Moonlight Hills-Book One: Lycanthrope

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7 Days to the Next Full Moon

Norah aimed her arrow to Sergey who was still kneeling due to his lack of power to stand up. She looked at unconscious Sam and Walter, and then stared at him again angrily.

“What have you done, you bastard!” she yelled.

Sergey was still gasping, lifting his head to look at Norah. He chuckled, “Do you think I can ignore Ino’s demand?”

“All you did all this time is just supporting his crazy doing! You’re like his own brother to him, I’m sure he’ll listen to you!” Norah said, holding his anger.

Sergey tried to sit. He took a breath steadily before he spoke again, “You never know him, Norah. I have been with him since he was kid. There’s nothing can stop him from doing what he wants, including me. As his only brother, I can’t do anything but support him,” he chuckled again, “For you to hide such dangerous creature like Fender, you should be ashamed as a hunter.”

“Don’t speak like you’re a hunter yourself. You never know about our code. And from what I know, Ino always ignores our code. As a true hunter, I will defend Fender!” she insisted.

“Well! Well! Look who’s speaking?” Norah and Sergey turned their head at where Ino was coming. He walked slowly and calmly, like there was nothing happened. Ino smiled widely, almost like grinning, “So, you think that this is my fault?”

Norah quickly aimed his arrow directly to Ino, “Son of a bitch! What have you done to Fender?” she was mad, almost crying.

“I’m wondering why everyone becomes an annoying crybaby because of Fender,” Ino said.

Losing her temper, Norah loosen her grip on the arrow so that it was flying fast toward Ino. But like catching a Frisbee, he caught it easily with his bare hand.

“Attacking her own kind? How bad!” Ino said. He really had no expression when saying those annoying statements.

Norah was already crying. She knew she couldn’t do much to Ino although she really wanted to punch that boy in the face. Her bow fell down, “I won’t forgive you, Ino. How can you kill Fender? He deserves to live!” she shouted madly.

“Hey, hey, hey! Don’t jump into conclusion! Who said I killed him? I haven’t…yet,” he said, still annoying in the end of his words.

Norah was a bit surprised. Her eyes bugged out. There were so many emotions raging in her hearts. “You kidding me?” she asked.

“Do I look like I’m kidding? You can see yourself there. He’s in front of the lab,” Ino explained.

Without thinking any further, Norah quickly ran away to where I was, leaving them behind. Ino sighed. Woman, he thought easily.

Sergey laughed quietly, “I bet it’s Frank.”

“Don’t laugh, you idiot! I told you to never let him go. Just hold him until I kill Fender. Is it so hard, Sergey?” Ino seemed mad, but he spoke quietly.

“It’s Frank, Ino! He’s different from the other two,” Sergey defended himself, spoke quietly too.

Ino sighed again, “You know exactly why I’m weak against Damon.”

Somewhere nearby, I saw Norah was running toward us. She called my name several time. I could hear that she was sobbing. I look at her with smile, while leaning myself on Frank. When she reached me, she quickly grabbed me from Frank and hugged me tightly. She said that she thought that I was dead.

“Hey, Norah, calm down! It hurts,” I said.

But she seemed didn’t care about what I was feeling and kept hugging me. She’s really crying a lot. I didn’t have any choice but to bear with that, though I was happy that she was feeling that way to me.

“I’m okay. Don’t cry,” I tried to calm her.

She loosened her tight hug and looked at me, “I’m scared, but I’m happy now.”

“It’s too soon to be happy, Norah,” Frank said. His gloomy personality ruined everything. He can say that later. Everything is fine, right? We both were quiet at the same time, looking at his very serious face. “Ino gives him time until the next full moon to control his wolf,” he said.

Norah winced quickly, thinking about what Frank said earlier, “Full moon? Isn’t it 7 days to go? How can you agree with such ridiculous agreement?” she seemed mad.

“Do you think I have the power to bargain?” Frank said, almost yelling.

Norah was quiet for a while, “But still, what you did was great, Frank, making Ino give another condition to let his prey lives. He never once in his life postpones killing his target like what he did to Fender,” she said.

