414 First Hurdle
Honour, Madeline and Bree sat in the back of a stretched limousine that carried the King and Queen of Sirius.
One of Beta alpha Jackson’s deltas was driving the car and doing his best to pay no attention to the people seated in the back of the car or at least act like he wasn’t interested in hearing what was discussed.
Being in the presence of this family had taught the man that there was always something interesting going on in their lives. Very much so that the beta alphas(mainly Jackson and his deltas) were getting into the habit of gossiping.
Fortunately, they knew when it was time for this foolery and when it wasn’t. For example, in this situation, when his role was to drive and not look back or pay any attention to whatever private conversation was going on amongst the royals.
His attention was solely on the road before him, ‘Alpha Jackson must have wanted to punish me.’ The man grumbled silently. It wasn’t like the delta could hear anything. The damned limo was soundproof. He was alone in the front seat.
Inside the car, Honour tried her best to distract her mind from the girl they’d just watched dash into the forest. She could already imagine her friend trying to win the Trials with speed and speed alone… the exact opposite of what she was supposed to be doing.
“Stop worrying, Honour. She has Crysta with her. That delta won’t let anything happen to her,” Madeline tried.
Honour sighed, “I know, Maddy, but I can’t help myself. You know what Lina is like. She rushes into everything she does following instinct… without thinking… usually because she’s faster than most and believes she can do it all in time… and without help.”
Madeline held her tongue, wondering if the girl was done talking. ‘You’re definitely hunting for those excuses,’ the grey-eyed girl thought to herself.
“Lina might be quick to make decisions, but what’s a Trail if there is nothing to learn from it,” the queen pitched in, smiling at the girls before her. The queen was right… The Trials weren’t just some competition. They were meant to teach the future monarchs several lessons while they worked to finish them.
The harder the Trials tested them, the more they were bound to learn… but that also meant they were risking their lives as well. It wasn’t like hunters had been dispatched to watch over them. Lina was out there with no one watching over her, but those two.
Suddenly the thought of having Wyatt going with them didn’t feel too reassuring. “I just hope she doesn’t get hurt in order to learn whatever the Trials have to teach her.”
This… was partly wishful thinking. What lesson didn’t involve a little pain? Lina was bound to witness or experience something that would change her on this journey she’d embarked on. How dire the situation would be… lay solely in the hands of Fate.
“I have a feeling everything will be just fine,” the king finally spoke up, “She has good companions with her. Now let’s all stop worrying about that. I had a board game packed for times like these. Nothing like a good old game to toss that boredom out the window.”
“The king plays board games?” Madeline whispered the question into Honour’s ears, completely forgetting the king’s keen sense of hearing. From a bag leaning against the closed door, King Davin retrieved a large wooden box akin to the size of a pizza box.
“Yes, I play board games. We do it when there is nothing to take our minds off the people we care about. I remember this helped us a lot back in the day… when Katie had only just disappeared,” the king’s gaze landed on his wife.
Queen Martha paled at the mention of a dark time that had been… partly her fault. The moon goddess had communicated with her and had her send the princess away in the care of the Chase hunters. To distract the king from this loss, she’d introduced him to a variety of board games.
“Times that I pray we never see again in this lifetime, darling,” Queen Martha placed a kiss on her husband’s lips.
“You’re right about that. Now, who wants to take the first turn?” the King turned to the girls.
“I would… after I know the rules,” Bree piped up, her eyes gleaming with excitement.
Honour had remained silent, having been interrupted by the king. Despite his explanation, she was still stunned by this sudden development, “I guess he does,” she said to herself, shifting her gaze to the box he lay on the table at the centre of the spacious cabin.
The king began to open the latches that held it tightly closed, ‘I guess we are all going play,’ Honour continued in her mind.
After a short meeting with Crysta providing most of the information, the trio of werewolves were finally able to come up with a plan. Lina allowed Crysta to lead the way as she was the one that had memorised the map and learnt the most about long-distance navigation.
Their first part of the journey was mostly forest. The three wolves ran through the woods at a steady pace, cutting a straight line across the land and covering great distances without needing to break momentum for a long time.
Lina was sure her two companions would get tired after about an hour, but three hours went by before they stopped for a break… and three hours more went by before they stopped once again.
The food rations they had packed worked to their advantage and they avoided hunting for their first day of travel. The sun was starting its descent when Crysta stopped in a clearing wide enough and well-shielded from a direct breeze.
The delta shifted into her human form, Lina quickly following suit and covering her friend’s naked body with a robe she’d carried in her bag just in case something like this happened, “Thanks.”
“No problem. We should rest for now,” Lina replied, turning to the alpha that was with them.
Surprisingly, Wyatt, who should have been much stronger than Crysta, was still panting after the running they had done.
Crysta had recovered after a few minutes, but the white-soled black wolf was still panting like crazy. The male shifted into his human form and collapsed on the ground panting heavily, “Three hours back to back without rest or water. What are the two monsters of you thinking?” Wyatt bellowed between heavy breaths.
“I didn’t know you would be that winded after only the first day of travel, Wyatt. The distance we still have to cover is quite great. This is not the time to start feeling tired. You’ve seen nothing yet,” Crysta walked up to him and pulled the map from a bag that he was holding along with a full water bottle.
She then sat on the ground and started looking through, “Wyatt does bring up a worrisome point though. We are going to need water pretty soon.”
“I hadn’t thought much about that though I packed as much as I could carry,” Lina replied, going through the bottles that were in her bag with a concerned expression.
“So did I. With how much we packed, we can only go today and half of tomorrow before we’re in trouble. We’ll need to find somewhere we can replenish our water before continuing the rest of the journey,” Crysta said, paying close attention to the map.
Lina paused, observing her friend closely, a pang of shame going through her head, ‘Water! That’s also something to worry about! I really wasn’t thinking… Although…’ while the princess hadn’t thought of some aspects of their journey, there were others on her mind.
A thought she never thought would ever cross her mind happened to form within it, ‘Will Wyatt be okay?’