The Luna Trials Chapter 45
Savannah and Kai could hear the sounds of the water threatening their friends’ lives. Water was merciless to shifters unless they were sirens. Thanks to their regenerative abilities, they could survive if they were thrown into a fire. Bullets were useless because most shifters moved faster than them.
Cold weapons were dangerous only in another shifter’s hands and only if special conditions were met; it had to be a special type of metal or poison, plus it had to go through the heart. Decapitation was also an option.
But water… water did not need special conditions. If a shifter was trapped under it, it would kill him sooner or later from lack of oxygen. In the middle ages, it was one of the three types of executions for lycans and werewolves.
The stakes were ridiculously high.
“Where is the entrance to the catacombs?” The Princess demanded as she followed the Northern King.
“Not here,” he informed her, and she froze just for a second before anger made her clench her fists.
“What do you mean not here?1” She was furious as this wasn’t the time for jokes or mistakes. The stakes were too high.
“We wouldn’t get there in time if we went to the main entrance that should be unscaled. ” Kai replied, “That is why I am looking for
He pointed at a carving on one of the walls, and Savannah stared at him with a raised brow.
“How does that help us exactly?” she wondered, but the Northerner brushed his palm over the carving.
“Everything is not what it seems in the Forgotten City,” he explained and then, as if by magic, the stone with the carving moved, revealing a small window with metal bars. “This was done for security reasons so that guards could watch over the priests while they performed rituals in the catacombs.”
But Savannah wasn’t interested in the explanation anymore. There would be time for that later if they survived today. And if not.it wouldn’t matter.
The little window gave them a view of a closed room full of water, but it was too dark, and they couldn’t see anything else. If there was some light before, it was gone now. The water level was rising rapidly, and one could tell it would soon reach the window.
“Da.mn it!” Kai swore under his breath, sensing his Beta close. There was no other place for him to be. “Savvy, step away!” he ordered and closed his eyes, preparing for the shift. He knew very well that he would have to use his third form for this task.
Savannah gasped as she saw his bones breaking as he stood. A transformation to the royal lycan form was different from shifting into a wolf. It was painful, and usually, it took more time. But not for Kai. He made it look so… easy. Almost effortless. She was nowhere close to that. However, she was happy that he was able to become the lycan beast. They sure needed one now!
Their eyes met just for a second as she nodded to him in approval, and he knocked the metal bars out of the window, destroying a generous chunk of the wall along with it.
without hesitation, he shifted back into his human form and dove into the water, his eyes glowing to illuminate the area around him.
Kai followed his instincts and soon saw his Beta floating unconscious, chained to the werebird, who also didn’t show any signs of life.
Too late! He was too late, and he would never be able to forgive himself. He wasn’t sure that Savannah would forgive him for this either. After all, it was his fault they still went through with the stupid Luna Trials. Even capturing Bjorn wasn’t worth losing their friends.
And they didn’t manage to take the werebear prisoner. It was all in vain.
He grabbed the chains, silver coating burning his palms slightly and swam back to the surface as fast as he could.
The water came right next to the cavity he created, and the first thing he saw were Savannah’s terrified green eyes.
He pulled their friends out of the water, and she grasped the chains to help him, trembling when she noticed their pale faces.
“They aren’t breathing!” She said what they had already both known. Without speaking to each other, they grasped the chains from different sides and broke them, working in perfect sync to separate the couple and using their royal lycan strength for it. Then, in complete silence, they started performing CPR as they heard yet another explosion far away.
“Savvy, you should leave!” Kai told her when they dared to look at each other in between chest compressions.
“No,” she firmly declined, and right then, water gushed out of Zara’s mouth. Immediately, Savannah helped her turn to a side and held her until she was taking breaths on her own. The werebird still had shackles around her wrists, and the Princess suspected they were suppressing her healing and preventing her from shifting.
“Steel is underneath the silver coating,” the bird rasped, confirming her suspicions as she caught her gaze, but then she noticed Kai still trying to save Lachlan and somehow managed to become even paler. She didn’t have strength in her and tried to crawl in the direction of the two northerners.
Savvy helped her up, and Zara took the Beta’s large palm into her hands.
“Hey,” she whispered with tears forming in her eyes, “unawarewolf, wake up!”
Kai kept pressing with his hands. Mechanically, tactically, not thinking. Not ready to give up.
He wasn’t losing his best friend. Not today. Not like this.
“Come on, big guy!” Zara pleaded. “If I did it, so can you! Come back to us!”
However, it was taking too long, and the three of them knew Lachlan’s chances were lowering every second that passed.
“They poisoned him,” the werebird couldn’t hold back tears anymore and rested her head on Savannah’s shoulder. “He… he could have fought them off or at least escaped, but he stayed because of me!”
“I wouldn’t expect anything less from my Betal” Kai grunted. He should have stopped already, and they all were aware of this. It was time to get his woman out of here, but every time he pressed on his friend’s chest, he promised himself that it would be just a few more pushes before he gave up. And if nothing happened, he would stop.
“Lan, get your ass back here! That’s an order!” He growled loudly and slammed his fist into his friend’s chest harder than he was supposed to. He felt a bone cracking, but at the same time, water burst out of his Beta’s throat from the pressure. Lachlan tried tak ing desperate breaths, but it was hard, and Kai had to help him just like Savannah did to the werebird a few moments ago.
Finally, he was able to breathe, still facing the floor, muscles flexing and twitching from the struggle.
