I think my heart has dropped to the floor, though it still pounds at the speed of a bullet train. My eyes darted about the room, searching for a possible exit but there was only one door and I was nowhere near it.
Turning about in the spot that I stood, each of the women still stand there looking at me. I scanned their faces, keeping my mouth shut. I have no clue what to say or do right now and I didn’t want to offer myself up or give away any weaknesses to these unknown women.
“What do you want with me?” Finally picking up the courage to say, though it came out on a ragged breath.
“We are the Keepers…” The woman said again and frustrated with her answers I sighed loudly.
“You said that already, now tell me what you want with me?” I questioned again demanding an answer this time with more strength and power in my voice.
“You are the Goddess Marked.” The leader replied. Anger began to bubble beneath the surface within me, my face and mouth scrunched in a pensive manner.
My eyes became slits as I gave my best death stare. I meant it earlier when I said I was not going down without a fight!
“And that means what? Are you minions of the Paramount? I am here- in the city that she dragged me to! She has already got the approval to remove these markings. What more does she want?
Is that it? You are here to collect…” I questioned again.
Funnily enough once the words left my mouth, I suddenly became so reluctant to part with the markings. They are part of me, whether they should be mine or not remains too unknown.
What I do know, is that they are on my body and my body is my own! An instant burst of panic engulfed me.
I was trapped and had nowhere to go and nothing to help me.
“PEACE…” The Keepers leader hollered out.
I took a deep breath, facing her again. Looking at her eye to eye hoping she meant the word she just shouted.
“We are guardians we do not work for anyone but the Moon Goddess. You are marked by the Goddess and so we would communicate with you.”
I stood there, mouth agape trying to get a hold of my emotions and understand what this woman was saying to me.
“I thought you said you are the Keepers?”
“Yes, we nine are the Keepers. We are Guardians but we are also the Keepers.” The one who must be the leader replied and I jumped when another voice came from behind me.
“The marked.” It spoke.
With eyes wide open, I do a 180 about turning my body to speak to this marked.
“You are marked?” I asked this new woman.
“We all are.” The Leader says and I swiftly twist my body in the other direction.
“You know what this means?” I probed, hoping against hope that someone finally had a true answer to the riddles of the markings. She smiled a half smile at me, she looked sorry for me and now I am in a state of upheaval, struggling to understand what is going on.
“Can you tell me?” I almost begged.
“We are the nine…
We are the marked.
We are the Keepers.
We are the Guardians.” I was getting so fed up with their carry on.
“Stop speaking in riddles and answer me. All these things you claim to be are just names to me. They mean nothing without any context. So, are you going to fill me in, or do I have to stand here and listen to you speaking in riddles, for goodness sakes just get on with it?” I am slightly shocked at my own audacity at how I spoke to her, or was it recklessness.
“We are marked but different from your marking.
The keepers protect the Pretiosum Liber. Our marks suppress our inner wolves.
We are born of the lycanthrope family, though our power lies in magic.
The nine maidens together create the keepers of the Pretiosum Liber. Protecting all that lies within.”
“You have been marked by the Goddess.
You… are the Vagus Luna, the brightest star.
The Goddess marking is through blood.
You are descended from the Vaga Turba Lupi.” Again, this woman speaks in monotone like some kind of robot or strange being.
I close my eyes and breathe deeply.
Vaga Turba Lupi?
My hands began to shake as I processed the few words she had said. One thing stuck out to me above all, she said it was through blood. My blood…
As the information lodged in my mind I was overcome with unexpected emotions. My blood, I was descended from the Vega Truba Lupi, they were my family. These women know who my blood descends from? …
Does that mean they know who my family are, my parents?...
“Do you know my family?” I could not help but inquire. I had spent a lifetime wondering about the people who had brought me into this world. Countless night’s I had spent dreaming up a vision of them coming back for me. Taking me home, showing me love and kindness. It never happened but the pain and loneliness stuck with me till this day.
Could I finally have an answer, could I finally know my origin?
“No.” She said abruptly.
“You are the last of their pack.” She said softly and a lone tear spilled out of my eye for the family lost that I never had the chance to know.
“How do you know? They may be out there somewhere in hiding. I was supposed to come from rouges, maybe… They could be running wild with them?” I stated with little to no confidence in the words that spilled from my mouth. It is a strange feeling to cry for the mother you never knew, but I suppose it means the hope that I would one day meet her has finally died and I mourn that loss as well.
Hope. It is a dangerous emotion…
“I know there are no more because before you there was only one. Your mother. She like you now, was marked by the Goddess…” I gasped for air. I want to be strong and hold myself fast, to not allow my emotions to betray me. This was the first time I had heard anyone speak of my mother…
“If you now hold the marking, she would no longer be living in this lifetime. I am sorry that I must be the one to inform you Vegus Luna. You can only bear the mark if the previous Goddess marked has passed.
