The Luna Trials Chapter 42
Savannah looked up. The sun was setting down, and its rays blinded her as she tried to trace the movements of the woman on top of the wall.
Spikes were still poking out of the old stones, but Mikaela did not seem bothered. She was walking between the sharp blades gracefully without even looking at them. A true werecat.
“Is the little Princess lost? “she sneered, words laced with spite. Cats knew how to give attitude when they wanted it.
“I am.” the Lycaness chuckled. “Why don’t you be so kind as to get down here and help me out?”
“Oh, I am planning to!” Mikaela snickered, “I just want to offer you to give up first. Step on the sun tile, and I will not throw you somewhere worse!”
“Hmm,” Savvy hummed. “Tempting, but I would have to decline. Nonetheless, I will do the same since you are so kind to me. Step on the sun tile, and I will not throw you somewhere worse.”
They glared at each other for some time, already knowing this wouldn’t end well for one of them. “So be it,” Mikaela narrowed her eyes and jumped down on an empty tile in front of her.
The werecat struck first with her long leg with a sharp and accurate blow. Savvy dodged, stepping on a safe North star tile.
Another blow. Savannah twirled, avoiding it, fast as the wind.
They both jumped from one tile to another, and it started to look like a deadly dance. The cat was surprisingly better at this. She moved with ease and precise aim, her caramel hair flying in the air.
Savvy quickly realised why she dared to attack her. This was her only chance to win against a Lycan. Especially a royal Lycan. Cats were naturals at this. Jumping gracefully and avoiding danger was in their blood. At the same time, Lycans usually used raw force. If it was just about the force, Mikaela wouldn’t stand a chance.
However, Savvy noticed something quickly. Each time before another elegant landing, Mikaela had to look at the signs on the stone floor again.
She didn’t remember their position and had to check every time, while Savannah didn’t have much trouble with that. All tiles were imprinted in her memory by now. She could walk through them with her eyes closed.
Mikaela got what happened when a grin formed on the Princess’s face, but it was too late as Savvy had already sped up. She was throwing a few tactical punches to make the werecat defend herself and lose awareness of what was happening around her.
Savvy was moving as fast as lightning since she didn’t have to look under her feet much. All while Mikaela was losing her confidence with every second of the fight.
“Fine!” The cat yelled. “Let’s just go our separate ways!” Savvy would have laughed if she had time for this. It was too late for a truce now.
“I don’t think so!” The Western Princess went down, kicked her opponent’s feet in one swift move, making the werecat fall right onto the sun tile. The ground under her disappeared in seconds, and, screeching, Mikaela fell into a new silver pit.
Cautiously, Savvy stepped close to the edge to make sure that the girl was all right.
“You didn’t have to do this, you know?!” The cat looked at her with fury in her eyes, clenching her fists. They both knew that for Mikaela The Luna Trials were over. She wouldn’t be able to get out of here.
“This is for Petra,” Savannah said calmly. “You didn’t have to break that child’s teg either!”
Mikaela prepared to say something else, but Savvy wasn’t interested anymore. She had already moved on, continuing her quest.
The tiles went on for quite some time, but knowing which ones were safe, made the task easy. She did not meet anyone else for a while and soon reached the normal part of the Forgotten City,
It was forgotten, indeed. The streets mainly consisted of broken ancient houses built of white stone. They were much smaller than the houses now-each with a fireplace inside to keep the owners warm during cold winters.
Savvy looked up and saw drones in the sky. Three were circling above her head, and she saw several other groups at a long distance. That probably meant that other contenders were not close to her at all. This gave her relief, but she was still cautious about her surroundings.
From where she stood, she could see the shrine in the city’s centre. It was higher than any other building here, and Sawy frowned when she noticed drones flying over it. Someone was already there. which meant she wouldn’t be first.
She didn’t waste any more of her time and moved as quickly as she could. She had to at least be second.
The Princess was finally at the bottom of the shrine when the sun was almost down. Hundreds of steps were before her and she clenched her fists, knowing that the other contender was still inside.
It could only mean one thing. That contender was waiting for others.
And considering she knew where the rest of them were, it could have been only one person ….
