429 Refreshing Stream
Lina and her escorts had been running for three hours by the time they made it to the stream. From this part of the river, the mountains were not far from reach but the mountain pass they planned to use, was indeed further north and quite the distance from their current location.
Wyatt was not as winded as he’d been the day before and could only confirm that the bags had been the ones holding him back. Then again, he was still approaching his limit. The change was not great, but fairly noticeable.
Lina, on the other hand, had still not shown any sign of tiredness. She was as energetic as she had been at the start of the run. The delta couldn’t believe her eyes when Lina shifted back into her human form retaining the normal breathing rate.
The difference between her composure and Wyatt’s were like night and day, not to mention her own steadily tiring body.
“Lina, you’re abnormal,” Crysta announced through the mind link.
“I’ll take that as a compliment,” the princess chuckled. Lina took out one of her water cans and got to refilling their water supply as well as refreshing herself.
“How long does it take you to get tired?” Crysta asked her, out of curiosity.
Lina gazed into space in thought. It seemed the answer to this question was a lot more complicated than Crysta had expected… or wanted, “At this pace, I honestly don’t know. I usually take three to four hours to get tired at twice or nearly thrice the pace we are using right now… I think. I’m not good at the estimates. I… just love running.”
“How are you not sure?” Crysta asked.
“Partly because it’s frustrating to guage my progress while training and also because I was still training by the time the Royal Games arrived. I can’t feel my peak yet.
I finally came to terms with it being different from everyone else. Reminds me of the story of Jeanie Sirius. Sometimes I wonder if it was just an old folktale at all. Jeanie Sirius, the fastest werewolf to ever live. At least that’s what Father called it,” the princess thoughtfully replied.
Wyatt shifted into his human form and approached the water as well, keeping his distance from the odd royal. He’d known she was weird but what he had now witnessed since the start of their journey had him rethinking what he thought of her…
She was… extra weird.
The grey wolf couldn’t shift into her human form with her clothes like the others, so she merely walked to the stream and started to drink from it in her wolf form.
Lina soon noticed the situation and sent Wyatt to hide a little in the forest.
When the girls were sure the alpha was far enough from them, Crysta shifted into her human form and was wrapped in an azure robe, “You can come back now, Wyatt.”
The alpha returned and took a seat at the shore of the creek. He dipped his hands into the rushing current and flinched at the sudden sting of cold that permeated through the skin of his palms. The water was ice cold… ‘Glacial river, huh…’
Ignoring the cold, he brought a handful of water to his mouth and took a sip. The first sip was a catalyst for the others that came immediately after. He lost count or sense of how much he drank before his thirst was sated.
Finally refreshed, he spoke his mind, “We still have a long distance to cover. It makes me wonder why the royals bother with the Trials every time the Royal Games come around.”
“There are many stories surrounding the Trials. One of them is that the Trials were a tradition used to prove to the werewolves that the Royals were indeed powerful enough to try out in the Trials.
Another rumour says that the siblings of the royals would compete this way for the honour of becoming the heir to the throne. This was the competition that decided who the next king would be.
Although back then, the competition was far more gruesome. All humans that were found during the Trials were to be transformed into werewolves and they would follow the royals on this journey.
It was from these new rogues, that they would then pick one of their beta alphas based solely on which of them had helped them the most during the Trials.
One story that I’ve recently heard. This one’s the rarest of them all. They say the Royals of the past used to travel to the Origin through the wilderness and made the return journey. Their return was a must and there wasn’t a time that they got lost out in the wilderness.
So these Trials are meant to be completed by the Royals… partly because failure is not an option. I do suspect that they will soon put an end to all this though. I can’t imagine sending my child out into the wilderness because of some ancient myths,” the princess finished her explanation.
‘I might not know as much as Crysta does, but this much I’ve heard,’ she thought to herself.
“But if the Trials are so dangerous, why would Drake go through it on his own?” Crysta tried.
“He’s been through the Trials before. Besides, Drake said he wanted to make things interesting this time. I don’t know what’s going on in his head these days… We better get going. We’ve spent too much time here already,” Lina was in a rush all of a sudden.
Crysta shed her robe and shifted effortlessly.
“I was hoping we could at least take a dip in the stream before rushing off,” she grumbled.
“I’m sorry, Lina. But we haven’t come across a single sign of my brother. Not even through the mind link. Who knows how far he’s already gone? I know this isn’t about speed, but the man’s been through the Trials before. How are we supposed to win on our first try if we don’t take advantage of every chance we get?
We’ll take showers when we make it to the Great Arena. There are spectular facilities that are prepared for the contestants of the Royal Games,” Lina paused and turned to the alpha that had remained quiet the whole time. Wyatt was capping the last water can they’d carried, “Just like Wyatt said, we have a long way to go.”