I sat cross-legged in front of Ivan, looking at him who was doing the same with me. We were in his room, trying to do some method of him to control my wolf. He hadn’t spoken for several minutes. We just stared at each other. I saw him took a breath in orderly, so I did that too.
I wondered what he was going to tell me, doing yoga?
“Okay, I can’t stand figuring out without knowing anything. We have been doing this for 10 minutes and I still don’t have any idea about what we’re doing right now,” I complained.
He didn’t smile nor have any other expression. He just looked at me in the same way. Sometimes I thought Ivan was really weird.
I gave up! I didn’t speak anything until several seconds later he finally put out his words.
“You’re not concentrating, Fender. Concentrating is the only requirement to do this. I was like you when the first time I did this. Stay focus, Fender,” he ordered.
What? How can I concentrate if I don’t have any purpose in mind, I figured. But I didn’t complain. I just did what he ordered me to, concentrating!
Somehow he suddenly spoke again, “Close your eyes,” and I did what he said. I didn’t know if he also did that too since I already closed both my eyes. I heard he continued to speak, “Try to reach your deepest mind. Thinking that you’re in the middle of somewhere, alone, and everything’s so quiet.”
Yeah, I tried to think that I was in the middle of somewhere, alone, and everything was so quiet. Somehow, I could still hear his voice, but it was fading out. Until I finally lost it and opened my eyes, I was a bit shocked.
I was not in the middle of somewhere. I was in the middle of nowhere.
I didn’t know where I was. The last time I remembered, I was in Ivan’s room. But then, I was in the forest-like place with trees everywhere. But it wasn’t the woods of Moonlight Hills. It was quite different. I saw many dried trees. Some of them still had leaves, but all the leaves were dry and falling down. Everything seemed so yellow like I was in the middle of sunset. But I couldn’t see sun in the sky.
Usually, I would be panic if I got in a weird situation. But somehow I wasn’t.
I walked slowly, trying to figure out what happened. I felt like I was in a dream. I figured, was it really a dream? I didn’t know, so I kept walking through the forest. My eyes were wandering around. I span around 360 degrees and I still could find nothing.
But suddenly, I heard something growling. I turned around, and turned again. What is it, I wondered.
I finally saw it. He hid behind a tree, a man wolf in half-shifted form, and naked!!!
I figured it out. I know who he was. He was me!!!
He peeked from behind the tree. Oh, God, I was so ugly, I thought. But he seemed so afraid to me. It was me who should afraid of him. Then I thought it was wasting to think that. He was me after all. He hid himself again. I winced, stepping forward carefully.
“Hey,” I called.
But he didn’t reply. I still couldn’t see him and tried to get closer. But suddenly, I saw a big wolf run. He was full-shifted, changed while hiding behind the tree.
I called him again, “Hey, wait!” I tried to chase him, but I couldn’t so I gave up. I wondered why he was running from me.
I heard Ivan calling me and then I opened my eyes. I saw him smiled.
“What did you see?” he asked.
I winced, feeling a bit confused, “I saw myself. I don’t know why I saw myself. He was naked and ugly. And…he wasn’t in the human form. What’s all that about? What have I undergone?”
“That was your wolf,” Ivan answered, “Did you speak to him?” he asked.
I shook my head, “No. He fled.”
He nodded and thought about something, “No wonder. It’s your first meeting after all.”
“Was it really my wolf?” I asked, trying to make sure because I was really confused about that thing.
He nodded again, “That’s our specialty. We can meet and converse with our other self. But most mutt werewolves can’t build a good relationship with their wolf, unless they’re an alpha. That’s why most of them can’t control their change. But have no worry, Fender. I will teach you how to befriend with your wolf.”
“Ichtaca’s right. This place is a maze,” Frank sighed.
He, Norah, and Evans spent their last 3 hours lurking around the maze forest to find the location that Ichtaca mentioned before he left. The forest had a very thick fog and it was already dusk. The sun would set soon and it was sure that it would be more difficult for them.
There was no wind even though the air was so thick and cold. Hope flew down from above and landed in front of them. His wings suddenly disappeared. He also sighed and shook his head.
“Still there’s no a clue?” Norah asked.
“Nay! I can’t see any single thing from above,” Hope replied, “My wind can’t blow away this fog. This is unnatural.”
