Terra (The Vulgri Hybrids Book One)

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Chapter 9

| Nathalia |

What a stupid boy.

What did he mean to achieve by breaking that glass, some kind of power display?

Hah! Whatever. I don’t care about him. I even managed to avoid him for two weeks. Easy peasy.

“Hey!” Lana snapped her fingers at me. “I lost you again.”

“Sorry, what are we gonna do again?” I returned my focus to her. She was telling me about the perfect hideout then I zoned out.

Lana tsked and glowered. “I said I found an old storehouse where we can train our elemental powers. It’s in a human town and completely abandoned. With a few retouches, we could make it our own place.”

I exhaled loudly. “I’m being followed you know. Cassy too.”

“Yeah, I know.” Lana rasped. “That’s why you need to lose them before going to the storehouse,” she said, winking at me. “Anyway, we can use an ordinary training room for now because the Certare is coming up and everyone is required to train when the list is still not up.”

“What? There’s something like that?” I asked, genuinely surprised.

Lana looked upward and made a God-what-shall-I-do-with-this-girl face. “Seriously? You didn’t even read the Ilwani syllabus?” She winced, aghast at my naivety.

I pouted. “I didn’t bother, okay? Cassy reads that stuff and tells me if I need to know something important.”

“Argh! You need to change that attitude. Seriously.”

I gave her a mock salute. “Yes, ma’am! So, what is this about the Certa-what?”

Lana released an exasperated sigh. ”Certare. The duels this academy holds every month. All Vulgari who wants to participate can apply anytime. We just need to fill up a form with our names and the opponent we wish to fight. Now, there are no cross-race duels. That’s only allowed at the end of the year and only if it’s justified. Anyway, if the headmaster deems it appropriate and that it would be a fair fight, meaning the fighters skillset are matched, he approves it. A week before the last day of the month, final lists of fighters will be posted all over the academy, five duels for each race.”

“Huh,” was my answer as I processed Lana’s long explanation.

“Too bad we can’t challenge the Lawin Princess yet. That would be a good opportunity to be near her,” I said.

“I tried but with our Spectulus result, we won’t be matched with her,” Lana said.

I paused for a second before giving her a mischievous smile. “Don’t worry, I have a backup plan.”

Lana frowned. “What are you planning?”

“Remember that time when you tested this vibrating thingy between us?” I asked, wiggling my eyebrows.

“Yeah?” Lana prodded.

“We can do just that. Bam!” I clapped both my hands for emphasis.

Lana rolled her eyes. “Well that’s genius. You would think that I have thought of that already for the last three years," she smirked. “It’s hard to approach that girl.”

“Oh, you leave that to me. What do they say? Actions speak louder than words. Come, I’ll show you true genius,” I winked and stood up, already formulating how I would go about with my plan.

Leaving the Ilwani building, we crossed the bridge to the Circle and we walked all the way north to cross another bridge until we reached the Lawin building. I gulped when we reached the entrance. Standing there, I could see that there were no stairs nor elevators. Instead, the center of the building was an open space and numerous Lawins were flying to get to their respective classes, the sound of fluttering wings heard from time to time.

Oh dearie, it’s like an aviary in here!

Lana poked my back. “So what now?”

I took a deep breath. It’s showtime!

“Hey!” I called to one Lawin who was passing by. I made sure it was a male so I can use my womanly charms, shamelessly fluttering my eyelids at him.

He frowned but when he got a proper look at me, he smirked. “Yes? What can I do for you?”

“I am looking for Max,” I told him, purposely raising my voice so others could hear. One girl who I usually see with the Princess froze and studied us. Perfect.

She then took flight to two more floors and disappeared in one of the classrooms.

“What are you doing?” Lana hissed in my ear. I casually pushed her away, still smiling sweetly at the Lawin boy.

“Max? Maximillian? The Princess’ head guard?” The Lawin boy was still smirking, amusement filled his eyes, probably glad to be in the center of a new brewing gossip.

I faked enthusiasm. Clasping the boy’s hand with both of mine, I started pleading. “Oh you must tell me where he is, I need to tell him something really important,” I said dramatically while squeezing his hands.

At the corner of my eyes, I saw the Princess come out of the room where the girl from earlier disappeared.

She jerked her royal head to our direction and squinted her eyes. She spread her white silver wings and I would have gasped in awe if only I’m not focusing on my theatrics; for her fully spread wings was truly a sight to behold.

The boy must have realized that my attention was no longer on him. He turned to where I was looking and when he saw the Princess land on the railing, he hastily let go of my hand and bowed to her.

“Ilwani, why are you looking for Max?” Her expression was blank but her voice demanded submission, her chin arched high, her eyes looking down on us.

Great going there Princess. Landing on the railing instead on the floor so you could tower over us.

She was definitely trained in the art of intimidation.

I mirrored her stance and stared at her haughtily, deliberately flipping my hair. Lana caught up to my act and stood confidently, her gaze locking with the Princess’.

