The world was silent and Cirrus felt the will and fire he’d had moments ago diminish and wither away. The goddess had robbed him of everything he was and still claimed it was all better. All his aspirations turned to dust by a command, “How is this better?”
“You’ve been misguided, Cirrus. You might want to use the rest of your life to rediscover what this world is all about. There is a lot you could learn. I’ll make sure to give you a mate that suits you. Probably then you can look past mindless bloodshed,” Celeste grumbled.
Straining against the goddess’s orders, he wanted to deny everything she told him, but his struggles were all in vain. His body went limp and the words got stuck in his throat when he thought of defying her. The pressure would build within his mind, forcing him to abandon the treacherous train of thought.
It had been a long time since the goddess had commanded them to do anything for her. Not with this level of power infused into her voice anyway. Now that he had been given some perspective, he could see what kind of free will he’d been taking for granted before, “This… isn’t over, Lady Artemis.” he mumbled through gritted teeth before standing up to leave the clearing. Right, when he’d reached the edge of the Origin, the goddess spoke up, her voice infused with more divine energy as she issued another order.
“I would prefer it if you called me by the name, Celeste from now on. The same goes for all the wolves under my patronage,” she said to him, “And one more thing. Wolves are forbidden from returning to the Origin. From this day forth, the Origin is to be wiped from their minds and wither into nothing but a myth in the minds of my subjects.”
With that said, a beam of blue light shot from the moon in the sky above, taking the goddess, along with the body of the man on the ground with her.
Cirrus Lycaon barely made it back to the Lycaon capital in one peace. Strangely, his wolf had grown significantly weaker and even hunting was starting to feel like a chore. As the days drifted by in the wilderness, he discovered the source of his diminishing strength.
With the slightest hint of returning strength, his thoughts immediately took on a train of thought aimed at reducing the number of humans in the world. The moment his thoughts went in this direction, the strength was sapped out of his bones, leaving him with barely enough to walk. In this state, he was crippled… in a sense.
During his travels, he wandered upon a town of humans and walked into an inn, making sure to keep his head down and not draw much attention to himself. He sat in the corner of the inn and waited for the waiter to approach him.
The writing at the front of the counter mentioned the different dishes they offered. He had enough money on him to get a meal, but none to get a room, ‘I guess I’ll be sleeping out in the woods tonight,’ the thought to himself while he drummed his fingers on the wooden table before him.
“Hello sir, how may I help you?” a sweet alluring voice made its way into his ears. With it came a sweet scent that forced his wolf to the surface. All his instincts heightened and a fraction of his strength returned to him in an instant… like an adrenaline rush…
The reaction he had brought him untold happiness and at the same time, filled him with unfathomable dread. When he raised his head to meet the waiter’s shocked face, he thought he’d never seen anyone more beautiful than the girl before him.
The girl before him appeared much younger than he was and like every waiter was required to appear, she was dressed to the nines, making her stand out in contrast to the quality of the rundown establishment.
Cirrus Lycaon was never one to care about women he found on his travels. With the money and power at his disposal, getting a woman to bow to him was no task and yet the one he saw before him felt utterly different.
He couldn’t tell what was going through her amber orbs either… Wait, amber… The recognition of her eye colour snapped him out of his daze, “Mate?” her voice rang out, with a hint of confusion. Hadn’t the message of such a thing only got out from the palaces recently?
The inn went silent at the mention of the word. It wasn’t long since the announcement had come through from the King of Lycaon and Queen of Sirius.
They all knew what a mate was, but not many had met their mates yet. This was officially one of the first pairs to meet in the entire two empires and in a town as small as this one. The owner of the inn came out from behind the counter to meet the couple, “Would you look at that? Jane, are you sure this man is…”
The burly innkeeper went silent when the prince’s cold blue expression turned on him. The man that had just walked into his small inn was a royal, “Your h-highness, I hadn’t noticed. I’m sorry for not noticing early enough. What would you like? We can spare a room for you to rest in for the night. You can rest with your mate as well if that pleases you.”
“None of that will be necessary,” the prince cut him off, standing up and walking past the girl without sparing her a second glance, “I was just leaving.”
Just like that, the prince rushed out of the inn. The door slammed shut behind him, shaking the thin streams of dust off the exposed girders. Jane’s heart felt like it was shattering into a million pieces and yet still straining to stay whole. When they’d been told about the mates they would all be receiving, no one mentioned there would be a chance of meeting one that was icy cold and an inconsiderate real piece of work.
Among her raging emotions was one known to all werewolves… anger. She was angry, ‘Who does he think he is?’ she mentally yelled. Tears threatened to spill from her eyes, but the stubbornness within her wouldn’t let them fall without having a chance to say something.
“Jane, now I know what you’re thinking…” the girl sidestepped the innkeeper and rushed out the door before anyone could talk to her. Sighing, the old woman stared at the gaping doorway. It was already turning dark outside and a harsh wind was picking up, “This won’t be good.”