“It’s okay, Hope. It’s not your fault. So please don’t mourn,” Frank said. He walked again and the others followed them from behind. They kept walking but slowly. The fog was getting thicker and it seemed that they walked in the same path.
God, I feel a magic presence here, Frank thought, but he tried not to mind about it. His red eyes wandered around, feeling anxious and upset at the same time.
Norah was thinking the same. It seems that this place is covered with magic. This fog and maze is unnatural. But how could it be?
“Actually, Guys, I’ve been wondering why we’re such in a rush. We know that Sergey knows this matter. We could’ve been cooperating,” Evans who kept silence all the time, finally spoke.
“Don’t be stupid, Evans. It’s about Brownwoods’ daughter. We have to secure her first before Ino gets here and kills her in front of our eyes,” Norah got the point.
Evans just thought and nodded. But Hope, he gulped after hearing what they were talking about. But he remained silent. He actually wanted to speak the truth, but he had promised her. Shalt they hate me if they know the truth, he thought worriedly.
While walking, Frank spoke again, “Do you remember what Ichtaca said last time about the girl who escaped with him?” he asked.
Norah nodded, “Yeah. It could be anyone.”
“Including Angelica,” Norah added.
“No way,” Evans insisted, “If she escaped, she supposed to go back to her family right? And we already got news that she was safe,” he got his point.
Norah sighed, “But, if somehow she managed to escaped but ended up like Ichtaca…”
Frank suddenly stopped and turned around. The others did too, and they were staring each other. “Do you think Angelica is already dead?” Frank asked.
Norah shook her head, “Let’s just hope you won’t see her ghost.”
Frank took a deep breath and continued to lead them walk. But after a while they’d been walking, suddenly they stopped again. And this time, their faces seemed so cautious.
“I heard something,” Frank said.
Norah agreed, “I know. I feel someone’s presence.”
“Do you think it’s a werewolf?” Frank asked.
“No idea, Frank,” Norah replied.
“Why do you always ask us that, thinking that we were a psychic that knows everything?” Evans complained.
Hope put his finger on his lips, “Quiet!” he said.
Frank heard the sound of a movement again. His head turned to the direction where he thought that the sound came from. But it was moving fast, causing him to always move his sight quickly.
Evans and Norah suddenly ran. “Over there!” Norah yelled. Hope and Frank quickly followed them from behind.
“Just tell me where the exact direction, Norah!” Frank yelled.
“Two o’clock!” Norah told him while running.
Frank’s eyes looked at the two o’clock direction in front of him. Taking a deep breath, he then whooshed toward the woods and thick fog, and stopped in front of a half-shifted werewolf male. The wolf stared at him and growled. He looked so upset that Frank already stood in front of him.
Frank was grinning, “Run and show me your lair, or do you want to die in our hands?”
The wolf looked more upset, but he seemed not to have many option. So he ran fast passing through Frank. But Frank continued to chase him. Evans yelled from behind, “Idiot! Why you let him go?” he was mad. But Frank seemed not care about that.
They kept chasing the werewolf. Frank led in the front since vampire could run faster than others.
“God, what is he actually doing? He can easily rip his heart out right now!” Evans complained.
“Just shut your mouth, Evans!” Norah yelled, knowing the true intention of Frank. Sometimes she hated why Evans always used his muscle rather than his brain.
Something suddenly revealed whilst they were running.
A cave, Frank’s eyes grew larger. They saw the wolf was entering the cave. But Frank didn’t continue to chase him.
“Why are we stopping now?” Evans complained again.
“We’re thinking, Idiot! It could be a trap,” Norah said, still with an upset tone.
“But he entered! There’s nothing to worry. I can fight dozen of werewolves,” he got too cocky, “And if the alpha is there, we get Hope on our side.”
Frank held him when he wanted to move forward, “Please, no need to rush. If it’s really the alpha’s lair, then we have gotten them cornered. I don’t know. I just feel something bigger is waiting us inside. Don’t you feel something?”
“You’re right, Frank. I feel something different, something with so much power. But, should we enter or just wait here?” Norah was a bit confused.
“We get nothing if we just stay here. At least, we gain something by entering the cave. We’re strong enough to overcome what’s waiting us inside,” Evans showed his confidence to others.
But suddenly they stopped talking. They were staring at the cave entrance without blinking. Evans and Norah were ready with their each weapon. Somebody was coming.
It was not somebody, there were four people came out from the cave. Each of them was wearing a black long coat like a dark sect. All of them were male and middle-aged. One seemed younger than the others.
