Isabelle watched the scene unfold. The deranged alpha was nothing less than a wounded beast and the sacred womb was gone. She had a cut on the side of her temple and a slight burn under her chin apart from her strained ankle. If she had not turned in time, half of her face would been toast by now.
“Check on the Alpha.” Ben asked the paramedics, rushing to help his son. The former Luna was not far behind.
People buzzed around her in pursuit to control the situation. When all the attention turned to the Alpha, she curled her knees and closed the doors of the ambulance and teleported to the courtroom back at her clan.
“Bella.” The high mother rose from her throne. The three supreme witches clad in red, blue and white hushed and beckoned to their respective covens to settle down.
“High mother,” Bella bowed.
Some of Bella’s opponents stepped closer for better hearing. The crowding courtroom was suddenly dead silent to hear better. Why not? The high mother raised Bella herself but never favoured her and her training was much harder than any other witch her age.
“What brings you here uninvited?”
Bella looked up from her bent position. “I have good news.”
“The Luna... She’s...” Bella shut her mouth mid-sentence, her eyes flickering to the rest of the lot. After a short breathe, she added. “Dead. The Luna is dead and so is the child.”
A commotion started at the back of the courtroom. The three supreme witches whispered allegations.
The high mother flicked her wrinkled hand. The cane in her hand was merely a token of her superiority.
“Can you confirm how do you know it was the child?”
Bella straightened up. “I have been following her for a while now, mother. She was sacred, virgin. The child was different, so I heard from a nurse at the hospital.”
“What were you doing in werewolf territory?”
Bella swallowed, knowing her limits and she that she had crossed them. She was about to muster up a lie when a woman from the Blue coven came through and bowed.
“She stole a mate, high mother.”
The courtroom echoed gasps.
The high mother frowned, her long jade gown trailing behind her as she descended the stairs. “Is this true, Bella?”
Bella curled her hands to stop the tremors. “Y-yes, high mother.”
“You do know the repercussions of your actions. Don’t you?”
Bella threw a bitter glance towards the other witch, who intervened before she could answer.
“I warned her three time, high mother. She didn’t listen to me. She even brought him to the border.”
Another round of surprised reactions from the clan. Belle wanted to strangle the witch with her bare hands but refrained to do so.
“I know my boundaries. I did what I did for the clan. I was sure the child was in his pack so I had to steal a mate bond. Trust me high mother, the child is dead. Test the sphere if you like.”
“And if you were wrong?” The Blue dressed witch challenged.
Bella glared at her. “I will succumb to whatever punishment the high mother assigned to me.”
“Very well,” the high mother clasped her hands together and gestured to a courtier. “Present the Bane Sphere.”
The witches waited with bathed breaths when the glinting sphere taunted their heartbeats. Many a witches have lost their lives to the sphere. It was an abyss of death and souls.
“Gerald,” the high mother called out the military wizard.
He understood her nod. A prisoner witch was brought to the courtroom from the dungeons. She realized why she was summoned when she saw the globe by the throne.
“No, no!” She struggled in the chains, “Anything but that. Please, n–”
The high mother sealed her mouth with a single snap of her fingers. Her eyes sought the culprit.
“Bella, do you want to take your claim back or are you ready to test your theory?”
“I’m ready, mother.”
The high mother fisted her hand which immediately stopped the breathes of the prisoner and then yanked her fist back. The prisoner dropped dead in the courtroom. The witches has seen this particular event one too many times but it was still frightening to watch.
The soul captured from the prisoner was thrown into the sphere which flickered to life then died out like a weak candle.
Bella’s smirk grew on her face as worry left her body.
The high mother tipped her chin and smiled proudly. “Excellent. We don’t have to worry about the child for at least another decade.”
“But high moth—”
The witch from the Blue coven shut her mouth when the high mother flicked her finger from left to right.
“Bella had proved to be an extraordinary student from time and time again. This is your victory Isabella. I grant you a reward. Ask for anything you wish.”
Bella snuck an arrogant glance towards her opponent before clearing her throat and seeking permission from her teacher, the Red supreme witch.
“I wish the permission to live in the werewolf territory.”
The smile instantly dropped from the high mother’s face so Bella rushed forward and bowed her head, hastily explaining, “I have earned his trust, high mother. His pack is one of the strongest in their military. Moreover they have a direct link with the royal family. Think of the benefits for us. I can acquire more information.”
The smile returned to the high mother’s face and disappeared from all her opponents. Replaced by a bitter frown.
“You smart little girl,” the mother was pleased. She walked up to Isabelle and tapped her chin three times. “You turned just the way I hoped you would. Cunning and intelligent. I grant you your wish but you have to report to your class every week.”
Bella bowed in submission and nodded.
“You can go, now. Gerald. Retreat your men from their borders. Our work here is done.”
“What about the Dome Moon pack?” Bella dared questioning. She wanted to know what happened to Marie’s fake mate and his pack. They signed a truce with the witches in return of power.
“They lost the battle. We don’t need failure on our side. We have cut all ties with them. The royal family will assign a new Alpha to their pack I suppose. That reminds me, we need to kill the traitors before they spill the beans.”
The high mother nodded to the supreme witches who rose from their seats and followed the high mother to the private room.
Bella knew the other students will swarm her with questions and jealousy so she poofed from there before they could reach her. She appeared back at Cole’s place, changed into one of Cole’s shirt which reach her thighs and came out.
“Esh!” She gasped when Cole appeared in front of her out of the blue. “You scared me.”
Cole frowned at the bandage on her head. “Does it hurt?”
“Hmm,” he walked past her, colored in distress. Bella noticed his swollen lip and the blood stains on his dress. He quickly changed into a new shirt and grabbed a file from his cupboard.
“Where are you going?”
Cole gulped down a glass of water, kissed her cheek and left the room after saying, “Rest. We’ll talk when I come back.”
Bella stayed behind, her heart twisting in a strange way. She was afraid to admit his mood had started affecting her chest and lungs.
The day went by in a blur. She thanked the heavens for keeping her identify a secret when she attacked Lily back at the pack. Her cape saved her game and Marie didn’t remember her spell.
Cole told her Ezra was in a bad shape, spouting nonsense and sending four different search parties after Lillian. His parents were barely keeping him calm and collected. Seeing his friend in that state hurt him a great big deal. Bella tried her spells inconspicuously to extract most of his worries but Cole was just as heartbroken as Ezra.
“Give him some time. He’ll come around.” She said.
Cole sighed and palmed his face. “You don’t know him, Belle. He’ll never come around.”
Bella massaged his head later that night, her eyes glued to the file on the coffee table and her heart aching despite her convincing herself that it was a slight heartburn because of the taco bell she ate earlier.
“Go to sleep. I’ll wake you up in a bit. You need the energy.”
Cole passed out on her chest soaked in a pool of pain, saddness and exhaustion.
Isabelle was lost in thought after seeing the photograph peeking out of the files.
A sacred womb, a wounded beast... it said.