“Kai” he panted, his voice hoarse. “This is awkward… but I have to tell you this. Although my as.s is truly irresistible, I have to say am into the Little Birdie. I am sorry, but ….”
“Shut up!” The King growled through laughter, almost tearing up in relief. This was a good sign. “Can you shift?”
“No,” Lachlan confessed. “Go and leave me behind. I’ll manage without shifting.”
“Yeah, Lan, because we just wasted all this time saving you to leave you behind” Kai rolled his eyes. “You are riding on my back then.”
“Kai, again,” Lachlan tried to smile through pain as they helped him back to his feet. “I am not interested in being your bride!”
“More for me then!” Savvy interjected as she broke the shackles on Zara’s wrists, freeing her from binding metal.
“We need to get back to the surface,” Kai said, wrapping his Beta’s arm around his neck for support.
“Do we really, though?” Savannah chewed on her lower l!p, and they all looked at her. “Kai, if you are right about Bjorn and he wants
me alive, then maybe it’s best for us not to go back up there for now? This will give a chance for everyone else to escape safely. It really looks like he is exploding the city borders for now.”
“Staying here isn’t an option.” The King furrowed his brows. “We don’t know if the bears wouldn’t arrive, and there are just four of us here.”
“I think I have a better idea!” Savvy smiled for the first time as she pointed to the wall behind them with a huge map carved on it. A map of the labyrinth of the catacombs, “How accurate is this?”
“It’s hard to tell,” Kai rubbed his chin. “it’s ancient, We haven’t done any adjustments to the catacombs since the city was sealed, but it’s pretty clear now that Bjorn and his people were using those. And who knows if they managed to make some changes.”
“But overall, it’s correct?” Savannah insisted. “It matches the city labyrinth.”
“I guess so,” her chosen mate nodded.
“Then how much do you trust me?” She looked him in the eye.
“With my life,” he did not hesitate with his answer, and she felt warmth spreading over her chest. They may have been chosen mates, but this was how mates were supposed to be.
“Then you will follow my lead, and we will leave the city through the catacombs, giving everyone else a chance to escape more or less safely while we do.”
“Fine with me,” Zara agreed.
“I’m just a passenger tonight,” Lachlan chuckled weakly.
“So be it,” Kai smiled at her. “Lead us, my Queen.”
“Fine,” she squeezed his hand quickly while she could. “Just so that you know, we will be making a little detour.”
They didn’t have time for further discussion or to question the decision. Kai and Savannah shifted into their wolves, while Zara helped Lachlan to get on his king’s back and then turned into her black hawk.
The group ran fast through the dark underground labyrinth, only their night vision helping them to see their surroundings. Their worst suspicions were confirmed when they saw a few glowing lights of the detonators attached to the walls. Bjorn was indeed using the catacombs for his plan. It explained how he was moving unnoticed for so long.
Savannah stopped in front of one of the ladders that led her to the top and shifted into her human form, Motioning for everyone else to stay behind and wait for her. She climbed up quickly and moved the cover of the manhole that was disguised as one of the empty tiles in the tricky part of the city’s labyrinth.
From there, she moved firmly, using the safe tiles to a silver pit, where she had left Mikaela not so long ago. Although now it felt as if it was weeks ago.
“You d*mn lycan!” the werecat hissed when she saw her. “You’ve returned to finish your job, haven’t you? As if explosions weren’t enough to kill me!”
“Seriously?” Savannah chuckled as she stretched her hand down. “You’re lucky you are a cat and have nine lives. With your attitude and people skills, you are going to need them all. Come on! Grab my hand, and let’s go! We don’t have much time!”
“Is this some kind of a trick?” Mikaela stared at her warily.
This was when they heard another explosion, and Savannah realised Kai was right. Because it was the part of the city close to the shrine in the centre that got blown up. Another explosion sounded, deafening her sensitive ears temporarily. He was getting rid of the part of the city where she was not in, sending a message.
“Fine!” The werecat jumped and grabbed her hand. Savvy pulled her out in less than a few seconds. “What now?”
“You can either follow me underground or stay here alone and try your own luck.” the Princess told her as she was already taking a leap to a safe tile. When she was back on the ladder leading down the manhole into the catacombs, She saw Mikaela doing the same.
Savvy shifted back into her wolf, while the werecat turned into a lioness.
Now wasting any time, they ran, ran, ran, following Savannah’s lead. The map didn’t fail them, and soon they reached the last exit. Surprisingly, this one, an old stone door, was sealed like it was supposed to be. However, Kai knocked it out with ease, turning into his third form again. He got out first, then helped Lachlan, Savvy and Mikaela, all of them panting and not knowing what to expect next.
Nothing went as it was supposed to be.
They found themselves on a hill close to the Forbidden Forest with a full view of the Forgotten City, which was now in flames. New parts of it were exploding as they watched the show unfolding before their eyes. Zara lew around and signalled to them when she saw other survivors.
Savvy let out a sigh of relief when she saw her brother and sister-in-law unharmed. Naya, Petra, and Astrid were there as well, along with Inga, Cella and a few wolves who managed to get out of the deadly trap.
Cars with northern warriors were arriving each minute at the scene, and so were reporters, Chloe and Claude were already with their microphones, working for the cameras.
“Darius Bjorn.” The white bear’s name was everywhere. Somehow everyone already knew who caused all this.
“We thought we were choosing a Luna!” one of the journalists said with a serious face. “But if this is not a challenge for the title of the King of the North, then I don’t know what is!”
Just as she said that the ancient temple in the centre of the city, the one that everyone could see from here, burst into flames.