The mark is originated from the first of our kind. Everyone has been taught of our origins.” She looks to me, to make sure I know what she is talking about, and I nod, in acknowledgement. I am aware.
“You know how the Goddess was saved by the man and the wolf. She then bestowed the gift of the Lycanthrope upon the two, who risked their life to save hers.
The two reborn as one, the first werewolf.
The Goddess bestowed the name Gaizka, to her savior. To the first of our kind, the faithful pairing of man and wolf.
Much later two packs were born of one clan. The Turba Lupi and the Vega Turba Lupi.
It is not widely remembered or known, that in the beginning there was not one, but two Werewolf packs. Most still believe there only to have been one, the Turba Lupi. Now more commonly known as the Mactire pack. Or the pack of the Elders.
The Vega turba Lupi has been forgotten to time.”
“That is a lot to process, so two packs one clan, one forgotten or more likely eliminated.” I deduced, when it comes to wolves the stronger survive and usually it is down to one having taken out their rival.
“They were not rivals, in the beginning. Nor should they be now. Vegus Luna we have come to ask for your assistance.” The leader of the keepers requested, and I was rather taken back by the appeal.
“Me? What on earth could I help you with? You do realize I have just become a Luna. I still have the strength of an omega.” I pondered what they could want from me momentarily, struggling to see how I could help these Guardians.
They are the ones with magic!
“Though you do not believe it right now. You hold the power within.
Your markings originate from the Goddess, who first gifted them to two daughters of Gaizka. The first werewolf.
Each of the two She-wolves was given a different mark. One became Luna to the Turba Lupi the settled and the other became Luna to the Vega Turba Lupi the wanderers.
Your bloodline comes from the wanderers the Vega Turba Lupi, only the bloodline of Gaizka can carry the Goddess mark.”
“So, the woman that the Paramount wants to give my mark to is also from the bloodline of Gaizka?”
“This is unknown to us.” She said as a statement of fact and then looked to the other Keepers with a hidden knowledge.
“Beware of the Paramount.” Keeper number one says then another adds. “She is not to be trusted.”
“Her position is questionable.” Comes from behind me.
“Her motive is dark.” Speaks a voice from the right.
“She is shrouded in darkness.” The first keeper says, and I fear they may know more than they are letting on.
“What can I do? Please…?” I will do anything; I don’t want to be torn apart for the benefit of the Paramount. If you want me to help, tell me what to do. I am willing… please!”
“Vega Luna, go to where it all began. Only you can bring peace to the darkness that is coming.” I look at them panicked, everything they say is almost a riddle. Jeez! I was never that good at solving a difficult riddle, I always liked to try. But if I am being truthful, I was never very successful at solving any. How am I solve this now?
“Can you give me more. Please.” I am begging shamefully now, though I don’t care.
“I will help you, you asked for my help. I will give it. Will you return the favor in-kind?” I pleaded with them.
“Vegus Luna, someone approaches, we must depart. Return to where it all began, you will find your answers and be set on the rightful path. This is what you must do for yourself and for everyone else.”
“Where can I find you? If I need help.”
“We will find you if you need us. We live in shades of grey, do not seek us out for a keeper can never be found.” She says and then they all chant. “We are the keepers.” Like some kind of mantra, my head is spinning right now at all this bat shit crazy stuff.
They all begin to step closer until I am completely surrounded.
“The wanderer returns.” One Keeper says brushes a hand against me and then leaves.
“The wanderer is enlightened.” The next speaks and again brushes a hand against me.
“The wanderer runs free.” One whispers in my ear, running her fingers through my hair.
“The wanderer is bound.” Another keeper touches my mates mark and smiles then leaves like the others.
“The wanderer brings peace.” The fifth keepers speaks, bowing and walks away. I am so overwhelmed right now, I am struggling to breath.
This is so fucking much!!….
“The wanderer can win conflicts, fight wars.” Keeper number six declares, pulls out two hidden swords crossing them and kneels before me until she then takes her leave.
What the fudge is happening right now!
“The wanderer brings strength.” She places two fingers on my temple, looks me straight in the eye, deep into my soul, then she is gone.
“The wanderer shows benevolence.” The second to last Keeper takes my hand and simply smiles at me.
Then finally when I am left with just the last, the leader of the Keepers I take a deep breath and try to steady myself. She stands before me a friend I guess? they do not appear to be foes that much is true.
“The wanderer - Vegus Luna, Last of her bloodline, Luna to the Vega Turba Lupi, Luna to the Dark Orb of Knights will bring unity to the Lycanthropes.” She states like it is a matter of fact, my whole-body shudders with the intensity of this moment.
“Return to the start.” She then says and disappears out the door like she was never here in the first place and I am left to my thoughts and a whole heap of information I cannot process right now…