Seventeen | Hakota
The Spider sunk his jaws deep into my shoulder, his teeth puncturing through my tendons and muscle. I waited for the pain of the hunter venom but rather than the blinding agony accompanied by a deep burning, I felt nothing. When the Spider pulled away and watched and waited for me to writhe in agony, instead we were both surprised to see my wound healing before our eyes at an impossibly fast rate. The other wounds on my body began closing up as well.
The Spider lunged at me again but I caught the Spider by its jaws, my hand prying them apart until their was a snap and the bottom half of the jaw separated from from the rest of his face.
Another Spider was on me in a second, taking my momentary distraction as a chance to strike, but again the Spider's venom and attacks did nothing to me, instantly healing the wound rather than causing me harm.
Again, I killed the Spider and looked towards Sitka who was lashing out blindly, the venom still affecting him for some reason. I didn't have time to contemplate this and wonder why I was suddenly immune to the Spider's damage, tearing the Spider off of Sitka and sinking my own claws into the enemy with a roar of rage.
The Spider's claws raked into my skin but no green oozed from the wound that knitted itself together.
Upon seeing that their attacks suddenly had no effect of me, the other Spiders backed off, slinking back into their forces. I grinned maliciously, my face and arms streaked with blood. Not only was I healed, I felt invigorated.
I tore through the enemy with a new fervor, relishing the way their life ended by my hands. The battle was over sooner than I wished. Even as they retreated I went after them, picking them off one at a time.
It wasn't until Sitka held me back from chasing them all the way to the Lunar Kingdom that I stopped. My friend let his hand drop from my chest as I breathed in deep breaths. When he was sure that I was calm, Sitka finally let his injuries overwhelm him and tipped over. I caught him before he could hit the ground, slinging his arm over my shoulders. When his legs failed him completely, I simply shifted him over so that I took all of his weight, pulling him up over my shoulders and carrying him back to camp. It was nothing I wasn't used to. Back during the wars in had been common for one of us to carry the other, or the both of us somehow managing to stagger back to camp with the support of each other. Those wars had been brutal and it had been awhile since I had needed to do this again.
Arriving back at camp, I brought him back to his tent, laying him down on his cot. I stripped him to clearly and rapidly examine all of his injuries and the extent of them. The white glint of bone could bee seen where his fibula had broken through the skin and splintered. Blood and green ooze leaked from the wound. It was his worst injury but the diagonal slashes across his chest were not much better.
I scanned his tent for the disinfectant, a potion we hadn't needed to use since the Lycan Wars. The disinfectant was used to combat the hunter venom, and since the emergence of the Spiders we had needed to dust off the old recipe and remake it.
Grabbing the bottle and a rag, I came over to my friend. Without hesitating, I doused the rag in the solution and wiped at his wound, eliciting a hiss from my friend. When all the blood was cleared away from his minor wounds, I bandaged them. My movements were quick and swift making efficient work.
When everything else was taken care of, I approached the worst wound, soaking the rage again and moping up the mess. When the wound was cleared I placed my hands by the jutting bone taking in a deep breath and pushed. Sitka groaned as I set the bone back into place. "Rest," I soothed him.
The venom would induce a high fever but Sitka was strong and would pull through no problem. He had suffered much worse than this.
I just left his tent when Terrin, approached me. He had his ever pissed off expression cemented on his face and part of me began to wonder if his face would eventually freeze into a permanent scowl.
He opened his mouth but I only held up my hand. "No, not today Terrin. I don't have time to listen to your whining."
The werewolf bristled, curling his lip at me.
The alpha within me growled at the disrespect but I was too tired to act on it.
"I was going to inform you that a Spider has finally been caught and Roshan is studying the blood right now, but since you're being your usual asshole self I guess I won't bother telling you where they are." He spun around on his heel, ready to stomp away but my hand flashed out and I gripped his shoulder.
"Where?" I demanded.
I didn't miss the shiver that went through his body at my dark tone but he still decided to pretend that I didn't scare him and shrugged. "I can't remember anymore."
I instantly sank my claws into his shoulder, not in the mood to deal with his insolence. "Where?" I asked again.
Terrin wiggled his way free of my hold, rolling his shoulder with a grimace of pain. "Damn, they're in Roshan's tent okay?" He waited for my permission to leave. I flicked my head in a signal that he was free to leave now. "By the moon, why do you always have to be so violent?" He muttered as he walked away.
