Julius watches the eighty-feet tall wall that surrounds his kingdom, that keeps out his village. He holds a bow and arrow, facing the Prisom and Yelkites. The kingdom is layered in three ways. Prisom is at the center, the king rules there and has his conferences. He plays games there and the traditional one is coming up soon. Yelkies surrounds the Prisom, filling with his army, the Yelkites and other demons he has convinced to join him. Then the third layer, the one in the open. The Outlaw Village is the most attacked and most targeted, filled with loners, disgraced, and disowned. Runaways live there, where Julius has taken home to. Jacob and the rest of his made family grew up there. The walls surround the Yelkites, leaving out the villagers.
The Wall Watchers are meant to keep them from entering, shooting them down as they try to cross the wall. It is almost impossible, other than a rope ladder that hung from the top. Only certain creatures and people can use it, but there is a secret entrance that Jacob found three years ago. They set up their own security, to see if it has been found by others. No one has dared to follow it, to see where it leads. To use it for future attacks, but none came. All of them defeated by the King and stuck under his control. The Witch and the Wizard left decades ago. Fae is the only supernatural beings his father has left before controlling the whole Realm.
Lost in his thoughts, Julius didn’t see the figure climbing the ladder, but he heard the stretch of a bow and the release of an arrow. His eyes zoom in on the falling figure, biting his lip to contain his rage. Bursts of laughter echo to him, swimming through his head. Bowing his head, he sends a quick apology to whoever he belonged to.
The sun began its descent in the distance as Julius overwatches Denis begin the training. They postponed when the king forced Julius to be a Wall Watcher for eight hours after being released from the call. The training field is right outside the boxing building hunkered in a clearing, by a small rippling pond. The boxing methods are in use, tape wrapping around all of the men’s knuckles. They work hard as Denis shows them techniques, never tiring. Julius knew each technique; the vamping, the surprise attacks, the fighting methods. He practices them every day, drawing strength of the exercise and training it induced.
He sees Jacob match against Denis as the split, the techniques being used. Jacob ducks as the opponent punches, swiping his feet from under him in one motion. He vamps to the right, which is slowing a small moment in time to appear close by. Denis curses lowly, his eyes tracking Jacob’s movement.
The vamping use to be transporting to one location, but then thirty years ago, a curse settled upon their realm. The curse took away abilities from every species known to the Supernatural Realm. Vampires’ lost the ability to vamp long distance and speed heal. Werewolves’ lost their morphing into their wolves and speed healing. The Fae lost their ability to stop aging. They have learned to adapt to their new lives. None of them felt comfortable in this life, this bubble.
Twenty-three years ago, everyone within the realm felt a window of time slide by. Their bindings on their magic released. Wolves transformed and vampires took off. Then it snapped back into place, freezing them in the bubble again. Werewolves that were morphed stayed wolves. The vampires that were in mid vamp, disintegrated. The Fae were the only ones untouched. The king grew furious, the fates playing with them. He started war with the werewolves, in a way Julius couldn’t remember. He won five years later. He recently started war against the Far, but has been unsuccessful.
The males in the clearing pants and growls at the building frustration of the training. His lips quirks and his eyes meet Denis’s. Laughter shone from their eyes, knowing that they would never get away with showing frustration in the Yelkites’s training. The sponge like grass is trampled and worn as they move back and forth.
One minute, they were training, Denis grunting with effort against Jacob. The next, his whole training field is surrounded, by men in white armor, the symbol of the kingdom stamped on the breast plate. A hand clamps down on his shoulder, earning a hiss of pain from Julius. A black figure whirls him, his eyes meeting those of his father’s. Anger rolls in those eyes, swirling around like smoke. His face is pinched and his lips ae pursed as he takes in the scene behind them.
Julius could see the reflection of Denis in the grey, cold eyes. Terror is the most prominent. He inwardly curses, the secret of his plan unrolling. In his father’s mind, Denis should be dead, the connection snapped.
“How?” the king commands, his eyes narrowing at his son. Julius clenches his jaw shut, his words in his head, trying to get out. He resisted, the secret needs to be prolonged, to get out from under his father. “Tell me how you, my son, can break the connection?”
The loophole shines in front of him, the wording of his sentence, gave him the clearing he needs. “I didn’t. Someone else did.” he explains to his king.
Rage takes over his eyes, dragging the bright red color. A smirk came to his face, cruel and threatening. His eyes flicker back to Denis and then gave a nod. Julius whirls around, the King’s hand dropping from his shoulder to allow him to watch. The Yelkite soldiers that are closest to Denis, circle him, jeering low threats and laughs. Their cloaks ripple in the small breeze, and then fly as the two Yelkites lunge. Julius yells as the creatures’ tear into Denis, his scream of pain echoing the clearing. A splatter of blood rains down upon the closest males. His men keep their mouths shut, the horror and disgust radiating from their face. Julius goes silent, his eyes never leaving Denis’s fading eyes, the magic that made them who they are, dying out.