“Do you forget about what I’ve told you that night, Norah?” I asked.

She looked at me and thought, but then she seemed like startled when my word hitting her mind. “I do remember.”

“What? What are you talking about?” Frank seemed curious.

“Should we tell him?” Norah said.

I nodded, “Why not? But I don’t want Ino hear this. This is still a guessing.”

Norah looked around, “Ino and Sergey have gone. Witch and hunter don’t have super hearing like you and Frank.”

“Hey, I’m still here! Just tell me what’s going on!” Frank said, seemed a bit upset.

We both looked at Frank. Somehow I felt like that matter was a funny thing. I couldn’t blame Ino either since Mrs. Damon is very beautiful lady.

“This is still Fender’s guessing, Frank. But he believes it’s true,” Norah explain. She then looked at me again, still doubting whether she would tell him or not. She looked at Frank again, but then she looked at me again. She did it three times in a row. Frank sighed without complaining again. And I just chuckled a bit. Somehow it looked like there was nothing terrible happened before.

I finally spoke, “Don’t you realize that Ino has been easy for you from the beginning? I mean, I know he’s still harsh and mean, but he doesn’t want to hurt you too much,” I asked.

He winced, began to think, “I think you’re right. Sometimes I’m wondering why, but I never really care about that.”

“I think...I think that he likes your mother,” I said quietly.

The wrinkle in his forehead looked more clearly, “I don’t understand what you mean. Everybody likes my mother. She is a very gentle lady,” he said.

“That’s not what I mean, Frank. You are dumb!” I sighed, “I mean that...he got crush with her,” I said quietly again in the end of my words.

Then he really bugged out and began to understand what I was talking about, “You’re joking, Fender. How can you say that?” he didn’t believe me.

“Do you know the reason why he insisted to come to The Red Moon Party? It’s because he wanted to meet your mother,” I explained, “I know it seems ridiculous, but I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I was eavesdropping, seeing he fought with your father since your father caught him lurking to your mother’s make up room.”

“I remember my dad said about it, but I ignored,” he said.

I continued my explanation with a quite serious face, “Your mother defended him.”

“Because Ino saved her live when she was attacked by the werewolf,” Frank added my line.

I nodded quickly, “Yeah. I heard what they were talking about in that room. From the conversation, I conclude that he really likes your mother. You know exactly what I mean,” I said.

Frank thought, while his hand was scrubbing his chin slowly. He was humming first, “From the beginning, he decided to hear my mother’s cry and didn’t kill my father instead. It seemed like it was Sergey’s doing from what we heard about the story. But after having the real experience with him, Sergey seems to not have any power over Ino,” he paused again for a while, “And then...when I followed him into the forest after Angelica’s party, he spared my life after he heard my last name. He’s infamous as the merciless hunter because he never spares even a single of his prey, but he did spare my father, me, and you. Somehow the name Damon softens his heart.”

“See? My theory is right!” I was feeling confident.

“The previous nights, we both found him with your mother and your sister at The Tavern. Fender thought that it was a disguise to have your sister tagging along,” Norah added.

“I never know about that. If it’s really true, then I must talk about this with my parents. I’m wondering why my mother doesn’t realize it,” he said.

Norah suddenly stared at me and changed the topic, “By the way, Fender, what makes you did a very idiot thing like joining the game? You know that we strictly prohibit you from that!” she suddenly seemed angry with me.

“Now that you mentioned it, I have to make sure that my mother is safe,” I said, making her frowning, “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, Guys. It’s because he kidnapped my mother. A witch! I don’t know who he is. But he threatened me that he would kill my mother if I didn’t join the game. I...really had no choice. And he forbade me to tell this to anybody,” I explained.

“It’s Ino’s doing,” Frank said.

I and Norah suddenly yelled loudly at the same time, “What???”

“He knew from the beginning that you are a werewolf. I don’t know how he noticed that. Sergey told me by himself,” Frank explained, “The witch you talked about must be Sergey’s fellow. But you don’t have to worry. Ino won’t harm your mother.”

I had just realized that all those things were Ino’s trap. I wanted to be angry and running wild, but I knew I couldn’t do much. At least, I was glad that my mother was safe. Frank was right, when I got home, I really found my real mother and she seemed like she forgot about everything that happened.