Witch? How could….Oh, my God! I remember that Grayson family had witches family as their friends, Frank thought.
“Vocatus magia!” the three of them spoke together, while the one of the middle was still casting a spell. Suddenly a light in a circle of magic came beneath his feet. Frank realized that he was a summoner.
Norah quickly shot her arrow to the summoner and Hope raised his hand, producing a blast of fire toward him. But the other witches acted quickly. They covered the summoner and casted a spell.
A dark barrier appeared and prevented all the attacks to touch them. Hope and Norah’s attack was nullified. The summoner had finished his spell and a creature appeared by the disappearing of the barrier.
Beautiful but evil-looking lady was smiled, wagging her horse-tailed hair. Her eyes were crimson, like a burning fire. She wore a tight lacy bra with a mini cardigan where the stomach was wide open and silk baggy trousers. There were many bracelets on her wrists. On her feet, there was a pair of pointy shoes. From her look, she was absolutely a genie.
“What a beautiful scene, seeing two handsome boys, a muscular man, and a very pretty girl in front of me! Don’t you think it’s a waste to kill them all,” she said and chuckled.
“Who says it’s going to be easy to kill us?” Norah was cocky.
The summoner grinned widely, “But we’ll definitely win.”
“Methinks we’re surrounded,” Hope whispered anxiously.
They realized that some werewolves suddenly appeared from the woods and the thick fog. They were growling, showing their furry face and sharp fangs. There were 5 werewolves surrounded them. And with four witches and a genie, they knew that they were at the disadvantage situation.
Without knowing that my friends were in danger, I sat alone on the floor in Ivan’s room. But frankly, I worried about them. I thought how they were doing right then, whether they were okay or not. Somehow I wanted to go with them, but the situation forced me to stay, at least doing another important thing.
I peeked on my watch. It was already 30 minutes Ivan left me alone there. Her father called him for discussing private matter. Ivan’s room was so quiet and I really liked that. That room was soundproof, and I believed that Ivan’s room was already designed perfectly to prevent the sounds from outside to be heard. Oh, I wish I could ask my parents to renovate my room, I thought miserably.
The door suddenly opened. I turned my face and thought that it was Ivan. But I was wrong. It was Ivan’s sister, Anna. She smiled to me and get in before she finally closed the door. She then sat in front of me.
“How are you doing?” she asked.
“Fine,” I replied and smiled, thinking that she might have a crush on me. But I was too confident. And my confidence was rising up when she said something.
“Can I ask you something, Fender?” she asked.
I nodded and thinking wildly. Somehow I hate myself for becoming a very prideful person that thinks every girl likes me. Yeah, many girls like me, but not every girl. And it so embarrassed me when she said…
“When will your friend come here again?” she asked.
I winced, feeling so ashamed that thinking she might like me. I just wished that werewolf didn’t have the ability to read other werewolf’s mind.
“Who?” I asked back.
“That cute guy. What was his name again?” she asked again.
“Frank?” I made sure.
She nodded and smiled happily, “Yes! Yes! Frank! I know that this is shameful for me to ask this to you, since we barely met each other. But I think I liked him when the first time I saw him. Oh, God, I wish he has no girlfriend,” she said.
I tried to keep cool, but I must admit that I was a bit upset that she preferred Frank rather than me.
“He’s a vampire,” I said.
“Yeah, I know. Vampire and werewolf are mortal enemies. But…can’t I love a vampire? Should vampire and werewolf be forbid loving each other?” she said.
She’s right. There’s no specific law that stated that vampire and werewolf can’t be a couple. It’s not my business anyway, so why do I have to be upset about this, I thought, hating myself.
“So?” she asked, and when I raised my eyebrow, she spoke again, “About his girlfriend, if any?”
I shook my head, “From what I know, he has no girlfriend. Maybe you’re wondering why I, as his very close friend, have a doubt whether he’s already had a girlfriend or not. FYI, Frank is so private person, even to me. He’s more introvert than the most introvert one,” I explained, “I’ve heard that he once had the love of his life. But I never heard of her existence. Maybe she died when the great pureblood war.”
“Oh, I hope so,” Anna whispered, “Do you think he will love me back?”
It’s a very hard question, I thought. I hummed, “I…actually don’t know for sure about that. Frank is unpredictable. Just do your best to win his heart.”
