Chapter 4: Chains of Succession
I took a deep breath as I warm up with my pupil. Today is the day to test her might. Even though that I am the commander of the swift runners, I know fully well that they will expect me to pass on to a worthy successor of mine. If I fall in battle or be away from my clan for long periods, my successor must capable of leading my unit with or without me.
“OH YEAH! SERIOUSLY, MASTER! YOU HAVE BEEN BORING ME LATELY! GIVE ME A GOOD FIGHT.” Alkar… My wolf has been getting antsy with me since I have been on patrol lately. There were no intrusions from the humans, vampires or our kind.
“Alkar! We are in a sparring session. You are getting your chance today.” I need to let him know.
“Are we ready, commander?” Sophie is in her fighting stance. She takes off her glasses as she did.
“Are you ready, Sophia?” I asked before we train. Knowing Sophia, she is shy and meek. Despite her petite frame, she is a fierce warrior who recently won the tournament that I’ve set up. Plus, I saw the potential inside her, her peers saw she can be even more fierce than I am.
“Ready, Ladies?” Beta Hank is our referee. We nodded. “Let’s get it on!”
“Alkardo!” I summoned the wolf inside of me.
“FINALLY!” I transformed into my full-form as I did many times, but Sophia already finished hers. A worthy successor candidate!
As we clashed, claw to claw, fist to fist and fang to fang. Sophia was pressing the advantage against me, moving in a blur than the eyes can see. I smiled because this is what I want in a candidate.
“My lady!” I spooked her when I walked by. “I didn’t hear you there.”
“Are you planning to fight in the tournament?” I noticed she was reading a romantic novel about a human woman who fell in love and mated with a rogue Lycan.
“Uh… I am not much of a fighter, miss…”
“Call me Tilda or Commander. I saw how you trained after yesterday’s session.” She blushes.
“They stated I was moving like a phantom on the field. They even said that I can exceed you by speed.” She puts her head down. “Originally, I have wanted to work in an office but my father insisted my talents would better serve under you.”
“The offer still stands, Sophia. They will be a time that I will not remain as commander for long and I would like it more if you can take part in the tournament.”
And she did. Surprising everyone at the tournament, they didn’t think a petite young woman would be the best among them. After the finals, her ferocity and strength floored even Hank, her mate, who took part in the tournament.
To my delight and amazement, they kissed after the match. Had a feeling their wolves were desiring each other, and I knew better to ruin the moment.
“To think you can move this fast!” I narrow dodged her fist and swung at her with my back fist.
“I learned from the best, ma’am!” She grabbed by the arm and slammed me down. I spun around and grabbed her by the arm. I turned around to see her landing with a swipe of her claw on my face as her image faded away.
“You got me!” I smiled. She was worried she may have wounded me by clawing my face.
“Oh, ma’am… Commander, I am so-” I wagged my finger at her.
“This is not a time to apologize. This is training.” I darted toward as I gave her a swift kick to the leg. She was gritting her teeth when I did. In battle, show mercy or apologizing to the enemy is a bad idea. You can lose your life over that.
She teleported near me despite her leg slowing her down… she is fighting smart. I expect all of my soldiers under my command to fight, even if they were to be crippled. She is even parrying my blows, and she is counting me to target that same area again. So I did… she jumped to the air and landed a swift-kick to my face.
I kip-up from the ground… Nice shot, Sophia!
“Let’s wrap this up!” I dashed toward her and our fists impact each other. Jumping to the air, we trade blows with each other, trying to find a chink in each other armor. Every I came close, she would be on the other side of me or when I need to move back, she would attack from behind.
I have the speed and endurance. However, Sophie has her tactical advantage and mobility. Eventually, we need to end this in one go. Even with my endurance, she will count on me to be exhausted, but I know she is sweating hard as I pushed back.
I dashed to land a decisive kick; she was on top of me but… I grabbed her and slammed her down back to the earth… Sophia’s is clever; she was in her partial form. We rolled on the ground; we went into our half-forms as I quickly pinned her down.
