Moonlight Hills-Book One: Lycanthrope

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Who Betrayed Who

“After her!” Carter shouted at me. He ran chasing that werewolf who was running away again after she approached us. I also followed them from behind. I still got to focus and tried not to lose my control. I thought that the pain from my shoulder that hadn’t been gone still kept my mind awake just like Carter said earlier.

We kept running and chasing her. Carter was right. It was hard to handle a werewolf who had been fully shifted. She ran very fast. I didn’t know why she approached us for the first time then ran away.

That wolf, I thought I knew her. The smell was so familiar. I tried to think and figure it out. Still I hadn’t had the answer yet.

Think, Fender, I talked to myself even though it was hard to think at a time like that. I sniffed, trying to focus my smelling ability on her. But suddenly, I smelled something approaching us.

I didn’t know why suddenly I felt myself in tremble. Carter stopped running in a sudden and he looked at his left side. It seemed that he was also aware that a very creepy thing would appear. A very big four-leg beast pounced to him until he fell right under the alpha. Then it pierced Carter chest with his claws. Carter groaned heavily and the blood got out from his body and his mouth. After that, he stopped moving.

God, that alpha kills him, I stunned in fear.

It suddenly looked at me with its red eyes. My body was trembling more. I didn’t want to be killed just like it happened to Carter, so I ran as fast as I could. At that time, I just thought how to get away with this. Anyway, Carter was already dead.

I kept running without looking back until I realized that actually the alpha didn’t chase after me. But I still kept running. Suddenly, I heard something again, something whooshing and approaching me fast. I stopped running, and then I jumped off to the back and fell after Frank suddenly appeared in front of me.

He winced for a while, and then he sighed, “Finally, I found you, Fender,” he whispered. His look was very terrible. He got scars and blood all over his body. In his hand, there was a shiny knife he held tightly.

“What happened to you, Frank?” I asked anxiously. I tried to get up slowly.

“This won’t happen if you keep your word and leave for my house before dusk,” he yelled angrily, “God, you’re so ugly,” he said. I hated when the time like that he still got the chance to mock me. But I didn’t complain. I still got my mind under control.

After I finally got up, I asked him again, “So, what happened to you?”

“That alpha attacked me. We got a very serious battle. I’m sure that it really wants to avenge all founder families. Lucky me, I got this silver knife I prepared for you,” he explained.

“What?” I yelled. It was not because his explanation that bothered me so much. It was because of the knife that he prepared for me, “You prepare that knife to hurt me, Frank! What a cruel friend you are!” I was upset.

“For God’s sake, Fender, I didn’t plan this knife to hurt you!” he yelled back, “You know I just want to defend myself if anything happens. Thank God you get yourself under control, and thank God I prepared this because I have to face that werewolf alone, but no thanks to you!”

I sighed. I thought that I was really sensitive. “So, you got that werewolf beat the crap out of you.”

“It’s an alpha I fought, Fender. The alpha is really strong. I was lucky I could go this far,” he said, “What about you? How can you manage that far?” he asked me.

“I met Carter Dale,” I answered, seeing his eyes winced a bit, “He was the one who helped me get through this. But that alpha killed him.”

Frank was silent for a moment, “Carter Dale? What is he doing here?” he asked again.

“Investigating the murder he said. But it doesn’t matter anymore. He was killed by the murderer. Furthermore, we got chased by the hunters. I don’t know if Ino is among them or not, but one thing I know that Norah, the girl I’ve told you is one of them. She’s a hunter and she shot my shoulder with an arrow. God, it’s so bad whereas I think that I got crush on her,” I complained and showed him my wound, “The last one, I met a new beta. She’s fully shifted, but I think I know her although I still have no any idea,” I explained.

Frank winced a bit again, “Wow, many things happened. About the new beta, you said it was a girl, right? Do you think she’s Angelica?” he guessed.

Angelica? I didn’t know why I never think about Angelica being a werewolf. She was attacked just like me at that night and she hadn’t been found since recently. There was a high chance that she became a werewolf just like me. But, there was a question in my mind, why was she missing all this time?

“Have you told her family about this, Frank?” I asked.

Frank paused for a while, “Not me, it’s my mother,” he whispered.

“So, they do know about what happened to Angelica. I think, we have to tell them about your hypothesis that…the new beta is Angelica Brownwood,” I said.

