The Luna Trials Chapter 51
Savannah was in and out of consciousness. She was weaker than ever at the worst moment possible. The only thing that still registered in her mind was that they were still in Kai’s castle.
Thinking of him was painful. Too painful. Thinking of him made breathing impossible, and she closed her eyes, writhing from the pain, remembering their last moments together and the spear piercing his chest. That damn spear was supposed to be just for decor…
It wasn’t true. It wasn’t true. It couldn’t be. It had to be a dream, and she had to wake up from it. Wake up! Cold air bit at her exposed skin, and she opened her eyes again. Not a dream after all. A nightmare.
They were crossing the main inner square of the castle, which was now clear from people who celebrated her engagement to Kai just this morning.
Bjorn held her tight, and when one of his warriors offered to take and carry her for safety reasons, he growled at him menacingly as if she was already his and he couldn’t stand to part from her.
She hated it, she hated this. She wished he would have left her back there with the people she loved. That would have been a much better destiny than anything else left for her.
From the corner of her eye, Savannah noticed Brigit and Astrid walking slightly behind them. The latter unfastened the wa!stband of her gown, and the skirt fell off behind her, revealing tight, comfortable p*nts and boots underneath.
Astrid came prepared. She said it was her job and didn’t lie about that. She was a true warrior. A spy, an assassin, who had no remorse over what she had just done. The gloomy dark aura of death was radiating from her now. There wasn’t a trace of the sweet contender.
Someone cried not too far away. Probably Petra. Savvy couldn’t see, and in all honesty, she didn’t care now.
She had no strength to console anyone. She has broken herself. This… what happened today… it would never be repaired. There was no way to fix it. Her life was pretty much over.
“Brigit Borg!” A loud roar emerged, interrupting her train of thought and making everyone stop. Savannah tensed. The voice was hard to recognise because it was more of a growl, but it seemed familiar. Anger soaked in that voice.
Bjorn turned around, and she could see what was going on as his men stepped aside to give him a better view. Four humongous bear warriors were holding Aspen. He was badly beaten and in chains, but his eyes were still full of fury.
He may have lost, but he wasn’t defeated yet. Savvy’s eyes searched for Brigit. She could see her pale face with parted l!ps now and noticed how she clenched her fists so hard that nails were breaking her skin and making her bleed.
“Brigit Borg!” Aspen repeated loudly, and it seemed like time froze here.” I, Aspen Morr, reject you as my mate!”
The words echoed through the square, and Brigit sucked in a painful breath; her l!ps trembled as she thought about how to respond. Savannah knew exactly what she felt right now, but she wasn’t sorry. Even after finding out everything about her sister.
She could have come to them, she could have worked with her mate, and they would have helped her to rescue her sibling.
Brigit chose the bears. Her kind. And soon, her mate would be dead because of this. Savvy was surprised he was still alive, but maybe it was a strategic decision. They were leaving the capital, which meant that this wasn’t the war’s end yet,
Bjorn just decapitated the North and probably planned to trap it into falling to his feet on its own. He wanted to get his crown while people cheered for him.
That’s probably why he kept the bloodshed to a minimum. Just the castle. Just people most loyal to kai and his family. He was that confident and believed that this would be enough.
“What are you waiting for?” The leader of the white bears taunted Brigit with a sneer. “Accept it. You reported that it was next to impossible to get rid of him, and here you are. He is disposing of himself for you, saving you the job. Prove your loyalty to us once more, and maybe we will stop calling you a traitor.”
Clenching her fists, Brigit avoided Aspen’s gaze. Tears trickled down her cheeks when she spoke, her voice barely a whisper, “I, Brigit Borg, accept your rejection.”
The Gamma of the North groaned from the new wave of pain that struck him as the mate bond with Brigit was broken. White bears around them laughed as they dragged him away to one of the cars waiting for them. They shoved him into a trunk while making insulting jokes.
“What an eventful night!” Bjorn sneered, and a way of chuckles followed. “Some bonds are broken, and some are formed!”
His eyes grazed over Savannah. He wanted to add something to his statement, but Astrid interrupted him.
“We need to go as soon as possible! We’ve already lost plenty of time, which is not what was agreed to!”
