399 Higher Calling
Cirrus took a second look around what he could see of the cabin’s living room. Unlike every other place in this town, this house still held traces of his mate’s scent, and what was more was that he could tell these traces weren’t going anywhere for a long time. This was Jane’s actual home.
Cirrus let his eyes settle on the woman before him once more. The amber in her eyes was the same as all the others he’d seen growing up, so there shouldn’t have been anything in those eyes that could tell him if she was related to Jane… and yet, his wolf held suspicions.
Maybe it was the way the woman talked back to the royal with a tad bit less restraint than a normal wolf, or maybe it was how her sad expression made images of his heartbroken mate flash through his mind.
“Are you… Jane’s mother?” Cirrus asked.
“Who’s asking? Huh, Prince Cirrus of Lycaon or Commander Cirrus of the Death platoon, or maybe the crown prince that declined the throne so that he could kill more humans than any other monarch in history. You know, when I heard you were her mate, I almost…”
“That’s enough,” the prince growled, balling his fists in anger. ‘The audacity of this woman… Is her daughter just as…’ Cirrus, however, didn’t get a chance to finish his rambling thoughts as the woman continued speaking, paying no mind to the prince’s angered mood.
“Surprising, I would have thought you’d be proud of those titles,” the woman narrowed her eyes at him, “Just give up on my daughter. You treated her like trash the moment you laid eyes on her. I don’t want her to ever see you again. I thought I would be blessed enough to spend the rest of my days without getting the chance to, but I guess we can’t all be winners, can we?”
“You speak of me as though I’m a scourge. I was merely following the will of our goddess,” Cirrus forced himself to calm down before this woman and leaned against one of the wooden pillars that held the structure of the cabin. She was the mother of his mate after all. He mentally wondered how long he would have to endure this torture before she could talk, but still managed to suppress the urge to threaten the woman into telling him what he wanted to know.
“Someone who kills that many people and still sleeps peacefully at night. What more am I supposed to expect from you?” the woman spoke with him with so much distaste that it irked the prince. Nonetheless, he held his composure.
“Will you tell me where she is or not?” he asked coldly. ‘How long is she planning on keeping her sister’s location hidden from me? More importantly, if she’s so happy that I was finally out of her life, why does she look sad?’ he thought to himself, however, no answers came to him.
The woman took a seat at a table to the side of the wall opposite the prince, twiddling her thumbs somewhat nervously, “I don’t want to…” she sighed, choosing to change her words, “Will you first tell me why you want to know where she is?”
“That should not concern you.”
“And yet it does. She’s my daughter. I would never let her into the custody of someone that will never show her happiness. You only know to take the lives of others and tear families apart.
You wreak havoc everywhere you go and yet… Taking you to her suggests you want to do something other than take lives. You would be committing to bringing life into this world. Something you’re not good at… You broke her heart once before. What more could you want with her? Perhaps you want to kill her now that she’s rejected you,” this woman’s words were like daggers to the prince’s heart.
Hearing these words from the goddess or the royals was one thing. They knew why he had done what he had done, but hearing it from someone that had never met him before. Was this what everyone thought of him? The wolf that tears families apart and leaves a trail of death everywhere he goes.
“You dare to speak to the prince of Lycaon in such a manner,” Rana bellowed angrily, finally blowing a fuse. The beta alpha had chosen to remain quiet and let his alpha handle all this, but he also had his limits of tolerance.
“Rana,” the prince raised his hand to stop his advancing subordinate. The beta alpha settled down and stepped away from the two of them with a slight bow in respect of his alpha.
The glow in his eyes dimmed once more notifying them that he had cooled down, “Forgive me for overstepping, my Lord.”
“It’s fine, Rana,” the prince sighed before turning his attention back to the slightly shocked woman, “I didn’t come here to cause your daughter any more pain. I came here to apologise for the way I treated her,” the prince paused… The rest of his speech felt like something that would carve a hole into his very being just by uttering the words.
Nevertheless, he knew what he wanted to say. The past days had shown him enough for him to come to this conclusion, “You’re right in many ways. I only know death. I’ve brought it upon so many that I’ve lost count, but alas, the goddess robbed me of the power to reap any more lives. Now I am in search of the last flicker of hope and light that is still within reach.”
“Forgive me if I don’t believe a word you’ve said,” the woman scoffed without giving the prince’s words a second thought.
“I don’t intend to convince you of this. The only one that matters to me now is Jane, no offence. You might be her mother and I will treat you with the respect you deserve and also thank you for giving birth to someone as beautiful and intelligent as her, but I must find her first. Maybe I could find a way to…”
“You won’t find her,” the woman stopped him short. Cirrus wanted to lash out and he did… However, as he did, he couldn’t help but notice the way she’d kept her tone indifferent when she cut him off.
“Will you not tell me where to find her?” Cirrus was starting to lose his patience.
“No, that’s not what I mean. I’m just speaking facts that you will not find her, at all. She left with her belongings and said she’d gone to fulfil her purpose in the wilderness… And trust me, if she doesn’t want to be found, the wild itself will shield her from you,” the woman replied in a sombre tone.
She continued to twiddle her thumbs nervously in a reaction similar to a nervous tweak or a side-effect of staying away from an addiction. The woman wasn’t exactly dressed regally, but her appearance was in no way graceful either… even for someone who lived in a village as small as this.
“You’re not making any sense. What are you saying?” the prince pinched the bridge of her nose.
“It’s been like that her whole life. She can talk to animals but has never had a use for the ability. It was a few days before you wandered upon this village that she received her calling from the goddess. She was to conceal the Origin from the rest of the world. Her role is to obscure the location of the Origin completely. That means, she will vanish as well,” the woman replied, “If you’d made it here this morning, you could have caught her before she left,” the woman tried to explain.
“I’m a royal. We can access the Origin if we want to,” the man replied.
“You’re not listening to me. She’s been planning this for a long time. The moon goddess is determined to hide the Origin from the rest of the world and a girl was born that would help her bring that dream to fruition. We’ve always known of her miraculous ability and respected her for it, but we didn’t know that this is what it would be used for.”
“You’ve lost your child to the goddess. How are you not…” it only made sense then why the woman’s voice was hoarse, why she looked dishevelled, why she didn’t care what she sounded like in front of the most dangerous werewolf in the world, why she constantly twiddled her thumbs… It was no wonder that the scent of booze hung in the air. The faint traces of tears were finally clear to the prince, now that he took a closer look at the woman, “You’ve been crying.”
Like a dam breaking from intense pressure, the mother of Cirrus’s mate broke down before him, “Of course I have. My little girl will never come back to me. What did you expect? Maybe… just maybe if you’d come here sooner, you could have kept her from leaving. I never thought I would look to the Commander of the Death platoon for help, but… My dear Jane… my Fauna…”
“I’ll find her,” Cirrus rushed to the woman and squeezed her hand in an effort to comfort her. He gave her his word, promising to find the girl before rushing from the cabin with Rana diligently following behind.
The woman continued to silently weep inside her cabin, pondering the words of the prince, his determination against what she knew to be true of her daughter’s disappearance. In a low hoarse voice, void of all hope, the woman silently lamented to no one at all, “I don’t think even you have the power to make such a promise… your highness.”