In a school yard, Ino Rays sat alone on the bench under the big tree, reading a quite thick and boring book. I didn’t know what it was. He often did that when he had a leisure time at school. He was like Frank, such an introvert person. He was friendly with others, contrary to Frank that never smiles to everyone, but he seemed like he didn’t have any friends, or perhaps he didn’t want to have friends.

A young girl walked from the south, approaching him from the front side. She seemed quite upset. She walked faster when she was about getting near to him.

Ino lifted his head when he saw Norah Levin standing right in front of him. He smiled. But what he got was something different from what he did to her.

“You son of a bitch!” she suddenly slapped him.

Somehow, the air was getting tense in the sudden. Everybody watched them and all area became quieter for a while. Once again, Norah startled everyone by having a fight with Ino Rays.

But Ino didn’t seem angry even a bit. He kept smiling, “What was that for, Norah?” I didn’t know whether he was just pretending or not.

“Don’t play dumb, Ino! I know what you did to Fender, making a scene like somehow he is a bad person!” Norah talked quietly, but still with an upset tone. Ino winced again, but Norah was more upset looking at how he reacted. “I know that you set the trap. How can you do that? Hunter has a code, Ino. We never harm those who don’t harm others. Have you forgotten our own rule? The rule that our ancestors made long ago?”

Still not losing his smile, Ino began to speak again, “I don’t forget that, never will. I did that because I have my own reason,” he told her.

“Your selfish and ridiculous reason!” she said.

“I don’t care what people think about my ideology. I do what I think it’s right. Somehow I have to know that Fender has the potential to be someone dangerous or not when the first time I know that he is a beta. He’s a mutt. Like a tainted-blood, they all are dangerous. And I have been proving that he is a dangerous person. I think what I did was not a mistake,” he said.

“It’s still a stupid reason to judge what you did was right!” she insisted, “I have to talk this to the elders. They must do something about your idiot and dangerous ideal!”

Ino’s smile was widening somehow, “You can do as you please, Norah.”

He’s an annoying person, she thought madly. She thought that dealing with Ino was useless. She turned around and left him behind. Those who watched them carefully began to come back to their own activity. But a guy suddenly approached him quietly. He was doubt a little, but he still kept moving.

Ino turned back, realizing that someone was approaching him.

That guy smiled a bit, but he was actually scared to death. “Hi, Master,” he greeted.

Ino sighed, “You again,” he said, feeling boring about how that guy tried to be his follower all that time.

Dexter Defender, a fairy that admired Ino’s greatness, tried to befriend with Ino Rays recently. But Ino simply ignored him even though he still didn’t know the words of giving up.

“Master, I just saw what she did to you. What’s wrong with you? You’re not angry?” he asked.

Ino laughed a bit, “She has the right to be angry, so I’m not mad even after she slapped me.”

“I still don’t understand what are you thinking, Master,” he said, “And I don’t know why she was mad of you.”

“I know that what I did was a bit harsh, but that’s the way I protect this world. Sometimes it needs sacrifice and some people can’t accept that. So they have the right to be mad of me, but I’m not going to be mad at them. I just don’t want them to be in my way. That’s all,” Ino explained. He then laughed, “I talk too much to you, Fairy.”

And Dexter was still wondering about it.

Inside the building, I sat with an empty sight with some of my food untouched in front of me. Even though I don’t have to be secretly eating raw meat sandwich again, somehow my appetite was gone. Frank looked at me quietly. Sam and Walter didn’t go to school. Perhaps they were going to hide for a week. They were too scared to face Ino at that time. Actually, I wanted to do the same. But I didn’t have any excuses to my parents.

“You’re not hungry? You’ve been watching your food for 10 minutes without touching it,” Frank finally spoke.

I looked at Frank’s eyes, seemed worried about me. “I don’t know. I just can’t think straight. I wish I could stay at home like Walter and Sam.”

Frank sighed, “I know what you feel, Fender. It’s uneasy being around with him, the one who tries to kill you.”

