- Genre: Romance
- Status: Completed
- Language: English
- Author: Prosper Joe
Rushed footsteps could be heard in the dark, cold, and windy forest of the Westside Silverwood. Without halt, Lady Jane and the remaining few of her disciples ran through the endless, dark, and empty forest, clutching a piece of fabric tightly that her hands became as red as a rose. It was an ambush, one Lady Jane was not prepared for. The Witches of Westside Silverwood were stronger than Lady Jane had expected. Their sorcery was beyond anything anyone had ever seen. Half of the number of Lady Jane’s disciples that had originally left Zathkanan palace were dead, each one of them brutally murdered while the others escaped with two or more fatal injuries. Lady Jane could not think of anything else, but to run as far away as they could from the Westside Witches. Twelve of them including Lady Jane set out to Westside Silverwood on a quest and only six of them barely survived and were on the run.
It was during the winter. The night was eerily cold, empty, and dark, which was a normal setting of a forest in Silverwood. Once Lady Jane was sure that the witches had stopped following them, she signaled for her people to follow her out of the forest and into Farrow Street. They were now far away from the Westside Witches and Lady Jane let out a sigh of relief.
That night, Farrow Street lights were colorful and amusing. There were people, mortals, going about their lives. As Lady Jane scanned the whole street looking for a place to hide, one of her disciples fell to the floor while the rest rushed to help him.
“What is wrong?” Lady Jane asked, her voice hid the fear that troubled her so well that her disciples trembled upon hearing her voice. Lady Jane was a powerful she-wolf and a trusted advisor of the Alpha of their pack. Fear of her was achieved not only from the Alpha, but from herself also, her composure, her authoritative voice and her charming appearance. She was not someone to be messed with.
The disciple on the floor trembled, “My leg is broken, I cannot move any longer.”
The other disciples looked worriedly at Lady Jane and at the injured disciple. They all knew what Lady Jane’s answer would be, ‘Kill him, we do not want the weak to slow us down,’ but to their surprise, Lady Jane came forward, brought her knees down and placed her hands around his shoulders gently. The other disciples marveled at this gesture. Lady Jane hated physical contact with anyone, her placing her hands over the injured disciple was truly a scene.
“Will it be okay if I carry you?” she asked.
The disciples were filled with another wave of shock. The injured disciple was too scared and confused to speak. Lady Jane’s voice had softened, but her face still remained strict. It was hard to know exactly what she wanted to do. “You are wasting my time,” Lady Jane called, she seemed impatient with the disciple’s silence. Immediately, another disciple stepped out.
“Do not bother Lady Jane, I will carry Josh,” he said.
Without another word, Lady Jane stood up and gave way for the disciple to carry him. As she backed away, her eyes spotted a club across the street. It was noisy and the lights around the building were so bright that it could blind the eye.
“Lady Jane, you do know what that place is right?” one of the disciples asked and Lady Jane nodded slightly, “The West Witches hate anything bright, and that building is the only place we will be safe from them, at least until daytime,” she explained.
The disciples agreed and dared not to disagree with Lady Jane. She was knowledgeable and always right. She was chosen as the Alpha’s advisor because of her wits and composure. Nothing that escaped her lips was ever a lie.
Hurriedly, they entered the club, ignoring the looks thrown on them. Lady Jane asked the bartender for a room to lodge for the night and was told to wait a little while and the manager would get back to them. Lady Jane didn’t care about the six of them staying in one room. They all had to be together, no one had to die again for a small gem. Lady Jane clutched the fabric in her hand, feeling for the presence of what was inside the fabric, the gem she was asked to seek out, the reason the Westside Witches were after them.
“Lady Jane,” a disciple called, “I don’t mean to question your plan for our safety, but the West Witches want the gem back. They would do anything to get it back and I don’t think the lights here will stop them.”
Lady Jane shut him a glare, but not as deadly as how it usually was. The disciple quickly bowed saying ‘I’m sorry’ repetitively until Lady Jane rose her hands to quiet him. They were still waiting silently for the bartender’s response at the counter. No one from their crew said a word, all that blasted into the crowded room and into their ears was the loud music.