I was breathing hard… Sophia.. She can hold her own in a battle.
“You came close to beating me.” I sat down on the ground. “I even slammed you into the ground.”
“I transformed into my partial form before I even touched the ground. Had I not done so, you might have won.” I nodded. Hank was giving water bottles.
“So it’s a draw?” He smiled.
“You can say that.” We laughed.
“Commander. Can you meet with me in my office?” My father was speaking to me in mind-link.
“Yeah, I’ll be there, Alpha.” I quickly got up and head to the locker room.
“Commander, you sure you don’t want to stick around for a bit?” Hanks is being a tease, but when it comes down to my father, I don’t want to keep him waiting.
I arrive at his office in the grand hall; I have heard about the Alpha convention where all the alphas among the clans gather under the eyes of our king to discuss business. Never forgave him after what he did to Quinn, so I’ll assume…
“I’m telling you, father! Make me your heir!” Reagan? “I would rule the clan. You even told me since I was young!”
“I am warning you, my son! I will name you as my heir! WHEN I’m ready to do so and you demanding it will not make it happen faster.” I stood by the wall. “If you ever make a demand like that! I will toss your sorry ass out of this clan. NOW GET OUT!” The door slammed out. Reagan has been self-entitled as long as I known him.
“I know you are here, sister!” I moved past with Reagan, which he cursed under his breath.
“Oh, my goddess…” Father is rubbing his head at the whole situation. “I am glad you came, Tilda. Your brother is making demands of me again and it isn’t the first time.”
“He is up for being Alpha?” I smiled, which my father frowns on at the idea.
“You mean he’ll destroy everything I built? Why the goddess cursed me with a son who thinks might make right?” I waited if he has anything he wanted to add. “You know why I called you.” He stands up from his chair and took off his coat, showing his muscles.
“I like to hear it, Father.”
“I am going to the convention to meet with my fellow alphas. They are discussing something big… What, I don’t know.”
“Then back to your duties, Sir?” he shakes his head.
“No, Tilda… After I get back, I stepping down as alpha. I’m going to be training my successor.”
“Why, sir?” I heard a howl from his chest.
“You know why, girl!” I clenching my teeth at him.
“YOU ARE THE ONE WHO EXILE QUINN, my little brother. YOU-” Father grabbed me by the throat.
“Watch your tone with me!” I glared daggers at him. “You may be my daughter, but I am still the alpha of this pack.”
“Who almost killed his son because he spoke about mother!” His eyes turning red… the same way on how he reacts toward Quinn. “Are you going to treat me like my brother before me?”
After a few moments, his eyes went back to normal and loosen his grip. He looked at the portrait of mother…
“I’ve only done this because the clan respected strength and merit.” I stood by my father as he explained to me. “Passed a law to ban any magic-user, spiritualist or mystic because of a prophecy about him being an Ill-Omen. So I banish them from these lands… I even hoped that he would have been strong enough to fight back against his brothers & sisters in the clan.”
“You mean Reagan? The clan will fight pointless wars if he becomes Alpha. You’ll be a damn fool to appoint him as your successor.” I didn’t bother to hide how I feel about my brother.
“You and me, both.” He agrees? I was expecting him to defend my big brother. “You should become Alpha instead.”
A.. Alpha? They were history about female lycans who became known alphas in history, destined for greatness, struggle or infamy. Jackra Nemu, clan leader of Nemu, well known for her love of her people, but she married a human father and bore many attempts on her life. Her son later became Alpha despite being a half-breed. It was only during that time where she would put on her life on the line to defend her son from even her own people.
Cierra Sahon, leader of Clan Fergen. She became an alpha at the behest of her family when they had no sons who can take up the reins. Despite a clan that didn’t want her and never had found a mate, she could earn the respect of her people, and she was a powerhouse to be reckoned with. I met her once; she was a woman I would look forward to meeting her again.
“Father. I cannot.”