It was dark inside the shrine. Only the large round fire pit in the middle of it illuminated the place, letting Savannah see the carvings and murals on the walls. It was Fenrir’s temple, so, of course, she recognised the huge black wolf depicted in the stories the ancient pictures told. Son of a God, he was betrayed and chained in the underworld. But even then, he managed to bite the hand of his enemy, Tyr. After years of waiting and suffering, the Wolf God was freed by a maiden and changed the world for her, creating the first Lycans. This was what the Northerners believed in.
There was a bridge from the entrance to the centre of the spacious ritual room with incredibly high ceilings. One step in the wrong direction, and she would fall down, down, down … something told her that she’d fall well below ground level as a quick glance only showed her the emptiness and darkness over the edge of the bridge.
There were many torches on the walls behind the fire pit, but only one of them was lit-the red stone one, Savannah knew who had the red ribbon.
“You are so late! I am tired of waiting! What kind of Queen would you be with such results?” Penelope didn’t even try pretending to be nice anymore as she walked out of the shadow with a smirk.
“The kind who fights her own battles, I guess,” Savannah retorted, a confident smile playing on her l!ps. That woman did not scare her at all, so she added, “Something you will never be able to say for.
“No worries, I am about to fight my battle now! So, the victory will be clean and all mine!” The words seem to irritate the Northerner. “And you will be forgotten as if you never happened!”
“Hardly,” Sawy stepped forward, eyeing which torch was hers and not even surprised that it was the one right behind Penelope’s back. So very naive of her. She probably even thought she would be able to stop her from getting there and lighting the fire.
“We shall see now!” Penelope snarled, baring her perfect white teeth.
“Oh, you make me so sad, Pen!” Savvy chuckled. “And here I thought we would be drinking cosmos and braiding each other’s hair as the besties that we are. You, me and Elene. How disappointing you couldn’t keep your act up any longer!”
“I don’t know what you told Elene for her to change her mind about me becoming the Queen, but it doesn’t matter! I didn’t spend all these years listening to her whining just to lose now, as what I always wanted is so close!” The woman gritted her teeth,
“Some friend you are!” Savvy snorted.
“I was the best friend for her! I tolerated all the tears and all the sleepless nights for so many years! Do you know that she still has nightmares about her parents being killed? She wakes up in tears almost every night! And I was there for her every time she needed me! I wiped her eyes and gave her a hug when she required one. And I listened about her obsession with your brother for years and years! Do you have any idea how annoying that is?”
“Probably as annoying as your confession right now,” Savannah nodded, holding back her anger.
“earned that crown! I worked for it for so long!” Penelope yelled, hitting herself on the chest. Her eyes flashed green as she did it.
“You lied for it!” Savvy cut her off. “You used a vulnerable girl who considered you her friend just to gain the title with her help. Well, she did help you. She owes you nothing anymore. How far would you have gotten without Elene? That is the question…”
“I’d be in the same damn place! Ready to push you off that bridget My family is one of the oldest in the North! It’s our rightful place on that throne!”
you didn’t even mention Kalonce.” The Northern Princess pointed out, getting closer. “I guess you don’t care about him much either ”
“On the contrary,” Penelope hissed. “I care about him. We would make a great power couple!”
“Wow! So much love in every word!” Savannah let out a laugh, hoping to stretch the conversation for longer. She almost reached a sale spot. “It looks to me that all you care about is power. Aren’t you afraid to say all that in front of the cameras?”
“Cameras?” Penelope cackled. This was hardly a laugh of a normal human. She looked insane, absolutely deranged.
“That explains why you are so transparent today, Pen. The acting was so good, though. I almost bought it. Almost.” Savannah was moving forward confidently. She knew she had to go through the bridge fast as this was probably the Northerner’s best bet. Unless she was foolish and really believed she could take down a royal Lycan.
“Aren’t you clever?” Penelope’s expression changed to a menacing one. “You come from the West, and you think you are so much better than everyone else! The prettiest, the brightest, the bravest….”