Suddenly, the pain and the urge filled my body again. I was roaring and groaning at the same time. I looked up, seeing the full moon above my head and the turn was going worst. I fell, bended on my knees. I screamed out loud when I felt my bones were cracking again inside.

Frank who felt panic tried to yell at me, “Fender! Hold on! You can do that!”

“No, Frank, I can’t hold it anymore!” I screamed, then the roaring turn into the howling. I could feel my fangs grew larger little by little.

“Sorry, Fender, I think I get to do this,” Frank said, and then suddenly he pierced his knife into my shoulder and pulled it back. I screamed again with so much pain I felt, and then I fell. God, I can’t bear the pain, I thought. It was the silver and it was like burning my body. That was the most terrible pain I ever felt in my life. I couldn’t even take a breath. It felt like I was going to die.

“Don’t ever do that to me again with silver!” I yelled to him while we were walking through the yard of the Brownwood’s Mansion. I was still upset to him about the previous night when I thought I was going to die because of that stupid silver knife.

Frank who was still walking beside me tried to defend himself, “You are too much, Fender. I stabbed that alpha with that knife, and it was just groaning a little,” he said.

I stopped walking, staring at him in the eye with a very angry look, “You’re talking about alpha. Me? I’m just a poor normal human who was being turned into a weak beta.”

“I have stabbed a beta with a silver knife long ago. He was hurt, but he was not like you,” he said more.

“I don’t care,” I yelled, “Maybe old werewolf was stronger or…maybe he was a purebred,” I sighed slowly, “Whatever the reason, please…promise me to never ever again use a silver to stab me. Got it?” I warned him.

He nodded, “Yes, I promise.”

I walked again to the main door of the house while Frank followed me from behind. I pressed the bell button and several seconds later, a middle-aged woman opened the door. Firstly, she smiled at me but when she looked at Frank behind me, her face tended to be more serious.

“Frank Damon,” she whispered.

“Morning, Mrs. Brownwood. Is Mr. Brownwood at home?” Frank asked.

Mrs. Brownwood nodded slowly, and then she asked us to come to the living room where Mr. Brownwood was at that time. We followed her until we reached the living room and suddenly, it felt like I was chocked when I saw Carter Dale was sitting in front of the fat man and had a little chit-chat with him. They both looked at us. Carter smiled at me, but I felt like he was grinning.

“You’re alive?” I was astonished, “But I saw that giant wolf pierced your chest.”

“An attack like that won’t kill a werewolf, Kid. By the way, I haven’t gotten your name,” he explained.

Mr. Brownwood suddenly stood up and winced, “Wait a moment, does this kid know everything?” he asked.

Carter looked at Mr. Brownwood and smiled, “This kid, whatever his name, is a werewolf. He was turned by the alpha, the one that turned your daughter.”

What Carter said surprised me a bit. “That wolf we met last night…was she Angelica?” I asked, “How do you know about that, Carter? How can you be so sure?”

“I know that girl when she was toddler. I can still remember the smell. Maybe if you were a werewolf and you had met her before, you can know for sure that the werewolf we met last night was Angelica. That’s why I know that the werewolf was a female,” he explained.

“So,” Frank clapped his hands once, trying to get attention, “My theory is right. We’re about to tell you, Mr. Brownwood, that maybe the werewolf that Fender met last night was Angelica. It’s not a maybe actually. She was Angelica,” he said.

Mrs. Brownwood sobbed and we caught in the silence. I saw her eyes were very swollen. Perhaps she had just cried before I and Frank came. She approached her husband and hugged him, crying on his shoulder.

“I think she is the one who killed a woman randomly last night until a bunch of hunters tried to chase her down. Am I right?” I guessed.

Frank nodded slowly, “No offense, Mr. and Mrs. Brownwood, but there’s no other possibilities. The alpha was fighting with me, and it didn’t kill random people. She was the killer. And I think she’s going to kill again next time, I don’t know when,” he said.

“So what are we going to do?” Mrs. Brownwood cried desperately.

“Frank, we need you all my fellow vampires to act as fast as you all could. We humans can’t do such things with supernatural being. Perhaps we can still find my daughter and save her, before those hunters find her and kill her,” Mr. Brownwood begged and his wife was more trembled in tears and sobbing.

I raised my hand, tried to get attention, “Sorry for interrupting. I know that finding Angelica is an important thing. But, should we concentrate too with handling the alpha?” I suggest.