“Your Master wants something from me. Not the other way around!” The white bear snapped at her yet started walking towards the car designated for him. Savannah saw dead bodies everywhere. Some were killed during fights, and some were probably poisoned as it looked like they had all fallen right at their posts.
“My part of the deal is over,” Astrid informed the self-proclaimed King dryly. “Now I want to get the payment and leave!”
“You’ll get it when we are out of here!” Bjorn answered frigidly, and one of his men opened the car door for him.
Savannah’s eyelids were heavy. Her painful agony was dying down, but it was replaced by numbness. She tried to move a finger but found it an impossible task. She managed to get a last glimpse of the castle she hated so much when she first arrived here. Once, all she wanted was to leave this place, and here she was, leaving it but wishing to stay. She could already see the flames as the fire spread from the top floors.
She still wanted to stay. With her family and with the man she loved.
The pain was still rippling through parts of her, but she knew she wasn’t aching because of Zack and their destroyed bond. Losing Kai was a million times worse. The broken mate bond was just weakening her, but losing her beloved was breaking her beyond repair.
She passed out again and woke up only when the car stopped, having no idea how long they had been driving. It was dark inside, and several scents hit her nostrils simultaneously, indicating she wasn’t alone in the car.
“Almost there,” Bjorn whispered into her ear, and she realised he was holding her the whole time. Repulsed, she tried to distance herself from him, and he only chuckled, releasing her and letting her fall to the floor. “As you wish,” he added, disgruntled as the door opened. “I wouldn’t want to impose.”
The leader of the white bears left first and gestured to someone behind Savannah to help and get her out. A hand reached for her arm from the darkness, and Savvy flinched when she saw Astrid’s expressionless face.
The she-wolf grabbed her and practically dragged her out of the vehicle. “Just drop her!” Emma told her partner with a frown. “Our work here is done.”
“Go get our car,” Astrid replied coldly, ignoring the suggestion “I want to get out of this goddess-forsaken place as soon as possible.”
Emma gave her an eye roll but followed the order. Maybe they weren’t partners after all. Instead, Astrid was in charge, and Emma did not like it too much. Not that the Princess cared. She could barely stand on her feet. The skin on her right hand was itching because of Zack’s dry blood on it; every cell of her body was in agony. She wanted to scratch every drop of her ex’s DNA off her.
“Who are you?” Savannah asked the assassin with a hoarse voice while Bjorn was talking to his people. “Why did you-”
“It doesn’t matter.” The woman cut her off without even so much as sparing her a glance. Savvy wanted to hit her, tell her how she felt, what she did to her.
“You ruined my life!” She let out a heavy sigh, clenching her fists. “You-”
“I did everything I could to help you,” Astrid interjected, whispering so that only Savannah could hear her. “The rest is in the hands of the Moon Goddess or whatever god you believe in.”
“What do you-” The Princess gasped, not following what was going on, but Bjorn was already walking back in their direction, eyeing them suspiciously.
“I am sorry about Kai,” Astrid added quickly. “Good luck to you, Savvy. You are going to need it.”
She then pushed her at the White Bear King as if she was nothing; the man caught his prize with a chuckle and pressed her tighter against his torso, enjoying his power over her. Savannah tried to look at Astrid, searching for any kind of emotions to decipher what she had just told her.
There were too many mixed messages, and it felt like she was losing her mind.
“So can I have it at last?” Astrid arched her brow and stretched her hand. A little velvet black bag was thrown on her palm, and she carefully opened it with her thin fingers, checking the insides. Then, she closed it back and nodded at Bjorn, acknowledging that the terms of their agreement were fulfilled from his side.
“Best of luck with … everything.” The woman nodded at Bjorn, but her eyes met Savvy’s stern glare. After which, she turned on her heel and tried to leave.
“Oh, by the way, Astrea,” The White Bear King rubbed the stubble on his chin, and she stopped, “tell Aeron that he has one happy client here. I will definitely require more services from you in the future.”
Emma drove a tall black car and stopped right in front of Astrid, or was it Astrea? The assassin opened the door and was almost done when she replied, “Only if you can afford it.”
