Triple update this weekend. Don’t forget to read the previous chapter. Enjoy
The Paramount had stolen that from us.
Rage grew inflamed within me. It surprised me at how easily I have allowed that emotion to come to the surface recently.
Every day my rage begins to grow stronger. I feel stronger too, possibly because I have become a Luna and Atreus has mated with me.
I continue on, moving debris that has been blown in over the years climbing down the steps of the arena and then again clambering up the steps of the Temple itself until I finally stand here. On the precipice of a discovery, I hope.
Fallen leaves, litter the outside. My feet crunch over many of the crispy leaves and rubbish that has blown in over the years.
Looking up I can see cobwebs and birds nest decorating the outside towering ceilings and pillars.
From the distance you couldn’t notice any of this but on closer inspection the building is looking unloved and overtaken by the wildlife.
Even now as I step within the building, I can see the litter has made its way inside. Blown in by the storms of time.
It’s a sad sight.
Either side of me the wall all lined with various marble carvings. Similar to the one’s outside but on a much lesser scale.
They depict wolves, the Moon Goddess and the moon in various stages. It is a plethora of design and a offering to the Goddess.
The ceiling towers above me.
Large beams a visible and I suspect a nest or two is hiding up there from the cooing of a bird that is filling my ears.
Directly ahead the altar to the Moon Goddess stands, like it was lost in time.
It was a colossal hulk of Stone and marble. The Lower part a huge rock that looks like it could have been there since the beginning of time.
It was carved with images of werewolves in both human and wolf form, in various stages of transformation. Much like the statues that line the walls.
The uppermost part had a carving of the moon. With the monthly cycle of the moon either side.
While an enormous slab of white Calacatta Marble made the countertop. Candles burned to all different lengths adorn the marble block.
They still sit there a picture into a time long passed. Having once lit this room in flickering, warm worshiping light.
The front wall was covered by a masterpiece of tapestry.
It depicted the Goddess atop the mass of rock that jutted out from the lake, though more a pond then. Her hand held outstretched with moonlight shining through them fingers and down upon those below.
The water was at a trickle down the side of the rockface not like the waterfall it is now.
At the base lies her two saviors in a small pool of water flowing from above. Not the large lake that is out there now.
Their bodies covered in the light from her hands. At the bottom it depicts the transformation from human to wolf and then back again.
Both man and beast becoming one.
The rest of the room was barren. No other furniture was present. Though the wall were hung with tapestry banners of all the different pack crests. They were tattered and torn by age and time. Unloved and uncared for.
This all would have been dealt with and pristine if the Patria Luna was still here.
But she was not…
It was wrong- it was all wrong.
This should not be this way, it hurt to see it so.
I wanted to grab a dustpan and brush, sweep away the mess...
Take out a duster and swipe it across every surface...
Get out the deep cleaners and wash down everything until the place was back in the pristine condition it deserved to be.
But I knew- that time was not on my side right now.
So... I vowed that this place will be restored. Our people will once again be able to come here and worship our Goddess. Send her the love and thanks for all that she has blessed us with.
I am brought back to the memory of me completing the joining ceremony, in Atreus’ pack…
The candles and the blessing, the love that everyone shared. It was my first time to be involved in a ceremony. Right from the very moment it began I had felt a change within me.
I am not talking about the markings - that came after.
It was something different, it was spiritual and captured my heart and soul.
I had never felt that connection to the Goddess before that day. When I was younger, I often thought the more devout were fools. Chasing after a Goddess that was far away getting on with her own life.
Being an orphan can do that to you. You lose hope in people, Gods and Goddess’ become a myth or fantasy.
Because you have suffered.
An innocent young child suffering for others sick enjoyment can take away any beliefs that you may have had. And so, I was a sceptic.
I was knowledgeable...
I did believe in her existence!
I just did not believe in her!!
What had she ever done for me?
Though when times grew difficult, and from time to time when they would get particularly hard. I had on occasion prayed to the Goddess for her help and strength, but I never truly felt a connection never genuinely believed she would help. They were desperate acts in dire times.
I was a contradiction.
Not until that night. She shone through that night. In the warmth of the people. In the strength of their connection, in the bonds of their unity and love.
In fairness I had not had time to sit down and contemplate all that I have experienced over the past weeks. It has been a quagmire of shit thrown in my direction.