Carter nodded quickly, “You’re right. I’m going to take care of this.”

“And letting that alpha tear you off again?” I cut his words, “Maybe the next time it will kill you for sure. It’s not your league, not mine, not Frank’s,” I said.

“Then who will? My alpha friend doesn’t want to help so I got to do this alone,” Carter said, “And if we talking about Bernard Damon, the mightiest pureblood vampire in this town, I don’t think he would like to do this thing by his hands. And if Bernard Damon doesn’t want to do this, then so do the other purebloods,” he looked at Frank and pointed, “No offense, Frank, but pureblood vampire is the most selfish creature I’ve ever met in my life.”

Frank didn’t express anything, but I know deep in his heart, he agreed with Carter. Sometimes, his father never seemed care about any of this. He maybe acted, but he only ordered. Perhaps if someone asks him to search the alpha by himself, there will be a big no showing on his face.

“Ino Rays,” I whispered, and then I was humming while everybody was caught in the silence and staring at me. “We got no other choices. Even pureblood as caliber as Mr. Damon feared him the most,” I said.

“He mustn’t know about you, and neither about Angelica. He’s going to kill you both,” Frank explained.

Mr. Brownwood shook his head quickly, “Nay, nay! It’s going to be bad.”

“We can explain him. Actually, I passed my first full moon without hurting anybody. If we can find Angelica and secure her, others will also be secure and Ino will understand,” I expressed on fire, “Moreover, he won’t stand still knowing 2 werewolves are still at large and killing everyone. Maybe there even will be more wolves in this town.”

“Just let him and the other hunters do the thing by their own. We have to focus on Angelica first. Those hunters will take care of things. It’s better to never mind their business,” Frank suggested.

“I know that my knowledge about hunters is limited. But I think they won’t be easy to find that werewolf until somebody becomes a victim, if it’s lucky though that they are aware about the occasion. But us, we can smell the werewolf and track it. I think me or Carter can lure it out with some kinds of werewolf method,” I said, then I looked at Carter’s face, “Isn’t that right, Carter?” I asked.

Carter nodded a bit, “It’s you who can lure it out. Somehow, you’re already a part of its pack after all. It can hear your cry. But still, working with hunters in this situation is not the wise thing. Especially, there’s Ino Rays among them,” he suggested, “My alpha friend knows that guy. Ino is not an easy one to be negotiated. When he thinks that it’s the right thing to do, then he will do it,” he explained.

I hated when options were limited if we talked about Ino Rays. What on earth is in that guy’s mind? Why everything is so rigid if that merciless hunter is on the topic? Does he never loosen up a bit? Is he a good guy, or even a bad guy, I confused.

I might be the one who could lure my alpha out. But after that, who could face that strong four-leg monstrous terrifying and gigantic beast? Me? No way! I didn’t want that thing to do like it did to Carter, tearing off my chest. Maybe I could not die, but I was sure that it was going to be really hurt. And if they asked me to do that method, luring the werewolf out, I couldn’t agree with that except there was someone who could ensure my safety. Period!

“If the betrayal were never happened, it wouldn’t be like this,” Mrs. Brownwood supposed.

“So, who betrayed who actually?” I asked. My curiosity grew larger after I heard that. The thing that I even forgot after everything happened to me finally came out without any notice. All the eyes stared at me at the same time.

“What? I’m just asking,” I gave an excuse, “Since I already go this far, I think it doesn’t hurt for me to know the truth.”

Carter nodded a bit, while Frank was still caught in his silence. From that moment I knew that Carter would be the one who spoke.

“You’re right, Kid,” he said.

“My name is Fender and please stop calling me kid,” I cut his words.

He nodded again with a faint smile, “Yeah, Fender, you deserve to know the truth. Many think that the founder family betrayed the werewolves. But actually, it wasn’t like that. It was the Dales, my own family, who betrayed us for the first time,” he said, and then he paused.

Everybody was quiet, including me. The air was getting tense second by second. I even could hear the clock ticking. No…I mean even normal human could do it. You know that I hate when I thought I was a normal human but I wasn’t.

Carter took a deep breath first, “My family, they were jealous to all the founder families. Humans, their population grew larger time by time. And vampires, they lived forever. While werewolf, we can’t grow up our population as many as humans do, and we don’t live forever like vampires. We may be the strongest ones, but we’re out of numbers. And we were too worried that peace won’t last any longer since the Daltons and Rovals left the town, that if it does really happen, we will at the side who have the most collateral damage,” he said.