“It’s none of your business,” I answered, earning a sword pointed at my face by no other than the boy I was flirting with. A crowd was starting to form around us.

“Talk to the Princess with respect, Ilwani,” he rasped and nudged the tip of the sword towards me making me flinch back.

I chuckled nervously. “Oh, you’re the Princess! How could I miss that. I’m so sorry, I didn’t know.” I gave her a pretend bow, then I removed all traces of smile on my face, sending a burst of power to the boy, his sword slipping away from his wrist and piercing a nearby wall with a distinguished thump, the sound of the clank of metal echoing through the hall.

How dare he point a sword at me. I nearly growled and bared my teeth at him.

“I want to talk to Max! Where is he?” I whined, cringing inwardly at my behavior.

Truthfully, I never met Max. For the past two weeks that I was avoiding Theo, I observed the Princess each time she was at the cafeteria or the common areas.

When she thought no one was watching, she would gaze at this gorgeous black-haired guy with an expression of longing and love.

The guy reminded me of Tom Cruise in the Top Gun movie. He was practically oozing with sex appeal so I couldn’t really blame the Princess for crushing on him. He’s a certified hottie. Too bad I felt like Theo was more handsome and more...well, everything.

I asked around and I found out that his name was Max. He was always with the Princess so when I saw him training with my mate, I knew I had to use this opportunity.

Princess Yllona went down from the railing gracefully, her wings folding behind her back. She stopped in front of me with obvious fury on her face.

Hell hath no fury like a jealous girl.

She started grabbing the hilt of her sword.

“I’d be careful with pulling that out Princess,” Lana hissed in warning, her hand outstretched, and the girl who told the Princess we’re here choked and was clutching her neck with both hands.

“Stop!” Princess Yllona let go of her sword and Lana put her hand down, leaving the poor girl gasping for air.

Whew, really glad I was on Lana’s side.

“I will forgive your insolence if you tell me what you need from Max,” said the Princess through gritted teeth.

I rolled my eyes. This was getting too tedious. In a swift motion, I grabbed Yllona’s forearm, gripping it tight.

“Unhand me, Ilwani!” Yllona screeched and struggled to free her hand. Bad news for her, I possessed werewolf strength.

The sound of unsheathing swords were heard and at least a dozen were now pointed at me and Lana.

I ignored them and stared at the Princess, not letting her go. Her bottom lips quivered and her turquoise eyes danced. She knew.

The same familiar spark flowed through my fingertips to her forearm. I leaned forward until my lips are nearly touching her left ear. “I know what you are. If you want to keep your secret safe, find us.”

I gently released her and stepped backward. “Oh, I guess I don’t need Max anymore,” I said cheerfully. I winked at the Lawin boy before flouncing back to the bridge and then safely to the common area, Lana following behind me.

I crossed my hands and placed it on my chest, my confidence suddenly deflating.

“She is one of us,” Lana muttered softly. “I can’t believe I was right.”

“And it took you three years to figure it out,” I scoffed.

She turned to me wide-eyed. “Yeah, I guess you need to reach a level of stupid for coming out with a plan like that.”

“Whatever!” I gave her the middle finger and laughed. Leave it to Lana to insult me instead of singing me praises.

Someone cleared her throat behind us. It was the same Suuri woman who took me to the headmaster’s office. I think her name was Clarissa Simons.

“The headmaster wants you in his office. Follow me.” She strutted away without waiting.

“Don’t do anything stupid,” whispered Lana.

I nodded gravely. Somehow, I had a bad feeling about this.

This time, I arrived first before my twin.

The moment I entered the room and saw their faces, five of them present, I saw red.

I hid my hands behind my back because they were already trembling tremendously. I couldn’t believe I was still able to control myself. My wolf was struggling to come out but I held it down. All I could think about was lunging at them and tear their necks apart and watch as blood spurts out of their bodies.

My face was stone cold and eerily calm but I was hyperventilating inside. I was biting the insides of my cheek and the metallic taste of blood assaulted my taste buds.

Don’t do anything stupid. I told myself again and again like a fucking mantra.

A warm touch held my hand. Cassy appeared beside me. She gave me a meaningful look and she advanced first, taking the seat where she was before.

I followed her and forced myself to look at the headmaster instead. The longer I stare at them, the higher the probability that I might lose myself here and now.

“Nathalia and Cassandra Levina, these are the council representatives and they have questions for you,” Casper motioned to the five Vulgari.

I could feel that each of them represented each race. For them, they might be only doing their duty, but for me, they were cold-blooded murderers and they all deserved to die.

Male Syren, Lupus, and Ilwani; Female Lawin and Suuri. The five Vulgari who took our parents from us.

All of them old enough to be our parents. Old enough to have children like us.

They were wearing friendly smiles on their faces, like a hideous mask meant to cover their true colors.

The first question was from the lips of the Lupus man.

“Do you know Derek and Selena Hague?”

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