425 Duel for the History Books
It wasn’t long before they made the trip from the cemetery to the training arena on the ground floor of the colossal Lycaon palace. As they approached the double doors of the gym-like training arena, the trio could hear loud noises coming from the pack warriors inside, “What’s with all this commotion?” Cole asked.
“It would be better for you to see for yourself,” Jason facepalmed, “Everyone’s psyched up.”
Inside the gym, the pack warriors were gathered around the largest ring at the centre of the gym-like training arena and shouting all sorts of things. From the few sounds, he heard statements like ‘Kick that rookie’s butt’ or others like ‘Size is not all that matters’ and ‘Don’t go getting cocky, boy.’ Cole could clearly deduce what was going on.
Inside the ring, two men, both heavily built, but one clearly larger than the other were shirtless and cautiously circling each other, unbothered by the noise that bounced about the colossal room.
The larger man, despite all logic, was Kyle. He wore a cocky grin on his face and bore within his eye, a determined glint. Even when his opponent was going to be beta alpha Caden, Kyle didn’t show a shred of fear in his eyes as any other normal person would.
It was the same look the king had seen countless times in Katie or Sandra’s eyes when they went against the odds, ‘Is he really excited?’ Cole asked himself.
“Cole, what’s going on?” the queen asked when she noticed the king was not shaken by this odd display. The werewolves in the room were expecting a battle of the ages and the king wasn’t trying to break it up.
“It’s a contest to decide who gets to go with me on the Trials. Normally, it would be Jason and Caden with me, but this year, we realised one of them has to stay and run the kingdom.”
“Why couldn’t Kyle just fill in for you while you were gone?” Cole paused at the question. Even he was surprised the queen hadn’t thought twice about asking him this, considering Kyle’s treacherous history.
Shrugging off the implications that the beta alpha had fought to gain the trust of the kingdom, he answered the queen, “W-we tried that but when Kyle heard that we would be leaving, he argued that it was unfair and challenged Caden to a duel. Whoever loses, stays behind to run the kingdom while the others go with me on the Trials.
Since Caden was the one put in charge of training him, it only seemed right that he was the one Kyle would challenge. If he can beat Caden, then he will have earned the right to go in his place.”
The queen turned back to the beta alphas that were just about to duke it out. The two figures were like gods of destruction about to face each other. A beta alpha was a force to be reckoned with in the werewolf world, one that even the royals tried their best not to antagonize… and yet here were two of them, about to face off like it was nothing.
‘What has the world come to?’ the queen lamented.
Caden had years of experience as a fighter on his side, while Kyle only had his heightened abilities that seemed to surpass those of both the king’s beta alphas.
The factors that could determine the outcome of this duel were far too many for her to put into mere words. In the end, she couldn’t tell who would win. Caden was an amazing fighter and at first glance, that was the conclusion anyone would come up with. Caden would be the obvious winner of this battle… and yet, there was doubt.
Kyle had been training a lot in the past two years and the improvements he’d made until this point were by leaps and bounds. For anyone that had been watching his progress, the decision on who would win was not as simple as experience. The queen unknowingly smirked, “Interesting…”
“So you can’t wait to see who wins either?” the King raised a brow at her.
“Even I get curious every once in a while, dear. Besides, whoever wins this will be able to protect you better out there,” the queen sighed.
“If the king has agreed to this, then I’ll go and initiate the duel,” Jason suggested and left only after receiving a confirmatory nod from Cole.
“I’m surprised they were able to keep themselves from starting the fight this long,” the queen commented as the two royals turned for the bleachers. At times like this, this part of the arena became useful. Cole, along with Queen Margaret could oversee the entire match from higher ground without any hindrance from the cheering mob of pack warriors.
“This is stupid. We all know who’ll win. Good morning, Cole,” a female beta approached the king, getting her sentences coming out in the wrong order.
The king continued seemingly unperturbed by the sudden newcomer, “Good morning, Bella. I wouldn’t call it ‘stupid.’ When you look at it from Kyle’s perspective, he finally gets to prove that Caden’s lessons have been teaching him to be a better fighter.”
