The Half-Blood (Book 1)

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The Dance

My eyes were all over this place. When we were approaching the Castle and passed the security, I found a deep circular-shaped lake surrounding the site. Everything was lit up, which made everything look magnificent. The outside of the Castle was reddish-brown, medieval style. You could see more than one bridge that was used as an entrance to this fortress. Despite being a bit dark, I noticed that there was a vast garden with a large fountain in the middle. It was probably more beautiful during the day.

The driver left us at one of the side entrances as we were not appropriately dressed, so we could not use the main entrance. After dealing with a scary old man, we entered the Castle.

The corridors were covered with the same reddish stones. I realized that even this fortress was built a long time ago, it had been modernized somehow. From the ceiling hung electric lamps of the luxurious type of chandeliers adorned with numerous glass pendants. The walls of the corridors were decorated with beautiful paintings from the Renaissance period.

I could hear the lovely song playing in the ballroom, it sounded like an echo through the hallways. I mind-linked our Mother, letting her know that we were here, and she told me she was in the ballroom hidden in a corner.

“Why are you doing there, Mom? I thought you were in a hidden room.”

I was a little irritated because now I had to go through the main hall where she was.

“Nala, I was! But I heard that King Alaric would be dancing with his new girlfriend, and I didn’t want to miss seeing who she is. Now I’m watching them dance. I must say, if I were any younger, I would have thrown myself at his neck right away.”

“Handsome, huh?...” I smirked

“Yes, he is very manly” She sighed. “I wish my daughters would find a match like him. I’ve heard from some ladies that he used to be a womanizer, but for a few months now, he’s been going out with this girl only.”

“You really want your daughters to find a womanizer as a match? Plus I thought you came here for the ball and not to gossip about other people’ s life. We are near the ballroom, where are you?”

I opened a big wooden door that fortunately made hardly any noise. Maeve and I were tiptoeing behind the people, trying not to draw attention to ourselves. Everyone seemed to be immersed in the couple dancing in the middle. If the bitter-faced old man who received us at the entrance found out that we were in the hall room, he would probably kill us slowly as a punishment.

As I tried to reach our mother, I looked up and saw beautiful chandeliers hanging from a splendid ceiling with shapes that stood out in gold and dark coloured paintings. The walls had large windows adorned with huge gold-coloured curtains. The ballroom smelled fresh from the wild flowers that decorated the whole place. Everything was dazzling.

I wanted to see the couple who were dancing, and everyone here had their attention on them. I stopped for a second to look. I was behind a huge man who smelled a lot of alcohol. Jesus, how many drinks has this guy had?

“Nala, keep going,” my sister whispered. After another attempt to look at the couple, I gave up and kept walking through the crowd. I bet it was the King and his new girlfriend. After a few more seconds, we found our mother hiding with dad in a corner.

“Finally ...!,” she said. We left the ballroom, following her into a private room, which one of the castles’ servants suggested.

“We have to go now.” I said

“Why you don’t stay here?..” My father said as he drank from his glass of whiskey?

“What are you drinking ?”

“Mead” he said, rolling his eyes.

“We cannot stay, look at us! Besides, an old man is waiting for us at the exit. He almost won’t let us in.”

We said goodbye and returned this time through other corridors of the Castle without having to cross the ballroom again.

***

King’s Alaric POV

“My love, why don’t you ask me to dance?”

I took her by the hand and guided her to the center of the ballroom. This was precisely what I wanted to avoid: all these people thought that Salla could be their future Luna. As a courtesy, I agreed to dance with her this time, but I made a mental note that I would leave the room the next time before any dance started.

The opening should be done by the Alpha King and the Alpha Queen. And Salla was neither.

When the music started, we started moving. I grabbed Salla’s right hand, and with the other, her narrow waist. I couldn’t deny that Salla was beautiful tonight. Her dress, which highlighted her delicious breasts, was golden, fitted to her body. Trying not to look bored, I looked at the guests without paying particular attention to any of the faces looking at us.

At one of those moments, I saw one of my advisors. But it was not really him who caught my attention, but the woman who was hiding behind him. My heart suddenly jumped when I saw a pair of blue eyes. I was trying to lead our dance, so I could get a good look at her face. I realized she was looking at my councilman in front of her with a scowl. I could only see her eyes, nothing else. The shadow that covered her figure did not allow me to see her face clearly.

Salla caught my attention, asking something. I nod and smile at her trying to show interest. When I looked back to where the strange woman was supposed to be, all I saw was the wall. My councilman was no longer there nor her. I was searching with my gaze the whole place, feeling frustrated.

Was she real? She seemed too real to me now. Those blue eyes looking at my councilman’s back were unmistakable.

I kept thinking over and over again about the possibility that she was real. That those eyes I had seen only minutes before belonged to someone real. I gave in to the exhaustion of my own thoughts. I wondered again. Maybe it wasn’t her. Or maybe it was just a woman with blue eyes.

The song ended, and I led Salla out of the center of the ballroom. “What is going on?” Hado, my Beta, asked me, feeling that something was disturbing me.

“Nothing.” I replied without any desire to start a conversation.

“My Love....?” I heard Salla’s voice.

As much as I liked her, it irritated me to hear her call me My love, especially in front of everyone. Lately, I’ve noticed that she’s overconfident in her relationship with me. I like her, yes, but not to be my Queen, let alone my wife.

“When would The Hunt be?” she asked me.

“In two days,” I said

“Everything is ready?”

“Yes. The event will take place this year outside the castle ground. Everything has been arranged accordingly.” Hado replied

“How many people are playing this time?”

“About fourteen,” I said

I hated that damn game. How come those women liked to participate? Every year I could only thank the moon goddess that none of them was my mate.

The vision of blue eyes came back to my mind. I don’t know why, but every time I have seen the mysterious woman in my dreams, I have felt weak, as if just looking at her drained my strength. This was not a typical dream. This one was different. This one felt like I was living it in my own flesh like she was right now in front of me dancing with her dress in her hands. How is it possible that I only remember the color of her eyes and not her face.

I sighed in frustration. I shouldn’t be thinking about this nonsense, I should concentrate on the situation in the Kingdom of Witches.

Apparently, Evanora is scared of something. No one knows what it could be, but her subjects have noticed her paranoid behaviour. Which is strange, considering her identity and how powerful she is. If I’m not mistaken, soon Darious will have to go to her, even though they’ve stopped communicating because of Elenor.

Darious is the only person she trusts. And if that happens I’ll have to talk to him, I can’t risk endangering my kingdom like last time.

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