Lucian ran as fast as his small legs could carry him.
Staying true to his promise, he did not look back as he ran through the dark forest.
His eyesight has adjusted to the darkness, and he effortlessly jumped over the fallen logs. The wind made it difficult for him to move forward, pushing him with all its might. If he tried to change his direction, so would the wind.
Lucian ground his teeth as he fought the invisible hands of the wind. He weaved in and out of the tree line making the wind’s attempt to go futile. His uncle’s warning played repeatedly in his mind as he tuned his senses to look out for any impending danger.
He did not take heed of the pain that shot through his small legs when it scrapped against small stones or did not bother to wipe the blood off as he continued to run. He knew the rain would wash off his scent.
Lucian might be smaller when compared to other Lycan children, but he was more than he looks. His father was worried about his future,
Looks could be deceiving. Lucian smirked as he thought about his little secret. He was scared–yes, but he was never helpless. The little boy could fight just fine. Though he did not have proper training, unlike the other Lycan children who started at an early age.
He used to watch them train and practice the moves inside the secret sanctuary of his room. He could shift partially which his mother witnessed once.
Lucian loved his mother dearly but for some reason, she came to visit him only once in a day. It was his Nanny Maria, who used to spend most of the day with him. Several times he caught her lingering scent near his room but never her.
His ears perked up at a distant noise similar to that of the ugly creatures which attacked him and his Uncle. His pushed himself faster as he ran towards the unknown ahead. Lucian dodged a creature in time which jumped on him from top of a tree. He did not stay back to fight it and continued to run dodging any creature that came on his way.
He could feel the creatures gaining speed and he screamed internally when a severe pain shot through his legs. A creature had nipped his right thigh with one of its deadly talons and Lucian crashed face first into the ground tasting the wet mud.
The creature pounced again, this time aiming for his torso–its mouth open wide showing sharp fangs that waited to tore through his body.
Lucian rolled over, which resulted in the ghoul to bite the ground near his torso and it ended up with a mouth full of mud. He didn’t wait for it to regain its posture as it shook its head trying to get the mud out of its mouth.
Lucian’s nails extended into claws as fur covered his upper body–his mouth extended into the muzzle with his teeth turning into sharp fangs. He jumped on a nearby log twirled in mid-air and swiped his claws across the creatures neck ripping its throat.
The creature’s gurgled scream filled the forest with the stench around them turning rancid. He did not wait to fight the other creatures and continued towards his path dodging the ghouls. Sometimes jumping over them or gliding smoothly between the spaces of their legs.
Lucian being so small helped a lot–the ghouls either crashed into each other or missed him when they tried to scoop him up. He felt something in the air–a faint hum of power which could be heard over the wind. It sounded like a buzzing bee and he felt a faint pull towards it.
His eyes frantically scanned the area which looked the same as others, the ghouls were closing in on him and his legs ached with the adrenaline rush wearing out.
I cannot give up now.
I did not run this far to get captured or eaten alive by those vile creatures. I will fight till my last breath. Lucian searched for the source of the humming.
One ghoul swiped across his back and Lucian hissed in pain–the metallic scent of his blood filled the air.
No, I won’t scream and I won’t give up, he turned and attacked the creature viciously. His temper getting the best out of him, the creature dare attack him and draw blood.
Lucian’s claws tore through the creature’s body as it feebly tried to fight back. Other ghouls halted in their tracks as they witnessed Lucian tearing up their buddy. They snarled and Lucian knew when he was surrounded by them, waiting to make a move–to feast on his flesh.
He let out a ferocious snarl of his own as he ran towards one ghoul and before others could close in. He bent his knees slipping through the mud and swiped his claws across the belly of the creature that stood on all fours anticipating the taste of his flesh and blood on its mouth.
Lucian was out of the circle in a minute as other ghouls foolishly crashed into the ghoul hurt. The buzz got louder as Lucian ran and he ducked just in time as a ghoul flew past him and crashed into an invisible wall which burned its skin.
The ghoul jerked its body and screeched in pain, hurting Lucian’s sensitive ears. He stopped in his track not knowing or understanding what just happened.
Was that some magic? He frowned. The hum echoed throughout the place and his squinted eyes landed a thin layer which surrounded that area.
The purple barrier moved like water waves and radiated with some unknown power. Looking around, he could see the barrier stretched as far as he could see and there was no option but to return to where he started his journey.
He did not know the way towards his Kingdom or where exactly he was in. At least twenty creatures closed in slowly as they watched every move he made.
They forced Lucian to retract as they growled and clicked their jaws in anticipation. Thick brown saliva dripped from their mouths as they swiped their tongues across their dirty teeth.
The wind stopped howling and has since calmed down as it watched the scene unfold.
Lucian would die today, the unseen force which created the wind thought wickedly as it waited for the ghouls to devour the little boy.
The more he got closer the more he could feel the barrier which vibrated with power and Lucian could feel its invisible touch.
“Cross the barrier.” An unknown sound of a woman echoed through the night. Lucian’s eyes widened as he searched for the source.
“It won’t hurt you, Lucian. Walk past the barrier and never look back,” the voice said again. The ghouls were only a few feet apart and one tried to swipe at him.
Lucian staggered behind and found himself inside the barrier. It surrounded him like a bubble and carried him backward, taking him farther from the ghouls.
He watched the ghouls unsuccessfully trying to cross the barrier and get burned when their skin came in contact with it.
The magic which surrounded him warmed his cold body, and he watched in amazement as it shimmered with bright colors. Soon his body was dropped gently amid another forest. Lucian stood by a small cliff overlooking a small town covered by trees. There was no mistaking the outline of small buildings.
He had never seen such a small building back in his Kingdom. The dawn just broke into the tree line giving it a peaceful yellowish glow. The warm breeze that caressed him was nothing like what he felt before.
“Go, Lucian. You are safe here. But beware of the humans,” the calm voice said again.
“Who are you?” Lucian asked staring at the space before him.
“A friend,” it whispered and Lucian felt an invisible presence leaving him to his own devices.
With a sigh, Lucian watched the human town now unveiled by the morning sun.