I winced, studying his words about Daltons and Rovals who already left the town for the first time. I didn’t find the reason from the original history book from Frank. So suddenly, I raised my hand, “Why they left? Rovals and Daltons?” I asked.

Carter pointed at Frank, “He knows it the most. I haven’t born yet while they’re gone. And since I’m explaining you about my kind, I want you to skip about them for a moment,” he said, and I nodded agree. Then he continued, “That’s what triggered them to think that they should expand their population. Not by breeding since it’s impossible in a fast time, but by turning human into us.”

“Yeah, that’s very mean of them,” Mr. Brownwood finally speak while he still hugged his wife. His eyes was so gloomy, figuring about how the Dales could do that to his kind, “They know that it’s not easy, not just that…I think it’s very painful for humans if they are being turned into another creature. They must not take advantage by our fragileness.”

“Even though I’m a werewolf just like you, Fender, I did understand that what they did was a mistake. They planned to betray humans by turning them into us, and to betray vampires by getting rid of them. They wanted to conquer Moonlight Hills under their rule,” he explained. “I couldn’t stand still, so I told everything I knew only to the Adams, Brownwoods, and Woolens. I actually wanted to tell the Damons instead, but Mr. Damon wasn’t available at the time. But in the end, he was the one who told me about his harsh method.”

“To put wolfsbane into the water supply?” I interrupted.

Carter nodded, “Yeah. I was kind of very shocked back then when I heard that. I didn’t agree with that either, but…I got no other choice even I didn’t know the reason why Mr. Damon chose that way. This whole town is my family, and I didn’t want my just few member of my family to ruin them all, so I thought I should make a sacrifice.”

Frank suddenly cleared his throat, trying to get an attention, “My father told me about his reason, which I think it is reasonable enough,” he interrupted, “Actually, the Brownwoods, Adams, and Woolens also didn’t agree with that method. The previous Mr. Brownwood had a plan to seek help to the Hunters Association. But they didn’t have any proof and they also didn’t want to wait until something bad happened for the proof to appear. Mr. Adams planned to confront them directly, but Mr. Woolen said that it was going to hurt the peace among other werewolves outside this town. Again, it was because the proof did matter. So, my father’s choice was the best thing to do, putting wolfsbane into the water supply so that those werewolves went rampage and stated as a threat by hunters,” he ended his explanation.

“Even if it ends up many blame the founder families for that tragedy to happen, the case was closed since there was no proof to blame anyone. Mr. Damon is very smart to cover it up. Though we didn’t proud of what we did, all founder families finally agreed that it was the best thing to do,” Mr. Brownwood said.

Carter was casting down his eyes. I could feel the sadness in his eyes as I figured what really happened at the time in my mind. He took a deep breath again, and then spoke, “It was the dark age for this town. Wolfsbane doesn’t easily kill us, but it brings the worst pain to us. We’re going to lose control and going rampage, even the strongest purebred alpha would lose his mind if wolfsbane gets into his body. Most vampires had been already ordered to stay alert when the time came so nobody had to be a victim. I tried to safe my fellow werewolves as many as possible, posing to be a victim even though it was me who betrayed them. I ran with those who still were in control, because hunters already made their move fast. Those werewolves were killed one by one, only a few remained. Some were with me, the other ones were scattered.”

“What about the town?” I asked curiously, “With all the werewolves going rampage and vampires on the move, their secret must be revealed.”

“Yes,” Mr. Brownwood nodded, “I saw it with my own eyes. Those vampires were compelling every single human who didn’t need to know the truth. That’s why the secret is safe. No human knew about what happened to the Dales and the werewolves at that time, only several did and they would keep the secret to their grave. They only knew that a natural disaster occurred at the time.”

My goosebumps were rising just thinking of it. Somehow, I could feel their pain. Is it because I’m a werewolf now, I tried to figure out. But past is the past, I told myself. It was because of their own greediness causing the tragedy to happen.

I sighed. Somehow I was glad that finally I knew the fact about the Dales and those werewolves. But in the other hand, I was upset it needed me to sacrifice my humanity in order to know that. Life was not fair. There was something I want to know later, the Daltons and the Rovals.

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