“Do you think I can make it for 7 days? Or...perhaps he will change his mind know the reason, when one of you speaks to him,” I said, hoping that it would really come true.

Frank was quiet for a while, “I don’t know, Fender. But, I’ll find a way. I’m going to protect you no matter what. You’re the only brother I have. I’m not going to lose you for him,” he said.

I tried to smile, even though everything was so hard, “Thanks, Frank. You’re my best brother.” My smile suddenly faded away. I sniffed, smelling someone approaching me. I looked at my right, Frank did too. I sighed. He got to scold me.

Doug stood up in front of me, staring me with his mad eyes, “What you have done last night was terrible, F. I have no hard feelings for you even though you are a werewolf. To me, you’re still my mates. But I really hate you now. You’re lucky I got him healed last night!”

“Stop it, Doug! Don’t say a thing anymore!” Frank suddenly scolded him.

Doug looked at Frank with regret, “I’m sorry, Milord. I got carried away.”

Somehow I felt odd about what they were talking about. Suddenly Frank was mad at him and I was wondering why. I could feel all the vampires in the area were looking at us, or perhaps feeling the same as Frank was. I began to realize that those vampires had a secret that only they knew about it.

“Fender has his reason. You’d better believe me, it’s not his fault,” Frank explained.

“So what is it actually, Milord?” Doug asked.

“It’s not something that I could talk about in here. It’s something related to Ino Rays. You know that we’re facing something very dangerous, so please don’t bother us with your unreasonable madness,” Frank said.

Doug bended at him, “I’m sorry, Milord. I won’t pry it again,” he then looked at me. Somehow his face was showing his regret, “I don’t know what happen, but I think I misunderstand you. I’m sorry, F,” he said.

“Have no worry. Everybody will have the same reaction,” I said.

“Don’t ever spill it again, Doug,” Frank warned him with a very low voice.

He nodded and bended again, “I do understand, Milord. Now, I beg your leave,” he then quickly turned around and got away.

I could still feel the tense air around there, where most vampires gathered. They didn’t talk anything, just expressing fear and anxious. What is it that they don’t want to spill about, I thought.

I looked at Frank, but he stared back at me.

“I know what you are thinking, Fender. You are so annoying with your curiosity, but...this time I couldn’t tell you a thing,” he told me, “Please understand my situation.”

I took a breath, “How can vampire heal a human?” I asked directly.

Once again, I felt the air around there was getting tenser. Every vampire’s eyes stared at me, but I didn’t care. Frank was a little bit anxious. He didn’t speak a thing.

I began to speak quietly, “If vampires can heal human, isn’t it good? Why do you keep it a secret?” I wondered.

“Please, Fender,” Frank spoke quieter than me, and his face was so damn serious, “Our entire race’s life is at stake. You must understand. Don’t ever...ever again mention about that matter.”

I was a little surprised. What does he mean that his entire race’s life is at stake, I figured. I sighed. I didn’t reply. We only kept staring each other for a while.

“I mean it, Fender,” he said again.

“Okay, okay, don’t take it seriously. I’ll stay quiet,” I said.

He was right. My curiosity was very annoying. Deep in my heart, I really wanted to know about that secret. Somehow, I couldn’t help it. My mind told me to dig that secret no matter what. Should I go that far, I kept telling myself.

The seven elders of hunter association sat on their own chair, facing two young hunters that summoned them in the big aula of the headquarter. Norah and Evans Levin seemed quite serious when they looked at the elders. Especially Norah, she was eager the meet the elders.

She really did that, meeting the elders. When she told me about that, I thought that she was just bluffing. I mean, she was facing Ino Rays. He’s a person that everybody wants to avoid for being an opponent. She told me when she really wanted to talk to the elders about Ino’s behavior. I didn’t quite understand about hunters and their elders, but I still thought that what she did was quite dangerous. I was worried about her safety.

One of them finally spoke, “It seems quite important that you yourself summon us in this place. What is it, my child?” he asked.

“It is about Ino Rays, Sirs,” Norah said, “What he did is outlawed. I can’t stand with his behavior anymore.”

The oldest one who sat in the very middle sighed heavily, “That boy again. He’s going reckless day by day. What is it now?” he asked.