The two girls were gone fast, and although Savvy hated them both with all her heart now, she felt like she was left alone with the enemy and the last pillar of support was gone. She didn’t see Petra anymore.
She refused to look at Bjorn, but it didn’t seem to bother him at all. He seemed happy with everything, and all she wanted was to wipe that smug smile off his face. She was ready to do anything to make that happen.
“Clean her up and prepare her for the ride!” The White Bear King pushed her at someone, and this time, feminine hands caught her.
“She doesn’t look too good,” Brigit said calmly and heard a growl in response from her leader, who wasn’t interested in all that.
“Yet the show must go on!” Bjorn chuckled.
Someone brought warm water, and Brigit washed Savannah’s face and then cleaned Zack’s blood off her hand. They didn’t speak. There was nothing to say between them, and Savvy felt relieved when the girl left. Only that she came back a few moments later with a blue hooded cape and threw it over the Princess’s hair.
A cape! Who would wear a cape in this day and age?! When Bjorn returned, Savannah tried to catch a breath, leaning over a tree. His gaze studied her.
carefully, and he frowned slightly. She was too pale and did not look healthy. Yet, at the same time, she saw the excited glint in his eyes. What did he want from her now?
He stood beside her and tried to cup her chin, but she slapped his hand off.
“Just a few miles left from here to your new home,” he informed her dryly. “Our people will be greeting us.”
“This is not my home and those are not my people!” Savannah glared at him defiantly.
“Let’s agree to disagree,” the werebear smirked and took off his leather jacket, throwing it at one of his men
The princess’ l!ps parted in shock. Just what was he about to do? His t-shirt followed, revealing his large, toned upper body covered by scars.
However, when he started unbuckling his belt, she realised where this was going. “You are going to shift?” She wondered, eyes wide.
“Yes.” Bjorn’s pants fell to the ground, and he stepped out of them. She did not give him the satisfaction of a reaction and held his gaze with pride.
“Why the hell would you shift now when we are so close?” She demanded.
“Because we have to honour Northern traditions.” The werebear towered over her, and she swallowed the lump in her throat.
“Which one?” Savannah breathed out, holding the tree behind her not to fall down from exhaustion. It was her one and only support now.
“How else should one bring his bride and the future Queen if not on one’s back?” A laugh rumbled in Bjorn’s ch3st.
“And if I don’t agree?” She clenched her l!ps so tight that blood drained from them. “I am afraid I am not in the mood.”
“Then, as a good partner, I will help you!” The werebear nodded, and immediately a warrior arrived at his side with silver chains in his hands…
Lachlan sensed that something was off the moment they walked into the main corridor leading to the throne room. The guards he personally placed were all missing.
He gestured for Zara to be quiet and took her hand, leading her to one of the side passages. They barely managed to step in there when the smell of fire and the sound of laughter reached them.
“The Old North is dead!” The familiar voice of their enemy thundered in their ears. Zara clenched her teeth and almost ran to attack the bears, yet Lachlan caught her in time and held her in place, covering her mouth,
She struggled against him. They both realised pretty quickly what was going on.
“There are too many of them!” The Beta whispered and felt the werebird’s tears on the hand that was covering her l!ps. “You will only get us killed.”
Too. You will only get us killed too. This was what he was saying.
Failure. Zara felt like a failure. She should have been patrolling the sky today. Maybe she could have noticed the movements on the ground and warned her friend. Instead, she indulged herself and forgot about everything. And this was the result.
The sounds of laughter were gone, and the smoke started to fill the space around them. “Come on!” Lachlan intertwined their fingers and pulled her behind him.
They entered the room where their two best friends were supposed to unite today and froze, seeing the dead bodies surrounded by flames and broken glasses with spilled wine. Zack was right in the centre, his heart not too far away.
Zara let out a sound resembling a whimper as she ran to Riannon and her husband. Neither of them was breathing.
Her liberator was pregnant! What kind of monster does this to a pregnant woman?! Zara still remembered how that woman made them fight for their freedom, how she reminded them of their worth. Seeing her lifeless on the floor in her golden dress was heartbreaking.
Lachlan didn’t move. All he could do was stare at his friend. His King. His brother.
