The Alpha's Dungeon

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Chapter 41

It was by twelve in the morning, we—the participants were gathered outside at the football field of our school. It stopped raining an hour ago and while the grounds were wet and the air was still harsh, we were asked to sit outside till a decision was made. The judges were here, along with their assistants and so were the nurses. The first round was initially supposed to start after three, where we would be taken to the zone outside the town and into the deep, dark woods, where we would injection with a liquid to pull our worst fears.

I turned my gaze to the sky while I was guilt-ridden. My fingers were shaking, I wasn’t sure whether it was because of the cold or because of the fear of being cuffed and taken into jail for murdering Mr. Barry.

Mom still had no idea. I saw her in the morning, before she left for work. She promised we could talk after the first round was over and she wished the best for me, hoping I’d get through it.

It had been hours since I last saw Lucas. He had left and gone to the Hilford PD where he was going to get some details of Mr. Barry’s sudden disappearance.

Hannah, beside me, clicked her fingers in front of my eyes and pulled me out of my thoughts. “What are you thinking?”

“Whether there is a good food in jail or not.” I replied, still shaking.

She laughed, “Oh, come on, we both know you aren’t going to end up there, even after murdering someone. You’re the Alpha’s mate.” She nudged her elbow into my spine and knocked me to the other side.

“I know, I know but he isn’t here.” That was the problem. Xalorad wasn’t here and until he didn’t return, I couldn’t stop being scared of the obvious.

The crowd quieted down when the principal of our school arrived at the field. We tried our best to persuade him to start the tournament as it was a tradition of our town but he didn’t say anything. We all waited for this moment. Going inside the zone would mean I’d stay away from jail for at least a day as no one could pull our participants unless they wanted to leave.

“Good afternoon, students and officials.” The principal said on the mike. His voice boomed across the speakers of the field, grabbing everyone’s attention. “Due to the unfortunate circumstances of our Beta’s disappearance, we will have to delay the start of this tournament until the Alpha or the Beta returns to Hillford. Till then, the classes will resume—”

My gut knotted, I heard nothing more. In the terrible silence, whispers and grunts rose from the crowd around me. Chatters began. The students didn’t agree with the principal. The tournament took place every year on February 4th and ended on February 25th, it was a tradition and a delay was never heard about.

I turned my head to the empty side of the field where I found a woman approaching the principal. Silence fell upon once more. The scent of the woman spread quicker than a flame. She walked with four men behind her, guards, strongest of the strongest.

It was Ms. Cathy Elias, making a second appearance on a public ground, in front of a hundred students and pack wolves.

A buzz went through me and I smiled. She could help me, get in contact with Xalorad or at least send him a message.

“I’ll take it from here, Mr. Alfred,” She stopped beside the principal and when he moved, she stepped forward and announced. “The tournament of Hollow and Shadows has been a part of our pack since centuries, its victory deciding great warriors and fighters among us. While it’s a pity my son and Mr. Barry aren’t able to join us for this, their disappearance will not interval with this tournament. It will take place according to its timeline and I will see to any discrepancy caused in the next following weeks as one of the officials.”

The entire crowd cheered, their gloomy faces turning bright. While Hannah clapped her hands, I grabbed my bag and moved off the bleachers where we were all seated.

“May the best ones win.” Ms. Elias continued before walking away.

People started getting up and scurrying all around the field as it was decided that the tournament was going to be held today itself. I ran downstairs, heaving in a few quick breaths before approaching Ms. Elias. When she saw me, she gave me a glassy stare. My heart pounded in my throat.

What was I going to say to her? I murdered someone.

“I need to talk to him.” I said, holding my breath back.

“Why?” She furrowed her brows. “He’s probably speaking to his Father by now. Although, with no response from hell, I suppose things aren’t going well between them. All you can do is hope he returns.”

“He doesn’t needs too—” I swallowed hard. “—to talk to his Father.”

“Why?”

“Because I killed someone and Artemis is no longer threatening me, or us. She only cared about my virtue and keeping it protected and when I killed someone, it was over, her schemes came to an end, she failed. Xalorad doesn’t need to tell anyone. I’m willing to die—”

The woman’s face filled with worry, “Either you’re too late or too early. Let me see if I can get in contact with him. This is a good thing. He doesn’t has to face Hades wrath if he hasn’t told him yet.” She walked past me, taking a step or two before stopping and turning back around. “Wait. Who did you kill?” She questioned.

“Just someone random.” I shrugged.

Ms. Elias nodded before she gestured at her guards and they left the football field. I sighed and smiled at my self. I was free of all tension now. Hannah came to me when she found me alone and in the clear.

“So, you told her it was Barry?” She asked, positioning her hands over her hips.

“No. No one needs to know.” I looped my arm with hers and we walked out of the field together. “Time to face our worst fears. I’m hoping it’s a snake again.” I joked, my chest feeling light at last.

“Uh, I hope it’s beetle for you.”

“Let’s see.”

After all the preparations were completed, we got inside the bus that was going to take us to the confined zone. There was a little time delay due to the last minute decisions but everything was ready and to go. It was an hour long trip to the woods out of Hillford. The bus I was seated in was cramped with girls, some from my class and some from the twelfth grade. In total, there were twenty four participants and three teams. After the first round, there would be only eighteen of us left and then twelve.

I was on the same team as Hannah along with two other girls. We had four boys on our team as well, all of them I still had to meet.

Music blasted from the bus’ speakers. The girls danced, jumped and shouted while I spoke with Hannah. Last year, at this time I was as excited as the girls were but once inside the zone, all the excitement wore off.

“So, I was thinking we should stay awake the entire time. If we don’t sleep, we won’t be able to see our worst nightmares!” Hannah exclaimed, proud of her tactics as if that were going to work out. “We can talk about anything interesting.”

“We will eventually fall asleep after getting the dose. I’ve seen my worst nightmares—met them for a fact so I think I’ll be good this time.” I replied, fluttering my lashes.

My worst nightmare was seeing Artemis in her real form and all those images she showed me off hell. I wasn’t sure whether or not it was real but it was definitely scary.

Hannah pouted, “Well, just hold my hand all the time, please?”

“Of course!” I took her hand and held it tight like a little baby’s.

My phone buzzed underneath me and I shifted to pull it out. “I’ve to take this,” I whispered, attending the call while moving to the back of the bus where it was a little quiet.

I pressed my finger against my ear and said, “Hey!”

“Hey. Are you on the bus?”

“Yeah. We got in.” As I bent down, my hair fell over my face but I was able to hear him much better.

“Oh, that’s good.” He replied, “There’s something I need to tell you.”

“Yeah?”

“Barry’s car was found and it traced to the landfill where you told you dumped his body. The police are going to head there in a few minutes and they are going to start looking for it.” Lucas paused for a long second. “And there was a maid that came forward and said you and Barry were supposed to go on a road trip last night. The facts aren’t clear yet as the police still believe you’re innocent, just taking a road trip with your Dad but they are going to get to the truth in a couple of hours.”

My muscles tensed and I placed my head against the back of the seat. “It’s okay. I’m anyway on the way and Ms. Elias is going to talk with Xalorad so I supposed everything is going to be fine.” I was a bit relieved but it didn’t last for long.

“What if the Alpha doesn’t return in time, Marissa?” He asked, his tone deep and concerning.

“I don’t know, Lucas.”


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