The lessons with Athena have been incredibly beneficial over the last several days. I managed to pass my own pack mental barrier and was almost close to tapping into another pack's, which I was very pleased with, before we took a break and decided to practice defense vs offense.
"Ok Kyda, I want you to be more cognizant of people entering your mind now. It will feel very similar to someone in your own pack reaching out, but you need to be able to feel an external presence earlier on. The feeling will be very subtle, especially for someone like James who has been practicing for years."
I brace myself, preparing to have her enter my mind, but as soon as I sensed a foreign substance, she was already in.
"Damn it! I'm not fast enough" I state in anger, already feeling her presence fully in my mind, feeling as if I didn't have enough time to block her from entering.
She chuckles at me, "Kyda, I've been doing this for my whole life. If you caught me that easily, I would have been worried my skills were slacking."
I give her a smile, but she already knows I'm mad at myself. "I know, but this war is just around the corner and I feel like I still have so much more preparing to do. The mental aspect with you, the physical aspect that I've been practicing with Damien, Max, and the packs' warriors who are visiting... it just seems that no matter what I do, a new lesson pops up that I haven't yet mastered"
She stills at me and brings her face directly in front of mine, "Kyda, you will never be fully ready. The best we can do is ensure you are given the tools and the mindset, so you can succeed during the battle. No one can ever prepare anyone for everything. But, we can give you the foundation so you can think on your feet. You've come so much farther than I could have imagined. And we still have almost two weeks to go. That's a lot of time considering your entire focus is on this. I have full faith in you."
I smile warmly at her, her presence such a calming aspect of my life, which is ironic considering her goal is literally to break my mental barriers down on a daily basis.
In the meantime, I had checked with Sonja to see if she remembered anything about James from the drawing and from Athena's description, but she only had vague memories of him in the pack from when she was young so although we aren't as far along in his identity as I had hoped and I still don't know who he is exactly, the fact that I have a name, a face, a connection to my pack, and a glimpse into his mindlink skillset is huge and I already feel much more prepared about the war than before.
I continue the mindlink lessons with Athena and after some time, we both take a break and head to the pack grounds to practice some physical combat.
Sonja and Anastasia are continuously doing more research and reading into any prophecy-like books that had predicted a war among our kind, while Max and Damien were meeting with them every once in awhile to go over their role in the war.
The packs joining us on our efforts have come together nicely and we've all been training together and I couldn't help but feel immense pride for my kind. I was nervous how things would go with so many alphas in close proximity and with so many warriors, but surprisingly, everyone was doing well. Warriors were teaching each other their tricks and skills and alphas were sharing knowledge. There was still a sense of some secrecy as each alpha wanted to protect his own family, but overall, we were working well together.
The few surprises I still had to work on was to find out where the battle would be taking place, and how many followers James managed to coerce into his mission.
I always thought it was pretty rare for our kind to go against the Moon Goddess - who is our create after all - but the more I've talked to Athena and Asher, the more stories I heard about rouges who just didn't like being a part of the pack, who had turned their back on our kind and the Goddess's. When I asked why that would be, Asher shrugged, "many had unfortunate events happen where they lost loved ones, or had problems with their mate, and instead of understanding, they felt anger and it only grew over time"
I could understand them, in a way. I had lost both parents, and growing up, I was all kinds of angry. I was angry that they weren't protected, I was angry that almost my entire pack was killed. But I knew that was a balance of life, and although I would always feel that loss, I did love the fact that I was welcomed into a loving family, that I found a mate who I would die for, and friendships that now mean the world to me. I truly believed I was given a burden I could carry and was given as much happiness to balance out what happened.
As I cleared my head and finished up the physical training I had planned for the day, I decide to visit Lyssa and see how she's holding up. She's due to have her pup shortly and I knew her role in the war would be more behind-the-scenes preparation, but I wanted to be there for her. Timing-wise, her pup was due any day and hopefully, we would meet her little boy or girl soon.
I sent a quick prayer to the Goddess for her and her baby's health as I walk over to her, knowing that we would all do anything to make sure they are safe and a sense of calm washed over me. I knew the Moon Goddess would keep her protected and I smiled warmly at the thought of seeing this new bundle of joy soon.
A/N: Exciting news for those who read Alpha's Match! Next chapter will be from Lyssa's POV :)