“He was MY informant,” his father breathes, anger digging into the words, “He wasn’t supposed to take place in this world, this life you’ve chosen. He was given orders to tell me when you start to rebel against your kingdom,” the king pauses, his red eyes snagging Julius’s. He starts to circle him, his eyes hooking to his father’s.
“You see, my son, his connection to me was broken. The moment you were ordered to the watch tower, Denis came to me,” his father explains, still circling his son. Julius feels the jolt of surprise run through him, the betrayal. “He spilled everything. The deal and how you broke the connection. He set you up to fail. He agreed to die today because he no longer was under my control.”
“What the fuck do you give these men to stay so loyal?” Julius snaps, fury racing across his skin. He comes to a stop, his eyes back to facing his men. During his father’s monologue, his men were forced to kneel. Jacob’s hands are clenching the grass, his body trembling.
His father clicks his tongue, the sound disturbing to his ears. “Now, why would I tell you that?” he chuckles, “I do have a proposition for you and your village.”
Julius swings his head around to stare at the cruel male. The words echo some memory of three years ago, a proposition that his father never fulfilled. “Really?”
“I will grant the Outlaw Village immunity and elect you the govern, if you complete a task for me,” he says, a smirk changing his face. Julius stands there, his hands by his side. The familiar words haunting his memory. His father narrows his eyes at him, the knowing spark glows in his. “I did not keep my end on the other deals, but this one is important. Her name is Alice Cram, or so I believe. She was taken from under me a long time ago, but I know she is alive.”
“What’s so special about her?” Julius asks, his curiosity winning. He crosses his arms over his chest, shifting his feet so he is more comfortable. A feeling of eyes watching him, made the hair on the back of his neck stand up. It is either him mem watching him form their kneeling position or Jacob glaring daggers into his back. He straightens, keeping his eyes in the king.
The king frowns, his eyes zoning in on his men behind him. “That doesn’t matter. Just find her and bring her to me. I will give you a list of locations she is bound to be, but I’m not too sure. She is dark haired and blue eyes. When she was here, I learned she has a freckle under her right eye.”
Julius feels a shock flow through his body, an image of a girl’s face with glowing blue eyes pops into his head. The girl was no more than eight, he assumes, but can’t reach for the memory as it slips pass his fingers. Swallowing and blinking fast, he nods.
“I accept the terms. But,” he murmurs, “you have to swear it, by your crown. Once we complete the mission, the Outlaw Village becomes its own estate.”
His father’s eyes turn liquid red, burning to the brightest red. “I do not take commands from you, boy.” His voice thunders around, shaking the trees that surrounds them. Julius balances himself, but keeps his eyes on the King.
“I will not take this mission if you do not swear. Otherwise it will be like all the times you said before,” Julius argues, clenching his hands into fists. Yelkites starts to swarm them, a tight circle. He tenses, his instincts pushing him to vamp. His father just stares at him, the anger growing. “I’m not ordering you, Father. I am asking. Can you swear so we never have to do this over again?”
His father purses his lips then tilts his head to the side, studying him. His eyes burn to a rusty red before going to their normal grey. “I swear on my crown of Vampi, I will make Outlaw Village its own town and govern. I am still your king, Julius.”
He smiles, relief flooding through him. His king snorts in disgust. With a wave of his hand, they disappear, leaving Julius and his men by themselves. Jacob shoves himself off the ground roughly, swearing his king to hell. Julius makes his way down to his men, watching as they each glance at the other and mutter. Some didn’t even bother to hide their disdain. Jacob glares at him, grass staining his pants. He holds his head high, listening to the words throw at him. He sees the puddle of blood that belongs to Denis and closes his eyes briefly before opening them again.
“Guys, I know how this looks and seems,” he tries, but some vamp away, growling with anger. Jacob doesn’t, his hands on his hips, “Jake, please help me. We need this for our village.”
“Did he swear?” he demands, closing the gap between them until they are a breath away from each other.
Julius looks down at him, calm as he ever can be. “Yes, he swore,” he sighs, “I forgot that when they swarm it’s a ritual to keep words in that circle.”
“He didn’t want low ranks to hear him swear.” Jacob mutters, backing away from Julius in a gentle way. Julius gestures toward the boxing ring and they start toward it, hearing the men grunt and swear as they train.
“I just need five men, Jacob. To search for her and then escort her here.” He says, his eyes on the ground as he walks.
“I know, man. I do. I will help, as well as Davis. The other three are on you,” his second-in-command explains. They come to a stop in front of the building, watching the others go against each other using the techniques that Denis managed to show them. Jacob shakes his head and turns his head to look at Julius. “Actually, I will make three of them go. You have proven multiple times you are meant to lead them and be loyal to the village. You had asked for something in return from the king. And no one has ever been brave enough or had the courage to stand up to your father.”
Julius gives a snort, turning his eyes back to the training. “I am his son, the obnoxious and stubborn son. If anyone had done what I did, he would have killed them.”