T H I R T Y
I stomped down the stairs, angrily wiping my stupid tears away.
I can't believe this!!
First I had to accept the fact that we were part of some mythical world and that my parents lied to me my whole life.
Which, under normal circumstances, wouldn't be so bad. I mean, we all read books or watched movies that have some type of mythical or fairy-tale element and then day-dream about what you would do in the character's situation or how you would act if you were born with special powers and abilities, so who wouldn't want that chance at a situation like that?
No, I'm not upset at that.
I'm upset with the fact that their lies are negatively affecting both my brother and I's lives.
Not only is Ares suffering because of his constant shifts, I'm suffering because I have no idea what to do, let alone how to help my brother and his wolf.
And then there's the fact that I might die because my parents chose to lie to us instead of prepare us.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I think that gives me the right to be a little angry and bitter about my current situation.
I looked in the stupid room where my brother was being held and sighed.
After Rhys left, he shifted one last time before passing out in exhaustion. He was breathing and okay for right now but the shift did little to ease his pain. He was still whining and twitching, his little paws scraping against the padded floor.
I sighed again before taking a step back and looking at my reflection.
My hair was a mess, sticking up everywhere, my eyes were glowing purple and red-rimmed with bags underneath them, and I'm pretty sure my nails were bloodied from my constant chewing on them all night.
"UGH!!" I screamed before kicking the stupid chair Ethan brought me last night "WHY THE HELL DIDN'T YOU TELL ME!!"
I screamed and cursed some more, yelling out all the questions I had for my parents, wishing with all my might that they were here and could answer them.
I stopped cursing when I heard a whine close to the mirror.
I turned and saw my brother struggling to sit up, a foot away from the mirror. His head was turned to the side and although I knew he couldn't see me because of the one-way mirror glass, I felt that he somehow knew I was right there.
"Hey buddy" I touched the mirror "I know you can't hear me but I'm going to make it stop. I'm going to get you back to normal"
He continued to look and me and suddenly a old memory came to mind.
The wolves were howling and I whimpered in fear, scooting closer in between my parents.
When my dad saw what I was doing, he laughed.
"What's the matter Kassiopeia?" he asked before sticking another marshmallow on his branch and putting it through the fire.
"The Wolves" I whimpered louder and allowed my nine year old self to snuggle closer to his side, just in case the Wolves tried to attack us.
He laughed louder before pulling the marshmallow out of the flame and handing it to my mother.
She smiled and made her s'mores sandwich.
My father then turned towards me and picked me up before placing me on his lap.
"They won't hurt you Prinkípissa" he kissed my forehead "Do you want to know why?"
I nodded my head and snuggled even closer "Why?"
"Because long ago, it was believed that our Ancestors made a deal with the Wolves. Part of that deal was that they couldn't hurt us"
I looked at my father in confusion and he smiled down at me "What deal? How is that possible? How does that help us now?"
My father glanced at my mother quickly before pinching my cheeks "Long ago, in the time where Gods and Goddess roamed the earth it was said to believe that they used to test humans to see if they were worthy enough to inherit the earth"
I sat straighter "Really?"
"So...how does that have to do with us? And the Wolves?"
"Well..." he paused "Selene, the Goddess of the Moon, supposedly fell in love with one of the Mortals that roamed the earth. It is said that she wanted to make him immortal too but the only way she could do that is if he passed 3 of her tests. If he passed, she would present her evidence to Zeus who would decide his fate"
"What were the tests?" I asked excitedly "Did he pass?"
My parents chuckled at my eagerness
"Since Selene was the Goddess of the Moon, she had the authority and power over every creature that roamed the night. For the tests, Selene thought of a way to better her Love's chances. She thought by pairing him with the most stubborn and intelligent creature in the land, he would overcome his hardships and win his immortality"
"The Wolf" I said in awe "But how did she pair him with the Wolf?"
"Before the first test..." My father patted my cheek "She met with the Pack Alpha. Since she had control over the nocturnal creatures, communication with them wasn't a problem. She asked the Alpha to lend one of his Wolves to aid her Love in his Journey"
"Did he do it?"
"At first, the Alpha was hesitant because of the way humans treated Wolves" My father looked at my mother briefly "Back then, Human Hunters used to viciously kill Wolves for fun. When Selene asked for a Wolf, the Alpha lost 10 wolves prior to an attack earlier that day. He only had a few remaining members left in his Pack and couldn't afford to lose anymore. The entire Wolf race couldn't afford to lose anymore wolves"
"Oh" I deflated "So, the Alpha didn't give the Moon Lady a Wolf?"
Dad chuckled "No, he did"
"Really?" I asked, once again excited
My father nodded "Selene empathized with the Wolf and promised that if he helped her, his kind will would never go extinct"
"Yes" my father watched the flames dance in the fire pit "Since the Alpha believed the Goddess and her word, he decided to comply with her terms and join her love on his journey"
"The Alpha chose himself?"
"So..." I demanded after a moment's silence "What happened next? What were the tests?"
