Chapter 1 : Waning Moon
The bright waning moon was completely hidden behind thick clouds in the sky when a dark shadow flitted across the trees.
With quick and light steps, the figure, dressed in a black cloak, managed to nimbly pry open the decrepit window of a nearby building and cautiously leaped inside.
When their weight was distributed onto the stiff and worn floorboards, a loud creak disturbed the oddly silent surroundings and echoed across the empty expanse.
Immediately, a slight grimace graced the dark sorceress’s pretty face at the cacophonous noise. She deftly removed the black hood from her head to reveal ethereal features and a head of vibrant red hair. Her blood-red lips pursed into a thin line and her bright green eyes narrowed as she carefully scrutinized her surroundings.
There was absolutely no one in the library—except for her.
The dark sorceress, specifically, chose to sneak in at ungodly hours because she didn’t want anyone to know of her intrusion. There would be unnecessary bloodshed if anyone were to notice her.
As her eyes swept across the room, she duly noted that there had to be at least hundreds of shelves, holding over thousands and thousands of books and scrolls, inside of this ancient library.
But that didn’t deter her from her search.
With a determined glance at the far corner, hidden from prying eyes, Maya’s footsteps became light and delicate, like a flexible ballerina making way across the old wood. She treaded carefully from shelf to shelf until she stood in front of tall orderly shelves that looked to be rather unkempt.
As Maya reached out a gloved hand and moved intricate fingers across the fine print on the shelving, the letters, that indicated the contents of the shelf, immediately lit up upon contact. And a slightly golden-green glow cast upon her pixie-like face, sparkling like glitter in the dark.
Maya moved her hand along the many books and glided her tapered fingers across the surface. Her shadowed eyes moved rapidly along the fine print on the shelving that glowed when she walked by.
Her mouth pinched into a grim line, and she moved along the shelves as fast as she could.
The time was going to run down on itself if she didn’t hurry. Without the clouds covering the moon, the white witches would notice something amiss. And Maya did not want to get stuck in their territory, waiting for their judgment once she got caught.
Yet none of these shelves had anything that she was looking for or interested in, contrary to how tempting the thought of repelling wards seemed.
Maya moved onto the next ten shelves. When she reached the ninth shelf, she stopped in her tracks.
Her dainty fingers hurriedly fumbled through the ancient scrolls and heavy books stacked haphazardly onto the shelf. They were all riddled with layers and layers of dust that must have collected for over decades or centuries now.
It seemed as if it had been a long while since anyone had gone through these scrolls.
Maya didn’t doubt it.
No good white witch would corrupt themselves in search of dark powers like she was. But then again, she wasn’t a “good” little white witch.
She hadn’t been one for over a decade now; although, her entire family were wholly “good” white witches and wizards. Even her estranged sister was a white witch—whatever that meant.
How ironic was it that a coven full of liars and murderers claimed to be all “good”? she thought. What a bunch of hypocrites.
Maya couldn’t stop the vicious smirk, that was sly and more mocking than anything, from collecting at the corners of her lips. She quickly tossed the thoughts aside and resumed her scavenging through the dust and soot.
The entire room was thoroughly encompassed in total silence again, other than the slight rustling sounds that came from her throwing certain scrolls out of the way.
Where is it? Maya thought.
Her brows pinched tightly together in building frustration.
The dark sorceress didn’t plan on leaving empty-handed for all the trouble planning and sneaking in. It was already extremely difficult to get inside of the white witches’ library to leave with nothing.
Maya frowned and bit down on her bottom lip, gnawing on the tender skin before she pulled a scroll out from the far corner of the shelf.
The scroll was thicker and seemed to be made of some sort of animal skin or fabric. In fact, it smelled like something dead. Like it had been dropped into a swamp and stayed at the bottom for twenty days before someone even thought to fish it out, only to dispose of it inside this library without proper cleaning or care.
Her nose wrinkled in distaste.
It smelled horrid.
End of discussion.
Maya was tempted to toss the scroll just from the smell of it but decided otherwise. Carefully, she removed the deformed and crusty ribbon before unrolling the hard fabric.
Her eyes lidded and moved from word to word, trying to process the information with a spell to decode the cryptic language and read the contents as quickly as she could. As the words moved from the page and into her mind, she paused as exhilaration inflated her lungs at each rapid inhale. Her palms sweated in response to the adrenaline.
After she confirmed the contents to be precisely what she needed, Maya snapped the scroll closed and tied it back together. Then, she climbed back out of the window, noting that the sky was still as dark as when she first entered. The mist was still strong, making it even harder to find which direction she needed to traverse.
Without any light to guide her way, she blindly trekked across the land.
Maya could only use little bits of pseudo white magic to lead her straight towards the north, where the dark forest stood with tall and imposing trees. If she were to use her black magic, the white witches would definitely come running. And if one white witch was alerted, the entire coven would come after her.
She attained this knowledge from experience covered in blood, sweat, and tears. There was no way she could fight them all off and remain unscathed enough to escape. Regardless of how much she hated to admit it, Maya knew her limitations. She wouldn’t be searching for supreme power otherwise.
As she walked, her eyes darted from side to side and cold sweat dripped rivulets down the sides of her face, wetting her slim neck in long streaks that tickled her flesh with each passing.
Maya pressed her entire body along a small building to the left, feeling the chill of the cold wall against her warm back.
The dark forest was just several yards away.
You can make it, she told herself. You’ve already made it this far, don’t let your efforts be in vain.
From the corner of her eyes, Maya noticed the thick clouds, covering the moon from view, slowly start to disperse. Then, it fully moved out of place, revealing the bright moon high up in the sky. And the light started to extinguish the dark.
The entire meadow was illuminated from area to area, bright enough for her to see across the land. If she didn’t move fast enough, she would be caught by the bright rays.
Maya’s heart pounded rapidly in her chest and cold sweat matted on her temple in droplets. Her hands clenched hard on the scroll underneath her cloak until her knuckles became seemingly white.
Finally, after what seemed like decades, she broke into the magnificent forest.
The heavy branches created shadows similar to figures in the night, blanketing her and the area in darkness until she completely blended in. With her free hand, Maya wiped the cold sweat off her temple and glanced at the scroll in her other hand.
After having read the contents, she figured that this was a blood binding ritual reserved mainly for werewolves and used on werewolves. Maya wasn’t too sure about the use of it on dark sorceresses, but she was willing to give it a chance.
The instructions were rather simple on how to draw power from a werewolf’s blood, since their blood played an even bigger role than most other creatures on the planet.
It classified them as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, or Omega.
It gave them power.
It gave them status.
And it also gave them the ability to mark and subdue those beneath them.
But in order to obtain their power, Maya had to consume their blood.
The scroll stated that the first steps of the ritual would give her temporary use of their powers, like a trial run until she completed all the steps. But Maya needed more than just a trial run, she wanted something reliable and consistent. And the ritual would only give her that and more once she finished it.
Maya really liked the sound of that.
Just the thought of it made her entire body tremble with excitement, alike to finding a float in the midst of the ocean when one had been drowning for too long. But she figured, if she wanted to go through with this, she had to go big.
Who wanted an Omega or a Beta?
Maya wanted an Alpha.
Not just any Alpha.
She wanted the most powerful.
She wanted a Cardinal Alpha.
“Everette,” she slowly drawled, voice crisp and raspy with concealed excitement.
A snow-white dove perched itself onto a small tree branch high above her. Its shining eyes glowed red in the dark, eerie and sharp. The dove stared down at her still form, cocking its head to the side as if in question of her demands.
“I want you to help me locate the Southern Cardinal Alpha, Alpha Xavier Thaeos.”