She suddenly came toward me and held my arms. She seemed so exited. “Thank you. I will do my best,” she said and then she kissed my left cheek. In the same time, Ivan opened the door and came inside. He seemed a bit confused. Anna then got up and walked passing through her brother in a very happy face.
Ivan closed the door and asked me, “Did she tell you about how she really admires Frank?”
I nodded, “Yeah.”
He sighed and looked down for a while, then he walked toward me, “She always ask me about Frank. But I don’t know anything about Frank. So I said that she could ask you, and she really did that. By the way, Fender, for a very popular person like Frank, I never see him so close with a girl,” he said, perhaps thinking that maybe Frank actually like a guy.
I laughed, “Frank is not into a guy if you think so. He maybe doesn’t open about everything, but I’m sure he still loves girl. He just…I don’t know for sure, maybe kind of attached by his past love.”
“Past love?” Ivan winced.
“I asked him once. With so many girls like him, why he doesn’t pick even one,” I told, “He just answered that he couldn’t find any girl like his past love. He is a perfectionist.”
He smiled a bit, “So my sister seems not to have a chance.”
I raised my shoulders, “I have no idea. By the way, how about Frank and the others now? Do you think they already find the alpha’s hideout?” I wondered.
Norah yelled, “Behind you!”
Evans turned his body around while swinging his double sword. The swords scratched the werewolf who pounced toward him and fell, but he kept attacking with his claws. Evans held his attack by the swords, producing a clang sound like two swords clashed each other. But unlucky him, the werewolf used his kick attack right into Evans’ stomach. Evans was thrown back and fell. Still unlucky, there was a werewolf nearby where Evans fell and used the chance to attack the vulnerable hunter.
“Damn!” Evans saw the wolf was going to step onto his face. But he could manage to hold that again by crossing his dual swords above his face.
Norah acted quickly, she swung her mini crossbow and fired it three times, as many as the ammo inside the weapon.
“Verber!” one of the mages swung his wand and several thin blowing shots of a wind rocketed away fast and hit all those arrows, nullifying Norah’s attack.
Norah stared at the grinning mage and felt so much upset.
Hope, who was waiting for his open time, finally blew an attack when he got one. He raised his left hand to the front and launched an electrical blasting to the werewolf who still tried to crush Evans’ head by his foot. The lightening moved so fast that none of the enemy aware to nullify it. The wolf was finally hit and flown away until he fell down. At least, Evans still got his lucky. He quickly got up and promised himself, to never get into that embarrassing situation like that again.
Frank was still busy dealing with the two werewolves at the same time. With his fast movement and silver knife on his hand, he could handle even if three werewolves attacked him together. But he didn’t realize that one of the mages, who kept getting away from the battle, finally began to launch his attack.
“Cruciatus!” he whispered, but even vampire can hear whispering in a quite distant range. Frank knew the spell and finally realized that the spell was meant for him. He turned to the mage, but he was too late.
It was like a trembling feeling of his body, causing him to stun for a second. His eyes suddenly grew very large and after that, he felt like his head was going to blow out.
He screamed and kneeled, holding his head with his bare hands. It was like a lot of pain coming toward him. The others were staring at him. They wanted to help, but the forces prevented them to stop the mage’s spell.
Hope created a fire circle around him to stop the werewolves from getting near him. He then raised his hand to the front, right toward the mage who still casted that spell to Frank. A spark came out from his hand and the spark became a lightning bolt that flashed toward the mage.
But another mage manage to create a barrier spell that nullified Hope’s attack.
Hope didn’t stop the attack, hoping that his attack would break the barrier. “Please! Please! Just destroyed!” he whispered. But the barrier still didn’t budge. They were out of number, and with the Ifrit genie on their side, the enemy got the upper hand.
Norah tried to fire the attack brutally, hoping that those arrows could hit at least one of those mages. But the arrows froze in the air. She looked at the genie who grinned at her.
“It’s not that easy, Pretty girl!” she said, and the arrow quickly turned back and fired back to Norah like a boomerang.
Evans quickly acted. He nullified those arrows by his dual sword slashes in front of Norah.
Suddenly a werewolf managed to sneak out and approached Frank. He ran toward Frank with a very fierce look. He was ready with his claws to rip Frank who was still lying on the ground. He grinned, getting on the upper hand while the others were busy with their business.
The others were very much worried, but they couldn’t do anything to stop the werewolf...