"Patience Kassi" my mother scolded
I grumbled and Dad laughed
"The First Test had to do with Trust" Dad stated simply
"That's it?" I deadpanned "I thought it would be more exciting. Like with Magic and Swords and Stuff"
"Do not underestimate the Power of Trust Kassiopeia" Dad scolded "If you trust someone, you are putting all your faith in that person and their ability to keep you safe. It's not hard to wield a sword by yourself because essentially, your are controlling the sword. It's much harder to give that control away into someone else's hands"
I grumbled again at my second scolding "So... who did the guy have to trust? The Moon Lady?"
"No" Dad replied "He had to trust his Wolf"
"What?" I exclaimed in shock "How do you trust a Wild Wolf? Did the guy have powers too?"
"Nope. He was completely Human"
"So... Once again, How do you trust a Wolf!"
"The same way you trusted Taylor and Ethan on the first day of school" he smiled "You got to know them"
"How do you get to know a Wolf! He doesn't talk!"
"I don't know how he did it" Dad shrugged "But he did it and was able to pass the first test"
"Wow" I exclaimed "So what was the second test?"
"Retrieval" Dad said "After the learned to trust each other, they had to use that new bond to work together and retrieve a lost personal item of Selene's"
I yawned "I thought these tests were supposed to be hard?"
Dad rolled his eyes "Only you would think they're boring Kassiopeia"
"Let me guess the next test" I snickered "Hide and go seek?"
My parents chuckled "One day your brash attitude will get you in trouble Kassiopeia" Dad warned
I rolled my eyes "Next test please"
Dad sobered up "The final test had to do with Combat"
I perked up "Fighting?"
Dad smiled sadly "The Final Test wasn't supposed to have anything to do with Combat. Unfortunately, one of the lesser Gods got involved when he wasn't suppose to and meddled with the mortal's test"
"What happened?" I whispered, dreading to hear his next words
"Both the Wolf and Selene's Love died" Dad said quietly "They fought bravely and trusted each other until death. Unfortunately, they were no match for the Lesser God"
"But that's not fair!" I jumped off my father's lap and started pacing "All that for some nosy God to ruin true love! How dare he!" I seethed
"The story's not done Kassiopeia" Mom said in amusement
I looked at my dad and he patted the seat next to him
I sat down
"Selene, who was so distraught over her Love's death made a choice. She decided to bind the remaining life forces of both the Wolf and her Love to save them. Essentially, she created a new species and because the Alpha and Mortal trusted each other so much, she managed to save them both"
"I'm sensing a 'But' in there somewhere" I said
Dad sighed "But neither one was ever the same. You see, when Selene combined life forces, she essentially bound them together. Into 1 being. The man could now shift into the Wolf and the Wolf could now shift into the man"
"Cool!" I said "So, everything was fine then? The Lady and Guy were happy?"
"No, when Zeus found out what Selene done, he punished her"
"She had no right to save both souls" Dad said "Souls that belonged to Hades the moment their hearts stopped beating"
"Too bad, so sad" I muttered "So what? Apparently he didn't claim them fast enough. You snooze, you loose. If he really wanted them, he would have claimed them all"
"It doesn't matter" Dad said "They weren't hers to save"
"So what did Zeus do?" I sighed, sick of all the obstacles in this story.
"Well, Zeus felt some pity for the Lovers and instead of killing the Man, he wiped his memory of all things that involved Selene and the Gods. The only thing the man was allowed to know was a intricately woven story of how he came to be both Man and Beast"
"No fair!!" I cried "That's messed up"
"I know it is" Dad shrugged "But what was Selene supposed to do? It was either accept Zeus' punishment or risk the life of her Love. Considering that she just saved him, I'm pretty sure option B was out of the question"
"So she just had to watch him, her love, make a new life with someone else?" I said
My parents nodded
"And even before he died, Zeus granted the man eternal slumber and immortality. He knew what his decision did to Selene so he decided to spare her the pain of losing her Love once again"
"I bet it still didn't make it any better" I muttered under my breath before looking at my parents "So...What happened with the Alpha's Pack? Did the Moon Lady keep her word?"
Dad nodded "After the ordeal with Zeus, Selene spread out the remaining of the Alpha's Pack and when they died, she bound their souls to Mortal Babies. Like a reincarnation. The Mortal and Wolf would grow together and when it was time, they would work together like the Alpha and Man did to pass all of Selene's tests"
"She still gave them tests?"
"Yep" Dad pinched my cheeks "It is a great honor to be born with the Wolf Spirit running through your body because it was a gift from a Goddess. If you do not pass the tests like the Man did, than why should you be worthy of a Gods gift?..."
"Son of a..." I cursed as I ran back upstairs.
They did tell me something!
Albeit, I thought it was a meaningless story because of all the mythical elements, but still!
They didn't leave me in the dark!
I don't know why this particular memory popped up now, hell, I didn't even remember the story until now but I'll take whatever I could get.
Best not to question the Universe
I slammed opened the door and I saw everyone huddled in a circle.
When they heard the slam, they jumped up in surprise
"Kassi..." Rhys started but I cut him off
"I know how to help Ares"
"What?" Rhys asked in shock "How?"
"How much time do you have Mr. Alpha?" I glanced at the living room clock "Because, after the story I'm about to tell you, we're going to need to start planning"