“I was just being me, but thank you.” Savvy accepted the spiteful compliment and, without any warning, ran straight at the other Lycaness, dodging her blow at the last moment and sliding down on the ground right up to the fire pit. She grabbed one of the torches and stuck it inside the flames, charging for the big torch on the wall with the blue crystal,
A second, and the fire started burning brightly, the crystal glowing in the darkness as the announcement of her completing her task. That couldn’t be undone, and Savvy breathed out. All she had to do now was survive.
Now she was free to deal with Penelope, who was already storming in her direction.
However, Savannah noticed some movement behind Penelope’s back and tensed. Who else could be here other than the two of them? All the contenders were too far away now.
The Northern Lycaness did not see the dark figure that appeared from the back entrance of the shrine. This was probably one of the passages from where the priests were arriving in the olden days for the rituals.
One footstep and Savannah saw the familiar white hair sparkling in the light of the fire, making her freeze on the spot.
Penelope was right next to him when Bjorn grasped her hair and yanked her back forcefully. The woman screamed as he threw her to the ground without any pity and without letting go of her black as night hair.
“What the hell?” Penelope looked at the man who held her in place as her eyes went wide with shock.
“Shut up!” Bjorn caught her hand as she tried to scratch him with her elongated claws, not caring anymore that this was breaking the rules of the Trials. The she-wolf knew she was fighting for her life now. The white bear twisted her arm, and Sawy heard a loud distinctive crack, followed by a piercing scream as Penelope’s hand got broken.
“Let go of her!” Savannah heard herself saying. She didn’t like that woman, but this was too much
“You don’t really want that do you?” Darius Bjorn looked her in the eye, and his own healthy one gleamed red.
“And now you know what I want?” She folded her hands over her ch3st, not moving. Who knew If this was another trap? It could have been all staged. Yet the panic in Penelope’s eyes told her otherwise. The Lycaness was gripped with primal lear, losing all her acrimony now that she realised her situation.
Savvy knew she couldn’t win a fight against Bjorn because he was much stronger than he was supposed to be. Penelope had no chance whatsoever.
“I think I’m starting to figure it out,” the white bear king’s l!ps curled into a smile and did not promise anything good. ”You didn’t like my last gift. I was sure you’d rip his heart out the minute you saw him, but you did no such thing.
No worries, I got you. You didn’t want to get your hands dirty, Princess, and that’s fine with me. This time I will do everything myself, and you don’t have to lift a finger. I don’t mind doing the dirty work for my…”
“I don’t need any of this!” Savannah interrupted him, not willing to hear the end of that sentence, but it was too late as Bjorn lifted Penelope by her hair and snapped her neck effortlessly, letting her dead body fall to the ground.
Savvy wanted to scream, but no sounds came from her dry throat. She could hear her heart drumming in her ears as the white bear approached her, simply stepping over the girl he had just killed. His ruthless gaze was now on the Western “Princess, and she took a step back for the first time in her life.
“See? I can just make things easy for you,” he insisted as she gulped nervously.
“I did not want or need any of this!” She repeated, Athena, growling inside her mind, ready to fight if they had to.
“Of course you did,” he went on. “You hated her from day one. She was doing everything to destroy and humiliate you. Now she is gone. And you are welcome.”
“Again, I didn’t ask for it!” Savannah furrowed her brows.
“You will not have to ask me for anything, Princess.” He was slowly getting closer. So calm, considering he was in the middle of his enemies’territory, Alone.
This was when it hit her. Was he actually alone, or was it a part of an elaborate plan?
“I will learn to fulfil your desires. Even the ones you don’t realise you have. It’s going to be fun. I promise.” Bjorn was now just Inches away from her.
“You really don’t have to,” Sawy clenched her l!ps and fists. She’d have to break the rules of the Trials too if he attacked her
“Oh, I do!” He chuckled darkly. “You prepared quite a surprise for me today, didn’t you? I just had to pay it back. Tenfold.”
Her breathing hitched. Lachlan had so many warriors to get that bear, and yet here he was standing in front of her in his black leather jacket. Unharmed. She noticed a little blood stain on his neck, but something told her it wasn’t his.
“What do you want from me?” She decided to ask, thinking of what to do now. What was the best course of action when alone with a crazy, enhanced savage white bear?
“I want you.”