He had seen so much blood and death in his life, often because he caused it. He had lost his mate before. But he never expected to see Kai pierced in the heart on that stage. Defeated for the first time in his life. It wasn’t fair. This was a cowardly attack, he could tell that much. This wasn’t how his friend was supposed to die.
“Where is Savannah?!” Zara looked at him helplessly, her eyes full of tears. He did not respond. “Where is Savvy?!” the werebird screamed and brought him to his senses.
“They took her,” he muttered and stepped towards Elene, who looked like she was asleep in her chair. The graceful Princess kept up her appearance until the end. She was like a sister to him, and the sight broke his heart.
The fire was spreading rapidly, and Lachlan knew they wouldn’t be able to put it out. He knew that Kai would want him to at least get Elene’s body out, and he intended to do just that.
“We need to go!” he said to Zara, and she shook her head. “We can’t leave them!” she pleaded. “We’ll take whom we can.” His voice was stone cold. He would blame himself for this forever. He got closer to Elene and prepared to lift her when her hand flinched.
He must have been seeing things. Yet the princess’ fingers moved, and Lachlan was finally sure this was the reality. Whatever happened here, at least Elene had survived. This was better than nothing. Right now, he was happy to take that because it was so much better than losing everyone.
“What the-” The Northern Princess scratched her head, trying to focus her vision. Inga’s father gr0aned next to her.
Zara was taking a hair strand off Riannon’s face when Gideon snatched her arm before he even managed to open his eyes. Protecting his mate came before everything. The werebird squealed, but then Ria knitted her brows, and Zara was ready to let the Lycan King break her hand if he wanted to. She was ready to give anything for this to be true and not a hallucination because she’d breathed in too much smoke.
“You’re alive!” She felt her eyes stinging from tears, relief washing over her.
Before the royal couple managed to say anything, a huge flaming chandelier fell on the ground right next to them. Gideon locked his hands around Riannon, his body was still stiff after whatever drug was used on him, but his pregnant wife was his first priority. He noticed Kai on the stage not far from them with his chest pierced by a spear, and he gritted his teeth in frustration and fury.
If not for the spear, the Northerner would be awoken too. His blood was dripping off the floor and Gideon could tell at once that the wound was fatal. Too much blood and silver through the heart… no one could recover from that.
“We need to go!” he rasped, helping Riannon up. They both could barely walk, but the Western King still gestured to Zara to help others. Kyle was already at the exit with Evelynn, who was desperately searching for Petra everywhere around them.
Lachlan really wanted to get Kai’s body out, but Celia couldn’t walk. He knew what his King would have told him now if he was still alive. He had to save the living first. He had to perform his duty as the Beta of the North. It wasn’t the place or the time for sentiments.
Soon they were all outside, watching in horror what the bears managed to do in such a short time. The dead bodies of the soldiers who weren’t drugged were in pieces all over the place. It was obvious they fought bravely but were outnumbered and… betrayed,
“Zara, stay here!” Lachlan ordered. “I am going back to get Kai.” The Beta charged for the entrance, but Gideon blocked his way. His strength was restoring slowly “He is dead,” the Western King said. “If you go there now, you will be dead too.” “I am sworn to defend him until -”
“Until the day one of you dies, and that day is today.” Gideon announced grimly. “The North needs you alive now more than ever.”
Lachlan stopped, taking in deep painful breaths. He couldn’t believe that this was the reality, but he had to face it Kai was dead.
A tall man entered the throne room and walked lazily between the broken pieces of furniture. He saw the dead priestess on the ground and the dead guards. He had seen too much death in his life, it didn’t touch him anymore, didn’t make an impression.
This was why he never liked big events. He chose to live alone and as far away from all that as possible. It was better for him. It worked.
However, today he had to come here because something that belonged to him was calling for him. And he couldn’t imagine that he would ever see this object again.
He stepped close to the dead Lycan King of the North and looked at him with a mixture of regret and respect. He’d known Kai since he was a little boy. In his own way, he knew him. They had more in common than one could imagine, however bizarre that sounded. And he grew up to be a Lycan to be proud of.
Such a shame…
Strong fingers wrapped around the silver-coated metal of the spear, and a wave of electricity went through it, causing Kai to open his eyes.
D*mn it! He forgot about that effect…