDOM’S MARKET
“Had you heard?” A woman with a wrinkled face whisper towards the lady on the stall next to her. “I’ve heard that there would be guests around the Kingdom again!”
“As expected.” The latter is nonchalant. “It is the right time for the first and second born to choose their Queen.”
“I hope they choose somebody like Queen Nerissa.” The woman continued. “I like her. The whole Kingdom prosper under their reign, and she’s kind!”
“It doesn’t matter, as long as whoever they choose fits the category, then that would be good.”
“Hey! At least show that you care!” The woman frowns.
“Yeah, right.” But the latter only rolled her eyes.
Unaware, a hooded figure took a bite from the apple she’s holding on her palms.
“A queen, huh?” She whispered.
“Why?” Another silhouette stood beside her. “Are you interested about it?”
“To rob? Yes.” She laughs. “To be a queen? Never.”
But she couldn’t help, yet to be intrigued. A search for a Queen as she heard for the first time. It was uncommon. From her previous pack, they get to choose, not because who may be suited as a Luna, but because to have a mate means a sacred choice made by the moon goddess herself. To live beside them may means bliss, but the loss of one lead to peril if not towards an insanity that a wolf would experience as they won’t be able to survive the pain and the anguish, those sleepless night and distress that would hunt them until they go insane.
“Hey, that’s my apple!” A shout from afar lead for them to look at each other.
“Oppss.” The two laugh, before they run and disappear, leaving no trace and scent left behind as it were masked to gave them an opportunity to escape more freely.
“You two could have been in trouble!” Lily scolded the pair as they arrived. “I told you that I am still experimenting with it. I haven’t tested it yet, seriously?”
She crossed her arms
“I’m sorry, Lily.” But the smile far itched on their faces had told her otherwise. She huffs and matched to her room to show her annoyance.
“You two really means trouble.” Ali headed to where they are. His eyes trained towards the hooded figure. “Especially you, Luna.”
“It’s Devon, Ali.” She chuckled.
Luna, the name held so much familiarity that she chose not to remember. It was only a reminder of her long run as a mutt, deprived from a pack for years and years of escapade that escalated for her to almost wished for death, if it wasn’t for the group she meet before. They were rogue, and abandoned by their own pack members, but unlike most of the rogue, Ali, Jasper and Lily is capable to control themselves similar to her. It still made her ponder, but Luna—No, Devon leave it be. She still have some matters to attend to than thinking about those things. One specifically is to rob as they became thieves in order to survive. Hunting had became least of their option. Some territories are guarded by numerous warrior, who could outrun them, and to be caught by those wolves would not mean a hood thing after all.
“So, did you get anything?” asked Ali.
“Just some apples and news from the Kingdom.” Jasper raised his parcel.
“The Devonshire?” Ali raised his brows.
“Yes.” It was her turn. “They were looking for a Queen for the two heir of the throne.”
“Just like before.” Ali brushed it off.
“You knew about it?” Devon ponder, she couldn’t help, but be curious.
“Yes. It is a tradition of the Kingdom” The latter nodded his head. “It was like a test to see who fits to be a ruler beside the King.”
“What about their mates?” Devon frowns. “If it is a tradition, doesn’t that means they were disregard the fact that those two heir have their mate?”
“That’s least of their concern, Luna.” Said Ali, who was busy rummaging towards the parcel held for him by Jasper.
“It doesn’t seems right.” She bit her lips. “And it’s Devon, Ali.” She added.
“I know.” Ali shrugged his shoulder. “But it’s their duty for the Kingdom.”
Devon tore her eyes off of him. Her stomach churns for no apparent reason. Her orbs lead to where they can see the four towering walls of the Devonshire Kingdom.
“It’s horrible, and…sad.” She whispered absent-mindedly.
“I know.” Ali followed where her eyes are trained across. “But duty will come first than to their happiness. It is the custom of the royal bloods. To wed for peace or choose happiness and let alone their subject to suffer.”
“Our own good that means—.” Said Devon who couldn’t deprived the gap on her chest. “—their anguish.”