“Even then, he’s only been training for two years. You, Caden and Jason, were training for much longer than he has. It was after serious training that the three of you could even think of taking on King Trevor’s beta…”
“BELLA,” the king suddenly snapped at her, his eyes flashing bright blue.
The delta recoiled, “I’m sorry, your majesty. I shouldn’t have… brought him up.” Bella held her head low in a bow of submission. Through the mind link, Cole could feel the fear that coursed through her body… However, it was mixed with worry and concern along with emotions that the prince couldn’t decipher.
Any other emotions would have made this situation worse. Cole sighed and the blue tinge that had started to taint his vision vanished, “Then keep it in mind the next time you decide to speak…” Cole paused. The room had gone quiet and everyone had turned their attention to the source of the king’s booming voice.
Most of the pack warriors hadn’t noticed the king come in when he did and had continued along with their actions… Now some of them wore looks of horror.
Cole was here… and they weren’t training.
Instead, they were all standing around a ring urging a fight that had nothing to do with the king’s development.
In a disorderly panic, the pack warriors hurriedly turned to the king and bowed in unison, “Your Majesty! How’s your morning?”
Queen Margaret chuckled, “Isn’t it funny when they think you’re going to be mad at them for slacking off?”
Cole sighed and turned to the bleachers. Speaking through the mind link, he directed his thoughts to Bella, ‘Now see what you’ve done. I would have liked to witness my subjects in their most natural state. And after I had gone through so much to conceal my presence.’
“Everyone at ease… I’m only here to watch the duel. Same as all of you. May the strongest beta alpha win,” with that, the pack warriors let out an uproar in support of the first-class entertainment they were about to witness.
“In the Rookie’s corner… you know why I’m calling it that. We have our newest beta alpha, one that was turned by our very own Luna. Standing before us today several times larger than the scrawny little runt that came to us two years ago…”
“Jace, you don’t have to…” Kyle tried, but the man was not paying attention. He was already going…
…and there was no stopping him.
“He might look mighty… He might look beefy… He might even taste good as a dish that rivals venison, but he’s nothing to take too lightly. It’s Kyle, the Third Lycaon Beta Alpha,” there was a chorus of cheers and laughter bursting through the crowd as Jason continued to rile them up.
“Yes, you heard me right, gentle warriors. The rumours are true. Kyle challenged his former teacher and mentor to a duel. The winner of this duel gets to accompany the King on the Trials. Standing in the opposite corner, with a size, weight and physique perfectly identical to yours truly. Confident and experienced, less beefy and probably less tasty.
Packed with a temper that’s to be feared by all and enough combat prowess to send a hunter to the hospital. Lycaon’s very own serious Beta alpha and one of the king’s right-hand men… we have Caden.”
Caden stared wide-eyed at his friend, “You’re enjoying yourself a little too much this time…”
Jason smirked but didn’t reply to his friend’s ‘wild’ accusation.
Instead, the referee beta alpha thrust his hand high into the air. The arena went dead silent at the gesture and the two contestants suddenly froze and focused on each other.
If anyone watching this didn’t know what was going on, they would have felt as though the match was unfair.
Beta alphas had astounding physiques, but Kyle seemed to be an anomaly. Not to mention the speed at which he had been improving himself in the past two years.
Coupled with his hulking appearance, there was proof from the many times that he’d proved it, that his power was only increasing. Muscular build and an arrogant smirk were not all he had to show for his training. There was actual skill building up within the rookie beta alpha. From afar, he was like a walking tank of raw power that was ready to crush any and all opponents.
The two wolves stared themselves down, each determined to overpower the other.
Despite the way this situation looked, Caden was dead calm. His eyes were those of a seasoned warrior. In their crimson depths lay tales of battles that had made him the warrior that he was today and garnered the respect that made this battle extremely unpredictable.
Tension rose in the air and the whole audience tensed up, growing anxious to know what was going to happen. Jason’s smile grew even wider in anticipation. The tension between these two was so thick you could cut it with a blade, ‘I expect a duel for the history books.’
With that thought to both the alphas, he let his hand drop…
A signal to start the battle…
It was then, that the battle for the king’s escort position would be decided… Through combat and wit alone: the requirements needed by anyone who was to make it in a world so vicious.