My heart was constantly ramming into my chest and my wolf was pacing inside me throughout the journey. While everyone around me looked excited to go there, I was silent all the while, fidgeting and shifting in my seat uncomfortably.
“What’s the matter with you?” Regulus asked me, “Are there ants in Augustus’ pants?” He enquired and instantly received a glare from Augustus while the others laughed.
“I gave her the newest set of clothes,” Augustus grumbled.
“Still, she looks uncomfortable,” Regulus commented while narrowing his eyes at me. He was the most observant one of us all. I didn’t know if it had to do with his abilities but he was very good at reading people.
It was generally very hard to hide something from him because he always figured it out one way or other. I wondered if he had any hints about Ezekiel and me. I would be damned if he knew but with the way he acted, I knew he was clueless.
He would have confronted me about this otherwise.
“Er… no, I’m just feeling slightly nervous,” I told him.
“Why?” Regulus frowned.
“I’ve never done this before,” I told them.
“Look at that creature!” Regulus nodded at Avyanna who was sitting beside Ares. Ares had been quiet for some time. Earlier he was lecturing Avyanna on how to behave once we got there so that we’re not caught. “She looks ready to invade Thastonia and you say you’re nervous? You aren’t Celeste!”
He wasn’t entirely wrong. I felt this change take place within me ever since that day when Ezekiel and I had the talk. His words still rang in my ears sometimes. They were a major blow to me and my self-esteem.
“Er… I don’t know,” I told him again before adding grimly, “I have this gut feeling that something would go wrong,”
I wasn’t lying when I had said that. I was in fact sure that something was about to go wrong there. My gut was screaming at me and the way my wolf was pacing inside me, it also added to my anxiousness.
This somewhat made everyone serious.
“We’ll be extra careful,” Augustus commented before they started talking about all the things that happened last year at the festival and their experience there. I listened to them closely so that I would know what to expect once we got there.
My body had grown colder when the coachman finally declared that we had entered Thastonia. I peeked out of the window to see what the place looked like. I had never seen or been here. I had only heard a lot about this place and the Lycan who ruled it.
Unlike Zaeris, it didn’t snow very heavily here. It was more woody than snowy but it did get considerably cold here and sometimes received very light snowfall. It rained here more in winters than it snowed.
Blinding greenery was the first thing that I spotted as soon as I looked out of the window. We were still in the air so everything was clearly visible from there. At first, it all looked like only woods before I was able to spot the peaking heads of some buildings here and there among the trees.
In the distance, among the fog, a very faint outline of what seemed like Ezekiel’s castle sat on a high mountain, looming over the whole place. Just looking at the palace made me shiver. It looked like somewhere I wouldn’t want to go because it looked eerie for some reason.
The carriage shook slightly as the wheels finally hit the ground. My heart threatening to dig it sway out of my chest as the carriage raced towards the castle. Where we going to go inside it?
I looked around to ask someone but Regulus already answered even before I could ask the question, “It takes place outside the castle. They build a separate town just only for the festival,”
“Wow, that sounds grand,” I commented, somewhat calming down.
“It is grand,” Augustus chimed in. I kept looking out of the window to see where we were headed. We were headed closer and closer towards the direction of the castle but he didn’t really seem to be going towards it at all.
The carriage took an abrupt turn and the castle disappeared from sight. After some moments, the carriage started to slow down, suggesting that we were closer to the town where the festival seemed to take place.
“We’re there,” Regulus confirmed, peaking out of the window beside me. The carriage stopped abruptly in what looked like a parking area before the door was being opened for us by the carriage master. We climbed out one by one.
“I swear if you disappear from my sight,” I heard Ares warn his sister. She was already bubbling with excitement and looking around to see what was there. I still couldn’t spot anything that’d suggest that a festival was taking place there.
All I spotted there were carriages of different styles, shapes, and colors that were lined up in rows and rows.
“We need to walk for a few moments to get to the entrance,” Regulus explained. According to the plan, the triplets and Ares were responsible to look after Avyanna because she was the most notorious of all and we didn’t want to take any chances.
On the other hand, Regulus and Augustus stuck with me, walking on either side of me to make sure that no one in the crowd got direct access to me. As we walked out of the parking area and headed towards the place where the actual festival was supposed to take place, I kept looking around.
I soon a crowd of people. It made me frown when I didn’t find a woman there. It was a crowd of men only. I still wondered why women weren’t really allowed to the festival. Why was one gender exempted from having fun?
My jaw almost hit the bottom when I finally spotted the huge gateway to the festival. Everything about it looked grand. It was carved out of thick trunks of trees and on the very top of the gate sat a symbol which I had seen a few months ago on the carriage the night when I first found out about Ezekiel being my mate.
I was left staring at the intricate design the gate was made of. It was something I’d never seen before. On close inspection, I found detailed carvings in the wood. Before I could look closer, Augustus was tugging me away to keep up with our group.
I tore my eyes from it and looked around. I had underestimated everything they had told me about the festival. Everything was truly grand and they had decorated everything! Even the skies!
I watched with my mouth open as the clouds of different shapes drifted above us along with small fairy-like creatures who were showing the crowd with flowers and sparkling sand.
Soft, upbeat music floated in the air as we walked deeper into the town. Everything was decorated so beautifully, I wanted to move in and live there for the rest of my life.
A lot of things were happening there all at once. There were several food stalls and places to eat, shops to buy souvenirs, pubs/bars for entertainment and what not!
In the center of the town was a huge stage set up for the king.
He was supposed to arrive in some time to start the celebration. We were very early there so we strolled around and looked at everything that was there. Everything was beautiful and overwhelming at the same time.
For a moment, I had even forgotten about Ezekiel and the fact that I was there illegally. I was truly having fun until the time arrived for the Lycan King’s arrival.
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