The crew watched as mortals danced freely, happily or for some, shamelessly. Lady Jane turned her gaze away from the dance floor and fixed it on the fabric held tightly in her hands. She had to keep it safe, it was a very important mission, a mission assigned to her personally by the Alpha himself. This gem was precious to him. Lady Jane could not accept defeat, not now.
The gem inside the fabric began to act strangely. The aura it emitted was strong and dense. It was almost like the smell of danger mixed with blood and ashes. It wasn’t pleasant or rather wasn’t something the gem was known for emitting. Lady Jane’s eyes were fixed on the fabric, resisting the urge to open it up. It was a package for the Alpha, opening it up would be disrespectful.
Lady Jane turned to see her disciples looking at her, all with worry etched on their faces.
“What is wrong?”
“You have been staring at the fabric for a long time now, and we’ve called your name several times,” one of the disciples explained.
Lady Jane shook her head, “I did not hear you because of the loud music here,” she said, but the disciples’ faces said otherwise.
“There was no way you did not hear us, Lady Jane.”
“Drop this act now, let us wait for the room to be ready, then we can have some rest,” Lady Jane tried to push the topic away, although she knew deep down that her disciples were right. She was indeed carried away by the gem in the fabric, the aura it emitted was different and absurd.
“Alright,” the disciples replied, trusting that Lady Jane was okay.
She held the fabric tightly as she also tried to erase the aura from her mind. This mission had to be successful, even if it meant her dying. The gem acted strange, but she mustn’t lose guard.
The bartender approached them and the disciples’ faces were relaxed. “I talked to the manager and he gave out the last room at the end of the corridor above us.”
Lady Jane nodded appreciatively, but as they were about to leave for the stairs, the bartender stood in their way, eyes locked on Lady Jane. Lady Jane looked at him and her eyes widen with realization almost immediately. The bartender’s eyes was filled with emptiness, almost as if he was in a trance, completely different from the bartender seconds ago.
“Sir, you are blocking our way,” a disciple pointed out, but Lady Jane could tell that the disciple’s voice trembled. It was as if they all noticed the sudden and eerie change. Suddenly Lady Jane noticed something in the bar was off, she and the disciples turned around to see everyone in the bar had stopped dancing, all standing upright, and eyes empty, staring straight at Lady Jane.
“What is happening Lady Jane? Why are they staring at you?” the disciples asked.
“The gem,” Lady Jane answered.
“Does that mean the West Witches have found us,” Josh asked. The disciples shivered at his words. If it was indeed the West Witches, they will all be killed with ease because their moon spirit was low, they were all exhausted from the previous fight and the West Witches had used their magic to seal the moon that night. Lady Jane shook her head.
“It is the gem,” she raised the fabric to show the disciples, “I think we have the wrong gem.”
Just as she said this, she let out a howl and the fabric flew out of her hands. She clutched the hand the fabric was once in. The gem had become red hot and burnt off the fabric, coming in contact with Lady Jane’s skin. The red hot gem was now visible on the tiled floor.
“What is that then?” one of the disciples asked, but Lady Jane shook her head still holding her burnt hand in pain. She knew very well their mission was a failure, she was a failure.
“That is not the gem,” she finally said, “There is something strange about its aura.”
Suddenly, everyone in the bar fell to the ground, eyes still wild open, but their skin now as dry as the bark of a tree. Lady Jane bent down to observe the bartender’s body. It had been drained of blood and his organs were missing.
“What is it? Why are they dead?” one disciple asked.
Lady Jane’s face was not what they needed. She looked so horrified that the disciples almost collapsed. She turned back to look at the glowing red gem, which was now melting and sinking into the titled floor.
“Run!” she called, her voice shaking.
But before they could get to the door, all the disciples fell to the ground, their skins drying up and their eyes wild open. Lady Jane reached out to the door knob as her vision began to double and her eyes and body hurt, her knees could not move any longer and she felt a scotching pain, but could not scream.
‘What in the devil is this sort of sorcery?’ she thought, but she could do nothing anymore. They were played, someone had switched the real gem with this one, fooling both the Westside Witches and Zathkanan pack. That person was indeed too powerful, and it was a pity Lady Jane could not stay around longer to find out who the person was.
“I am so sorry Ethan,” Lady Jane muttered just before she fell to the ground.