I survived though!
...I am stronger for it.
Walking the length and breadth of the room from the Altar that sat at the front of the building to the door. Checking the floors and the walls for any levers or doors but there was none. Not one.
This place was a shell.
But a husk. I believed the Seer lived here so why did she have no living quarters. My naivety brought me to stupid conclusions again.
Maybe she never did reside here?
Walking back outside I strolled the perimeter of the building, up and down each of the steps. Through every row of seating.
There was nothing visible. No sign of a room or building nothing but debris and trash blown through the place.
Eventually I took a seat in one of the rows of the arena. Holding my head in my hands.
They were counting on me. My mate, Elder Tsuki, my friends the people even though they didn’t know it!
I was all they had to discovering the truth about one of our leaders and I felt useless.
Brushing my fingers through my long hair I sat back and took a deep breath. I needed a minute. To think, to calm down and focus.
The air was so pristine, the smells of the flora surrounded me, the earthly sounds of the running water, chirping and buzzing of insects all together soothed me. I felt calm here. Home. Like I belonged just as much as the little newts that swam in the lake or the bee that buzzed passed me.
And it cleared my thoughts.
I need to shift.
Within seconds I was stripped of my clothes and shifted into Oriel’s form. She was still absent, and I didn’t even care anymore. She gave me full control. She wasn’t needed and until she could deal with her issues, I didn’t want to hear from her.
It may sound harsh, but she has let me down with her behavior. To pine for a man that has abused us and obviously is not our true mate makes no logical sense whatsoever. Especially when our actual mate is a strong caring Alpha. He is not perfect I will not paint him that way but who is?
Everyone has flaws, it is what makes us who we are. He is a good man though and I have fallen in love with him, I just don’t understand what is wrong with Oriel.
Leaving my stuff in the arena I crept up the steps and out to the gardens again. Maybe they held a secret or two. Running down to the shoreline.
I bent down lapping up the crystal-clear liquid from the lake. It invigorated me and renewed my energy. It was almost magical. Maybe it is?
I ran the perimeter of the lake noting that one side was higher on the embankment than the other.
You could see the receding side on the opposite edge that I had first come to.
...Then I remember talk of how the water here was controlled by the moon. Just like the tides of the sea it would be pulled in the direction of the moon.
An awesome phenomenon. This would never happen on a normal lake to this extent but then again this was not just any old lake.
Still nothing stuck out after that.
Time had started to tick by, and my tummy rumbled. I ran to my things shifting again to eat lunch. I pulled out a small blanket and sat down eating my lunch in all my naked glory. There was no time and I wanted to shift back once I was finished.
Funnily enough it was invigorating sitting here like this, it felt natural and right.
I could have killed and eaten my lunch. But that seemed like sacrilege to me.
...How could I kill something here on these sacred grounds? These plants and animals had kept the place thriving the whole time it was abandoned. I could not take one of their lives just to fill my belly...
No! I'd rather go hungry.
I actually enjoyed the freedom of my naked lunch and was soon back in my wolfen form. Ready to explore some more.
The next few hours I spent running the perimeter and then moved in a spiral inward until I had covered all the grounds of the Goddess Temple Gardens.
There was no other building.
I began to feel a little deflated and shifted back to my human body, dressing as quickly as possible. Standing in the arena facing the temple my markings began to burn again. Fortunately, it was still not painful though I wondered what it could signify, if anything!
The sun was beginning to set the day has gone by rather fast and I had made no progress.
One more look into the temple, maybe I missed something. Then I will have to leave. Without sunlight it would be difficult to explore even with my enhanced vison.
...If I had missed something during the day, I would definitely miss it at night.
After passing through the veranda and on through the front entrance. I found myself at the altar.
I hate how dirty it is, so I began to remove all the debris and dust from it. Using a cardigan that I had in my rucksack like a clothe
Gently dusting down the candles and the marble top. Its white finish began to shine through easily and it lifted my spirits that was- until I came to the far side of the countertop.
A dark brown almost black stain was splashed over that side. With haste I began to clear all around it. The more debris I removed the more stains I found.
It was blood.
Old, dried blood.
...And, it was splashed and dotted across the altar. My heart jumped in sadness and fear. I intuitively knew what this was.
It was her blood…
Authors Note: Chapter 42 will update tomorrow. Enjoy...