“The reason is that I would not be a superb choice to be one. I have no patience for politics and sitting around an office is not my thing. I can lead a squad to fight our enemies and I can handle the burden of a crisis. Not of the all the clan will approve of me being an alpha.”
“Bullshit! You have what it takes! You do not know how long I have been trying to get your brother, Reagan, to learn politics and war. It seems to me he is good at starting a war…”
“But not preventing one.”
“But he won’t agree to it, Father. He is good with people and prefers to solve problems peacefully. When it comes down to war, the burden of command will be too heavy for him.”
“I am not considering Nathaniel. The boy is too spineless for his own good.”
“If he wasn’t my little brother, I would kill him myself.”
“You are not killing your own brother here in my household!”
“And yet, you tried to kill Quinn. You even broke his arms & legs, maybe more than that!” I turned to look at my father. “If he was human, you have would have killed him by now. I even noticed that he was still conscious after the beating you gave him. If you want my opinion, either he was lucky or his wolf was inside of him, all this time which in your blind rage would have seen.”
“He had his wolf?” My father… didn’t know all of this time. “I thought he…”
“Had you given him a chance...” I pointed my finger at him. “He could have shown you he has that power. But you exiled him and nearly killed him had Angharad not stepped in.”
“What do you want me to do, daughter? Apologize and beg him to come back? Say he’s forgiven and welcome back?!” He walked up to me, he realizing how horribly he treated him and know he will not come back after what he and his clan done. “Your brother’s exile has to remain. If I go back on my decision now, they will see as favoritism rather than earning his way back.”
“So this is it how going to be? You cared more-” He held me by my shoulders.
“Tilda! You know that is not true!”
“We had to talk you out of throwing Quinn out in the cold or kill him, if mother were to see this…” he released his grip as soon I mention her. “It would disgust her with you treated Quinn.” I walked off from the office. “I’ll be awaiting your return when you get back.”
“Tilda…” I ignore my father’s calling by my name.
“Hey, Tilda, baby, what’s been going with you!” One of my father’s betas, Hank, met me as I was leaving the building.
“You know better than to call me that, Hank. We aren’t dating, you know.”
“You know I made peace with that long ago. Sorry, it came disrespectful, commander.” I chuckled at that. Hank is a well-known Casanova along the clan who flirts with every woman he meets. Despite that, he never slept with any of the women and he only offer himself to a woman that is his mate.
“You got time?”
“Yeah, I was coming by to make sure your father is all right and he has everything he needed.”
“I got ya. Do you remember the time that we…?”
“I remembered.” He smiled at that memory. “Your father threw a melee to see if he can find a mate for you since you have been busy and…” He points those fingers. “You know.”
“I remember you came close enough and told father I wasn’t interested in a man in my life. But I recommended you be a part of my unit despite that.”
“I know…” He nods. “My wolf even saying ‘Mate’ when we first met.”
“I didn’t feel the same way and I don’t feel the sensation from you now.”
“Like I said, I’ve made my peace with that, Commander. Sophia is the only mate I wanted. I’m sure you saw us kissing after the match.”
Now I am curious about that…
“You jealous, Commander?” Oh, I ain’t.
“No, in fact, that she was your mate is good enough for me. I knew you two were making love in the locker room.” His eyebrow raised at me, knowing this.
“Commander, why didn’t you say anything?”
“It wasn’t my place and I am not interested in butting into people love lives.”
“I do flirt with the woman in the clan but now that I am with Sophia, I simply settled for the teasing.” I smiled.
“Another time, another life, my wolf would have been saying ‘mate’ as well. But you know I don’t desire the company of men and with me being a commander and all…”
“Yeah, yeah, commander. But hey, I’m not pushing it. I need to see what your old man needs to do. I’ll be seeing you around, Commander.”
“You, too.” I watched him as he walked out into the hall.
Quinn… Little brother… I believe in you. I always knew you have the potential to get stronger from our training session to keep you safe at home… Come back home to us when you are ready.
“TILDA! FOR GODDESS’S SAKE, I WANT TO ROAM ALREADY!!” *sigh* Alkar...