I quickly made my way towards Roshan's tent, anxious for the results. Finally, we had managed to capture one alive. Now I would know what the hell those Spiders were and get an inkling as to how they were created and the threat they truly posed.
I swept past the tent flap, coming into the spacious tent that was even bigger than my own. Three of my soldiers were guarding the Spider who was heavily sedated. To my surprise there was not only one but two. The second was out cold with an additional two werewolves guarding him should he wake. We had somehow captured two alive.
Roshan had his back to me as he studied something on his makeshift desk.
He was murmuring to himself, and I could sense the frantic panic he felt through his hurried movements and he flipped through papers and shuffled through books.
"How bad is it?" I asked, fearing the worst.
Roshan waved his hand dismissively over his shoulder, signaling he had heard me but was in the middle of a thought and couldn't answer me.
I waited, drifting over to the Spider. His eyes were rolled back in his head and he was groaning as if he was in pain though there was no evidence of any wounds that I could see.
"Lycan bone!" I heard Roshan exclaim.
My head whipped around to him and he turned to me, bringing over a book. "The mass grave from the hunter invasion in Blackthorn, do you remember?" I nodded. Roshan shoved the book in my hand and grabbed another off the table, paging through it. "The reason the Spiders are so big and as strong as us is because they have lycan DNA. The mass grave is located in the Lunar Kingdom, they would have access to all the bones they need."
Red hot rage coursed through me at the knowledge of some humans and werewolves daring to dig up and harvest lycan corpses.
"And of course, they are getting the hunter DNA from the venom and I found traces of werewolf DNA so my guess would be a blood transfusion."
I closed the book and set it down on the table. "So they are truly human?"
The lycan nodded, "Yes, and the reason they keep dying is because the hunter and lycan DNA is tearing them apart inside. The werewolf blood is a temporary solution to neutralizing the problem."
"Are we in danger of there being a permanent solution?"
Roshan held up two syringes of blood. "Unfortunately, I think they are making progress." He handed me the first syringe. "If you look at this one, the blood is considerably darker, almost black in some places. The hunter DNA and lycan DNA are poisoning each other and making the blood its own kind of toxin." He then swapped our syringes. "But if you look at this one, the blood is still a normal color, the hunter and lycan DNA are neutralizing each other."
I twisted the syringe around, "Why? What is different from this one and that one?"
Roshan licked his lips. "I have a theory," he started. "May I?" He held out a hand. I gave him my hand, and he flipped it over so my palm was face up. Then taking the hand of the delirious Spider he dug his claw into the male's nail beds. Claws shot forward and Roshan drew the claw in a shallow line across my forearm.
I hissed at the familiar sensation of pain. Green bubbled up from my wound. Roshan wiped my cut with a rag, the disinfectant eating the venom out of my wound. Then he brought me over to the other Spider who was completely unconscious. He repeated his previous actions only this time there was no green and the wound immediately closed as the previous wound did as well.
Roshan gaped at my healed arms in awe, murmuring incoherently to himself.
"This," I said staring at my unmarked forearms as well, "this happened earlier today."
I flicked my eyes up to Roshan who now had a hand pressed to his forehead, his eyes squeezed shut as he muttered in gibberish. I could hear his heart quicken its beat.
"Roshan," I tried to call his attention back to me, I wanted an explanation. "Roshan!" I barked, snapping him out of his ramblings.
He looked at me sharply, "The answer," he swallowed, "you aren't going to like my answer."
"Spit it out," I growled, growing concerned by his obvious distress.
"The venom is different, Hakota. They have a new hunter supplying them. Who is the only hunter who was crafted to be compatible with a lycan? Who is the only hunter whose venom doesn't effect you? Who is the only one whose DNA heals you?"
I suddenly felt very lightheaded, as the gravity of what he was saying crashed down on me. "She's alive?" I breathed.
Roshan nodded, "Cleo is alive and the Lunars have her."
My mate was alive, all of this time she was alive. I had felt this guilt, had to deal with curse of my mind punishing me with her ghost, for nothing. All of this time, for nothing. All of this pain, for nothing.
And now, now she was helping my enemy. She was giving them a way to destroy me because she had failed.
And throughout all of this, all of this time there had been one person who had known she was alive. There was one scrawny, ill-tempered, werewolf who knew that my mate was alive and kept his sassy mouth closed for once.
The key to finding Cleo was right in my grasp.
Terrin was finally going to prove himself useful and be worth all of the trouble he caused.