Evans whispered quietly right next to her sister’s ear, “I don’t think this is going to be just like you wish for.” But Norah seemed not care about that matter. She kept staring at that old guy’s eyes, even though she was figuring his heavy burden in his eyes because of Ino.

“Ino was too much. Fender Luts, one of the werewolf beta from Moonlight Hills, he doesn’t deserved to be killed,” Norah said, “Ino Rays did not follow our rule. I can’t let him do as he pleases.”

The guy on the second from left side sighed too, “What can we do if he’s already dead, Young girl?” he said.

“Fender is still alive,” Norah replied, her tone was quite low somehow. And suddenly, all the elders eyes bugged out, seemed like they didn’t believe in what Norah said.

They were paused for a while, looking at each other without saying anything.

“What do you mean that that Fender Luts boy is still alive?” the guy on the very left side asked.

“He didn’t kill him, yet…but instead, he gave another option that he will let him live if Fender can control his wolf until the next full moon. He has 7 days until the next full moon! Only 7 days! It’s ridiculous! Fender is a new beta! However, he never hurts anybody,” Norah told them passionately.

“So, Sirs,” Evans finally help his sister to speak, “We have to protect that Fender Luts boy from Ino. And we think that we need your help,” he said, “Actually, I don’t really care about that. But Fender is my sister’s boyfriend.”

What’s with his last sentence, Norah thought. She was a bit upset when Evans said that. In her opinion, that wasn’t necessary. But she didn’t complain.

“Unbelievable! This is beyond my imagination,” the elder who was in the very right said surprisingly, “Is that really true?” he asked. The other elders just raised their shoulders.

God, what’s wrong with these old men, Norah thought madly. “Sirs, please! This is not a joke. I can’t believe it either, but you have to make an action. I beg for your favor!” she said with a quite high tone.

Those old men suddenly became quiet and looked at Norah. They sighed at the same time.

The oldest man in the middle spoke, “I’m afraid we can’t do anything, Young girl.”

“Why?” Norah asked, trying to protest, “Is it because he is your grandson that you take on his side?” she seemed angry.

Hearing that, the old man was a bit startled. He sighed again, “I’m sorry, Young girl. This is actually my fault that Ino becomes the man he is now. I taught him too harsh. But he is beyond our control now. He’s a four-slayer. Sometimes what they do is a bit too far, but we can’t do anything but complaining. They have power that even us, can’t do much to change that. As long as they don’t endanger the world, we can only keep quiet.”

“That’s nonsense!” she yelled, “He shouldn’t have been one of them. He’s too young for that important title. If my try is in vain here, then I leave. I’m going to stop him myself. I’m not going to let he kills someone who doesn’t deserved to be killed,” in angry state, Norah turned around and pulled Evans hand to leave.

She was very disappointed that even the elders couldn’t help her to save me. She walked fast, forcing his brother to pace with her. Her breath was rushing, holding her blowing emotion. So what actually those old men do? Are they just sitting in their chairs? They’re useless! This should never happen, she thought desperately.

“I’ve told you...”

“Shut up, Evans!” she cut her brother’s speaking, “We’re going to stop him, even with or without their help,” she said. They both stopped walking when suddenly a man and a woman stood up in front of them. Norah winced, wondering about what they wanted.

The woman, who was about 30 years old with blond long hair and a quite sadistic face, stared at Norah with her arms crossed in front of her stomach, “Norah Levin, right?” she asked.

Norah nodded, “I’m sorry. What do you want?” she asked back.

The man chuckled. He looked older than the woman, but his face was sweet and friendly, “We heard about your problem. Your boyfriend, Fender Luts, we know him pretty well. His father is our acquaintance.”

“So, Young girl,” the woman said, “We think we’re going to help you save him.”

The man chuckled again, “I can make sure, we’re pretty strong. So you can count on us.”

Norah smiled, it seemed like there was a light of hope that appeared in front of her in a sudden. “Thank you,” she said gratefully.

In a far remote area near the edge of Moonlight Hills’ forest, somebody was doing the same for me, seeking for help. In different situation and circumstances, but still in the same purpose, Frank gathered the elders of vampires in a small but very serious meeting.

All those vampires were listening to Frank Damon. A few was seriously listening, but most of them was indifferent. Frank knew that was such typical of noble vampire. But he kept trying to tell them that my life was in danger, seeking for their help.

“Please, I beg you. I know that Fender is a werewolf, but he’s like a brother to me. I need your help,” he said, but there was no answer from those vampires. Everybody was just staring at each other, communicating in their own way. But Frank needed a clear approval. He looked at his father who also kept in silence, “Dad, please.”

“I really want to help, Son. But he’s Ino Rays,” Mr. Damon said.

“So what if he’s Ino Rays? With the power of these noble vampires, we can fight him!” Frank insisted.

One of them, a man who looked like around 30, sighed desperately, “You don’t know him, Frank. I saw it with my own eyes. He slaughtered three noble vampires by himself, and one of them was a pureblood.”

“It’s just 3! We’re fifteen, and eight of us are pureblood!” Frank said.

“How do you know that Ino Rays will work alone?” one of the woman said, making Frank paused for a while, “There are many great hunters besides those four-slayer. Only those four were enough to kill the entire vampires in this world. Don’t you realize why we keep peace with human? It’s because they have such power. Opposing one of them is a suicide, Frank,” she said.

Frank sighed. She is pretty right. But I won’t let anything happens to Fender. I won’t, he thought. He looked at those vampires again, “I will fight. I don’t care who I’m fighting is. I will fight for my justice. I know I can’t take you all. But if only I can get help from some of you, I think it’s enough. Who’s with me?” Frank asked, staring at those noble vampires’ eyes one by one.

A minute had passed and no one gave a voice yet.

Frank was quite desperate. He sighed heavily and looked down. It’s useless, he thought.

“I’m in,” Annabelle Manvel, one of the purebloods, finally spoke. Frank suddenly looked at her, giving a very wide smile that he never had for his entire life. Annabelle smiled back, “I can’t stand seeing a pretty face so sullen like that,” she chuckled, “But you really owe me a lot because of this, Frank.”

Albert Donovan, another pureblood suddenly laughed, “This is a great experience right? I and Darius are in,” he said while embracing Darius’s neck.

Darius Lazar was quite surprised, “Why me?” but all he could do was complain. He couldn’t resist a pureblood demand.

“I know I can count on you three, Milord,” Frank said.

The situation was quiet in a sudden. Every vampire in that place stared at the four of them. They were staring like seeing some weird people. Annabelle seemed not care about how they were thinking. To her, helping a friend especially her own vampire fellow was a first priority, even though she had to fight the world because of that. Albert seemed had the same feeling. They are youngsters among those elders. Some of them thought that youngsters had some crazy stuff inside their mind.

Albert laughed passionately, “There’s no one else? This is fun! Ah, God, you all are so boring.”

For a while, the situation kept staying the same after Albert talked. But suddenly, a couple raised their hand. Quickly, they all stared at that couple with the same look.

“Count us in,” said the man, whose name Carlos Aberschulen. His wife, Daisy Aberschulen nodded quickly. They both were quite old noble half-blood vampires. They looked like some middle-aged people. It was quite surprised that that couple raised their hand to protect their mortal enemy, a werewolf.

“What makes you change your mind, Sir Aberschulen?” Frank asked, “I know you’re against it.”

Ha laughed a bit before he spoke, “Actually, I really hate werewolf. I really do,” he said in his European tongue, “But I think, if I keep hating them, when will I find peace? There’s just one reason, Frank. If my fellow vampires try to protect him, why shouldn’t I?” he said, laughed again in the end.

After Mr. Aberschulen’s speech, Frank greatly hoped that there would be another one who raised their hand. But after waiting for a while, there was no more. It seemed that Ino’s fearsome name chickened out their heart.

“So, five persons are ready to kick that hunter’s ass? Not really bad right, Frank?” Albert said.

“I didn’t volunteer. You force me, Lord Albert!” Darius looked upset.

Frank smiled a little. Those five of them were laughing. He thought, yeah, five is not really that bad.

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